MINISTER of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan said in an effort to make the nation’s roads safer for cyclists an area in Chaguaramas will be designated for them.
Sinanan was speaking yesterday, at the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, hosted by Arrive Alive along with sponsors such as Sunshine Snacks, Ansa Motors, Guardian Group and BHP, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, in Port of Spain. It was the seventh edition of the event with yesterday’s theme being Life is Not a Car Part.
A number of cyclists have died or have been injured in TT, especially in recent years. In November 2018, popular local chef Joe Brown and British national Joanna Banks died on the Beetham Highway. The cyclists were riding with Slipstream Cycling Club when a car crashed into the group of cyclists.
Earlier this year, the Government repaved Tucker Valley Road which leads to the popular Macqueripe Bay and also made the area more conducive for cyclists. Sinanan said he is satisfied with the number of cyclists utilising the area.
The transport minister said more areas in TT will be provided to make cycling safer.
“This year I want to promise you within the next couple weeks you will get the Chaguaramas road all the way down to the army base. We are repaving the road, but we are not just doing that. What we are doing for the cyclists, we are creating space on the road for you. This space will be clearly identified with a different colour asphalt, so this road for the first time will be designed for you the cyclists and we really want you to make full use of that.”
Sinanan is hopeful that this will prevent cyclists from using the highways. “The idea is to give you the facilities that you need so that we can minimise you having to use the highways. We understand that if we don’t put the infrastructure for you, you will be tempted to go on the highway.”
The event also included booths educating people about road safety. The TT Police Service (TTPS), the Ministry of Works and Transport and Arrive Alive were among those providing information on road safety.
This year there have been 105 road deaths so far compared to 112 last year.
The event also included a ride and a run around the Queen’s Park Savannah. Among those who attended the event were Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, lead co-ordinator of the strategic road safety project at the TTPS Brent Batson, president of Arrive Alive Sharon Inglefield and former national cyclist Michael Phillips.
Phillips has been an advocate for road safety and for a number of years has hosted the Keep Fit Sundays, on the Diego Martin Highway,which takes place every Sunday. The highway is blocked off giving cyclists and runners a safe space to exercise.
Batson was thankful for the turnout. “We are truly grateful for everybody. All these leaders and all these supporters to come out here and each individual makes a difference.”