The Story Within The Story…
By Leonard Gildarie
Kaieteur News – An incident occurred Friday evening at Peter’s Hall, along the East Bank Demerara corridor between the city and the Demerara Harbour Bridge junction.
For hours, commuters were stranded. The lines, at the afternoon peak hours, were long. I have never felt the level of anger from drivers and others than what I heard and saw Friday. The words flowed freely on social media.
The Guyana Police Force in a short statement seemed to have confused the matter more and offered little comfort. A statement said, “after a brief interruption of free flow of traffic on the East Bank corridor which was caused by heavy motor lorries traversing, traffic is now flowing at a normal pace.”
The reality is that there can never be a brief interruption for hours. It just cannot be described as that. The police went further: “Please note that all measures which were put in place by the Force’s Traffic Department on the said corridor were not done in any way to stymie the flow of traffic but to ensure that commuters, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians are safe when using the roadway.”
The Force also said that more police would be on the road at peak hours.
It is a simple fact that Guyana is going through a change that it is unprepared for. Zoning will have to be a word on the lips of our planners. The oil and gas development has seen the East Bank of Demerara become a focused area of development for operations because of the proximity to the Demerara River.
There will be quite a number of shore-based operations in the coming years along the Demerara River.
The problem, of course, will be the limited roads. There is one road leading to and from the city from the East Bank. In the short term, for the next five years, we will have to deal with the present situation.
A new harbour bridge and accompanying road link between the East Bank and East Coast will not come anytime soon. We wasted precious time in the last few years dallying on these projects.
In the meantime, more vehicles are being placed on the roadways. At least 10,000 annually we are told.
There are more heavy vehicles, including hauler trucks on the roadway. It will therefore come down to the measures that the police, as enforcers, and the road users take to reduce the madness that has started to manifest.
The reality is that indiscipline, coupled with a lack of control from the absence of enough ranks at peak hours, is the main blame for the frustration. We naturally have drivers who cannot wait.
The minibuses, especially, would be guilty of rampant abuse, including undertaking, speeding, overtaking and switching lanes at will.
At key bottlenecks – Mandela Avenue at the Houston bypass; Eccles traffic lights and between the stretch from Peter’s Hall to the harbour bridge junction – will require more motorcycled ranks.
We can effectively eliminate the four and five lanes that are caused by drivers undertaking and have a more manageable situation.
I don’t think the police force has an understanding of how much this would help.
There is absolutely no reason why we should have trucks working daytime. I believe sand and container trucks and those for the oil and gas can work in the nights.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. It will require the oil and gas sector to adjust their operations. This is for the greater good of the country.
There are a number of things that the harbour bridge management will have to urgently implement.
These include a faster way to process vehicles crossing.
The bridge management did announce that it was examining an automated toll system, which requires no clerk printing a ticket. What it does is have a device on the vehicle, which is read and clocked, by one on the toll station area.
The bridge management has already introduced this system to a number of government agencies, including the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The bridge management will have to collaborate with companies, which will offer the necessary network that will take the money out from a payment system that is similar to phone card credit.
It will shave time from crossings. There will clearly have to be a zero tolerance for the traffic lawlessness that now besiege.
We have to continue to think out of the box. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
In the meantime, a new harbour bridge and alternative road to the East Coast that can also lead to the Timehri direction is what is needed in a hurry.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Jan 27, 2021By Sean Devers Kaieteur News – Batting all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford was born in the East Coast Village of Enmore and attended the Annandale Secondary school where he only played cricket....
Jan 27, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
Jan 25, 2021
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]