In preparation for celebrations of the New Year (2017), the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has mapped out a solid and comprehensive plan for the traffic movement and mass transit systems on Saturday Dec 31, 2016.
The plan focused on serving the needs of the public and road users through offering services ensuring the use public or private transit means in a safe and smooth manner.
Engineer Metha bin Udai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency cum Head of the Traffic Movement and the Handling of Operational Plans during Annual Events Team, said: “The RTA had mapped out the operational plan necessary for serving commuters on the eve of the New Year, which normally experiences traffic congestion.
The plan covers Burj Khalifa district where massive numbers of signboards are being installed to direct traffic from and to the area. Traffic is guided to multiple directions including Oud Metha Road, Al Asayel Road, Zabeel bridges, Al Saada Road, and internal roads at the Business Bay area to access Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road in order to ease the pressure on the Financial Center Road. To ensure a smooth traffic flow, light signals on the Financial Center Road and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard would be monitored and controlled to ensure the maximum possible traffic flow at peak hours.
On the New Year’s Eve, RTA will close Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard from 6 pm or 8 pm according to the overall traffic flow, and the upper & lower decks of the Financial Center Road at 8 pm. The closure of Al Saada Road will be as follows: Al Murooj Rotana intersection leading to Burj Khalifa & Tunnel at 6 pm, Zabeel Intersection at 8 pm, Emirates Towers R/A leading to Al Saada Road at 10 pm, Al Asayel Road at 4 pm (will be used by public transit means and VIP passage), Al Sukook Road at 8 pm, and Burj Khalifa Metro Station from 10 pm to 6 am (of the following day).
“RTA will provide about (17) thousand car parks at Emaar District comprising parking lots of Dubai Mall and the surrounds, and (5) thousand parking slots outside the events area. The public can avail of these parking spaces to go to the events area using shuttle buses moving on dedicated routes. The breakdown of these alternative parking are: (2000) car parks at Al Wasl Club, (1500) parks EID Prayers Musalla (Mankhool), 500 car parks at the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (Jafiliya), and 1000 car parks at Zabeel Park.
RTA will provide directional signage leading to alternative car parks, and others on internal roads at the Business Bay to access Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road in order to ease the pressure on the Financial Center Road.
During the New Year’s celebrations over the past years, RTA used to designate a point for pedestrian crossing over the Sheikh Zayed Road nearby Burj Khalifa M/S, which was monitored by Dubai Police and an RTA’s operational team. That crossing point proved effective, as pedestrians were able to cross the Sheikh Zayed Road in an orderly manner alternately with the traffic movement (2 minutes for pedestrians and 3 minutes for vehicles). The same plan will be reinstated and additional emergency police officers will be deployed along the area parallel to Burj Khalifa to prevent potential stampedes and direct the public to use the designated crossing point.
The light signals along the Financial Center Road and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard will be monitored and controlled to ensure a smooth traffic flow during various peak hours in coordination with Emaar Control Room. Virtual messaging signs will be used to alert motorists about the required road closures and direct the public to use alternative car parks. Members of RTA Operational Plan Team will be deployed at site to coordinate with the Police & Emaar in delivering the plan and carrying out the closures required.
160 buses will be operated to feed the metro lines and alternative parking areas over and above the existing routes serving the area as follows:
20 buses on Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi. Pick up point at Burj Khalifa MS to Noor Bank MS.
70 buses on service road of Sheikh Zayed Road to Al Wasl Club Parks, Zabeel Parks, Al Jafiliya (Residency & Foreign Affairs Department Parks and Deira City Center Parks.
10 buses on Al Saada Road to commute riders to events area and to Trade Center and Al Wasl Club parking areas. The service will return to the same location (Pick up point) on Al Abraj Road (behind Vida Hotel) according to pre-arrangements with the operations team at site.
30 buses to lift riders from the Business Bay MS to the parking of Al Wasl Club parks and back to the pick-up, drop-off points on Al Abraj Road.
20 buses serving pick-up, drop-off points along Al Abraj Road through Al Asayel Road and Al Wasl Club parks. Riders can move to Deira City Center and back to the same pick-up, drop-off points.
10 buses to lift the public from the sand area behind Al Bayan Newspaper nearby Dubai Water Canal to Deira City Center through Umm Amara Road, Sheikh Zayed Road, Meydan Road and Sheikh Rashid Road.
The Bus Operational Plan is expected to expedite bus arrivals at Burj Khalifa, especially during departure. About 22 thousand riders are expected to be lifted at the departure time from 12:30 (past mid night) up to 4:00 am. Directional signs will be in place to guide the public to public buses at the pick-up, drop-off points on Al Abraj Road (behind Vida Hotel).
Locations will be specified for the metro feeder bus service which will benefit from the dedicated bus routes to ensure smooth traffic flow. Bus service will be running around-the-clock and synchronized with the operation of the metro stations.
Bus routes are expected to serve about (60) thousand riders during the events day, especially when the leave the site, which is expected that (22) thousand riders during the leave time between 12:30 am to 4:00 am with the availability of signboards to direct the public to use public buses at the riding and alighting points on Al Abraj Road behind Vida Hotel. Points for the Metro feeder buses will be specified and bus only dedicated lanes will be there with 24 hour bus service in parallel to metro stations operational hours.
Metro and Tram Services
On Saturday 31/12/2016, the metro ridership is anticipated to hit (900) thousand riders, and on Sunday 01/01/2017 it could be in the order of (480) thousand riders. The service frequency will range from (2.38) minutes to (8) minutes.
On Saturday 31/12/2016, the Tram ridership is anticipated to hit (28 thousand riders, and on Sunday 01/01/2017 about (19.5) thousand riders.
There will be designated taxi ranks within alternative car parks: Al Wasl Club Taxi Parks, EID Prayers Musalla Taxi Parks (Mankhool), Residency and Foreign Affairs Department Taxi Parks (Jafiliya), Zabeel Park Taxi Parks and Al Asayel Taxi Parks to lift the public on dedicated lanes to ease arrival to destination.
The taxi service is expected to lift about (36,450) riders in 17,160 journeys during the New Year’s celebrations.
Fireworks at Water Canal
The operational plan of marine transit modes includes fireworks along the stretch of the Dubai Water Canal from Burj Khalifa to the new site of the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour as follows:
The movement of all boats on Dubai Water Canal will be halted in collaboration with Ports Police and Transport Security Police from 10:00 pm on 31/12/2016 to 06:00 am on 01/01/2017 in the sector from Jumeirah Road to Ras Al Khor. Commuters will continue to move on 31/12/2016 at marine transport stations (Marasi, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Water Canal) via first and second journeys.
The third journey at 07:00 pm will be cancelled to enable organizers prepare for fireworks along the Water Canal. Footbridges and associated lifts will be closed for the safety of the public and the Walk on the Sheikh Zayed Bridge above the Water Canal will also be closed. More info
By Staff khaleejtimes.com
RTA has also released a video of all you need to know about the road closures. You can watch it below.