In for a longer ride

Plans to ease traffic congestion through Observatory Road/ Wildey.

by Emmanuel Joseph

As the government moves to ease traffic congestion caused by the more than 115,000 vehicles across a 1,700 kilometre road network, motorists are being warned to expect longer routes to their destinations.

Addressing a town hall meeting for residents of the Clapham, St. Michael area at the Luther Thorne Primary School last night, to get feedback on proposed changes to the traffic flow, particularly on Observatory Road, Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce told Barbadians get accustomed to going a longer route for their own safety.

“The question of safety on our road ways is especially important. I would be less than honest, if I did not indicate, as users of our roads, Barbadians must at some time get accustomed to the fact that we are not going to be able to come out at every intersection on a road network and make either a left of right turn, depending on where we intend to go,” Boyce asserted.

“Sometimes, because of safety, and because of easing traffic and making traffic flow, we have to take a longer route than we may have wished,” the minister said.

However, he noted that with the adequate planning, road users could get accustomed to proposed traffic management changes.

“We certainly have to introduce a number of these manoeuvres. At Warrens, for instance, with the new Warrens Expansion Project, which by the way is going very well, and indeed improving the flow of traffic through Warrens,” declared Minister Boyce.

He told residents of Clapham, the intension to block off the intersection at Observatory Road and Highway R, was just one measure to reduce the potential for accidents and allow for a smoother flow of traffic on the island’s roads.

During the town hall meeting, residents objected to the ministry’s proposal to block off Observatory Road, noting it would cause even greater congestion. They also suggested that the overall proposals to reduce traffic would instead, result in the opposite.

The residents were even more concerned about speeding by motorists, especially PSVs which used Clapham Park as a short cut and drag racers who posed a danger particularly to children who play in the community.

Minister Boyce and his colleague Richard Sealy, who is Parliamentary Representative for part of the area, promised residents their views and suggestions would be seriously considered and form part of any final changes to improving traffic flow and safety in the Clapham, Wildey communities.

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