On Sunday night, I was travelling north on UG Road heading to the Atlantic highway (my name for the old highway). My line had the red. On green, the vehicle in front of me turned east, while I turned west. The driver in front of me, that turned east, went straight into the median at the traffic lights that separate the highway into two lanes. He ripped the frontal right side of his machine terribly.
Right at that spot, an important spot on the highway where the traffic lights prevent chaos, given the volume of vehicles that use the highway, there are no street lamps. The place is dark. Despite your car lights, you cannot see the roadways clearly if there are no functioning lampposts. I honestly believe on that dark spot, when the guy made his turn, he didn’t get a clear, lighted view of the median.
There are only two roads that lead to Berbice in the territory of Guyana – the old Atlantic highway and the new railway embankment road that stops at Enmore. Why are these roadways without lamps? It is a downright disgrace after fifty three years of Independence. I am convinced the two worst ministers since Independence are Robeson Benn and David Patterson.
Both of them personify the wasteland that Guyana is. How can a minister occupy a ministry whose function is to see public streets have functioning lights, yet Benn, after ten years as the subject minister, didn’t lift a finger? He was unconcerned. Traffic signals were constructed for Cricket World Cup in 2007.
The Indian company that did the job didn’t have a clue what Guyana’s public infrastructure was like. What they did then was to calibrate the lights wrongly, and that disgrace Benn was ignorant of and his successor is still ignorant of. I get emails from people asking me not to refer to Guyana as a shit-hole country. I cannot oblige, because I believe it is. It is my country. I love it, I am not leaving it, but I am not going to live in denial about the repugnancies and imbecilities that are ubiquitous in Guyana.
Now here is my bet. If you win, I stop writing. So there will be no more reference to Guyana being a shit-hole country. If I lose, please intervene with Mr. Glenn Lall and have him force me to fulfill my obligation as a loser. Here is evidence where Benn and Patterson are unfit politicians and proof that Guyana is a shit-hole country. The bet is on. Here goes.
Since 2007, some traffic signals, wrongly calibrated are functioning in asinine modes that make Guyana an asinine country. Here is my proof. If you are going to win the bet, you have to prove my description is non-existent. You are on Sheriff Street driving north and you come to the traffic signals at Sherriff Street and Campbell Avenue just where Banks DIH has an outlet. The green signal comes on, and it is for those traveling north, and the green arrow for those who are turning east into Campbell Avenue comes on simultaneously.
Now brace yourself for the most asinine country in the world. Remember at present there are two lanes. You are in the lane going north. The driver turning into Campbell Avenue must also be in the northern lane. But the turning arrow goes off after ten seconds, meaning that those turning east into Campbell Avenue have to stop. But the signal to go straight continues.
But how can you continue when the driver in your lane has to stop because he no longer has the turning arrow? Simply put – the green says go, but you cannot go because the guy who is turning has to stay there when the arrow comes again for him to turn.
Only in a shit-hole country where commonsense does not exist you will find this comical insanity. What is the commonsensical solution? Synchronize the green light and the turning arrow to last the same amount of time. It means when the green arrow stops, the green light to go north stops too. This same comical insanity takes place on UG Road when you are traveling south on it coming from the Atlantic highway. It is a narrow two-lane street.
When you stop at red, the green arrow to turn east keeps flashing. But there is no way to turn, since the cars going straight to UG and elsewhere have to stop. The minibus drivers are creating a nightmare. What is the solution? Do not have the arrow flashing to turn east when the red is on. Now check it out for yourself. I won the bet. Guyana is a shit-hole country.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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