Pedestrians only for Market Street from Monday
THE section of Market Street from Sam Sharpe Square to Strand Street in Montego Bay will be closed to motorists as of next Monday, March 19.
This is in order to facilitate a “pedestrian only” zone around the $125-million Montego Bay Civic Centre. The Civic Centre, which is being financed by the Government of Jamaica and the Venezuelan Investment Fund under the San Jose Accord, is expected to be completed in another three months.
The decision to close the street to motorists was taken by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the St James Parish Council.
As a result of the closure, motorists travelling from upper Market Street, to get onto the Howard Cooke Boulevard, will be required to take a left onto St James Street, then a right onto Church Street. Once there, they can either choose to take a right on to Strand Street or continue straight on to Harbour Street and then back onto Market Street, to get to the highway.
Business operators along the affected section of Market Street will be required to utilise the parking facilities at the back of the LOJ Shopping Centre and at 39 Union Street. And merchants who need to load and unload goods will be required to do so at the alley on Strand Street.
According to a release from the UDC, the Civic Centre will be restored to its original Georgian style of architecture, and will house the Montego Bay Town Hall and an exhibition hall for cultural and museum displays. It will also provide conference and parking facilities and an open-air piazza and bistro.
“It is to this end that Market Street is to be pedestrianised in order to allow greater ease of passage for persons walking the centre, visiting displays and enjoying the services and ambience of the outdoor café/bistro,” the UDC said.
Since late last year local government, police and traffic officials have been working to smooth the way for the area to become a pedestrian only zone.