By Alessandro Pellegrino, Staff Reporter
Have you ever been late to school because you got stuck in traffic? Have you ever had to wait for your Careem or Taxi for more than half an hour under the scorching Dubai sun? Well, you are not the only one.
DAA has a big problem to manage and has in the last month of school improved some conditions for reduce the level of traffic outside the school. The GEMS DAA school building is located in the middle between Al Zahra Hospital Dubai and American School of Dubai (ASD) and is also located in the middle of two main streets of Dubai namely Sheikh Zayed Rd and First Al Khail St.
The GEMS DAA school building overlooks Al Na’ayat road and is also located in the middle between Al Zahra Hospital Dubai and the American School of Dubai (ASD). The two main roads that facilitate the connection to the school are the two main roads in Dubai, namely Sheikh Zayed Rd and First Al Khali St.
The Gems, therefore, is located in an area with high traffic density; congestion in these areas during the morning and especially in the afternoon hours poses a threat to students, teachers, parents and even residents.
School traffic congestion and the risks that such congestion can cause to the safety of students, teachers, parents, residents and motorists in and around school sites is a significant problem in the Gems area. The most obvious cause of traffic congestion around the school is vehicles, and the main source of these vehicles are parents or taxi drivers, who drop off and pick up their children from school. In the United Arab Emirates it is estimated that around 66% of students use their private car to get to school in the morning, thus worsening the traffic at rush hour. In addition, in nearly 80% of cases, only one or two students have traveled in each car, says RoadSafetyUAE’s Car Employment Survey in the United Arab Emirates. one of the contributing factors to the problem. Other factors that can and could increase the volume of traffic include changes in school goals and populations, the construction of new schools, the addition or elimination of buses and the overall physical infrastructure , the layout of the streets and the road signs and signs surrounding a school.
Traffic congestion alone causes inconvenience to drivers, wastes time at work and can contribute to “road rage”. In addition to affecting drivers’ parents and other commuters, school traffic congestion causes problems for students, school staff, residents in and around schools and the local police charged with enforcing traffic laws and responding to issues raised by residents and schools. More importantly, congestion can lead to traffic accidents and pedestrian injuries and the possibility of injuring children attending school. Injuries to pedestrians from traffic are more likely in high-traffic environments and in street parking lots, with children often emerging, unseen, from behind parked cars.
As previously described, the use of the car as the main means of transporting children to and from school is inextricably linked to the design of the area surrounding the school. It is unlikely that the narrow streets in front of the school, single lane, do not allow ample room to maneuver for cars. Traffic lights, which are on alternative roads to Sheikh Zayed Rd., Also always have poor timing, entry and exit routes designed without considering overall commuting patterns and a lack of enough temporary parking spaces that can allow parents to stop, they can be sources of congestion problems. Also, congestion can be caused by too many babies being dropped off or picked up at the same time. Furthermore, the absence of pedestrian paths, cycle paths, pedestrian crossings, and a bad connection to the Dubai Metro at the school, all these factors can increase the damage caused by traffic congestion.
The solutions for this type of problem are not easy at all, and in my opinion, they would require the reconstruction and re-planning of the entire roads leading to the school, but since this cannot be possible a more easy and less desperate solution would be the use of the school bus, the use of public transport such as the metro. It would also be a solution to build a cycle path that is able more or less to connect the most populated areas of Dubai to the school, thus reducing the pollution footprint caused by students who use the car to go to school every day, and it would also promote good health for students.