By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: As the beginning of a new academic year approaches, the burden of traffic jam gets closer, while every one starts to be ready to manage their time to get out early from their houses, especially in the early morning, whether to drop their kids to schools or to be in their offices on time. Despite that, the issue of a traffic jam is a problem that has been going on for many years in Kuwait, it is still an unsolved issue which affects several aspects in the life of the citizens and expats in the country, not to mention the week before school that witnesses a heavy traffic jam due to people getting out to buy their children school essentials.
Kuwait Times sheds light on the phenomenon of traffic jam and discussed with people their suggestions and opinions to solve this issue.
Adel Ali suggested that the work time for employees in the private sector should be divided into different shifts, pointing out “it is better for companies to change their working hours or give a grace time for their employees to come to work, especially since the governmental sector and schools have fixed timings that cannot be changed,” adding, “when everyone goes out during the peak time, it affects people negatively, in addition to the daily fatigue.”
Ruba Khalid said that due to the schools being located in residential areas, where the streets in these areas are narrow, it doubles the traffic jam time, adding “it could take me more than one hour to get out of the traffic despite my kids’ school being just 10 minutes away from my house,” emphasizing that solving this issue requires managing the beginning and ending of the people`s school or work time in addition to making new roads to reach schools directly without entering narrow areas.
Meanwhile, Hessa Rashed thinks that there are other reasons causing the traffic jam, saying “There are several reasons. Leaving the house late for work causes the driver to crowd the road, resulting in the driver’s failure to adhere to his required route and sudden movement between road lanes, with over speeding or sometimes slow speeding cars that can confuse other drivers and cause traffic jam.”
Some of her suggestions include – Organizing the time of students and staff at varying hours, tightening control with punishment for anyone who crowds in the traffic of vehicles, adoption of shared transportation – whether private or public ones, not to repair or close roads for maintenance during the day and to work on them at night and aggravating the violation of large transportation, such as tankers and trailers, which run at alternate timings.
In a previous report published by the Global Traffic index, it showed that Kuwait index of traffic jam has increased in 2019 to 25 percent, compared to 24 percent in 2018, according to which Kuwait City was ranked 216th globally. According to the annual index, issued by TomTom and including 416 cities in 57 countries around the world, the total time that motorists lose annually on the streets of Kuwait due to congestion is 82 hours, which is equivalent to 3 days and 10 hours, indicating that a 30-minute morning drive may cost the driver an additional delay of more than 11 minutes, while evening drive time may cost 10 minutes more.