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Wednesday 24 July 2019
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[UPDATED] Proper signage coming for all roads

PM: Possible matter of life and death

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at the launch of the National Street Signage Programme in Diego Martin on Wednesday.  
PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at the launch of the National Street Signage Programme in Diego Martin on Wednesday. PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

MORE than 300 street name signs, at a cost of $1,443 each, will be installed in the Diego Martin region, and approximately $13 million will be spent to do this nationwide.

Speaking at the launch of the National Local Roads/Streets Signage programme today at the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) compound in Diego Martin, the Prime Minister said he had always wanted to rectify the problem, which was very simple but had far-reaching consequences.

He said nothing annoys him more than getting off in Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin, and once a person leaves the main road they are at the mercy of another person having to find out where they are going.

“Some may tell you, ‘Round the corner, go up dey, turn left turn, right you will see a tree and turn when you pass the bridge.’ These are some of the most amazing directions you will get, largely because there is no foolproof signage in the country where you can direct yourself to your location.

“A simple matter where Granny will be sick at home, somebody runs to call the ambulance and the ambulance ask you, ‘Where are you located?’ Then the trouble begins.

“I have seen situations where there is a firefighter reacting to a distress call and they come up the wrong way asking, ‘Where do I find so and so?’ A simple matter like that can be a matter of life and death.”

Rowley urged the audience not to be surprised if they called the police and were told they were calling the wrong station. He said there are cases where the officer might not know where an area is located without street or road signs to attend to a distress call.

“We are addressing the situation in a holistic way, not just by signage for signage sake, but rectifying a problem that needs rectification.

“TTPOST launched its address programme to give everybody a unique address so that your mail can get to you and be distributed in an efficient way because the country is so organised that TTPOST knows exactly where you are.”

Rowley said the issue is a matter of national security and better signage will help with safety.
He asked the audience if they ever tried passing San Fernando coming from the south and trying to get back to the highway if they had to drive to San Fernando.

“You can’t find your way back out. You venture into Chaguanas coming from the south, and unless you know where you are going because you live there, try coming back on to the highway. Go on the eastern side of Chaguanas and try getting back to Port of Spain. It is a rabbit’s warren with very few arrows.

“All this will change if every single street, road and highway carries a proper sign in the appropriate place, highly visible, and of course it leads to another.”

Rowley said wherever there is a junction between roads there ought to be signs to show where people are going.

He also said signage for watercourses was important: “If someone is crossing a major river or water course, a sign there saying it is the Diego Martin River or St Ann’s River, so as you travel you will know what progress you have made and how far away you are from your destination.
He acknowledged that technology helped: “With the Waze map you will be shown a picture of it, and of course if the picture has a name you can guide yourself around TT.

“Right now the only place that has adequate signage or approaching adequacy is Tobago, because the THA has embarked on this assignment before Trinidad.”

This story was originally published with the title "PM: Proper signage coming for all roads" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


More than 300 street name signs, at a cost of $1,443 each, will be installed in the Diego Martin region, and approximately $13 million will be spent to do this nationwide.

Speaking at the launch of the National Local Roads/Streets Signage programme today at the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) compound in Diego Martin, the Prime Minister said he had always wanted to rectify the problem, which was very simple but had far-reaching consequences.

He said nothing annoys him more than getting off in Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin, and once a person leave the main road they are at the mercy of another person they ask to find out where they are going.

“Some may tell you, 'Round the corner, go up dey, turn left turn, right you will see a tree and turn when you pass the bridge.' These are some of the most amazing directions you will get, largely because there is no foolproof signage in the country where you can direct yourself to your location.

“A simple matter where Granny will be sick at home, somebody runs to call the ambulance and the ambulance ask you, ‘Where are you located?’ Then the trouble begins.

"I have seen situations where there is a firefighter reacting to a distress call and they come up the wrong way asking, 'Where do I find so and so?' A simple matter like that can be a matter of life and death.”

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