NWA moves to increase pedestrians' safety in Half-Way Tree
Planned changes to traffic movement in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, will take effect today.
The National Works Agency (NWA) will be introducing the changes at the Constant Spring Road/South Odeon Avenue and Constant Spring Road/Hope Road intersections.
Manager of communication and customer services at the NWA Stephen Shaw says the changes will result in an exclusive pedestrian signal phase at these intersections.
According to Shaw, the changes are being implemented in coordination with the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited, the Road Safety Unit at the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing and the National Road Safety Council.
With the changes, buses leaving the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre along Constant Spring Road will be restricted to right turn only.
Under the new system, the buses will not be permitted to travel across Constant Spring Road to Suthermere Avenue.
In addition, when buses are leaving the Transport Centre on to Constant Spring Road, pedestrian movement will be allowed at the Constant Spring Road/South Odeon Avenue and Constant Spring Road/Suthermere Avenue intersections while vehicular movement at both intersections will be stopped.
The traffic signal timing at both intersections will be adjusted to accommodate increased walk time for pedestrians and audible pedestrian signals will be installed at the pedestrian crossing at each intersection to assist the visually impaired.
Shaw also announced that countdown pedestrian signals will be installed to inform pedestrians of the available time to cross safely at each intersection, while the pedestrian crossings have already been remarked and "do not block the intersection yellow boxes" have been placed at the centre of each intersection.
Lane usage signs have also been placed on Constant Spring and Hope roads.
Shaw said that these changes will be monitored for six months to determine their effectiveness in improving pedestrian safety at intersections in the Half-Way Tree area.
Road fatalities down
Four pedestrians are numbered among the 13 persons to lose their lives on the streets in the first 23 days of this year.
This is one fewer than the five pedestrians to lose their lives in traffic accidents over the corresponding period last year.
For the first 23 days of 2011, the police reported 19 road fatalities.
Last year, the country recorded 260 road fatalities.