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PoS traffic plan extends to St James
The new traffic plan for west Port-of-Spain will be extended to St James, as the Western Main Road through St James will now be westbound. From midnight tomorrow, the use of Tragarete Road, Ariapita Avenue and the Western Main Road will be optimised to bring about more traffic mobility and less congestion, said director of highways Roger Ganesh.
This lies at the heart of the traffic management plan for Woodbrook and St James, he said. Ganesh expressed confidence yesterday that the plan would be successful. However, he predicted teething problems on Monday, continuing on Tuesday. Ganesh said some physical changes could not take place until very late on Sunday night.
These include reconfiguring traffic lights and putting up new signs. “I am pretty confident we have everything in place. “We cannot make some changes until very late Sunday night because to do so before would be dangerous to the motoring public. We don’t want to confuse people,” Ganesh added. He said during the course of yesterday, new signs were being installed.
“But we have placed black tape on them until late Sunday. “We cannot remove the tape before the plan kicks in, to avoid chaos.” He said arrows were also being placed at Tragarete Road, Ariapita Avenue and along the Western Main Road to direct drivers. The plan, which will be on trial for three months, was timed to be implemented at the start of the July/August vacation.
“I already foresee teething problems on the first and second day, but we decided to implement the plan when school closed, to minimise confusion and to deal with all other issues which may arise as a result,” Ganesh said. He also predicted further tweaking of the proposal to make it more effective and efficient. “I already see that we have to put in place some new legal orders to change some aspects of the plan.”
For things to really run smoothly, however, depends on the co-operation of drivers, Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing said yesterday. Like Ganesh, Lee Sing predicted initial challenges. Urging the public to familiarise themselves with the plan on the Works Ministry’s Web site, Lee Sing said, “I got a call from a man who said he was concerned about the new traffic proposal.
“This tells me that he has not familiarised himself with it, and I also urge other people to do so as soon as possible.” The major concern, he said, was that there was not enough consultation with residents, business people and various stakeholders before the decision was made to implement the plan.
Saying people would always be apprehensive about change, Lee Sing was nonetheless optimistic the plan would work. “I think the response depends largely on T&T, but I have tremendous faith and confidence in our people.” He said people should not be too quick to criticise, condemn and complain. “Just try and understand what is taking place,” Lee Sing added.
An increased sensitisation drive is expected to take place over the weekend, an official from the Works Ministry said yesterday. Flyers and maps of the proposal will be distributed in Woodbrook and St James and inserts will also be placed in various newspapers, the official added. Senior officials from the ministry also met at length yesterday to discuss final arrangements.
Objectives of the plan
•Reduce traffic times
•Improve mobility for public transportation and private vehicles
•Minimise “near misses” and accidents
•Control roadside parking
•Increase capacities (vehicle volume)
•Facilitate travel demand into and out of Port-of-Spain
•Lessen conflict points
•Prepare for future travel demands
Major changes for Woodbrook
Other changes for Woodbrook
De Verteuil Street
Fitt Street north of Baden-Powell Street
Fitt Street south of Baden-Powell Street
Petra Street south of Warren Street
Major changes for St James
Western Main Road—westbound
Church Street— eastbound
Other changes for St James
Nizam Street: between Panka and Hyderabad Streets
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