By Carol Matroo Thursday, June 21 2012
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Working together: Minister of Works and Infrastructure Jack Warner and Transport Minister Devant Maharaj at the Works Ministry, Richmond Street, Port-...
The Port-of-Spain Experimental Traffic Scheme would be implemented on July 16, with a minimum of 29 traffic wardens to ensure the plan, which includes one-way traffic on some streets, worked smoothly.
Works and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner yesterday said he and his staff had consulted as far and wide as possible all of the stakeholders who would benefit from this traffic plan.
The plan is to approve mobility for public transportation, private cars, minimise accidents, reduce travel times, control roadside parking and facilitate travel demands into and out of Port-of-Spain, he said at a press conference at his ministry offices, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain. Transport Minister Devant Maharaj, who was present, said the plan could be considered an historic occasion for Port-of-Spain.
“Over the years we have become disenchanted and frustrated with the level of traffic in the city’s streets and its outlying areas so much so that if you have to go to Park Street from St Vincent Street, you have to cater for half an hour traffic,” he said.
However, not all the stakeholders were happy with the new plans which would make Ariapta Avenue one way heading west and Tragarete Road heading east. Downtown Owners and Merchants Association president Gregory Aboud said the traffic plan could be positive or crash and burn, adding that Tragerete Road and Ariapita Avenue “would collapse if parking was strenuously prohibited.”
He suggested that temporary signs be put up to advise the travelling public where they were allowed to enter and park.
“Make it a true grid,” he said, adding that the plan should be in effect for one week. Aboud was also against the wrecking service which was estimated to bring in about $800,000 a month. One figure was given as $85,000 per day. Supt Dianand Naipaul said the plan should be implemented for one month and wreckers should be out in full force. He appealed for use of Salvatori Building on Independence Square for parking.
Naipaul said the building was locked down with galvanise and not being used. “We must take affirmative action against errant motorists. People are not using car parks, but are parking at street corners...grass is growing in the car parks because they are not using them,” he said.