By: Swapna Tarafdar

MUSCAT: The Muscat Municipal Council has put forth a proposal to build a foot overbridge near the Ministry of Sports Affairs (MoSA) intersection in a bid to ease movement of pedestrians. The intersection, which is close to places of worship in Darsait, sees heavy pedestrian movement, nearly every day.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Salim Mohammed Hamed al Ghammari, a member of the Muscat Municipal Council said, “Keeping in mind the welfare of people who visit the church and temple in Darsait every day, we have sent a proposal to Muscat Municipality for a foot overbridge.” Ghammari said that the number of people who visit these two places of worship increases during weekends and festivals.

“We have a zebra crossing there, but the number of pedestrians is too high, creating a traffic nightmare. People cross the road in groups, hampering traffic movement in one of the city’s busiest intersections. We feel that a foot overbridge will solve the problem.” A regular visitor to the church said, “Taxis usually stop far from the MoSA intersection and I don’t feel like walking all the way till the traffic signal to cross the road and hail a cab.”

Admitting that crossing the road this way is risky, especially at peak hours and during nights, he said a foot overbridge will be the “best solution” to the problem. Meanwhile, Muscat Municipality is planning a foot overbridge between the Ruwi and Hamriya roundabouts to address a similar problem.

A Muscat Municipality official said, “Taxi drivers make unscheduled stops to drop passengers who then try crossing the road from these points to save time. This is dangerous. We are planning to raise the height of road dividers and also build a foot overbridge to solve the problem.”

The official said that Ruwi and Hamriya are two of the busiest commercial areas in the city. “There is more rush during weekends. People from other parts of the governorate too visit Ruwi and Hamriya for shopping and there is more rush during festivals and holidays. Subways could have been constructed but they are rarely used. Also, foot overbridges are cheaper to construct than subways.”