Thu | Sep 19, 2019

Toll road woes

Published:Friday | February 8, 2019 | 10:01 AM


I am heaving a sigh of relief, having made it to work after navigating the obstacle course from the Portmore toll to downtown Kingston. Still no dents on my vehicle and all the arguments are internal and under my breath so far.

Each morning, on leaving home, I try to relax, and this works until I get to the Portmore toll. Usually, once you go through the tollbooth, the traffic comes to a dead stop and then crawls. Why are we paying for the toll with this traffic jam every morning?

Daily, my fellow commuters and I grit our teeth and work our way through the horrendous traffic, windows up and avoiding eye contact with each other in case we have to “bad drive” the other. It may be someone you know. The grimaces on the faces of the other drivers and the mouths moving, not in commendations, are evident.

This is certainly improving the driving skills of Jamaicans using this leg, and those who complete this course with no incident until the roadworks are completed, will deserve an award for exceptional driving skills.

Are we being tested to see how long we can remain civilised? The creators of the toll must be having a good laugh every morning.

It is inconceivable how a tollbooth is established with three lanes leading up to 14 tollbooths, eight pay and six tags, then exit to three lanes and a soft shoulder, the latter, of course, being illegal. There are no lines or lane demarcation, so the bump-and-bore method has to be used to navigate the traffic. It would be interesting to see the statistics regarding the number of accidents that have occurred on this leg.

Unfortunately, this fiasco is not due only to the effects of the roadworks being done on the alternative routes. Previously, any minor incident on the toll route would result in build-up because the conceivers have created a natural bottleneck.

I hope for an improvement in my lifetime.