Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Enforce rules on no-vending zones

Published:Saturday | November 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM


The case of a water truck flattening a shop and bar in Roehampton, St James, on Thursday night is a tragic indication of the need for enforcement of no-vending areas along the roadways in the country.

Unfortunately, two more Jamaicans are dead because of the miserable state of the infrastructure in the country.

For some time, planners and architects have been calling on the Government to establish national standards for roads and sidewalks and rights of way for highways and other roads, as well as the national spatial plan. Hopefully, whatever requirements are developed will not take as long to be passed into law as the Building Act, which is yet to be passed after years in Parliament.

Enforcement of no-vending zones must be a priority for the Government. In addition, should a spatial plan be ever made public and implemented, areas that are obviously hazardous must be cleared of obstacles that will be the target of vehicles.

The next disasters waiting to happen are the Harbour View roundabout and the Linstead Bypass. I pray that it will not take a major disaster and more dead Jamaicans to engage this necessary legislation and enforcement to have some order brought to our roadways.

While we are at it, can someone please start the process of getting utility poles and trees out of the right of way for sidewalks? The minimum unimpeded width of a sidewalk should be four feet.

The Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport keeps imploring people to walk carefully along our roadways. I must ask them to note that there are inadequate sidewalks for the public, and so they have to walk in the road, and where there are sidewalks, there are massive utility poles, or two or three of them.

I understand that the Government is out of money, but we cannot leave our future up to random destiny.