Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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…Confusion also in Sando
New traffic arrangements in San Fernando went into effect early yesterday throwing some taxi drivers, several business people and commuters into a state of confusion. The San Fernando plan, which provided parking restrictions in 13 areas, created bottlenecks on Carib Street, Pointe-a-Pierre Road and Penitence Street before 9 am. However, along Park Street, Farah Street, Harris Promenade, Sutton Street, Prince of Wales Street and Park Street, it was unusually clear.
On Upper High Street, taxi drivers plying the Curepe and Chaguanas routes were heard “cursing” loudly about the traffic plan. Andre Friday, who has worked the Curepe route for over seven years said: “This is nonsense! I don’t know who advising these people. I took an additional 45 minutes to get to the stand.” He explained that the traffic at St James Street was horrendous because all commuters were now forced to access Penitence Street to get onto High Street, through St James Street.
“If we take the alternative route to Chacon Street, it is longer, more traffic and more stress,” Friday grumbled. He said the Government should have used the “Ian Atherly traffic plan” and make High Street a pedestrian mall by allowing access only to taxis and business vehicles. Another Curepe taxi driver, Gilbert Hymenz, said they would now be forced to work longer hours because the traffic arrangements were causing additional traffic delays.
“I take 30 more minutes to get here. At this rate, we will have to work longer hours to make up our money,” Hymenz said. At the Marabella taxi stand, several drivers also complained the new arrangements were chaotic. “Now that they put us on the right side of the road, passengers have to open the door on the dangerous side.
“If they open the door from the right side, the doors could hit the pavement. This don’t make any sense at all,” Marabella taxi driver Micky Ramnath complained. A few taxi drivers continued to ply for hire on the western side of the road. However, several business owners had mixed views about the plan. Vendor Joey Soodeensingh said the owner of Trendy Kids could not get vehicles to offload at his entrance because Penitence Street became a two-lane up street linking to High Street.
He said there was only one place to offload goods and that was inconvenient. However, president of the San Fernando Business Association Daphne Bartlett said she would have to monitor the new arrangements. She said it was good because more people were now gaining access to High Street.
However, she said shopping sales were still slow on High Street. Bartlett called on Government to open the Chancery Lane car park as soon as possible to allow shoppers parking space. She explained that if shoppers had no parking, they would have no choice but go elsewhere to shop. Bartlett said she would meet with business people to discuss the new arrangements.
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