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Sam Sharpe Square fountain to be relocated - Short-term measure to ease traffic congestion

Published:Wednesday | January 11, 2017 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
A bird’s-eye view of historic Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, St James.

Western Bureau:

The picturesque water foundation in the centre of Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, St James, is to be relocated to another section of the historic square as part of the short-term solution to ease traffic congestion in the western city.

The fountain, one of the city's most distinctive landmarks, forms the intersection between St James and Market streets, which is usually congested, even during the hours of reduced traffic flow.

On Wednesday, at a meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister in Montego Bay with Dr Horace Chang, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the Traffic Management Unit of the National Works Agency (NWA) indicated that based on its findings, the fountain was greatly contributing to the city's traffic problem.

The NWA also recommended that the fountain be relocated to a space in front of the Montego Bay Cultural Centre. The space is normally used by the St James Municipal Corporation to mount a Christmas tree during the Yuletide season. The reopening of the closed section of Market Street was also put on the table.

"Relocating the fountain and reopening the closed-off section of Market Street would definitely ease the traffic," Michael Sanderson, the operations manager of the NWA's Traffic Management Unit, told stakeholders from the

St James Municipal Corporation, the police, the Transport Authority of Jamaica, and the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.




"Relocating the fountain will assist the traffic flow and opening Market Street will improve circulation in the town because, as it is, traffic is being overloaded at one section of the city," added Sanderson.

Other recommendations from the NWA officials included constructing rails to keep pedestrians on the sidewalks, forbid parking along busy roadways, restrict the parking of JUTA vehicles on Gloucester Avenue, keeping vendors off the streets and sidewalks, and maintaining two lanes on one-way streets within the central business district.

Additionally, it was recommended that the city's traffic lights be linked to a central system in order to effectively regulate traffic flow.