More transportation centres needed
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Wednesday, June 12, Mandeville taxi drivers plying certain routes protested, using their cars to block traffic causing chaos and confusion for a few hours. This was because the police wanted them to park in the central parking area close to the market. The taxi operators have always maintained that the designated area is already much too small and congested.
Fortunately, the mayor intervened, good sense prevailed, and the matter was amicably resolved.
The municipality is in dialogue with a private citizen to acquire lands to alleviate the parking situation. The problem, it is hoped, will be solved “in the next couple of months”.
Why do municipalities wait until the infrastructure for transportation is inadequate for them to act? Public transportation is important. It is important that commuters be able to move from key towns to the outlying areas and vice versa. It is important to have free-flowing traffic in our towns and cities.
Not a single bus or taxi stand in Mandeville is adequate. The taxi stand used by taxis plying southern routes - Knockpatrick, Newport, May Day, Old England, Cross Keys, Pratville, Plowden, etc., – is congested. Some taxis are forced to park on the roadway as there is no space. It is a similar situation for the Santa Cruz taxi stand. This stand also accommodates vehicles going to Balaclava, Alligator Pond, and Junction. Furthermore, there are no parking bays. And I could go on.
The Santa Cruz situation is only a wee bit better. Transportation Centre II seems to be adequate. This park accommodates vehicles going to places such as Black River, Newmarket, Maggotty, and Siloah. Parking bays are largely in place. However, some Black River operators are creeping back on to Main Street and Market Street. Transportation Centre I is another kettle of fish. It is meant to house not only taxis going to Mandeville, but those going to Junction, Gutters, Leeds, and Malvern. This park is definitely inadequate and there are absolutely no parking bays. Invariably, taxi drivers who have their quota of passengers have to ask other operators to let them out. This is utter waste of time.
I am appealing to municipalities to examine the existing conditions and act before available lands are gobbled up by commercial buildings.
Norman W. M. Thompson