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Abu Dhabi streets showcase safe design benchmarks.

Abu Dhabi: Many Abu Dhabi streets have seen a major overhaul over the last few years, and they will now be featured on an international guide as benchmarks for street and public space design.

The announcement was made today (October 7) by the emirate of Abu Dhabi's urban regulator, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

The new street design guide is being developed by the US-based National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which studies traffic and road systems in major cities worldwide. The UPC will contribute to the guidelines, and is the first Middle Eastern urban planning authority to be included.

According to a statement sent by the UPC, Abu Dhabi is one of 50 cities from 32 countries to be showcased in the guide. The guide will seek to provide a set of international standards for designing safe and smooth urban streets and adjoining spaces. The NACTO pointed out that the UAE capital has a growing international reputation for improving residents' quality of life through the provision of safe, sustainable and walkable roads.

Among these is Shaikh Zayed Street, which was converted from a normal highway to one that features multiple tunnels, an iconic bridge and some of the safest intersections in the city. The upgrade used standards outlined by the UPC in its Urban Street Design Manual, which was first released in 2010.

A study by the authority later found that the Shaikh Zayed Street redesign reduced pedestrian fatalities at right-turn lanes from 25 per cent to five per cent. To illustrate these improvements, the UPC has provided aACAybefore and after' pictures of the street for the NACTO guide.

Elements from other UPC manuals, including the Public Realm Design Manual, published in 2011, and 2014's Utility Corridors Design Manual, have also been incorporated to make Abu Dhabi streets safer, such as in lanes in Khalidiya area. These, too, have been highlighted.

"It is an honour for us to part of a prestigious publication that highlights best practices around the world. It shows that Abu Dhabi is increasingly being recognised as a model of a sustainable, liveable urban landscape," said Abdullah Al Sahi, acting executive director for planning and infrastructure at the UPC.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 8, 2015
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