It is 8.00 AM on a Sunday. A daily meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 AM in Riyadh. After every preparation, I have to look at one more thing and that is the congestion level. It reads 67% in the traffic jam index which means I need additional 30 minutes compared to less than 25 minutes in a free-flow condition.
Morning Rush is at its peak and anything can happen, and just like that, you’ve got to spend 2 hours on the road for a 25 minutes trip! Leaving early does not solve it either. The traffic still came to a standstill and that’s how I lost an opportunity.
Time wasted on the road also means lost business opportunities and lost money.
Motorists facing delays and frustration on the road due to traffic snarls create even greater problems. Road rage and accidents are becoming a common problem on daily basis.
You may think that it’s only in Riyadh until you cross the street intersecting Tahlia and Sitteen in Jeddah. It’s like all roads in the Kingdom will soon suffocate under the burden of traffic jams.
How did we get here?
- Within a span of 50 years, the Kingdom’s capital city Riyadh has grown from a walled town to a metropolis with more than 7 million people.
- More than 800,000 cars are sold every year in the Kingdom
- The Kingdom recorded a 24.6% growth in the 2021 car market constituting 585, 351 vehicles
- 30% of the cars that is 4.8 million are registered in Riyadh.
- Traffic report shows that 79 hours which is 3 days and 7 minutes were lost due to traffic.
Looking at these statistics gives you an idea of where the Kingdom is situated owing to the growing economy and increasing levels of car ownership.
While the government is making every necessary effort to address the traffic snarl in the Kingdom, roads continue to suffocate under the heavy burden of vehicles.
Well, people look at the situation differently. Nonetheless, the traffic jam has a meaning to the real estate sector.
Opportunities: It is an opportunity for improving the infrastructure to accommodate the large number of vehicles in the Kingdom.
It indicates a possible demand for better housing. Owning a car is indicative of a strong middle-class population which is a rich market for house sales. The growing population with better incomes requires houses under their heads every day.
Disaster: Lost hours due to traffic snarls limit market attractiveness to investors in the real estate market
Traffic jams also imply lost business opportunities in the built environment and resource wastage.
The need to address traffic jams is not only necessary, but it is also urgent in the Kingdom.