By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
Traffic congestion during the morning hours in Wakrah, mainly around Pearl Roundabout, is becoming a headache for residents.
Long queues are the norm on Mesaieed road and the road from Pearl Roundabout toward the new HMC Hospital and Wukair.
Later in the evenings between 5.30 and 6.30, the situation is not very different, according to residents and shopkeepers.
Traffic issues have become worse over the last six months, as people from Doha city move to new compounds in Wakrah, in particular to 30 compounds belonging to a major real estate group. Cars here hit the road as early as 5am, from Wukair, where most of the compounds are.
As of now residents are able to use only the road coming through the Pearl Roundabout for journeys to either Doha or southwards to Mesaieed. As a result, there is enormous traffic congestion in four directions, namely along the 1km stretch between Al Wakrah Sports Roundabout and Pearl Roundabout, between Pearl Roundabout and Abdulla Abdulghani Roundabout on the road to Doha, in the opposite direction and from Pearl Roundabout towards Qtel Roundabout on Mesaieed road.
Commuters said people should be made aware of car pooling and public transport. “However the public transport system is poor and there is a general reluctance to use buses,” an elderly person from the area said.
Ominously the highway to Mesaieed is to soon be widened and traffic to the new airport, due for commissioning on April 1, will add to the congestion. “Unless the number of private vehicles is controlled, things are likely to get worse,” said a resident.