Saturday, June 23, 2007

ImbeSalik - I Dare You To Give a Better Option

The once challenging and brave Emirats Toady would have derided the new road toll scheme with the venom it deserves. But since its new management team took over about a year ago, it is desperate to put a positive gloss on the entire fiasco. That is a really hard thing to do, and Assistant Editor Hakam Kherallah shoots himself in the foot trying to do it. He says, basically, all you whingers out there, suggest a better alternative. If this guy was genuous, he would know that every single critic of imbeSalik has already done so. The alternative is: wait until the Metro is up and running, and the RTA have figured out how to run a useable bus service. That's all. Once these things are in place I doubt you would hear much protest against the toll scheme. But to introduce imbeSalik at a time when the viable transport alternatives are ABSOLUTELY ZERO just tells me that the RTA either has no clue about what it is doing, or it does have a clue and does not care one iota about the expense, pain, frustration and chaos that this scheme is going to cause. I suspect the latter is true.

If the aim of this insane project is simply to raise money for the RTA then I don't think most people would object to a serious rise in vehicle registration costs. But they insist on presenting this as a way of reducing congestion. I'm sorry. The way this scheme is designed will only shift congestion onto other roads that are completely unable to cope with it. RTA chief Mattar Al Tayer insults his customers by saying we are not traffic experts. I happen to know several critics of the scheme who are traffic experts, and I think the rest of us have a pretty good idea of how things work simply because we use the roads every day.

If it looks like a dog, smells like a dog, it's probably a dog.

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