In the past, for prospective home buyers seeking out locations either to build or purchase, one of the main concerns has been traffic.
In previous times, the Eastern Road was a challenge, if you lived in the east, whether you were commuting to work downtown or coming home. Depending on the time of the day it can be very time consuming.
Now there are corridors opening up in the south coming from Faith Avenue on to West Bay Street, but traffic moves at a snail’s pace during rush hour. On any given day when school is in session, driving in New Providence is an absolute nightmare.
There is a total disrespect for traffic rules. Many road violations take place with illegal lanes being created, the running of red lights and motorbike riders doing stunts. It’s amazing that more persons are not injured.
Truth be told, our roads were originally designed for horse and buggy, however, now they must contend with thousands of vehicles zooming in and out of neighborhoods, taking shortcuts in a race to get home.
One of my absolute pet peeves is when I am forced on the side of the road by a prison bus filled with inmates, sirens blasting, barreling its way through the streets. If you don’t want to get hit by this bus, you better get the hell on the side.
Why in heaven’s name must this dangerous road behavior persist? The speed at which the prison buses travel endangers the public. Would it not be easier and safer if a judge or magistrate goes to the prison and deals with those persons incarcerated, rather than moving dozens of inmates?
These prison buses have in the past been involved in crashes with incoming traffic; so tell me, when does this madness end?
Then you have people sitting on the side of trucks; don’t they realize if that vehicle stops suddenly what will happen to them ?
Then it becomes our problem as taxpayers, as they are transported via ambulance to the hospital, where we end up paying the bill for someone else’s poor decision.
It seems like every rush hour, traffic lights malfunction and chaos rules the roads. The police know these hot spots, so why are they not at these intersections at these peak times to assist in moving the traffic along, even if the lights are working?
This sentiment applies not only to the east but also the west, which is not as bad as Eastern Road. Now, long lines of traffic at times stretches from the Fish Fry to Saunders Beach roundabout.
Another scenario is when you get a minor fender bender in which neither car moves until the police show up. This is another archaic way of dealing with these accidents, which causes downtime and loss of productivity.
Now you have these tractor trailer trucks with loud mufflers and annoying horns. They all seem to be so happy to see their friends, horns blazing, adding to our misery of being stuck in traffic with no air conditioning and hoping that we don’t run out of gas before reaching the station.
The Ministry of Education should consider having their schools leave at different times rather than the total population of students all leaving at the same time, causing mayhem on the streets.
We need to start thinking of ways to reduce the traffic so businesses have the opportunity to be more productive, along with less vehicles and pollution that comes with so many vehicles on one small 7×21-mile island.
Something has to give and the sooner the better.
- William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, and two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association. William Wong is a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: [email protected].