Traffic pile-up from party on Palisadoes Road affects NMIA travellers

KINGSTON, Jamaica — There was chaos along the Palisadoes Road which leads to the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) last night as scores of party goers caused a pile up of traffic along the roadway, resulting in several people complaining about getting to the airport on time for their flights.

Revellers at a daylight New Year's party called Sandz supposedly caused the traffic jam.

It is understood that several patrons did not adhere to the parking guidelines and while leaving the party in the evening, traffic was brought to a halt.

OBSERVER ONLINE has learnt that some people had to make a run from the airport with their luggage in hand in order to catch their flights.

"Just did my first 5k on the palisadoes strip...with my laptop bag, carry-on & checked bag in tow. At least I made my flight. Thanks #Sandz”, said one Twitter user.

Meanwhile, President of Generation 2000 (G2K) the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Stephen Edwards said he missed his flight because of the pile-up.

“Just spent 6 hours stuck in traffic on Palisadoes Rd. Traffic wasn't moving in any direction. Missed the flt”, he tweeted.

The matter has since become a hot topic on social media.

“There were designated car parks and shuttles but people started parking along the strip instead of going to the designated lots. Once a few did it others followed & then chaos,” one user outlined.

People also questioned the naming of the strip by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation as a designated entertainment zone, however many have contended that it can work but “people [are] just too indisciplined”.

“The issue is not the party, nor is it the airport's location. We have developed a culture of selfishness that breeds lawlessness & indiscipline. Once you have consideration for others you wouldn't seek to impede on their right,” another user argued.

“Imagine renting adequate space for parking near the airport and organising a shuttle service for patrons only for them to not use the parking and park on the soft shoulder of the strip causing road block. The patrons were unruly and just never care. The promoters tried,” said another.

One user suggested: “Police could, and should, have strolled down Palisadoes and ticketed every single driver not in his or her lane.”

In response to attempts to politicise the matter, Mayor of Kingston, Senator Delroy Williams took to his Twitter to this morning to explain that enforcement was to be blamed for the pile-up, as there was indeed a shuttle service for the party as well as mandatory approval from the NMIA.

He said “Traffic recommendations were made as required by law before granting the permit. Breakdown was enforcement.”

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