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Lee Sing: Don’t blame me for St James traffic problems
If traffic in west Port-of-Spain continues to be a problem, don’t blame city mayor Louis Lee Sing. “When you are stuck in traffic for hours burning subsidised fuel, this is accredited to Emmanuel George, Earl Crosby and Marlene McDonald,” Lee Sing said yesterday. In a telephone interview, Lee Sing said he could not say anything on the progress of the experimental traffic plan in St James, and the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure did not communicate with him or the city corporation when it implemented the plan.
He told the T&T Guardian that “any confusion, chaos or gridlock” experienced in St James was due to the traffic plan, which he said was created by Works Minister George, MP for PoS South Marlene McDonald, and Crosby, president of the St James Community Improvement Committee. The minister hinted yesterday at further plans, saying his ministry would continue to look at traffic flows in the city and environs, including parts of Woodbrook.
“It is an ongoing job that we have to do in order to improve the road experience for drivers and passengers,” he said. He said the ministry remains committed to decreasing the amount of time citizens take to get from one place to another. The St James plan, he said, “seems to be going okay.” He is hoping for responses and suggestions from business owners, residents and drivers and said he was happy and thankful for the co-operation of St James residents since the implementation of the plan.
“You want the public to take responsibility and to help us to help them...If the recommendation comes from them, it makes our jobs easier,” George said. In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Earl Crosby said he believed the experimental plan was working “pretty well.” Crosby said after Carnival, he intends to have a meeting with St James residents, business owners and taxi drivers to hear any complaints they may have about the traffic scheme.
He said some residents living on side streets complained that they had to wake up early to move their cars from one side of the street to the other in accordance with new alternate parking restrictions, but he had not yet received any complaints from business owners. Crosby said on evenings, in the absence of traffic wardens, there are issues caused by the “usual lawlessness on the part of drivers” who park illegally.
He said he was not aware of any plans to extend the working hours of the traffic wardens. He added that he believed drivers had become accustomed to the traffic restrictions and changes, although occasionally he would see a car going the wrong way on side streets that have now been made one-way. When the T&T Guardian spoke to drivers, the majority said they saw no real real difference in the traffic since the implementation of the plan.
Many drivers said when traffic wardens leave on afternoons, there is lawlessness with regard to parking. A few said the plan was working well and hoped it would be extended to Park Street, Port-of Spain, as well as parts of Woodbrook.
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