Tue | Nov 28, 2023

Roadwork mayhem crippling Kingston

Published:Saturday | June 29, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Corporate Area roadwork, with its accordant chaos, traffic congestion, bottlenecks and dislocation, has become a virtual infestation, with the work spreading like fire, with almost no pause to complete what was started.

The latest disaster zone, formerly Manor Park, looks like a scene from a disaster movie, and in the middle of this we have vehicular traffic making its way haphazardly through the chaos of the roadworks and pedestrians struggling to avoid being hit by cars as they are forced to share the same paths as the vehicles since former sidewalks have been converted into death traps.

No signage, no police officers, no attempt at controlling or directing traffic. This treatment of the Jamaican public is totally absurd and wrong.

It cannot be okay for businesses to lose millions in earnings because they are located in the strike zone of government development; for millions to be lost in productive time because of gridlock on the roads; millions of dollars in damage to vehicles forced to navigate the undulating battlefield that once was a road; for pedestrians to be forced to join the fray of vehicles as the sidewalks have been ripped away and replaced with trenches large enough to swallow buses; and the inevitable accidents, injuries and loss of life that have occurred because this expansion has been so incompetently and callously managed.

This is not acceptable! We should not accept this from our Government. We should demand and expect better. Companies with offices negatively affected by the roadworks should receive compensation – tax deferment or refunds.

The contractors must be compelled to pay more attention to ensuring the temporary pathways are smooth, and routes marked, trenches properly barricaded. And while we need to remove sidewalks, we need to ensure pedestrians are given alternative paths.

The Government must do better, but that will only happen if we demand better.