The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started on July 20, is predicted to add to London's already intense Olympic traffic issues. With thousands of Muslims making their way into non-game lanes to pray at the many mosques in East London near the Olympic Park, traffic will increase.
East London has a highly concentrated Muslim population and every August, during Ramadan, crowds of worshippers come to the area for nightly prayer. The area around the Olympic Park in Stratford has more than 250,000 Muslim residents and nearly 100 mosques.
Local counselor Abdal Ullah said to NBCNews.com, "The areas all around the mosques get very busy around prayer time during Ramadan, and there is often traffic chaos on nearby roads and it will be busier on the Underground."
He also said that although the prayers are in the evening, many people will stay on at the Olympic Park after events and be caught in traffic on the way back, which is a concern.
During the month of fasting, practicing Muslims are expected to fast without food and water from dawn until dusk for thirty days. There are more than 3,000 atheletes participating in The Olympics this year who are Muslim, but many of them will not fast, which is a decision that has been sanctioned by religious authorities.
The East London Mosque said that it expects to reach peak capacity of 5,000 during some nights for a two-hour time frame for evening prayers. The director of Olympic Games transport at city transit authority Transport for London, Mark Evers said to NBCnews.com, "TFL has worked with more than 20,000 companies of all types and sizes, including faith organizations, across London, to help them prepare for Games-time travel. We will continue to offer advice and guidance as required to help businesses understand the temporary changes on the road network and plan ahead to minimize how they will be affected."