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Drivers and commuters not happy with traffic changes at Arnos Vale bypass

Drivers and commuters not happy with traffic changes at Arnos Vale bypass
Traffic entering the old tarmac from the entrance at Options Supermarket

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Drivers and members of the public have been expressing disapproval at the route which vehicles travelling from Kingstown to the the tarmac at the decommissioned ET Joshua Airport have to take.

Drivers and commuters not happy with traffic changes at Arnos Vale bypass
A Traffic officer giving guidance to a vehicle on the bypass road yesterday morning (photo by Robertson S Henry)

Such traffic is diverted around to the roundabout at Arnos Vale and must enter the old tarmac from the Options Supermarket, lengthening their journey and adding to congestion.

And persons have been expressing their views, including on social media.

“ I am confused. We opened a bypass through ET Joshua to alleviate the traffic congestion, and then during the busiest morning traffic period we make everyone who wants to drop children to two of the largest schools in SVG have to use a single entrance at Options to add to the traffic in Arnos Vale?” a portion of Ricardo Adams’ post on facebook said.

“…Finally, can we get the brains to sit down and work out a proper traffic management plan for that area…”

Someone who operates a business at the old airport but wished to not be identified, has a similar view to that of Adams regarding the need for a traffic management plan for the area.

“The problem with the old runway is that we don’t have enough access points,” he told SEARCHLIGHT Thursday, noting that while it may have worked with the current volume of traffic, the placement of two schools on the old tarmac has shown the need for the management of traffic in the area to be reviewed.

“ There’s a bridge at the bottom below the old fire station, I think they need to use it as an access point and that would solve a lot of the problems,” he added, in that it would accommodate traffic entering the area from Kingstown.

“Its all about planning and we have to look long term, we have to develop a long term traffic plan for the entire area.”

A number of motorists yesterday morning complained that they were instructed to drive up to the Arnos Vale roundabout, only to encounter traffic coming from the Marriaqua Valley and Belair, along with traffic from the Windward side of the island using the Windward highway.

SEARCHLIGHT spoke with the head of the Traffic Department superintendent Kenneth John, who said, “We have more traffic officers in the Arnos Vale area to ensure that we have a smooth flow of traffic, and I am definitely pleased with the flow of traffic in that area.”

John said that he is always looking for ways to improve the flow of traffic. He is not waiting for someone to come off the street to inform him; instead he makes himself present at Arnos Vale to observe the flow of traffic, how the drivers co-operate with each other, and how the traffic officers carry out their duties.

Drivers and commuters not happy with traffic changes at Arnos Vale bypass
Traffic situation in front of the two schools at the ET Joshua tarmac yesterday morning (photo by Robertson S. Henry)

Superintendent John acknowledged that “at times there will be heavier traffic than at other times in the day, but by 8:15, 8:30 in the morning the bulk of traffic congestion is done.

When asked why the buses transporting students from the Leeward side of the island are sent towards the Arnos Vale roundabout, superintendent John said that, “in order to ease the congestion, you have to separate traffic coming from the Windward side and traffic coming from Belair and Mesopotamia.

“In order to separate them on mornings, you have to send one set of traffic down to the college area, and the only area at present where they can do so is by exiting at the end  of the entrance to the airport.

“So traffic coming from the Leeward side has to go up to the roundabout, down to Randy’s Supermarket, and enter the airport from that side, and that is for the morning.”

And with respect to the heavy flow of traffic coming out of Kingstown on afternoons, John said, “it is a little easier than the morning.”

The traffic head added “that traffic is flowing so smoothly and nice that I am encouraging people to use it. Even persons who live in Mespo and want to travel into Kingstown, I am encouraging them to use the bypass on the tarmac, by travelling down the Arnos Vale stretch of road, turn right at Randy’s Supermarket onto the tarmac, and onto the main road.”

He further stated that he and his men are still studying the traffic flow at various times of the day, in order to arrive at the best possible plan.

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