Text and pictures by Ramesh Chand Vishwakarma, Gulf News Reader www.gulfnews.com
My community report is about a construction site in the middle of Khalid Bin Waleed Road, in Dubai.
I have often seen people upset and in tears when fined for crossing the road in areas where there is an inadequate provision of pedestrian facilities.
Our roads must be planned for pedestrians first. Why are people being fined when the truth remains that there is a [bigger issue]?
Firstly, there is a problem with the way bus stop locations have been planned. Due to the construction of the Dubai Metro, bus stops have been moved around and there are [hardly any] pedestrian crossings for people to get to the opposite side.
If people get off the bus on the Creek side, near the consulate buildings, they will need to cross the road to reach the bus stop that goes toward Karama.
In order to get there, they would then have to travel a distance of about 500 metres to go to the nearest pedestrian crossing and return to the bus stop on the opposite side of the road.
People working or staying in Karama who need to catch a bus from the other side will also have to walk a minimum of 500 metres to cross the road.
Another issue is that no zebra crossings have been provided in between the two bus stops on Khalid Bin Waleed Road.
There are also no signboards.
Matter of convenience
The construction going on in the middle of the road has no proper barricades prohibiting pedestrians from entering the site and neither is there any signage directing pedestrians toward safe passage.
People just cross the road wherever convenient.
They should not be fined if there is no adequate provision of infrastructure in place for pedestrians within a 250 metre distance.
For some people, a fine of Dh210, along with travel costs, is a big sum of money and they cannot afford to pay.
I suggest that those caught jaywalking be warned if they are first-time offenders.
Our public transport system should be made more pedestrian-friendly.
Is penalising people for crossing justified when they do not have any other proper facilities?
— The reader is an engineer based in Dubai