Commonsense and roadwork
Yesterday Shirley Street was congested from its beginning at the Eastern Road to just west of Market Street. It was congested because repairmen blocked off one lane of Shirley Street in order to perform underground repairs. At midday, a journey that usually takes three to five minutes took nearly 30 minutes.
This work has been going on for a few days, but the congestion was particularly bad yesterday.
With a population of about 250,000 people, thousands of tourists staying in hotels and a road network that is inadequate for the 21st century, it is unacceptable for half of a main thoroughfare in New Providence to be blocked off during the daytime unless emergency work is underway.
On major roads, non-emergency work should be performed at nighttime.
If work is necessary during the daytime, signs should be placed along the street far in advance advising motorists to take alternative routes in order to avoid delays. Traffic congestion slows commerce, places extra demand on vehicles and it makes people angry.
Traffic police have a role to play regarding this issue. If they notice other government agencies or their subcontractors creating serious obstructions on our streets in non-emergency situations, they should stop them.
The ministries responsible for the work should then be made to explain why it is they are creating disorder.
Additionally, the government needs to consider a long-term traffic plan for eastern New Providence.
There is misery on the streets of the east every morning as too many Bahamians leave the area traveling on too few roads heading west. The$120 million New Providence Road Improvement Project is underway. However, this project largely affects central and southwestern New Providence.
The east needs some attention. It needs a’Marshall Plan’of sorts to fix its traffic problem. As it is election time, the political parties can be assured that offering a major plan that would bring relief to residents of the east could be a major vote getter. Traffic congestion in the area starts earlier and earlier each year. Eastern Road is congested from between 6:30 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. these days.
The east needs some help.