Letters to the Editor

Road danger

Monday, July 23, 2018

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Dear Editor,

On June 1, 2018 the Jamaica Observer newspaper published an article entitled 'Barbican Blues', which was written by Associate Editor Brian Bonitto. In this article, the communications manager at National Works Agency stated that the purpose of the two and half feet tall concrete barrier in the middle of the roads in Barbican Square “is for safety reasons and the pedestrians should use the pedestrian crossings that are provided”. These barriers prevent the pedestrians from crossing the roads, and therefore, force the pedestrians to use the pedestrian crossings. However, I wish to bring to public attention the potential danger that pedestrians face on a daily basis at these new pedestrian crossings in Barbican.

Last week I waited at the pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Jack's Hill and Barbican roads until the pedestrian crossing signal was illuminated. While I was crossing Jack's Hills Road I saw a sport utility vehicle turning left from Barbican Road on to Jack's Hills Road. I looked at the pedestrian crossing signal again and it showed the safe to 'walk' signal.

This situation in which both the pedestrians and drivers are permitted to use the roadway at the same time creates a danger for the road users! The situation is even more dangerous if one is crossing Jack's Hill Road towards the gas station. This is so because the pedestrians' backs would be facing the vehicles that are turning left from Barbican Road on to Jack's Hill Road, so they would not be able to see the approaching vehicles.

On June 30, 2018, I wrote an e-mail to the executive directors at the National Road Safety Council and the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport asking if they could make an appeal to the relevant agencies about the same dangers at the Barbican Road and East King's House Road, Barbican Road and Birdsucker Lane intersections, and the two pedestrian crossings at the two traffic lights on East King's House Road by the supermarket.

Based on my experience, I can only hope that the authorities aren't going to wait until there are crashes before they reprogramme the traffic signals. In my e-mail to the directors I also highlighted that at the Barbican Road and Russell Heights intersection, the pedestrian crossing signals don't appear to be in operation for at least a year — maybe four years.

Just last week someone showed me that the metal safety barrier at the Barbican Road and Russell Heights intersection is too low.

I am making an appeal to the relevant agencies to make the necessary adjustments because I can't understand how they did not consider the safety of the pedestrians in their design of this major road project.

Concerned citizen

metalworkconsultant@yahoo.com

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