Tuesday, 30 April 2013

What? No Smile You're In Sharjah?

Sharjah's famous 'Smile You're In Sharjah' roundabout is soon to be no more - a Dhs1 billion upgrade to the 'Al Jubail Intersection' is going to replace the current roundabout and it's clear from drawings released by Sharjah's public works department that the new roundabout, a combination of cloverleaf and swingabout (it is SO a proper word) will obliterate the flowery imprecation that has gladdened so many hearts over the decades. The drawing above was sourced by Gulf News from consultant WSP Middle East, which has proposed the scheme to ease the traffic issues that have dogged the roundabout in busy times.

The news also carries with it the prospect of some gnarly short term traffic issues - the roundabout serves Sharjah's central bus station and also intersects one of the two arterial roads that feed the city - Al Arouba Street. Although the long term effects of the upgrade are undoubtedly going to be positive, the short term holds nothing but snarling traffic jams and diversions. With the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road currently in a state of some considerable upheaval due to the roadworks around National Paints (not completed on April 15th as previously, insanely, predicted), that only really leaves the already packed Al Wahda Street. Things are going to get pretty dicey around here, trust me.

Whether we'll keep some floral version of the cheery 'Smile You're Insane' oops sorry, I meant 'Smile You're In Sharjah' when all that newness is completed is unclear. The journalists, as usual, didn't ask anyone the one question that mattered in the whole thing...

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