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29 November 2023

RTA blocks illegal exit to Sheikh Zayed Road; Discovery Gardens residents brace for another gridlock

By Bindu Suresh Rai

Social media sites were abuzz this morning with weary residents inquiring about the current state of the traffic condition in the Discovery Gardens before venturing out of their homes, after a two-hour long gridlock yesterday forced many to turn back in frustration.

Image tweeted by Khushal Khan
The Roads and Transport Authority have revealed that the cause of the congestion on Wednesday was due to new road barriers put in place to block commuters to take an illegal access route to Sheikh Zayed Road.
With limited exit points form the community, residents are well-versed in morning jams when driving in to work on a daily basis; however, yesterday’s 120-minute long gridlock was a new record for many.
Residents took to Twitter on Wednesday, reporting traffic jams that extended into their building’s underground parking ramps, while several others reported of people abandoning public buses, choosing to walk to the highway to hail a taxi.
While master developer Nakheel Properties forwarded the query to the Roads and Transport Authority, Engineer Hussain Ali Al Banna, Director, Traffic Department, RTA confirmed new road barriers had been placed in the community to thwart illegal crossings.
In a statement to Emirates 24|7, he explained: “In relation to the Discovery Gardens road alterations, road barriers have been placed to prevent illegal crossover of vehicles from Discovery Gardens to Sheikh Zayed Road.
“This has been done with respect to safety and to prevent accidents.”
He further stated: “Customers who were using this route now have to take a U-turn from the junction at Discovery Gardens that has increased traffic congestion.”

Talking about the long-term plans to rid the daily frustration faced by morning commuters, he explained: “In relation to the Discovery Gardens traffic congestion, illegal access from Discovery Gardens to Sheikh Zayed Road has been closed by installing steel guard ways to improve the safety in the area and to prevent accidents.
“To ease the ongoing traffic congestion alternative routes are under construction which includes two exits: one from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and the other through interchange 5.5 from Sheikh Zayed Road.
“Please note that the roads inside Discovery Gardens are managed and controlled by Nakheel Properties.”
However, after the Wednesday gridlock, residents such as Dilip Talwakar aren’t waiting for a quick solution anytime soon.
He said: “I have given up expecting to see a solution to this morning gridlock anytime soon. Today, I was forced to leave home at 6am to avoid yesterday’s fiasco. But I won’t be able to keep this up.
“If this means looking to live somewhere else in the long-term, then so be it. Between burst water mains, sewage stench and now two-hour long gridlock, there is only so much we can tolerate.”
Meanwhile, the Thursday morning Twitter timeline did have a response to the queries of the many residents weary of leaving their homes in the morning, with Rohit simply saying: “Traffic jam at Discovery Gardens. It starts again.”