By Muath Freij – Feb 25,2016

AMMAN — Although the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has announced several projects to be implemented this year with the aim of resolving traffic issues, Ammanis interviewed by The Jordan Times on Thursday hold little hope that these projects will actually curb traffic jams in their city.

In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji said 2016 will be a year of managing traffic, with GAM’s services to city residents expected to focus on this issue.

GAM council said a number of intersections have been designed and tenders are ready to be floated so that residents can benefit from the JD43 million that GAM received recently from the government, the statement said.

But Amman residents interviewed by The Jordan Times argued that more work has to be done to mitigate traffic jams.

Oqaba Faraj, a photographer, said the solutions announced by officials are usually only short-term.

“The traffic lights which have been set up at the 7th and 8th circles alleviated traffic jams but did not end them, as the traffic congestion has moved to areas like Bayader. Abdoun Bridge also helped solve traffic jams in a specific area, but the problem has moved to other places in Abdoun,” he said.

Faraj argued that the main problem causing traffic jams in the capital is the lack of parking spaces.

“When someone does not find a parking spot in a specific area, he/she is forced to park in a way that causes a traffic jam and makes the street narrow for motorists,” he added.

Hussam Manasreh, a tailor, said commercial stores and restaurants are sometimes located all together on one street, making it difficult for motorists to drive.

“So many restaurants are located on Medina Munawara Street and everyone heads there, so there is almost always a traffic jam on that road. Officials have to make revisions before handing licences to people,” he said.

According to Rabee Mohammad, a private sector employee, traffic projects will not help mitigate these issues because the number of vehicles is on the rise.

“Every family has no less than two cars and this also increases traffic jams in the capital,” he said.

Official figures put the number of cars in Jordan, registered at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Department, at over 1.3 million, nearly 38 per cent of which are in the capital.
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