His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board & Executive Director of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), revealed that the projects and improvements carried out by the RTA, comprising roads, bridges & tunnels as well as mass transit network including Dubai Metro, public buses & marine transit modes, contributed to reducing the cost of time wasted annually due to traffic congestions from 4.9 billion dirham in 2005 to 2.4 billion dirham in 2010.
“Projects constructed by the RTA also contributed to boosting the competitiveness of Dubai, developing the economy, appreciating the value of lands & properties, and improving the environment & safety levels among other positive effects. Road projects completed by the RTA in the past resulted in a 29 per cent increase in the total length of roads network, 195 per cent increase in the number of bridges constructed from 108 to 319 bridges, 57 per cent increase in the number of tunnels constructed, and an increase in the number of lanes crossing Dubai Creek from 19 lanes in 2005 to 48 lanes right now,” said Al Tayer.
“In case the situation was left to continue as it was before establishing the RTA and the construction of various roads & transport projects, the value of time & fuel wasted on traffic congestions would have jumped from about 8 billion dirham in 2006 to more than 13 billion dirham in 2010. Total savings made in the cost of time & fuel wastage over the past five years is as high as 35.7 billion dirham; recording an improvement by a whopping 51 per cent,” continued Al Tayer.
“RTA periodically attends to assessing the overall performance of roads network including all components such as expressways, urban roads, traffic overlapping sections and surface intersections with a view to examining the operational condition of roads network and monitoring the smooth flow of traffic. With the work progress made in constructing road projects & mass transit systems, RTA had also to examine the impact generated by these projects on the improvement of traffic flow, and their contribution to realizing RTA vision of Safe & Smooth Transport for All. The assessment of roads network is made through traffic analysis of all road elements following field surveys covering the travel time index on most roads of the Emirate during peak and off peak time, along with vehicular count on roads & signalized surface junctions. The traffic analysis covers more than 50 per cent of public roads and 10 per cent of light signals.
“RTA adopted operational performance indicators for roads network that commensurate with the objective of assessing the traffic movement. Here it benchmarks the operational condition of roads network in the Emirate against major cosmopolitan cities, and measures two key indicators in order to assess the performance of roads network namely; Traffic Level of Service Index, and Travel Time Index. These indices give a broad idea about the level of service of roads network including all elements combined. Traffic congestion in Dubai declined dramatically as it currently measures 1.36; which is a good rate compared to major global cities witnessing diverse economic activity as this index measures 1.43 in Chicago, 1.42 in San Francisco, and 1.37 in the San Diego, USA.
“Average speed on expressways in the Emirate clocked 91.2 km / h, whereas the average speed on multi-lane main roads was 66.5 km / h, and the average speed on urban & internal roads amounted to 48.2 km / h. This indicator illustrates the high traffic efficiency of roads network in the Emirate of Dubai. For example, the average speed on Sheikh Zayed Road is 90.3 km / h, whereas the average speed is 81.6 km / h on E 17 Express Road in Arizona, 77 km / h on Reo Express Road in Australia, and 60 km / h on 403 Expressway in Canada. RTA is currently establishing a historical database for the Travel Time Index to benefit from in analyzing the performance of roads network, and identifying the overall change in the rate of traffic congestion with the progress of urbanization and economic development in the Emirate.