No-8: Dubai: United Arab Emirates

By Frisch, Ian; Belanger, Lydia | Wired, October 2015 | Go to article overview

No-8: Dubai: United Arab Emirates


Frisch, Ian, Belanger, Lydia, Wired


No-8

DUBAI

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

PROJECT DOMAINS

TRANSPORTATION

ARCHITECTURE

CULTURE

LIVABILITY

PUBLIC UTILITIES

The Challenge

Eliminate traffic jams at a highway intersection that required coming to a full stop before merging onto a roundabout.

DECISION: DON'T STOP To let drivers maintain high speeds while changing direction, designers chose a turbine interchange, an evolution of the cloverleaf.

DECISION: STAY LOW A stacked interchange would have required up to six tiers of highway. The turbine needed just two, boosting aesthetics and lowering costs.

DECISION: SPREAD OUT Dubai has lots of land. Good thing, because turbines use a ton of it (this one is nearly a third of a mile wide). That would be a huge problem in dense US cities.

TRANSPORTATION

HIGH-SPEED INTERCHANGE

WHERE DESIGN AND VELOCITY INTERSECT

Emirates Road used to be a nightmare. The only way to get off the then-six-lane highway and onto intersecting roads was a congested roundabout that required drivers to stop before merging into traffic. Finally, in 2006, city officials decided to restructure parts of the highway, starting with the dreaded roundabout. [para] Rather than use a cloverleaf--the century-old grandfather of congestion remedies--they opted for a more modern configuration known as a turbine interchange. …

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