Assessing Doha's Street Network from the Perspective of 'Complete Streets' Concept
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Streets are considered dynamic spaces in cities, and their design should be safe, comfortable and efficient for all users. Well-functioning streets can create a healthy lifestyle for a city and its users. Many cities are suffering from transportation issues because of their poorly designed street networks that do not integrate the different modes of transportation, or establish safe environments in which pedestrian and cyclists are treated as kings. In this manner, Doha as a city is experiencing the same kind of problem, creating corridors that do not take into consideration different travel modes, which causes severe congestion, delay and shortage in street capacity and, most importantly, users’ dissatisfaction. Therefore, there is a need to investigate and explore some methods that aim to improve cities’ street networks. “Complete Streets” is a roadway design concept initiated with the intention of integrating numerous modes of transportation and their variety of users. Complete Streets are also envisioned to provide traffic, safety and public health benefits, and integrate a healthy lifestyle into built environments worldwide. The newly-emerging concept can be adapted in contexts that fail to combine the different street elements that a street should have. Considering the low quality of the current street network, this thesis aims to evaluate the current streets in Doha city based on the degree of users’ satisfaction, and provide approaches to enhance them from the perspective of the ‘Complete Streets’ concept. The study analyzes two international case studies that have successfully implemented the concept and improved their current street network and enhanced users’ built environment. The analysis will help in extracting criteria that are used to assess the current performance of the street network and recommending ways to improve them. The methodological approach of this research will focus on the selection of two neighborhoods in Doha based on their contextual location and types of land use: a downtown area or urban center exemplified in Fereej bin Mahmoud, and a suburban area or residential district of Al Waab. Three nominated streets of the existing network within the two areas will be selected based on an evaluation matrix, and assessed according to the users’ perspectives and future preferences and aspirations. This approach is supported by two major data collection tools: a visual questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews with local authorities. A total of 100 questionnaires were collected for the two selected areas from different types of users. Results showed that users are completely unsatisfied with the current conditions of the selected streets in the two areas, which lack the major components of Complete Street variables: pedestrian, bicycle, green and transit improvements, which has resulted in the absence of safety. The produced results along with the evaluation criteria have helped in improving the current streets’ designs and have created a new enhanced cross-section that meets the concept of Complete Streets.
- Urban Planning & Design [21 items ]
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