Reviving Nablus City CBD Area

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Dmaidi, Murad
Abu-Yacoub, Hadi
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Nablus is considered as a major economic center in West Bank/Palestine. Therefore, it is considered as a destination for vast number of people who travel to the city every day. As a result, large numbers of vehicles enter the city daily; this in turns causes increasing traffic congestion on the major corridors that convey traffic to the Central Business District (CBD) area of Nablus. Since, the analysis and scenario plotting would evaluate and improve the level of service of the traffic system, which could avoid serious expected aggravation of traffic related problems in the upcoming years. Hence, the current study was conducted in order to provide scenarios and solutions for reconfiguring Nablus Downtown for future plans to enable stakeholders for appropriate decisions. This was achieved via relevant traffic data collection (traffic volumes, structural plan, aerial photographs and inventory studies) from September-December 2017. Those collected data were analyzed using Synchro Software to determine the functionality level of the traffic network of Nablus CBD. The obtained data analysis was simulated according to HCM 2010, which revealed that Nablus’s CBD transportation network suffers from several traffic obstacles. The main ones are relatively high volume of vehicles, limited capacity, severe effect of pedestrian on travel time of vehicles and low level of service in the critical intersections of the network. The evaluated present traffic analysis outcomes were interpreted and a subsequent over three years period prediction of the future traffic system level of service was also carried out. The outcome of the study confirmed that the current traffic problems would only exacerbate, leading to not only a poor level of service, but also an unacceptable performance of the network. In addition, several suggested scenarios were plotted in order to address the previously mentioned predicaments as could be the field of further studies and analysis for feasibility, effectiveness and cost, including the design and proof of adequacy. After studying the proposed scenarios and examining the pros and cons for each, one of the scenarios approached the main goal of this study. Moreover, the scenario fundamentally is about creating designated area for pedestrians, constructing parking lots with a new circulation plan by converting some of the streets from 1-way to 2-way streets in the CBD area. As such, this is envisaged to lead to providing tangible results in reality.