Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Letter of the Day | Palisadoes fiasco a nine-day wonder

Published:Monday | January 8, 2018 | 6:28 AM


ON JANUARY 1, 2018, my husband and I attempted to leave Jamaica to return to New York, where we reside. Little did we know that what is normally a 15- to 20-minute drive would become a six-hour ordeal and that my planned arrival back in New York would not be at 11 p.m. but 4 a.m. The traffic began its crawl near to the Harbour View roundabout and, unfortunately, continued all the way to the airport.

To most well-thinking persons, the idea of a party being held on the sole narrow road servicing a major international airport would make little sense without sufficient traffic-management provisions.


As we attempted to complete the journey on foot (with great trepidation, for our safety as footpaths were now transformed into roadways), we were encouraged by many to stay put because, as they said, they were reliably informed that “all flights were delayed so there was no need to worry”.

We sat still for hours hoping against hope that the airport roundabout would become visible. Motorists and pedestrians alike faced no consequences for overtaking lanes of traffic and blocking roads. In fact, contrary to all sense and reason, the police aided motorists in their effort to drive on the soft shoulder and cut ahead of others abiding by the road code.

Having made no progress towards the airport, my family and I got out of our car and walked about 20 minutes to the airport, luggage in tow.


I love Jamaica more than anywhere else in the world, but this incident has left me absolutely incensed. This should never have been allowed to happen, and someone must admit fault and take full responsibility for their actions and ensure that steps be put in place to prevent a recurrence.

Delayed and missed flights, although a costly inconvenience, pale in comparison to a much more serious problem that could have happened, such as someone needing medical attention.

I fear that like many other major issues, it will be a nine - day wonder. Taking responsibility so far seems unlikely to happen. By the way, I have a suitcase that needs replacing from being dragged along a gravel road!



along a gravel road!