Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

Packed Mushrif Mall taxi rank a headache for drivers

Drivers turning right from Al Dhafra Street to get to Mushrif Mall honk at drivers blocking their path or cut them off completely, risking a crash.
Taxis wait near Mushrif Mall entrance on Al Dhafra Street blocking the flow of traffic leading to the car park. Ravindranath K / The National
Taxis wait near Mushrif Mall entrance on Al Dhafra Street blocking the flow of traffic leading to the car park. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // A queue of taxis blocking the main road entrance into Mushrif Mall has raised complaints from frustrated motorists.

Motorists turning right from Al Dhafra Street into the mall parking area are frequently finding their path blocked or cut off completely by waiting taxis, risking the possibility of a crash.

“It’s happening most of the time,” said Iyad Mohammed, 44, a mechanical engineer from Jordan. “I think the issue can be solved by the traffic police.”

Arjun Samalla, a 50-year-old sales and marketing manager in Abu Dhabi who visits the mall at least once a week, blamed the situation on a lack of space for waiting taxis.

“It’s not the taxi drivers’ fault,” he said. “The problem is that there’s not enough space to accommodate that many taxis.”

The taxi rank, located in front of the mall’s main entrances, can accommodate up to five vehicles at a time. When it is filled the cabbies are left with no choice but to wait in the lane near the entrance.

An official from the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars, TransAd, said it was aware of the situation and had met mall management five months ago to find a solution.

“We’ve received a number of complaints from people about taxis blocking the main road as well as reports of traffic accidents happening there,” the official said. “We’ve met with the mall management twice, and our recommendation was to provide a bigger space for the taxis.”

V Nandakumar, communications officer of LuLu Group International, which owns and manages the mall, said yesterday that it had not received any complaints from shoppers or tenants and business associates who frequented the mall.

“We have four different entrances to the mall, and all are very easily accessible from different roads,” he said.

“But we will surely look into this specific entrance issue, and work closely with the concerned authorities to make it easier and safer for all our patrons and general commuters.”

Mustafa Ali, 33, an Egyptian who regularly visits the mall, suggested building separate entrance and exit points for taxis, and to provide adequate space for the taxi rank.

Mohammed Abdul, 30, a Pakistani who drives for Tawasul, said drivers often sounded their horns at cabbies waiting in the lane. “What can we do? We don’t have any choice but to wait here.”

On a recent morning, a male driver of black 4x4 honked and gestured angrily at a taxi driver for blocking the road.

Faisal Nuwagaba, 31, a Cars Taxi driver from Uganda, was flustered by the noise. “I will not do it again,” he said.

Mohan Mekala, 44, an Indian who drives for Emirates Taxi, said he hoped mall patrons understood their situation.

“We just wait here for a few minutes but people start honking at us,” he said.

But not all mall visitors were concerned about the situation.

“It’s OK,” said Sondoss Jalal, an Iraqi mother-of-three.

“I don’t see it as a problem.”

In 2014, the safety and traffic solutions committee in Abu Dhabi carried out traffic work at Al Wahda and Khalidiya malls in the city and Dalma Mall in the Mussaffah industrial area to relieve congestion to allow drivers easy access to the facilities.

Its members include the Department of Transport, Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Police, the Urban Planning Council, among others.

rruiz@thenational.ae

Updated: January 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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