Dubai is planning to build air-conditioned pedways in the city’s congested and commercial areas in an effort to encourage walking to reduce pedestrian traffic and fatalities.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will use the pedways to link major buildings, shopping centres, metro stations and bus stops in Dubai.

The move is part of RTA’s Dubai Pedestrian Safety and Mobility Plan, which aims for a 20% rise in pedestrian traffic and a 30% drop in pedestrian fatalities over the next three years.

The project would begin shortly after the study of the areas for pedways finishes, according to officials.

According to the RTA’s statistics, the number of pedestrian deaths increased from 49 in 2001 to 145 but dropped to 106 in 2008 partly as a result of more pedestrian bridges.