Thu | Dec 12, 2019

Disintegrating condition of downtown Kingston

Published:Thursday | November 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to Angela Brown Burke.

I read, with great interest, the article published in The Observer of November 16, 2014, 'Kudos to us - KSAC praises self for Jamaica improved 'Doing Business' ranking'.

While I congratulate you and the KSAC for this impressive report, I have to take you to task about the disintegrating and deplorable condition of downtown Kingston.

I understand that it is not the responsibility of the KSAC to maintain the downtown area, but I would expect you personally, as mayor, to see that the relative agencies do their jobs.

I have worked on King Street for the past 54 years, and I am disheartened at the disgraceful situation to which it has deteriorated. Minimal clean-up is done, and by 5 p.m. the sidewalks and gutters are full of debris. All the pages written constantly in the press about the regeneration of downtown must be in another downtown - certainly not of Kingston.

Pedestrian Crossings

The fact is that we have large companies, banks, law offices, the major courts, and our Parliament and other government offices. But that is a small part of the picture.

There is one narrow pedes-trian crossing at the top of King Street, from a pedestrian island to the corner of Kingston Parish Church; no other exists on the entire street. The JUTC buses speed up King Street, sometimes six to eight in a line. The drivers are not always mindful of those of us who have to cross the street, and add to that taxis and other vehicles. It is amazing that there have not been major incidents.

Your Worship, you should personally tour our streets, preferably without fanfare, assess the situation and take a firm hand. Protecting Princess Street is not an answer. We ALL need a clean and safe city to conduct our businesses, and we expect you, as mayor, to provide this.