DUBAI // Thirteen pedestrian bridges will be built in key locations around the emirate by June, the Roads and Transport Authority said yesterday.
The new bridges will bring the total number of foot bridges in Dubai to 87.
Among the key bridges to be constructed are two bridges across the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (formerly known as Emirates Road).
The first, located near the Al Awir fruit and vegetables market, will span 100 metres. The second is near workers' accommodation at Muhaisnah and will stretch 86 metres across the busy motorway.
Other bridges will be built at Al Mina Road, Sheikh Rashid Road, Umm Suqeim Road, Al Wuhaida Road, Amman Road, Latifa Bint Hamdan Road, Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, and Al Khaleej Road. Four more bridges will be built in Jebel Ali Industrial Area.
Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said work on the new pedestrian bridges began last year after a careful study of where they were most needed.
"Bridges [were] selected in light of traffic studies guided by the intensity of pedestrian movement between the two sides of roads, office and market concentration areas, and locations witnessing high run-over accident rates."
Pedestrian deaths were described last year by the head of the Dubai Police traffic department, Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zaffein, as the biggest concern for police.
In January last year, he said jaywalking accounted for both pedestrian deaths recorded that month while 1,900 people were fined for the offence.
No complete figures for last year were available, but more than 300 road accidents involving pedestrians were reported in Dubai in 2011. Forty-six pedestrians were killed and 42 were seriously injured. Of the 46 deaths, 41 were caused by jaywalking. Dubai
Police also said 37,484 jaywalkers received a Dh200 fine for the offence that year.
"The RTA is making every effort to minimise pedestrian accidents and is continuously working on awareness campaigns about the importance of using safe transit means such as pedestrian crossings, bridges and subways in order to avoid run-over accidents," said Mr Al Tayer.
He said motorists should also abide by the specified speed limits, and slow down near pedestrian crossing points to ensure the safety of all road users.