New Salik toll gates to be installed on Dubai’s Safa Park running trackDUBAI: In response to heavy pedestrian congestion, Dubai’s popular Safa Park running track is soon set to become part of the city’s Salik road toll collection system.
Unveiled this morning, the first phase of the scheme – entitled Run Salik Run – will see two gates installed on the 3.5-kilometre track, one by the park’s main entrance and one halfway around. Once the system comes into effect on April 1, anyone using the track will be required to purchase a special pre-paid card which will be automatically charged each time it passes under a gate.
“Run Salik Run is part of our ongoing efforts to streamline traffic on the Safa Park track, which has seen a huge rise in numbers thanks to various fitness initiatives and the annual post-Christmas drive,” said Run Salik Run director Abdulla Thompson.
“We’re hoping the new scheme will encourage people to utilise the city’s extensive public transport network, and are aiming for a 40 per cent reduction in bottlenecks and traffic jams around the park by June.”
Run Salik Run will apply to both runners and casual strollers who take to the track, but charges will differ depending on the speed of each user. In a bid to keep traffic on the track moving at a steady rate, a two-tier payment system has been installed. Anyone travelling at 10kmph or over will be charged AED2 each time they pass through one of the gates, while those going slower will have AED4 deducted.
“Our state-of-the-art technology will work out your average speed across the whole track, so don’t go thinking you can just put on a quick spurt as you go under each gate to pay less,” said Thompson, who added that security guards would be employed to ensure people “didn’t simply jog around the outside”.
To build awareness of the new toll, a publicity drive will be launched next month entitled ‘Check Your Cash Before You Dash’, which will see leaflets handed out to joggers, together with specially adhesive Salik tags that can be affixed to sports clothing.
“From day one, we’re going to be issuing a strict AED200 penalty for those who pass under the gates without a Salik account or enough money loaded up to pay for their journey,” warned Johnson.
Depending on the success of Run Salik Run, the second phase – ostensibly set for late 2014 – will see three more Salik gates installed on the running track.