Motorists who spoke to The National support the expansion of a busy Sharjah road, a move aimed at cutting congestion and travel times on the daily journey to and from Dubai.
Sharjah's Roads and Transports Authority opened an extra lane on Al Taawun Road to improve traffic flow for drivers often plagued by delays.
The 1km-lane, which is 3.65 metres wide, turned the route into a four-lane road, increasing its traffic capacity by about 25 per cent, the authority said.
Commuters driving from Dubai into Sharjah during peak hours would often face long queues on the road after crossing Al Nahda bridge.
Traffic from two major motorways – Al Ittihad Road and Mohamed bin Zayed road in Dubai – contributed to a build-up of traffic all the way to the roundabout, near which the enhancement work was carried out.
Hoping for end to traffic 'misery'
One driver said it would often take him 20 minutes to navigate his way out of the area on his way to Dubai.
“There were many improvements last year on Al Nahda bridge by adding a new lane to the bridge to make it three lanes, instead of two, to ease traffic movement,” said Salman Essa, 40, from Syria.
“The new lane added to Al Taawun Road, connecting the bridge to the roundabout, will help improve traffic.
“I use this route every day to reach my apartment in Al Khan area. It takes about 20 minutes to cross the road due to constant traffic jams during peak hours.”
Mr Essa, who works as accountant in Dubai and lives in Sharjah, said he was excited to see the construction of the lane in the past two months.
“I felt it would bring an end to the misery of a long commute between Dubai to Sharjah.”
Motorist urges caution
Othman Younes, 36, a Sudanese resident of Sharjah, said the extra lane would ease congestion but not solve a perennial problem.
“There is an increase in traffic challenges faced by thousands of daily commuters who travel between the two bustling cities,” he said.
He suggested Al Taawun roundabout could be improved to tackle traffic jams.
“The roundabout needs to either have a small bridge or tunnel so motorists will not stop in the roundabout. I hope they will find a solution soon to end our daily traffic problem,” Mr Younes said.
Tackling traffic woes
Lengthy delays on routes between Dubai and Sharjah are a long-standing issue.
The problem has been exacerbated by the booming populations of both emirates.
Dubai's population crossed 3.5 million last year while the results of a recent census in Sharjah revealed it was now home to 1.8 million people – an increase of 400,000 since 2015.
Traditionally cheaper rents in Sharjah have also made it an attractive proposition for those working in Dubai, piling further pressure on road networks between the emirates.
In May, an extra lane was added to a 600-metre stretch at an exit from Al Ittihad Road by Sharjah's Road and Transport Authority, in an effort to boost travel times between the emirate and Dubai.
The widening at Al Khan means there are now two exit lanes to improve traffic flow. It was previously only one lane and prone to rush-hour congestion.
Meanwhile, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority resumed its ferry service to Sharjah this month.
The marine route was first opened in July 2019, with the aim of serving up to 1.3 million passengers a year.
The service supported efforts to ease heavy congestion on roads between the two emirates.