Three residential districts - Karama, Mankhool, and Al Qusais 1 - will be covered in the first phase of the Dubai Master Plan for 'Soft Mobility', which will be completed in March, revealed Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
"The plan aims to develop a user-friendly and integrated transport infrastructure aimed at linking urban developments and catchment areas. The plan envisages the use of non-conventional transit means, such as walking and cycling as well as the use of electric scooters.
"It addresses first and last-mile challenges by providing an infrastructure that supports the integration of mobility such as the construction of cycling tracks, pedestrian crossings and rest areas, shaded paths, landscaped areas, parking for rented cars, and bike racks," said Al Tayer.
The selection of areas for implementing the flexible mobility project was based on several parameters, namely, availability of existing RTA projects, availability of public transit means, a high number of users, and population density.
The selection criteria also considers the type of land use (residential, commercial or mixed), the condition of the existing pavements and pedestrian walkways, availability of shaded elements as well as crossing and biking facilities, and RTA's five-year plan for cycling tracks.
The project involves the launch of Friendly Safe Streets - a new concept in Dubai that had been implemented for the first time in a small German city and the concept spread across Europe.
It envisages the introduction of safe school zones, implementing speed-calming devices and safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists at junctions together with seamless pavements.
It also increased landscaped and shaded areas and seats to ensure smooth and integrated mobility in Dubai. The project works will continue in 2020 and next year at Barsha 1 and 2, Bateen, Baraha, Ras, Al Qusais 2, and Al Qusais Industrial.
The number of covered by the flexible transport plan is set to increase to 27 by 2024.
Connecting the city
The RTA has commissioned a comprehensive car-free mobility study in Dubai, which focused on providing an infrastructure suitable for relatively long and medium journeys to ensure safe and smooth transport for all.
It sets a strategy for promoting the use of non-motorised transport modes, people-friendly infrastructure, and fostering an accessible environment for people of determination within the right-of-way.
It also aims to connect various city components by easing mobility between catchment areas.
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