Saturday, Apr 20, 2019
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The smart growth discussion

We get many responses to editorials.  Some are reasonably considered, some are silly and some are hostile.  We wrote an editorial last Wednesday on Smart Progressive Growth.  We published a letter from ‘FNM Supporter’ Friday in response.

FNM Supporter’s response to that editorial lets us continue this discussion on a national level.  Riddled with assumptions and falsities, it seeks to further politicize the much needed, yet much clouded, New Providence infrastructure improvements.

Investment in infrastructure is critical – no one can deny this.  And we applaud this administration, and any administration past or future, that continues these investments.  Infrastructure is the backbone of all nations; too often we take it for granted.

We proudly support the hundreds of Bahamians employed on these projects.

The premise of the editorial was not to engage in political banter, but to get us to move beyond the gated community or even single entrance/exit non-gated subdivision mentality connected to large ‘corridor’ roadways.  In light of all the infrastructure improvements, what is next?  How do we envision New Providence in the next 10, 20 years?

As thousands of Bahamians sit idle on congested roadways to yes, drop children off to school and drive to work, they may beg to differ with the suggestion that we are engaging in ‘progressive growth’.  When it takes 30 minutes to drive several miles from a non-gated community to work, please enlighten us as to your commuting schedule.  And yes, please enlighten us as to why traffic miraculously dissipates when school is out.

The New Providence Road Improvement Project develops corridors to ease commuting between distant areas, but it will not solve the problem of congestion.  When the new West Bay Street and Gladstone Road are complete Skyline Drive will no longer be a viable alternative, as it will become two cul-de-sacs.  This is wonderful news for those homeowners.  But for drivers, this places more vehicles on fewer roads.

What will happen during shift changes at Baha Mar?  Will it create a bottleneck like when shift changes occur on Paradise Island?

Our roads are so congested because we have few alternative routes.  We have so few secondary and tertiary connected roadways that when a planned or unfortunate event closes say Bay Street, and/or Shirley Street, drivers have nowhere to go.  On top of this, we are left with a bus transportation system in need of much review.

We are certainly moving forward, but we need a collective vision that engages us as a community.  We want to hear your successes, your plans, your vision.

As for lacking information about government projects, it would serve the Bahamian people if the Freedom of Information Act were to be quickly enacted.  Perhaps then we the people would be privy to the back rooms of governance.

 

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