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People's Report: Traffic lights at UTech: a major accident waiting to happen

Published:Saturday | May 2, 2015 | 5:00 AM

Leaving the University of Technology at the current exit gate is an increasingly hazardous action, particularly at night.

Buses pass through at high speed and taxis either stop indiscriminately at the entrance or speed through. There is no regulation for the exit. It is a situation just waiting for a major accident to happen. The National Works Agency (NWA) has a proposed solution to the problem with traffic lights:

The major items are:

A. To exit at the existing gate going to either Matilda's Corner or Papine - but not allowing a right-turn entrance coming from Papine, as currently obtains. Some roadworks will have to be constructed by UTech.

B. To provide a new entrance from Papine and the University Hospital of the West Indies road into UTech. The lights are already installed. A new entrance and security post will have to be built by UTech.

These proposals have been on the table for many months. I understand that UTech claims not to have the funds to do its side of the project. I have had extensive discussions with the NWA project manager and am fully aware of the details of the project. I am making the following suggestions in the hope that there will be some urgency in its implementation.

1. There has been a recent announcement of a capital grant to UTech by the Government. I suggest that the Chief Business and Finance Office seek a virement of a portion of these funds to execute this long-overdue project and to correct this very hazardous situation.

2. The National Works Agency make some modifications to the UTech exit designs, which, in my view, are far too elaborate and expensive. For example, to allow two lanes of exit from UTech instead of three.

3. The NWA and UTech start the project with the Papine entrance as a first phase. This new entrance will require very careful design and strong traffic controls to deal with the current confusion that exists at that point.

4. The Facilities Management Department of UTech should immediately initiate discussions with the NWA to deal with the entry and location requirements for the new Papine entrance. This is particularly opportune as a firm has just completed the laying of new pipes and drains on or near the old exit road and existing parking. The roadway and the parking will need to be resurfaced with the new traffic directions. There will be need to widen one section of the road and the parking bays will have to be restructured. A water grill from the former exit/entrance remains in place. There will be no need to disturb the flourishing lignum vitae tree planted by a group of alumni some years ago.

5. The president and incoming president of UTech should be briefed on these issues and on this outstanding collaborative project between the NWA and UTech.


ALFRED SANGSTER

President Emeritus, UTech

alfredwsangster@gmail.com