Central

Mandeville councillor wants more sidewalks, safety for pedestrians

BY KASEY WILLIAMS
Observer writer

Monday, October 21, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Councillor for the Mandeville Division at Mandeville Municipal Corporation, Jones Oliphant (PNP) is lobbying for more sidewalks in and around Mandeville and for existing pedestrian crosswalks to be repaired.

Oliphant told the Jamaica Observer Central, while on a recent site visit close to Northern Caribbean University (NCU), that there needs to be a united approach in improving the safety for pedestrians. He is appealing for assistance from landowners and for the attention of the National Works Agency (NWA).

“It would be lovely to have sidewalks straight to the NCU entrance from Mandeville. that is a dream, but at the moment there are some hurdles. For example, some of the areas that we would love to put sidewalks are overwhelmed because we don't have enough roadway space,” informed Oliphant.

“We would have to seek landowners' permission to give us a portion of their lands so that we can erect sidewalks. I know this would also enhance the value of their land, but we need corporation so that the safety of pedestrians can be enhanced,” he added.

“All along the roadway, to and from NCU to Hillside, we would love that people could just donate a portion of their lands so that we can put in sidewalks,” he said.

NCU provides huge economic benefits for Mandeville, with homeowners profiting from renting their properties to students and staff of the university.

“NCU provides a great economic hub for everybody — from taxi operators to homeowners. We have a thriving dormitory community surrounding NCU and a lot of people commute to the university,” he said.

Regarding the need for sidewalks, the Mandeville councillor said he knew of instances “where students have been hit by the mirrors of vehicles in recent times, and that is not good”.

He is urging the NWA to assist.

“Some of the roads are NWA roads. for example, the road that NCU is located on is a NWA road, but in partnership with the municipal corporation we can do something to enhance road safety,” he said.

Regarding possible timelines for such a project, Oliphant said: “We cannot really put a timeline to it, but one thing I know is that once we have the corporation of stakeholders we can do something.”

He observed that “even on deCarteret road there is a section of the roadway that is breaking away, and for the last six years we have been advocating for the NWA to just come online to put in some guardrails at that place and a retaining wall, but nothing has been done”.

Efforts to get a comment from the NWA were unsuccessful.


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