Al-Najaf city is one of the highest growth of population in Iraq in addition to the highest number of vehicles especially after 2003. The high number of vehicles leads to a lot of traffic problems and congestions especially on major roads such as Najaf-Kufa, Al-Matar road (ring road), Al-Hazam Al-khadar and other intersections and roundabouts. Moreover, the high number of traffic accidents is widely spread on most roads. The number of accidents is upto 3000 in 2018 for Al-Najaf city only which is higher than by eight times the number of accidents in 2000.
It is undoubtful that the number of accident increases generally in AL-Najaf city and specifically in Al-Matar road (ring road) in Al-Adala U-turn. The average number of accident per month may exceed 4 major accidents which is so dangerous indication. Therefore, the light should be shed to know the reasons behind such accidents which could be summarized as:
1. The high speed of vehicles using this road because this road is already designed as major road and has no U-turns in its design. Therefore, the existing of such U-turns is the main reason for traffic accidents.
2. The high traffic volume of turning vehicles exists in such U-turns as indicated in the figures below.
Figure 1 Details of traffic movement in Al-Adala U-trun.
Figure 2 Congested traffic using Al-Adala U-turn
In the light of above, the traffic turning volume is high may lead to traffic bottleneck as noted in U-trun facing Al-Waffa Quart due to partially close of Al-Zahara roundabout or due to high turning vehicles due to trips going to the university of Kufa and vehicles going towards Karabala or in the opposite direction.
So, what are the suggested solutions to mitigate the traffic congestion? In fact, short-term solutions have been suggested by the author in previous essays; therefore the strategic solutions are:
1. Close all the U-turns from Al-Matar roundabout towards Karbala up to Karbala road. This will make the traffic speed stable and serve high traffic volume.
2. Al-Zahara interchange is under construction which will help in mobility and accessibility. This will help in closing nearby U-turns.
3. Prepare the suitable design to connect Al-Hizam Al-Akadar road with Al-Mutinabi road by interchange across the university of Kufa which reduces from congestion in the surrounding roads because the vehicles entering the university or leaving will use this interchange within the campus of university as indicated in Figure 3. This campus has more than 12000 students. This interchange will eliminate the accident along Al-Matar road (ring road) especially Al-Adala U-turn as indicated in Figure 2.