Friday, 15 May 2009

Shape Problems In Muscat

All around the world, there are clever little devices for controlling the flow of traffic crossing junctions, rather then having to invest large amounts of money in traffic light systems which need constant monitoring and maintenance - you just build this thing, and you go. Nothing to worry about - except, as far as I can see, in Muscat where you get to spend more money cleaning up the car wrecks instead of mending traffic signals.

They are called roundabouts, with logic dictating that they should be "round", however here in Muscat, a lot of our major ones are "oval" or if you were to track the movements of my steering wheel, sort of "splash or puddle" shaped things.

They are lethal. In Europe, you go on the roundabout (and it is round - they have instruments to measure that), you track the car in front and you lock the steering wheel to follow the curve and you exit.

Here, you take your eyes off the curve for even a second, and you are either in the wrong lane, or doing car-rolls into the flyover support at Lulu's (which is by far Muscat's most prominent ovalabout).

Please get them fixed. I see that you are replacing all of the ovalabouts on the coast road and at Qurum........well done!


scared_from_Qurum29 said...

you want lethal?

try driving into Qurum-29 (that area in between Al Khuwair & MSQ that is nowhere near Qurum).

you literally have to drive into the oncoming traffic turning left if you want to get there. the oncoming traffic goes down the Death Valley Road through Al Khuwair heading towards MSQ and "forgets" to STOP at the roundabout.

it's frightening!

Jet Driver said...


I will have to make a Top Ten or "Now That's What I Call Dangerous Junctions" party list over the next couple weeks and blog on it.

In fact, should anyone wish to use this comments box as a way to recommend your favourites then fire away!


Anonymous said...

I think mini-roundabouts (all Brits will know what they are) would make a positive contribution to safe driving in Oman :)

omanobserver said...

Roundabouts require observation, logic, communication, the observance of rules, a very basic level of vehicle-handling skill, and even some courtesy (not to mention sitting up straight and taking a ten-second break from texting your habib). Since when have these qualities been in evidence amongst Oman's driving* populace? I think best we stick with traffic lights where it's either stop or go.

* or non-driving for that matter