Wed | Apr 24, 2019

KSAMC undertakes study to fix Half-Way Tree

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams.

The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is close to completing a study that will look into implementing changes in relation to illegal vending and other illicit activities in the greater Half-Way Tree area of the capital, says Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams.

"We are completing soon our study of the area to see what actions are to be taken," Williams told The Gleaner.

According to Williams, the study was necessary to determine what (activities) are allowable under the law, and what course of action is needed to get a lasting solution lawlessness permeating the city centre," he added.

He said his office is also finalising a seamless cooperation and coordination regimen with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in terms of enforcement.

"This seamless coordinated effort between the KSAMC and the JCF will bring success and order there," the mayor said.


Crippled by chaos


Williams reasoned that any further lack of action could result in that part of the city becoming stagnant or even crippled by the chaos that has taken a hold there.

Half-Way Tree is the centre of all activities in the KSAMC, and is arguably the most important commercial district outside of the downtown shopping and market areas.

In addition, because of its location, it is a most central link between uptown and downtown, Spanish Town and other commuters. But its stature in recent years has taken a hit, with the area now being overrun by streetside vendors and hustlers of varying sorts.

Even the police are finding it difficult to maintain order in the midst of a chaotic town centre such as Half-Way Tree, and they, too, have vowed to increase vigilance and surveillance of the area.

"It is a no-brainer. We need to build our history into our cities, and Half-Way Tree is historic in many ways. Our history must come alive in our cities, but part of the problem is that as a people, we don't naturally appreciate our history," cited Williams.

"Our intention at the KSAMC to find meaningful ways to radically change the mindset and attitude of the people to reflect the grandeur of this city and, in so doing, to attract tourists in a serious way," he said.