MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The Manchester Municipal Corporation says it is reaping success from its decision to implement temporary traffic changes in this south-central town.
CEO Winston Palmer told the recent sitting of the local municipality that traffic is flowing better on crucial roadways since the traffic change last December for a one-way system on South Race Course Road.
“One of the observations, though, is that since the one-way system was put in place, the traffic along Caledonia Road has been flowing smoothly in both directions,” said Palmer.
“It appears to be working; it might have something to do with that bungling that took place at the intersection (Caledonia Road and South Race Course Road) … It is much better than what was before,” he added.
Palmer noted that the council's intention is to discuss the matter of some motorists disobeying the one-way traffic change with the police and move to deal with the situation.
In the meantime, Palmer said the traffic change will be temporary until the implementation of the $80-million Greater Mandeville Traffic Management System.
The multimillion-dollar project, which incorporates roads and intersections being widened and signalised, is expected to create a ring road around Mandeville.
“That section of Caledonia Road from South Race Course and Shoppers Fair is proposed to flow one way in a northerly direction, so what is being done now is really temporary,” said Palmer.
Deputy mayor and councillor for the Mile Gully Division Rohan Kennedy said the temporary traffic change reflects the efforts of the council.
“People finally see [us] as a corporation making some attempt, if it was even that, to make some adjustment to the traffic in the town from the public's point of view,” he said.
The traffic change has resulted in greater dependence on North Race Course Road for motorists travelling from Park Crescent and Beaumont Drive to access Caledonia Road.
A section of North Race Course Road, which was pockmarked with potholes for the past four months, was patched on Monday.
An office manager, who asked not to be named, told the Jamaica Observer that the patching was well-needed, but is not sufficient, as there are other potholes on the roadway as well as illegal parking taking place.
“With the increase in traffic on North Race Course Road now due to the conversion of South Race Course Road to one way, it is now imperative that the authorities address the illegal use of the roadway,” she said.
“A carwash uses the road on both sides to park washed cars awaiting pick-up by their owners who leave them to wash and to collect after. All problems need to be addressed to have North Race Course Road appear to be a road for pedestrians as well as motor vehicles. Sometimes, the road is reduced to single-lane traffic and it is a death trap navigating on foot,” she added.