The Gardens new exit which opened on Thursday should ease peak hour traffic in the area. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News

Dubai: A new exit leading to Shaikh Zayed Road from the Gardens community south of Ibn Battuta Mall has come as an interim relief for commuters facing huge tailbacks during rush hour.

The exit, heading from Road D59 aims to reduce traffic flow on the bottleneck on interchange 5.5, where traffic from different directions converge.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has embarked on a five-year plan to develop road systems around the Gardens and Discovery Gardens area, following complaints of regular congestions by motorists.

Apart from the temporary exit that opened on Tuesday, RTA plans to develop parallel road system as well as separating traffic flow from different directions through new flyovers and interchanges.

The authority also plans to open the access to Mohammad Bin Zayed Road from the eastern side of Discovery Gardens, which is currently closed.

“We have developed interim solution for Gardens residents, which will help improve traffic situation considerably, particularly during morning peak hours. Work is also currently on to provide long term solutions,” said Maith Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

Though, interim, the solution was welcomed by motorists who normally spend more than an hour crossing the exit.

“This is a good move by RTA, at least we will save some time during morning rush hours. This exit will help us avoid the jam on the interchange where traffic from all side converge. For those heading north this is a good option,” a Gardens resident said.

RTA is currently working on reconfiguring the traffic light on Junction of D591 and Gardens Cross Road, which is a major source of congestion. Apart from temporary solutions, RTA is currently working on a master plan that will be complete by 2018.

“The RTA has drawn up a long and medium term master plan to uproot the traffic congestion in the Discovery Gardens community in Dubai. Apart from the temporary exit, additional exits and entries will be provided through the Interchange 5.5 on the Shaikh Zayed Road, and from the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, which will contribute to spreading the vehicular flow, easing the traffic pressure,” she added.

The parallel roads, which are currently in the planning stage, will be ready by 2018, providing multiple exits and entries to the two sprawling communities. Traffic situation in the densely populated area has become nightmarish in the recent past, particularly following the installation of steel fencing on the unpaved area adjacent to Shaikh Zayed Road which people were using to access the neighbourhood.

“Several people were using the dirt road to access the area but with the closure of that section all are forced to use a single bridge, making traffic immovable,” said Meera Lal, a resident of Discovery Gardens.