Thu | Aug 6, 2020

Chaotic road infrastructure

Published:Tuesday | October 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I wonder if the absence of adequate infrastructural provisions is the reason travelling in Jamaica is such a chaotic experience. Allow me to enumerate some of the fundamental issues with our roads:

1. Inadequate road width. Many of our roads are too narrow and don't reflect any projections of residential and commercial development. Wider roads increase manoeuvrability and more lanes can increase traffic fluidity.

2. Poor sidewalk management. Many of our sidewalks are overgrown with bush, limiting the space available for walking thus forcing pedestrians to step out into the streets. Also, I am still trying to understand why we have utility posts in the middle of our sidewalks. Maybe someone can explain, after all, I only have common sense, not an engineering degree.

3. Improper drainage systems. A few minutes of light rain can convert any roadway into the Rio Grande. Improved drainage can control flooding, and especially after the recent rains, this should be an important concern.

4. Need for traffic signals. While I can commend the authorities for action in this regard, there is still room for improvement. It is time for an islandwide needs-assessment programme.

5. Inadequate pedestrian crossings. There is a need for crossings in some very critical areas. Also, pedestrian crossings are placed too close to street corners. I have seen cars swerve around corners and have to stop suddenly on the turn to avoid hitting pedestrians.

6. Potholes. Need I say more?

Some may call Jamaica's development agenda 'ambitious', but I say 'attainable'. However, too many development projects look like mere experiments. If we fail to plan long term in infrastructural development, it will take us a very long time to achieve our goals. It is time for infrastructural development projects. Enough of trial-and-error and short-term planning.

I am, etc.,