242.4 Million KD

Photo May 21, 12 35 58 PM Cities are learning the lessons of the 20th century and removing urban freeways. Building more roads is not the answer, as it actually makes traffic worse (more here, here, here, here and here). The website for the project claims that the main objective is to:

  1. Segregate between bypass traffic and local traffic flow.
  2. Increase the Jamal Abdul Nasser Highway capacity thereby minimizing traffic congestion &  reducing accidents.
  3. Meet future traffic demands.
  4. Improve road facilities and services.
  5. Improve road safety standards.

It’s clear that the intention is to ‘reduce traffic congestion’. Let’s disregard the cost for now (at least 242.4 Million KD) and focus on the aim of the project which is to link the west of Kuwait with Kuwait City by bypassing the existing roads and simply driving over them to reach the First Ring Road. Let’s assume that the 3 to 4 lane elevated highway absorbs enough traffic to justify the cost of it being built. What would happen then? The huge traffic flow would pour into the First Ring Road and into those tiny overpasses and underpasses, lining up into the exits waiting for the traffic lights. Let’s assume that merging into those smaller lanes will happen magically and smoothly every morning and the traffic light is always green. What’s next? The enormous number of cars flowing through First Ring Road and into the city have to reach their destination. Most buildings don’t have on-site parking. Parking structures are already packed. Most streets are too narrow. Double parking turns a two lane street into a one way game of chicken. Now picture the same but with even more cars. Imagine a doctor with an obese patient that has clogged arteries, intensely elevated blood pressure and failing organs. Instead of treating him to fix those serious, life threatening issues, the doctor decides to install new arteries to bridge between his heart to his lungs (at a cost of at least 242.4 Million KD). It works fine, the blood flows nicely through the new bridge, everything is working great. But the patient is still obese, with clogged arteries and intensely elevated blood pressure and now he needs to find 242.2 million KD to pay for the operation. The solution is not more highways over highways. The city is already choking but our only plan is to stuff more into it. We must have an alternative to roads and driving. Without the Metro nothing will get fixed no matter how much money we burn.
Edit: Just to be clear, the solution isn’t just building the Metro and calling it a day. Here’s what i’d like do.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Reem says:

    I wonder if people love living in denial, or if they feel like the situation has become so overwhelmingly disappointing to the point of no return.
    Great post btw! Keep ’em coming!

  • mohammad says:

    One Of the best blogs in Kuwait. Bless us with more posts .

  • Ahmad Ali says:

    Totally agree, with you. At least they should start encouraging people to use busses, redraw the bus maps, double deck bus works too. Even a five stars bus company will help too.
    So sad to see this amount of money being wasted on an obsolete solution.
    I wish that Al-Dewan Al-Amairi takes charge of everything in Kuwait, I stopped believing in our so called democratic approach of things.
    An interesting thought, usually people from around the globe care so much about their country reputation, we don’t give any care to our international reputation or perception. Would love to see your input on that.

  • Belal says:

    Glad to see you post again i thought this would never happen again….as for ur post… It seem as if ur assuming all the traffic is going to the same destination at the same time ( plz correct me if i am wrong ) but the elevated road is there to serve people going to further destination with out coming accross traffic lights, intersections and roundabout to achieve a more viscous flow, the lower roads will still remain, serving local area commutes and drives from/to closer destinations…..so with both elevated and lower roads working togather isnt that better and more effective? Thanks

  • omar says:

    Well you need to open up your eyes and look around at the place you’re living at
    Public transport is no solution for Kuwait since the weather here does not match to what you have mentioned as an example in Germany
    Many of us who have visited Dubai love the metro but have you ever tried walking in the hot sun to reach the metro on a normal afternoon of summer
    Well I did and cursed the whole idea/suggestion
    If in Kuwait, it would just be for the poor and the ones who can’t afford a car or are denied their basic rights of obtaining a driving license
    There needs to be more planning done in Kuwait, more bridges and roads are needed sir, not to forget you and I would never give up on our cars on a summer afternoon with 50℃ of temperature to walk up to a metro station/bus station/rail/tram

  • nawaf says:

    you mean that you want them to decrease the vehicles??!?! are you insane??
    the country is ruled by the rich, thus the rich sell over priced vehicles and double price tyres to us people, they will do everything to avoid making metro, or delay it as much as possible, same as real estate. to them we are nothing but clowns who pay money to them.

  • Yousef says:

    its been about 3 years since your last post , and i really like how you put it.
    like you said , “public transportation” is the main solution , but not the only way to solve the problem.
    p.s don’t stop writing 🙂

  • Yousef says:

    “Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity” ~ Mumford (1955)
    Instead of the metro, for now, I feel like BRT routes could be implemented in less time and less cost, thoughts?

Leave a Reply