Mon | Feb 24, 2020

Don’t blame John Public for your incompetence

Published:Wednesday | September 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I listened in disgust and amazement as the authorities took to the airwaves and newspapers to blame John Public for the chaos on the roads in Kingston on Monday.

While many other ills can be laid at the feet of this often undisciplined set, Monday was in no way the fault of John Public, but that of the incompetent and short-sighted planners who threw us all into congested mayhem.

What ensued, in my view, was frustration and the resolve to get out of a terrible situation which, apparently, led some drivers to try to carve their way through areas leading to more chaos.

It was either that or run out of gas in the traffic, have your children suffer heatstroke, or play the discipline card and sit there for two and a half hours, as I did.

Having anticipated the change that took effect on Monday, I began learning the route through the Tower Hill-Olympic Gardens community, as well as Waterhouse months ago. Yet, when I followed the detour beside Toyota Jamaica on Spanish Town Road on Monday, I was met by lanes and lanes of confused motorists, many of whom - me included - lost their bearings as they tried to navigate overnight changes, lack of signage, and the absence of a single policeman in sight to direct the madness.

Did it not occur to the National Works Agency (NWA) that a test run of the changes could have been done weeks before and that they observe the glitches, then take the lessons learnt and draft a better strategy until we had a sensible plan?

Did it not occur to the police that you cannot drop the ball after the whole country started praising the work done last week, and that equal effort and thought must be placed in subsequent modifications to the traffic flow?

I think the move to blame John Public is disgraceful.

The NWA and its partners must take responsibility for the grave inconvenience it caused us, apologise, and get its act together!