For over a decade patrons, business and the police have pleaded for improved lighting in the traditionally busy St Lawrence Gap. Their cries have been answered.
A collaborative effort between the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc and Simmons Electrical has resulted in over 140 LED lights being installed along arguably the island’s top entertainment stretch, making it brighter and safer for residents, businesses and visitors alike.
The project was completed at a cost of around $80,000.
Spokesman for the St Lawrence, Dover and Maxwell Association, Adrian Donovan told Barbados TODAY he had been pleading for better lighting in the Gap for almost 13 years.
He said along with the security cameras in the area improved lighting now gives people a greater sense of safety.
“For a very long time St Lawrence was considered to be a dreary, rundown, poor-lit entertainment centre and we are very happy that through the assistance of the BTII and Simmons Electrical we can safely say now that St Lawrence Gap is now a top-notch entertainment facility that can be admired anywhere in the world.
“We’ve had numerous instances of complaints from tourists regarding harassment, burglaries; businesses have moved out on numerous occasions because of the constant harassment of the guests and this new lighting improvement really brings an added dimension to this beautiful facility,” Donavan said.
“The residents, the business houses and the tourists we have spoken to are all very pleased and happy with the work that was done.”
Owner of Simmons Electrical, Allan Simmons said the project took seven days to complete.
He explained that lighting in the Gap had improved by over 100 per cent as a result.
“We did some photo-metrics, taking the lighting levels at each location. There were some areas that were not too bad but almost 65 per cent of the lighting in the Gap was out and that was more to the eastern end.
“If you saw it then and you saw it now, completely different. There are certain areas that need some pruning where there are some shrubs…and some of them are blocking the lights so it can even be a lot better than what we have now,” Simmons said.
Additionally, he said the lights had also helped to improve the effectiveness of the security cameras.
Business owner Sean Defeitas, who owns Tabu and Sharkies in the Gap, praised the initiative.
He said the lighting throughout the entire Gap had been greatly improved and persons no longer had a reason to feel unsafe when walking alone.
“I think it’s fantastic and it’s a brilliant idea. Having the property lit makes it more secure for everybody walking the Gap…it’s absolutely perfect. We need the speed humps to go with it now and some more security when things open back up and everybody will be happy,” Defreitas told Barbados TODAY.
“I think it is an excellent move but they need to maintain it because you know things does be nice and pretty and then they start to go off one at a time and then in a year we don’t have any lights again.”
Meanwhile, South African visitor Conrad Brits said he was delighted at the new lighting.
He said while he had never felt unsafe, the brighter environment made him feel more secure.
“For us to be out here just having some fishing, coming out here and getting some dinner, it’s brilliant. It lights up the area, makes it super safe for me, my wife and the kids. It’s ideal for this, we couldn’t have asked for better,” he added.