Traffic officers are not to blame



A number of my friends have said that I harshly criticized traffic officers in a recent article and that I held them completely responsible for traffic jams when in fact the main reason for these jams is poor planning by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and the city municipalities. I wrote in my last article about how the opening of the Riyadh Park Mall has caused traffic congestion in the North Ring Road, which is an important road in Riyadh. The traffic congestion runs for several kilometers causing a pile-up of vehicles.

I admit that I was harsh on traffic officers and turned a blind eye to the main cause of this problem, which is the fact that someone has given permission for giant malls and financial centers to be located close to one another and on the same road. Whoever was responsible for this did not take into consideration the potential traffic congestion such a decision might cause.

A friend of mine, who is specialized in urban planning, said that this problem would not be solved even if the narrow strip of island between the branch road and the highway were removed. Traffic congestion would just move to another spot but would never end. Another problem causing traffic congestion is bad driving habits and lack of respect on the part of some road users. Some drivers do not stay in the same lane and are constantly trying to overtake others.

Twitter: @K_Alsuliman