Friday, Dec 6, 2019

Downtown parking

Trying to find parking on Bay Street or the side streets is a frustrating exercise.

Practically every spot is taken up by a taxi, which leaves only a precious few vacant spaces for others to park.

Sometimes I take a bus from Cable Beach but when I have to run other errands it’s just not practical.

When the House of Assembly meets, more parking vanishes when the honorable members have their cars parked all day while the others have to drive around repeatedly looking for a space to park.

My suggestion to the members of the House of Assembly: get a ride to the House and free up those spots to the public who have business downtown who wish to shop or do their banking, etc. – not everybody wants to make that trek to the malls, but rather enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants downtown.

I realize the taxi cab drivers rely on the tourists who come off the boat, but surely a system can be set up where the taxis can be called up as it is done at the airport.

Speaking about a system, what happened to the bus system that’s been kicked around for the last few administrations? Just seems that things that matter to us that will make our lives easier just move at a snail’s pace. We as taxpayers need to demand more from governments who are seemingly out of touch as to what the citizenry of this country needs and deserves.

Tell me, after countless years of talking and countless foreign consultants, why is it that we are no further ahead in sorting out this mess we have on our hands?

Buses stop wherever they desire, dispatching and picking up passengers in the middle of traffic, oblivious to the long lines of traffic behind them causing the motoring public’s blood temperature to rise.

Putting a major bus stop on Bay Street almost opposite the Hoffer Sport store must be one of the dumbest decisions of all time, causing major jams every day.

“Ugly” best describes the government-owned Churchill Building, including the one that fronts onto Bay Street. Either these government members don’t see the eyesore that surrounds them or they just got accustomed to seeing them so often.

Back to the parking issue. Some time ago it was suggested to install parking meters, but if I recall correctly there was some opposition to this idea as it was voiced that it would take away from our “Ole Nassau” charm.

Well I think the charm has now gone out of the window and we need to be more practical going forward; besides, it would create a few more jobs. Hire some additional staff to monitor the meters and ticket those that run overtime. It would be a money maker for the public treasury and free up more parking. It would be a win for all.

The City of Nassau is totally overrun by cars. In the western portion of Nassau, Bahamians enjoyed leisure driving home some years ago, but when the new corridors opened up the last few years it is now as bad or worse than the Eastern Road traffic.

My question is, if the police know about this bottleneck every day why are they not doing something about it?

Don’t let a fender bender happen – then no driver moves until the police gets there. This has to change. These accident-prone people are probably on the phone texting when they crash into the car in the front of them, causing miles of backed-up traffic.

Move the cars on the side of the road and let the traffic move along. It seems we are still in the dark ages.

Positive changes, however, came on October 7, where a new law states that using your cell phones while driving is now illegal.

The turn-on-red-lights will be a plus to move traffic along. Hopefully drivers will exercise caution and come to a complete stop and not just speed through the light.

Changes come slowly; sometimes not fast enough.

• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association and a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: williamuwong@gmail.com.

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