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Cops cautious about traffic as more schools prepare to reopen - NWA pleased with smooth flow

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Long lines of traffic on Mandela Highway yesterday morning.

Traffic changes across the Corporate Area that were anticipated to cause mayhem yesterday, as most schools reopened for the new academic year, have received a passing grade from National Works Agency (NWA) Communications Manager Stephen Shaw.

During an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Shaw explained that if glitches occurred, they were minor.

"The feedback we have gotten is that it has been working. We continue to monitor because these are early days. We have to tweak it as we go along. I think the main issue [yesterday] would have been the Portmore toll road traffic coming off and entering Marcus Garvey Drive. A bit of a problem was created, but we moved to modify a part of Marcus Garvey Drive near Tinson Pen where we opened a median there," he shared.

"The system works and it will continue to work, as long as we don't have people on the roads doing things that they are not supposed to be doing, like stopping in lanes, parking on shoulders or on the roads. We have been synchronising the timing on traffic lights. We want to, as best as possible, keep those timings in place, unless we have to modify them."




Calvin Allen, senior superintendent in charge of the police Traffic Division, agreed with Shaw that the new system to facilitate road-improvement works across Kingston and St Andrew got off to a good start, but warned that many more students will return to school later this week and next week.

"Things went fairly well, bearing in mind that Monday was not the full roll-out of school. Nevertheless, we were able to deploy and were out as early as 4:30 a.m. covering critical areas. From all indications, we were able to get citizens to their various destinations within reasonable time. We pointed out in clear terms to NWA observations made, such as traffic lights that could do with delay by a few seconds. I caution by saying the full roll-out of school has not yet been realised," Allen said.

Cecil Thoms, communications manager at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, said that customers who travelled into Kingston from Portmore were impacted more than other passengers.

"Primarily, 34 routes have been affected - 24 from Portmore. Our Portmore operations have been severely impacted. We were able, nonetheless, to roll out 415 buses this morning and made plans for an increase yesterday afternoon," Thoms said.