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No more traffic gridlock in MoBay

Published:Friday | April 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor

Western Bureau:

The new traffic management plan, which is an integral part of the St. James police’s overall drive to contain lawlessness, is producing the desired result, according to Superintendent Vernon Ellis, the parish’s commanding officer. He said the morning and afternoon traffic gridlock was now a thing of the past.

According to Ellis, a plan to deal with the traffic situation in Montego Bay was part of the data-driven five-pronged strategy, which was developed to tackle criminality at every level in St James.

“The plan was rolled out earlier this year without any fanfare and we were fairly pleased with the result so far,” said Ellis, in a recent interview with The Gleaner.

While not giving away the details of the carefully crafted strategy, Ellis said that instead of traffic enforcement the police were now administering traffic management.

“When we are able to manage the traffic, it removes some of the frustration of people getting to and from work in a hassle-free environment,” said Ellis. “It will also allow greater flexibility in addressing the incidents of crime in places like the Montego Bay business district.”

The magnitude of Montego Bay’s traffic problem has been one of the main factors driving the call for a major bypass road, which Prime Minister Andrew Holness has seemingly developed a vested interest in, having personally experienced the city’s afternoon gridlock during a recent engagement in the city, when heavy rains resulted in several roads being flooded.

Ellis has also expressed confidence that the success being enjoyed in transforming the traffic culture in Montego Bay would ultimately be seen in the area of crime-fighting, which is a part of the five-pronged plan to tackle crime.

“We have a plan in place for the business district and that is steadily falling into place and thankfully with the support of the business community,” said Ellis, who believes that with additional resources from last year’s state of emergency (SOE), the parish was equipped to launch a serious assault on crime.