Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Traffic lights at last at UTech gate

Published:Saturday | May 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM



President Emeritus, UTech

The installation of traffic lights at intersections represents a simple but very effective method of traffic control and safety.

Motorists in the eastern St Andrew area will be aware of a number of recent initiatives by the National Works Agency to install traffic signals at several critical road junctions and intersections in the road system. The ones that come readily to mind and to note are:

- The intersection of Munro Road and Wellington Drive.

- The intersection of Retreat Avenue with Old Hope Road.

- The entrance to the University of the West Indies Hospital main gates.

- We see the plans to install lights at the intersection of Eureka Road with Old Hope Road near Cross Roads

- And last but not least at this stage, the installation of traffic lights at the entrance and exit to the University of Technology main entrance on Old Hope Road.

Any motorist who uses these intersections must breathe a sigh of relief for the regulation that has happened to traffic flow at these intersections, not to speak about the level of safety that has been achieved.

This UTech installation has had a somewhat long and interesting gestation and planning history, and the changes that have taken place in the development are worthy of comment.

The installation of lights at the entrance and exit of the road leading to the University of the West Indies Hospital road was an initial move. This light was planned to lead to a plan for a new entrance to UTech at the Papine corner.

The decision to abandon the new entrance came as a surprise to many traffic watchers, but was obviously done on careful consideration of what a cross-traffic route at Papine would have meant to overall traffic flow at Papine.

The fact that this new entrance was abandoned was a wise decision for a number of reasons. For one, it would have added a new and critical cross traffic route at the very busy Old Hope Road entrance to Papine and the University Hospital Road. It would also have slowed traffic at this critical traffic intersection with a volume that was not justified.

The traffic count for this new entrance could not be justified when compared with a proposed right-turn entrance into UTech from Old Hope Road.

Motorists will note that the formal proposed right-turn entrance into UTech from traffic coming down Old Hope Rd from Papine is not yet in place. This is to come in some month's time with other traffic regulatory moves. However, for now, the right turn can be executed safely with due care by motorists.

I was at UTech recently going to my car when one of the lecturers shouted out to me and came over about the new exit light at the UTech main entrance. She reported that her son, who came to pick her up from time to time, has complained bitterly at the danger of exiting UTech in competing with radical bus drivers, screaming taxis and the overall hazard that was described in an earlier article as a 'major accident waiting to happen'.

All credit to Michael Saunderson, traffic lights manager at the National Works Agency for his drive to improve traffic flow and regulate some of these dangerous intersections.