MUSCAT: As the city grows, most existing roundabouts may have to go to accommodate the increasing traffic volume and clear up bottlenecks.

After the Mijmar and Amerat roundabouts gave way to intersections, the ones in Ruwi and Hamriya – the busiest in MUSCAT: may go the same way, as per Muscat Municipality’s plans.

“Both Ruwi and Hamriya roundabouts are the busiest in Muscat. There are daily jams from traffic passing through these. We will replace these roundabouts with intersections to ensure smooth flow of traffic,” Al Tayeb bin Mohammed al Harthy, director of technical studies, Directorate General of Technical Affairs, Muscat Municipality told Muscat Daily.

Harthy said that a roundabout is a good option in places where there is less traffic. “When traffic increases, roundabouts are not useful. In such cases we then replace them with intersections or interchanges (flyover).

“When we find that traffic movement is not helped much by intersections, we do a combination of roundabouts and intersections. And when all these don’t work, we go for a flyover to ease traffic movement.”

He said that most of the roundabouts in the city have to be replaced by intersections or flyovers to cope with increasing traffic.

“Intersections will come up in place of the Sultan Qaboos University and The Wave, Muscat roundabouts where there are traffic jams during peak hours. In addition, traffic jams are a daily feature around the Al Mina and A’Samakah roundabouts near the Muttrah fish market. In future, signalled intersections will come up here.”

Ashok K Sahoo, who has to commute through Ruwi and Hamriya roundabouts says driving around these areas becomes very difficult during peak hours. “If the municipality is doing away with the roundabouts, it is good for all commuters.”

For others, the roundabouts with their green patches add to the city’s aesthetics. “They look beautiful with the manicured patch of lawn. If the roundabouts go, the beauty of the place will be lost,” said Rajkumar Patra.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily