Abu Dhabi is a modern city but also has a modern problem: traffic jams. In the early mornings, and again in the evening, around 8 pm, the streets are crowded with cars, taxis, and trucks. This essay will explain the causes of gridlock in Abu Dhabi and discuss the effects of this problem.
Abu Dhabi’s traffic problems stem from several causes. The rapid economic growth of the emirate has enabled most residents to buy their own cars. This has put intense pressure on the road system, which although it is highly developed, has not been able to keep up with the expansion in population. Another cause is the absence of any major public transport system such as buses or trains. Because of this, residents rely on hordes of taxis, thus adding to the congestion. Yet another contributing factor is the layout of the island. This limits road construction.
The resulting gridlock has several adverse effects. First of all is the frustration and anger felt by road-users. This can result in tension and accidents, and, ironically, emergency vehicles may not even be able to reach the scene of such accidents. Another effect is the waste of time spent in traffic. This lowers productivity at work and contributes to reduced time at school and with family. There are also additional costs to the city in terms of air pollution and unnecessary fuel consumption. Shopping and daily errands become more of a chore, and the city suffers.
Commuters and road-users will need to cooperate with municipal authorities as they introduce measures to reduce congestion. However, Abu Dhabi has shown its ability to rise to challenges in the past, and most residents are confident that the city will still be an attractive place to live as the problem of traffic is addressed.