THE EDITOR, Sir:
All Newport West employees have to learn the basics in gymnastics, sprinting and high jump, strengthening their flexibility every morning in an attempt to cross the busy, six-lane Marcus Garvey Drive. This business district facilitates more than 2,000 staff and customers, some of whom are forced to sprint in front of speeding cars and high-jump over the median.
For those of us who choose to use the pedestrian crossing at the stop light in the vicinity of Fourth Avenue, we are faced with even more danger from reckless drivers who disobey traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing signal that gives crossers about five seconds to safely navigate eight lanes of impatient motorists (two extra lanes for turning right). My first three seconds are used to check if the road is safe enough to cross. After this is guaranteed, the other two seconds I use to fly across as many lanes as possible.
When my five seconds are completed, I freeze, with six more lanes ahead of me to cover. My life is placed in the hands of strangers revving for the return of the green light. I am forced to plead with motorists as my life flashes before my eyes. I plead, "Gi mi a chance nuh, please!" Some sympathise, others laugh at my misfortune, but I cross cautiously.
We need a crossing guard to be placed at the junction of Marcus Garvey Drive and Fourth Avenue in the mornings and the evenings for workers, customers and students who wish to cross this busy thoroughfare. A sign needs to be placed a couple metres before the traffic light to make motorists aware that they are approaching a traffic light. We would also appreciate white stripes where pedestrians may cross. Drivers, I implore you to stop at the stop bar; do not creep up on pedestrians.
The Shipping Association of Jamaica has tried, on several occasions, to have the authorities address this issue, but in the interim, something needs to be done to prevent this threat to pedestrians, because crossing Marcus Garvey Drive is both physically and emotionally demanding.
Six-Lane Sprinter Marcus Garvey Drive