Opening Bypass Roads No Help With Traffic Congestion
Recently I heard a minister talking about implementing a system to encourage drivers to use secondary roads during busy periods. This is ridiculous. The issue with drivers using secondary roads in Saint Lucia is that they are not used all the way to the final destination but instead are used as a quick means of bypassing a traffic jam only for a yards before returning to that same traffic jam. A good example is those drivers (including bus drivers who are legally obliged to stay on the main roads) who leave the highway near Computer World in Bois Orange and then rejoin at the Marisule gap that leads to Windward Island Gases. Such a move further exacerbates the situation since drivers who stay on the highway constantly need to stop to give those selfish drivers space to rejoin the highway.
It has been announced that the Bois d'Orange bypass will be reopened soon to the motoring public. This makes no sense at all since it will lead to the same problem which was mentioned above in which drivers will now leave the highway at an earlier point and rejoin the traffic at the Windward Island Gases Marisule gap.
What we need along that stretch is traffic cops managing the traffic at the Marisule gap as well as the Grande Riviere gap. It might also be wise to restrict vehicles coming from the direction of Castries from entering Glace Motors between the hours of 7am and 9am.
My suggestions are simple but will surely be of more benefit than to reopen the Bois d'Orange bypass. In fact, that Bois d'Orange bypass should be left as it is and only opened in emergencies.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ministry of Infrastructure informed us that some lighting problems have caused a delay in the opening of the bypass road. The issue is currently being dealt with, but the bypass road will not be opened until necessary streetlights are in place. Officials from the Ministry could not give a specific date for the reopening of the bypass road. We will be forwarding a copy of your letter to the ministry’s chief engineer. He is currently on vacation, we are told.