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Residents, drivers up in arms against traffic lights at Roxy Roundabout
The latest move by the Ministry of Works to place traffic lights at the Roxy Roundabout for drivers heading west along Tragarete Road has many in St James and Woodbrook confused. The traffic light is not yet in operation but people who the T&T Guardian interviewed said they had no idea who the traffic lights would serve, since the roundabout is designed to let traffic flow freely.
One taxi driver, who did not wish to be named, said the traffic light was just another addition to a “waste-of-time plan.” The man, who had been working the route for four years, said he had never seen so much traffic in the ancillary roads in the district. He said every day he was losing money and as a result had considered abandoning the route in favour of a new one.
Most of the taxi drivers the T&T Guardian spoke with echoed the same sentiments. Kerwin Cupid said he also did not understand why the traffic light had been set up, as in his view the entire area had been turned into a highway. He said he had witnessed a number of incidents in which people were almost knocked down while trying to cross the Western Main Road.
He said he felt sorry for the elderly and questioned how the traffic light would make a difference in saving the lives of the many schoolchildren who have to cross the road to get to school. “This whole plan just does not make any sense,” he said. Adel Commission said the plan had made everything in St James inconvenient to access and she felt the authorities should make parking easier and go back to two-way traffic.
When the T&T Guardian toured the area, it was unmistakably quiet, with only few people doing any shopping. Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing has already signalled his intention to go forward with the new traffic plan. One of Lee Sing's suggestions was to introduce a taxi lane in St James to help residents deal with their transport issues.
“Arrangements are being actively considered to create a taxi lane from George Cabral Street to Courts on the Western Main Road, only for taxis, so that, as it were, will treat with some of the concerns with the people of St James regarding taxi transportation,” he said.
“On the opposite side of the street, which would be the southern side, provisions are being made for parking, which would leave us with two lanes heading in a westerly direction in the middle of the street.” This, he said, would ensure that drivers reduced their speed along the Western Main Road.
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