The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is considering a recommendation to place traffic wardens at a temporary crossing near the Chamberlain Bridge in The City to assist with the flow of traffic.
Temporary safety units installed along a section of Wharf Road to allow pedestrians to cross while repairs are being carried out on the Wickham/Lewis Boardwalk have resulted in traffic congestion in the capital, and a source of irritation and frustration for motorists and pedestrians alike.
Chairman of The Revitalization of Bridgetown Initiative Lalu Vaswani described the situation as unacceptable, recommending that traffic wardens be placed at the location to assist with the movement of traffic.
An RBPF spokesman told Barbados TODAY the Force would examine the proposal to determine if it would relieve the congestion, which Vaswani claimed was likely to deter people from doing business in The City.
“I even observed an ambulance from the QEH [Queen Elizabeth Hospital] having difficulty because the road was totally covered with vehicles and they can’t move in or out. So we are reaching out to the relevant ministry – the Ministry of Transport and the police department and the Barbados Port to get an urgent resolution of this,”Vaswani said.
The wardens appeared to be the second option for the former President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The local businessman’s preferred option would be to begin the repairs after the normal workday ends.
“If the construction is done after 6 p.m. in the evening it would not have as much an impact on the traffic flow coming into Bridgetown. So that is a consideration,” Vaswani told Barbados TODAY.
Vaswani complained that unless the matter was managed properly it could lead to businesses in The City suffering significant losses, as people would be reluctant to visit the area.
However, he stressed the problem went beyond economics since the safety of pedestrians was at stake.
“While this is important it must be done in a way that does not disregard the interest of the 2,000 businesses in Bridgetown and impede the flow of pedestrian traffic or vehicular traffic, especially at this time where the Crop Over season has been launched. People are coming in town to get their necessities for Crop Over and it is very important to businesses and the national economy.
“It is not just about the economics but the health and safety of people, the flow of ambulances or fire brigade. This is not satisfactory. I don’t believe it was their intention. It may just not have been thought through to realize that this is what would happen,” he said.
Repairs to the boardwalk are expected to last six to eight weeks.