A nation that doesn't care for its children is unconcerned about its own future. With the reopening of schools, we are again faced with our children having to traverse dangerous roadways in their quest to gain an education and secure Jamaica's future.
It also forces one to simultaneously consider the sincerity of some who are quick to portray themselves as champions and protectors of citizens' rights. The prospects of a tragedy involving schoolchildren in the community of Cassava Piece looms dangerously on the horizon, unless adequate steps are taken to minimise the obvious risks.
Since September 2005, I have written to then Mayor Desmond McKenzie, and during the past year to Senior Superintendent of Police Radcliffe Lewis, regarding the dangers and difficulties to which we expose our children. Parts of the letter read as follows:
"Clifton Boulevard is a road connecting Mannings Hill Road to Constant Spring Road, through Cassava Piece. Along this thoroughfare are a number of schools: Constant Spring Primary and Junior High and also the Lalyce Gray Basic School.
"On any weekday, large numbers of children traverse this road. It is also a preferred route for vehicular traffic and a significant volume of vehicles of varying sizes use this narrow thoroughfare, which is devoid of sidewalks in many places.
"It is indeed a horrifying experience to see kids pasted against the walls while large vehicles try to negotiate this narrow pathway."
We went on to recommend that this road be made one-way heading east, and that Constant Spring Grove remain two ways providing for the opposite flow. Or the one-way change in the opposite direction in the evenings.
It was also recommended that as an immediate action, large trucks and buses be prohibited from using that road. It took years before the last recommendation was implemented, yet on Wednesday morning, September 4, 2013, at 7:55, a large JUTC bus was seen making its way through this area. Even more troubling is that it must drive past the Constant Spring Police Station.
It would be interesting to know whether the JUTC bus was seen and if any action was taken. Compounding the situation is that currently, two large potholes have appeared, forcing additional manoeuvring.