Heavy traffic on one road near Al Thumama Roundabout on Thursday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed

By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter

Doha residents have been advised to start early, opt for car pooling and take alternative routes wherever traffic diversion has been put in place, as the schools start the next academic session from Sunday.
The city and suburbs are expected to experience heavy traffic as the schools reopen and the residents returning after the summer vacation. With road diversions in place at several areas of the city, there may be long queues and bumper-to-bumper traffic at many locations.
Speaking to Gulf Times, an official at the Ministry of Interior stated that it is advisable for people to have a trial drive through of the areas they have to cover and look for any alternative roads at these places.
“It is good to take a test drive through these places today or tomorrow and have a look at the situation. Meanwhile, look for alternative roads or other diversions to avoid spending all the time through long queues.
“It is important that everyone starts early. Expect heavy rush and try to start at the earliest so that you will not be delayed to reach your office or school. This can also help in easing traffic congestion to a great extent. Similarly, if possible, avoid the roads that have high volume of traffic.”
He also felt that car pooling or shared transport can reduce the volume of vehicles on the roads, especially going to schools. “If someone can carry as many students as possible from the nearby homes and drop them, it might reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Similarly, someone else can pick the children from the school in a group. If 10 families follow this practice, a minimum of five vehicles can be taken out of roads in the peak time.
“We cannot avoid the road diversions or development works as most of them are done in connection with the FIFA 2022 World Cup. This will continue for some more time and people will have to bear with it. Therefore, everyone has to shoulder the responsibility and act positively.”
The official also cautioned the motorists to drive safely. “Speeding will not help you in the peak hours. Even if you speed, most of the time you will have to wait at the interchanges and ultimately you spend the same time just like other motorists. Never lose your patience or temper while you are at the wheels, as it will not solve any problem but will only result in further complications.”
He appealed to everyone to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition. "It is important that the vehicles are well checked and maintained. Even a simple breakdown can create traffic jams and create chaos in the peak times. Therefore, check your vehicles thoroughly before the school season starts.”
The official also had a word of advice for the parents and the schools. He suggested that the students be retained in the school for a few hours after the regular time, resulting in less rush at the peak hours. “The students can be asked to do their home work. Some of them may be engaged in sports programmes or other creative activities. This will ease the traffic at peak hours,” he added.

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