(MENAFN - Arab News) Jeddah is suffocating with traffic congestion. Palestine Street in particular, which extends from Al-Haramain Highway to Corniche Street, is jammed with vehicles bumper-to-bumper at all times of the day.
This street with shopping centers, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and other commercial outlets stretching for kilometers along both sides is considered the lifeline of the city.
"The street is crowded with shops and other amenities but it is extremely difficult to cross from one side to the other," said Abdullah Al-Shahri, a resident. "The only solution to this problem is to build footbridges," he added.
Abdullah Al-Mutrafi agreed, saying that footbridges are a must. "They will ease the movement of people, the handicapped and the elderly in particular, and will probably save lives as well," he said.
Another citizen, Muhammad Abu Al-Ola said that Palestine Street is a commercial thoroughfare and extremely busy. "It is only quiet in the early hours of the morning," he said.
Wasl bin Wasl Al-Harbi, director of Jeddah Traffic Department, said his department had intensified its fild traffic patrols to organize the traffic on Palestine Street. Fines were also being imposed on violators, especially rent-a-car outlets which allow more than one car to park in front of their shops.
"The Jeddah Traffic Department follows up every comment or remark related to the architecture and technical features that directly or indirectly affect traffic and the safety of citizens," said Al-Harbi.
He said his department had asked the Jeddah Municipality to build footbridges at a number of locations, including on Palestine Street.
"The number of traffic fines imposed on Palestine Street amounted to 34,898 violations of which 3,061were related to driving without a license and 8,745 for parking in unauthorized places," said Al-Harbi.
Other traffic violations included 2,316 fines for not renewing the driving license, 825 for concealing the windshield, 11,368 for not fastening the seat belt, 1,298 for using the mobile phone while driving and 2,081 for running the red light.
A number of citizens have complained of traffic congestion at several sites as a result of ongoing construction work.