Thu | Oct 17, 2019

Cops to continue monitoring Corporate Area traffic all month

Published:Tuesday | September 3, 2019 | 12:26 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Pedestrians make their way across a busy Hagley Park Road in the vicinity of the Portia Simpson Miller Square in Three Miles, St Andrew, yesterday as heavy traffic flowed slowly along the roadway.
Pedestrians make their way across a busy Hagley Park Road in the vicinity of the Portia Simpson Miller Square in Three Miles, St Andrew, yesterday as heavy traffic flowed slowly along the roadway.

The head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s traffic division has indicated that more cops than normal were on duty at major intersections across the Corporate Area to monitor the situation as the new school year got under way.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Dr Kevin Blake, head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), told The Gleaner that this will continue for at least another 30 days.

Blake said yesterday’s first day of the new academic year was “as smooth as we could make it”.

“One particular area of challenge in the Chesterfield-Spanish Town Road-Marcus Garvey Drive section there posed some amount of challenge, and then right at Waltham Park-Hagley Park roads,” he said, highlighting the problem areas.

The top traffic cop said he has had dialogue with the National Works Agency (NWA) on reinstituting traffic signals at the Waltham Park-Hagley Park Road intersection to help regulate the traffic.

LEARNING PROCESS

Blake, who has been in the PSTEB driver’s seat for a week, said his team was learning as they go, and day one has given them an indication on how to proceed.

“It’s a learning process and what we’ve seen this morning, we have done some refinement to it, working with NWA, and tomorrow, we hope the situation will be a little bit easier,” he said.

The NWA and work crews were kept busy this past weekend trying to patch up roadworks along some of the Corporate Area’s busiest thoroughfares ahead of the expected increase in traffic when school resumes.

Yesterday, Blake said there were no major hiccups.

“For the rest of the Corporate Area, all the major roadways were opened – some with some minor obstacles because of incomplete road construction, but it was sufficiently open so that it could accommodate vehicular traffic, and that helped us somewhat,” he told The Gleaner.

With The Bahamas reeling from the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian and showers drenching the Corporate Area yesterday, the police are hoping that the inclement weather will not affect the progress being made by the NWA to complete works, as not all students reported for school yesterday. With some schools staggering registration, things are expected to get into full swing next week.

“What will help us, and that’s if the weather permits, we expect some of these minor road repairs that need to be completed will be completed by then, and so while we have more traffic on the road, we expect freer roadways, and we’re taking the time now to tweak all that we are doing,” Blake said.

There were reports of strike action yesterday by some taxi groups, but the traffic boss said he could not measure the impact.

“To be honest, taxi operators were on the road. I can’t measure to say how many were not on the roads, but I saw numerous operators plying the route, and so I can’t say whether or not there was [any impact]. And if they were [on strike], it probably was not successful or as big as we had anticipated,” said Blake.

Notwithstanding, he said his team was prepared for that situation.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com