Some residents of the Pearl-Qatar have launched a petition asking the island’s management company to install a safe pedestrian crossing to connect two of the development’s main communities.
Specifically, they are requesting that United Development Co. (UDC) create a pathway to link Porto Arabia with Qanat Quartier, which is currently separated by the six-lane Porto Arabia Drive.
Porto Arabia is home to most of the island’s shops, restaurants and attractions.
But the launch of the Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel near Qanat Quartier in January has increased the footfall between the two districts.
Meanwhile, the area around the hotel is a popular site for dog owners, who are not allowed to walk their pets on the boardwalks of Porto Arabia, some residents say.
While there is a pedestrian point with traffic lights near the Qatar Cool building, residents say this is in the wrong place to easily walk between the two neighborhoods, and the light does not stay long enough to allow someone to safely get across the road.
British expat Marie Hartigan, who lived in Viva Bahriya before moving to Qanat Quartier last month, said she set up the online petition after seeing many people struggle to cross the road with strollers, children and dogs.
An unofficial crossing connecting Qanat Quartier with Porto Arabia did previously exist, along the path by the canal near Tower 11, Hartigan added. However, this route was closed off earlier this week, prompting her to launch the petition.
Introducing the issue, the petition says: “Have you seen the young families trying to cross Porto Arabia Drive? Or the dog walkers running across? Or the mothers trying to lift their strollers over the barrier on the central reservation? I have, and it terrifies me.”
Hartigan has proposed that UDC connects an existing railed path in front of Tower 11 in Porto Arabia under two bridges with an identical railed pathway on the Qanat Quartier side to provide a pedestrian-friendly walkway.
She told Doha News that without a suitable crossing, many residents have been forced to get in their cars to visit friends:
“This defeats the point of the Pearl, which should be a great place to walk around.
There are also great facilities on Porto Arabia. If there was a safe way to get from Qanat Quartier, which currently doesn’t have any amenities, to the shops, restaurants and coffee shops on Porto Arabia, it would really improve their business,” she added.
In its first week, the petition has garnered more than 200 signatures.
One of its supporters, dog walker Kay Absolom, who lives in Porto Arabia, told Doha News: “Pearl residents would be ecstatic to have a safe crossing to avoid the road. It would help to knit together the areas.”
Many of those signing the petition have added comments and messages to UDC.
Jennifer Lappin said: “It is ridiculous that this hasn’t been integrated into the Pearl infrastructure. Please take action soon to prevent an accident and make crossing safe and accessible for pedestrians.”
Tracy Glenn said: “I don’t want to hit people that cross the highway because there’s no other way for them to get across.”
The residents said they plan to take the petition to UDC in the coming days for their consideration.
No one from UDC was available to comment to Doha News.
The Pearl-Qatar has been adding several facilities for residents and visitors in the past year, particularly in Medina Centrale, which is next to Porto Arabia.
An entertainment center Megapolis is set to open this month, as well as a number of new eateries and shops.
UDC has also said it plans to add a 2,000-square-meter indoor sporting facility dubbed “Gymito” as well as additional retail offerings “in due time.”
However, traffic remains an issue on the man-made island. Bottlenecks, particularly in rush hours, cause a headache for residents and visitors trying to access its sole access and exit point.
UDC has already ruled out building any new routes connecting the Pearl with the mainland.
Cars speeding along the island’s artery route continue to cause problems, notably at weekend evenings.
Following numerous complaints from tenants about road safety and noise pollution, last summer a 60kph speed limit and radars were installed at well-known trouble spots. Since then, the limit on the main road has been increased to 80kph .
If successful, I hope they build a bridge or tunnel. Another junction will increase the traffic and it’s far from the safest solution.
I would rather have the petition emphasize on the importance of pedestrian crossing in the entire country. In some places it is just embarrassing .
It’s better to look for another place to live.
Guessing from his name it is his country. And he is right to point out things that need to be fixed. Now who needs to find another place to live if he is not happy? 🙂
It shows how they think. Another place would be Al Hilal, Al Rayyan, for example.
Please do that, and don’t come back.
Thank you for leaving Qatar. Oh sorry I forgot you won’t cause the $$$ matter. Don’t they Mr.Hypocrite?
Deleting for going off topic/starting a thread of personal attacks.
First they’d have to build some pavements / sidewalks… majority of the roads are unfinished beyond the kerbline…
I hear you Rashid, and I can’t disagree with you unfortunately – we used to live near City Centre Mall and crossing that highway between Gate Mall and the Marriott was just as treacherous, especially with a baby buggy. I’m sure you’re right that it’s the case across the whole country. I suppose we just start with our own backyards, as it were.
It will have to be tunnels as pedestrian crossings would be useless as nobody stops for people using them.
It is ridicules to put a cross lane in an 80 kph road. Of course it has to be a bridge, tunnel or signal controlled crossing.
I know, just pointing out the obvious in case someone thinks that painting a few white lines on the road is an easy solution to the demand. Then they could say they have provided a crossing. One would think that several safe crossings would already be in place but obviously that isn’t the case.
Point here being that there already is a way to get underneath but because their pretty flowers were getting trampled by the flock of people using it (ie demand) they boarded it up. Having said that on the other side of the channel they have helpfully left the walkway open to allow the workers access to the pearl meanwhile people who pay to live there must take their lives and that of their children in hand and cross the 10 lanes of wacky races freeway!
A ‘new’ crossing would cost no more than a few railings coming down and if they are considering health and safety, a small fence to stop people falling into the drink. No road chaos, just reinstate the old unofficial crossing…. Simples!
Where is my comment @dohanews? 🙁
I don’t see anything in the pending folder from you…
There was a tunnel / underpass beneath the bridge between towers 10 & 11 that residents have been using for a while, the picture on the petition is of this. A couple of weeks ago this was closed off with tall barriers apparently due to ‘safety’ concernes as there was no fence between the walk way and the canal. This unofficial underpass did have a fence but that could be climbed over. That was ok if you did not have a pram, pushchair or stroller. But now its take your life in your hands trying to cross 10 lanes of traffick.
Where is the link to the petition?
I have to cross this road with my two-month old baby to go to the grocery store and pharmacy.
It can be worth. We live in West Bay lagoon East(Legtaifiya) Gate and we can not walk or bike to the Lagoona Mall. There is just NO connection. As usual only for cars….
Good start with a tunnel under the “race track” in the Pearl!
It is really hard at this point to make connections, when the road keeps changing until the expressway is completed which is in 2 years.
Link to petition. Please all sign this https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.change.org%2Fp%2Fudc-the-pearl-qatar-provide-a-safe-pedestrian-crossing-between-porto-arabia-and-qanat-quartier-at-the-pearl-qatar%3Frecruiter%3D100974965%26utm_source%3Dshare_petition%26utm_medium%3Dfacebook%26utm_campaign%3Dshare_facebook_responsive%26utm_term%3Ddes-lg-no_src-no_msg%26fb_ref%3DDefault&h=zAQFpn86kAQEB8fhExEQuLYSfyTZ39x2Jj6F4i1SGieKCVg&enc=AZP6KqL9mgXZb7NnlWNcD0spGdRBKm0ia30OPK_tlHskyd5EyT5lnlJsy1Y_Uaph7GnbfVD068zTa1BHWP9iuea3Xng2qYvnuiicJSgOTfZSUGxD4UfPaXQOznsNkRrUOQUWHK1ursdIlkO4D6Fht9RM5TLkt8yfgLLAUTvYpPSz1A&s=1
If the petition is done online using one of those sites, I’ll surely sign, I like using my feet in the pearl more than my car.
Thanks for your support Ibrahim – the link is https://www.change.org/p/udc-the-pearl-qatar-provide-a-safe-pedestrian-crossing-between-porto-arabia-and-qanat-quartier-at-the-pearl-qatar
In the UAE, they had crosswalks on roads with 80kph limits, but there was a significant speed bump immediately before it in each direction. Drivers knew that, as they approached the speed bump, if pedestrians were present they had to stop and wait until it was clear. Not sure how drivers in Qatar would react, but a couple of speed bumps on Porto Arabia would likely scare off those low ground-clearance Italian sports cars–maybe even reduce the ridiculous racing that goes on between speed cameras.
If you have any babies or kids of your own especially then you would understand that this petition has to do about protecting the life of our family in the pearl…You have no idea how scared I was especially when I am 6 months pregnant, had to cross this dangerous road from the Pearl to Qanat Quartier and vice versa carrying the stroller with my 1 year old baby daughter in it a few times..and how terrified I was when I had to cross the roundabout looking out for fast cars with my baby daughter to go to Spinneys from the Pearl to Medina Central and they don’t even have any zebra crossings…even when there are few zebra crossings at some traffic lights to go to the Outdoor play park near the Qatar cool building, none of the cars even bothered to stop when they saw us mothers with babies in the strollers trying to cross on the zebra crossing..Hope the management in the pearl will see that what we are trying to do is to protect innocent human lifes especially babies..
It is a major issue for Pearl residents. We use the controlled crossing by Qatar Cool a lot, but as has been observed, the lights change very quickly, and one or two of the kerbs are bit high, but it serves. A little work could make it a whole lot better.
And at the other end, the unofficial underpass is ideal, again, a little work with fencing and paving is all that is required. maybe we should do it ourselves????
While we are at it… Extend the water taxi’s to link Porto Arabia, Marsa Malaz and QQ…. And move those gondolas from Katara beach to QQ as well.
But speed humps and zebra crossings are out, I’m afraid. Porto Arabia drive is a route frequently used by VIP motorcades, there’s no way that will happen, and anyway, sort the other two crossing points out, and it’s no longer required. As for low slung Italian super cars… I quite enjoy strolling along and seeing all the beautiful cars. I wouldn’t want to see measures that prevented them from using the roads around the pearl.
There is underpass to cross the road, is that closed now?!?!
Yes, unfortunately 🙁 Hence the reason for finding out how other people feel about it. Seem to have struck a chord with people – it’s not ‘just me’!