Study and Analysis of Traffic Problems in Ramallah and Al-Beireh City Center

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Ihab Mahmoud Fayyat
Rami Fuad Al_Barri
Nooraddin Marwan Taweel
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Background: Among various issues related to transportation systems, congestion and traffic accidents are the most common ones. Ramallah and Al-Beireh cities are live and important cities in Palestine with a population of 310000 (in 2011). These two cities are very closely and dependently located. All the governmental offices such as  ministries are located in Ramallah city as well as many vital services in the West Bank. The main road which connects between Ramallah and Al-Beireh  passes through the CBD area of Ramallah city. It plays essential role in connecting the two parts of the city. Therefore, it is considered as a main arterial in the area. Recently, this street is re-constructed with new alignments and operations however studies on its performance after the re-construction is not available yet. Objective: The main objective of this project is to evaluate the performance of  Ramallah- Al-Beireh CBD area (mainly the link which connects between Ramallah and Al-Beireh) in terms of capacity, delay, and safety before and after the recent re-construction. This project intends to insure that the previously existing problems such as those in the geometric layout, congestion, on-street parking, side walk width and right of way are solved by conducting before-and-after study. If some issues still exist, effective solutions will be proposed through this project. This might include proper design of the intersections, prepare detailed drawings for the horizontal and vertical alignments, and cross-section elements, provide proper drainage system design, provide safety measures for vehicle movement at intersections and on horizontal and vertical curves, and provide required details for marking, signals and traffic signs.Methodology: To achieve the objective of this project, various types of data is required. This data will cover the period before the recent improvements and re-constructions in the CBD area, and the period after the re-construction. This will allow us to conduct before-and-after assessment study. Furthermore, it will provide us with a clear picture about the remaining problems in the study area. Contour maps and landscape data will be obtained from the Municipality of Ramallah and Al-Beireh while traffic data will be collected manually. Traffic data includes traffic counts (vehicles and pedestrians), and vehicle types. After obtaining the required data, traffic conditions will be analyzed by estimating average vehicle delay and number of stops. Moreover, the safety conditions on the study site will be evaluated by analyzing accident types and locations. Therefore, necessary accident records will obtained from relevant authorities. This will be followed by designing countermeasures to overcome existing problems, which may include improving the existing geometric design or traffic operations. Intersections will be designed considering the movement of conflicting traffic streams to provide safer and smoother operation. The usage of proper marking and traffic control devices will also be considered. Cost analysis will be conducted, to evaluate whether proposed countermeasures or improvements are feasible or not.