A Brazilian engineering consultancy firm is coming up with some enterprising ways to reduce congestion in the capital city.
It is suggesting strategically placed bus stops at specific intervals, parking restrictions around the Bourda Market area and the directional changes to streets around the Stabroek Market area.
The presentation was made by Brazilian’s firm, LOGIT, during a public stakeholder engagement for Sustainable Urban Transport Study for Georgetown (SUTS). The event was held Friday at Cara Lodge Hotel, Quamina Street, and saw the attendance of a number of senior policy makers, including Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson.
With a significant number of jobs, state offices and the seat of Government located there, as well as the main shopping and entertainment areas, the congestion leading to Georgetown and confusion around key areas have been cause for major concerns.
Hours are lost in the traffic.
Despite a new Demerara Harbour Bridge in the making and expansion to the East Coast and East Bank Demerara highways, the bottlenecks continue to be in the city.
The confusion in the Stabroek Market area and around key choke-points like Regent and Camp Streets, Homestretch Avenue and Vlissengen Road, continue to trouble transportation officials.
On days of the sitting of the National Assembly, the situation becomes worse with several perimeter streets normally closed.
LOGIT, in its presentation to stakeholders, pointed to the congestion especially at peak hours, mainly at major intersections.
The population sprawl over Regions Three and Four, and the fact that Georgetown is the most important destination contributes to the increase in traffic.
Among other things, LOGIT says, there is an urgent need to create new traffic routes, a better traffic signal plan and improved infrastructure, and the need to implement restrictive parking.
To efficiently use the city roads, there will be a need to move the bus parks, monitor and enforce business activities and sidewalks, introduce more pedestrian crossings, improve lights and build cycle paths and lanes.
Among some of the key areas that LOGIT found to be trouble spots are the Kitty seawall area, by the pump station; the Vlissengen Road and Homestretch Avenue intersection near the Ministry of the Presidency; the Stabroek and Bourda Market areas; Mandela Avenue and Hunter Street intersection and the bottleneck at Sandy Babb Street and Vlissengen Road area.
At the Kitty seawall area, the roundabout that is under construction is ideal. There is a need to widen the approach at Vlissengen Road and Princes Streets.
Not too far away at the intersection of D’Urban Street and Vlissengen Road, there should be improvements to the traffic light situation.
LOGIT is recommending that there should be bus stops or terminals at 300-400 meters apart, to reduce minibuses stopping anywhere as is the case now. There should be some changes in direction to streets around the Stabroek Market area.
An increase in police presence would also be ideal around the bus parks and business places to control vending and the behaviour and conduct of drivers and conductors.
LOGIT is also recommending paid parking on some streets and even parking restrictions in some streets.
With regards to cargo deliveries, there should be designated areas for these and with defined parking spots.
Ways will have to be found to make certain areas off-limits to vehicles and walking and the use of bicycles encouraged.
In as much as possible, parking in other designated streets should be encouraged to reduce congestion, LOGIT said.
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