An artist’s impression of a footbridge. Four air-conditioned pedestrian bridges will be constructed on Al Sufouh Street. Image Credit: RTA

Dubai: The number of pedestrian crossings in Dubai will jump from 100 to 120 by 2016, as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) embarks on a series of projects to upgrade infrastructure for pedestrians in the city.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, has endorsed the construction of 10 pedestrian bridges next year in various busy locations at a cost of Dh40 million.

“Constructing footbridges stems from the commitment of the RTA to provide safe means for pedestrians to cross roads. The new bridges will be constructed in a number of key locations that have been identified in traffic studies focused on the intensity of pedestrian movement, areas with abundant shops and businesses, and locations recording high run-over accidents [black points],” said Al Tayer.

Two pedestrian bridges will be constructed at Bani Yas Street — one near the premises of the Land Department, and the second near the premises of Dubai Municipality.

Bridges will also be constructed at each of the following streets — Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street (near Rifaa-Saadiyat intersection), Al Nahda Street (nearb Al Twar Centre), Al Ittihad Street (near Dnata), Al Marabea Street (Road 323), Al Mankhool Street, Latifa Bint Hamdan Street (near Al Khail Mall), Al Rabat Street (near Bel Rumaitha Club), and the Dubai–Al Ain Road (near Skycourts Buildings).

Reduced mortalities

Al Tayer added that RTA is committed to specific standards in the design and construction of pedestrian bridges in Dubai through conducting traffic studies that address population density, driving speed, services provided on both sides of the road and the number of traffic accidents in the area.

“Depending on solutions suggested by the studies, deliverables are reflected in the form of technical and traffic projects such as pedestrian bridges, signalised pedestrian crossings, humps, and speed-breaking devices, among others,” he said.

He noted that the efforts made by the RTA, in collaboration with Dubai Police, contributed positively to pedestrian traffic safety on roads, where the number of fatalities reported in pedestrian accidents dropped from 9.5 fatalities per 100,000 people in 2007 to 2.3 fatalities per 100,000 people in 2010, the number further dropped to 1.2 fatalities per 100,000 in 2013.

The number of pedestrian bridges in Dubai jumped from 14 in 2006 to 74 bridges in 2011, and the number will go up to 100 by the end of this year.

Four covered and air-conditioned pedestrian bridges will be constructed at Al Sufouh Street; two to serve tram users and residents on both sides of the street, and the other two to link Tecom with the opposite side of the street as well as Dubai Marina Mall.

Work is under way on the construction of seven other bridges to be completed in 2015, which will bring the overall number of pedestrian bridges by 2016 to 120.

Al Tayer called on citizens, residents and visitors to use the bridges and subways designated for crossing roads and urged motorists to abide by the specific speed limits and slow down at pedestrian crossings for their own safety and the safety of road users.