Major Corporate Area traffic changes greet new school year
Taxi operators have already begun plotting the various off roads they will have to resort to in order to cope with possible stress from the major traffic changes in the Corporate Area that will take full effect when schools reopen next week.
The changes are mainly to accommodate the major roadworks taking place across Kingston and St. Andrew.
The taxi operators are begging for leniency from the authorities because it will take time for persons to adjust to the new system, which for them, may require diverting from authorised routes.
“I think this new thing is going to create some problems. We have to have the police on the roads to regulate the thing. Some of my colleagues are upset about the changes. They say that a taxi may want to go left, but probably will have to go right,” All-Island Taxi Association vice president Kevin Curtis told The Gleaner yesterday on the streets of St Andrew.
Fellow taxi operator, who did not want to give his name, expressed concern that the police will not be lenient with him if he tries turn-off on alternative routes.
“The change a go wicked pon we. The police dem a go affi just know seh when we make certain little turn off, they have to leave us alone. They can’t take our cars with what is happening. A policeman was telling me the other day that if he catches me turning off, he is going to take away the car. I told him that it is better to do that than to shot it on the white line. Some of the roads are now one way roads. I want them to know that the off-roads will be a playground,” he warned.
ANTICIPATING COMPLETE CHAOS
Speaking to The Gleaner yesterday, University Professor, Anthony Clayton, who will be taking his child to school come Monday morning said: "Oh Lord! Many parents are anticipating complete chaos next week. Unless there is some miracle, we are expecting chaos and long delays on the roads."
Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of traffic, Calvin Allen, gave assurance during a press conference at the National Works Agency’s (NWA) St Andrew offices yesterday, that the police will be out in full force, upholding the law and penalising offenders.
“We are committed to ensuring that we are out in our numbers to treat with back-to-school and to ensure traffic flow as best as possible. I must also say that the presence will not just be peak hours. The construction programme doesn’t cease at any particular time. We are fully committed to ensuring that we will be out in our numbers to as best as possible, create for our children to get to school on time," said Allen
NWA communications manager, Stephen Shaw, said that months of work has gone into finalising traffic management solutions; to ensure road networks function efficiently with the anticipated increase in demand for some corridors. These include pavement upgrade, signalisation of intersections, conversion of one way systems and turning restrictions.
Sections of Maxfield, Queens, Chisolm and East avenues, for example, will be converted to one-way roads.
OUTLINE OF TRAFFIC CHANGES
1) Creation of a Florida T at Caymanas crossing near Mandela Highway to allow the uninterrupted flow of two lanes of east-bound traffic. Traffic from Spanish Town will no longer stop at Caymanas heading into Kingston.
2) There will be two turning lanes from Mandela Highway heading towards Portmore. Two right-turning lanes on to Mandela from Portmore will continue.
3) Realignment of East Avenue and Maxfield Avenue to allow for direct traffic transition on to Spanish Town Road.
4) There is now a proper intersection for seamless movement from East Avenue on to Maxfield Avenue.
5) On Maxfield Avenue, between Spanish Town Road and Richmond Park Avenue, was reconfigured to accommodate three lanes; two heading to Half-Way Tree and one towards Spanish Town Road.
6) Intersection of Chisolm Avenue and Maxfield Avenue has been signalised.
7) Temporary traffic signals to go up by Tom Cringle and Mandela intersection at Nestle.
8) Lane added along Six Mile on to Washington Boulevard which goes all the way up to Dunrobin.
9) Traffic signals along Washington Boulevard will be synchronised with those on Constant Spring Road.
10) Intersection at Cassia Park Road and Red Hills Road will be signalised. Local road to be closed off, forcing everyone to use Cassia Park Road on to Red Hills Road.
11) The Queens Avenue stretch is to be converted to one-way, coming from the direction of Balmoral Avenue.