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October 24, 2007

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Christopher Armaly


Finally someone has the #$%& to say something publicly about the traffic idiocy and apathetic government response. Something I truly commend you on.

The solution is yes so simple, however politically there will be no relief in sight. Just a few changes would make the commute less a chore than he frustrations of today:

1) Why are there so many cars per house? A limit of 2 per household is sufficient. 50% duty first car, 70% duty 2nd car and anything more is a minimum of 250% duty. Don't tell me it can't be done. Barbados starts at 200% duty on cars!

2) Why is the duty on scooters more than cars? It should be eliminated, period. And no I do not mean Ninja 2000 etc. I am talking anything up to 100cc and once again anything over 200%+ duty or ban them altogether. The police on national radio has already confirmed that they are not chasing these big bikes as it is too dangerous…what and idiot thing to say publicly! The issue with scooter is that if everyone bought one the government and oil companies wouldn't make nearly enough revenue, therefore this option has been killed.

3) Montague ramp- enough said, the solution is already there but it is not utilized. Once again, idiots.

4) Johnson Road intersection- The solution is quite simple, especially the commute home. Whether by eminent domain or other means, property need to be acquired north of eastern road (say only 20') by say a 70' length. This would enable a turning lane for say 7-10 cars turning into Johnson Road and the cars traveling east can continue flowing smoothly hence reducing congestion all the way back to the Montague Ramp westward. Perhaps an incentive of 20 years property tax exemption for the homes the acquisition of property is made on will help make thing work a little more amicably.

5) You discuss the situation east, however the west is not immune and I have found that out myself over the past year. There are fewer roads coming into town and the main one is two way. At least Shirley Street is one way into town. This is not to minimize the east's problem, however bear in mind there are several thousand units coming online in the west shortly. Charlottesville, West Winds, Love Beach, Final Phases of Sandyport, South Ocean, Indigo, Saffron Hill, Jacaranda, Munnings Road etc. etc. are just a few.! Can you imagine each of those homes popping up having "x" amount of cars.

I can go on and on, but as I look outside my office the traffic is bumper to bumper and a normal 10 minute ride will take 40 minutes. Will speak later. Once again I always enjoy your articles, even the ones we disagree on.

EB Christen

As always, you nailed it Larry. However, you omitted one thing.

The Prison Bus. I have come to view the Prison Bus as the symbol for all that is wrong in our Bahamaland. If ever there was a simple problem to fix - it is the prison bus, yet we continue to bus prisoners in and out of town during peak traffic hours. If we can't get the prison bus farce right, then there is no hope...

I have said this before. Common sense Bahamians know exactly how to fix many of the major issues facing the country, but somehow there is simply NO POLITICAL WILL in parliament to actually address the issues.

I believe that the FNM will probably rule better than the PLP did, but it isn't enough. The bar must be raised on BOTH parties. We need a lot more than just bureaucratic and ponderous thinking. We need a solid vision and the political will to get there with both the government and the opposition genuinely striving for that vision and the only litmus test between them being who delivers it better, faster, more efficiently, with the least corruption and with the least burden to the Bahamian tax payer.

Until Bahamians start believing in a 'common good' and 'public order' there is very little that will be done. Right now, I just see people in power and in government going 'MINE, MINE, MINE' like kids fighting over toys. Pathetic!

GROW UP BAHAMALAND!

Erik Russell

May I suggest that your title should read, "Road rage in NASSAU"? :)

Cruisin' in Grand Bahama...

~ejr~

Bob Knaus

You need a parliamentary committee to solve traffic problems at particular intersections??? That's your problem, right there. Transportation is way too politicized, and politicized at the wrong level. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, that's exactly why Nassau needs a municipal government, separate from parliament. Let a local and frequently elected government handle local issues.

Slapping heavy duties on cars will do little to address the problem. Instead of watching Bahamian lobster boats get loaded down with golf carts and freezers to evade duty, I'd watch them get loaded down with cars. Yes, there are two of them at the marina now, replaced the one that left last week.

OK, that's all, my rant is over :-)

larry smith

Good point about parliament having to deal with a traffic intersection. But even then, they don't deal with it.

Road Runner

This is how it is.
The shortest time between points A and B can only be achieved in Nassau by traveling the longest, most retarded, out of your way, traffic-avoiding, gas-guzzling route possible....and at a very high speed.

Road Runner

It's crazy Idea time again kids! Gather around!

Every paid parking lot in the downtown area should have a 2 or 4 story tall parking complex built on top of it. The owners of the land REMAIN THE OWNERS, the government pays for building everything and takes about 15% of the profits from the parking complex.

More Bahamian companies need to start renting Segways. There's already a couple foreigners who are doing it and making good cash.

There must be a P.I. Bus system that covers Bay St., Shirley St. and takes people over the bridge.

That large lot across from Montague beach where that old hotel used to be needs to be made into a 6 story tall parking complex for P.I. employees only. Then there needs to be a boat to ferry P.I. employees from P.I. to Montague. That would cut at least 2 hours off their commute home.

Probably should do the same thing near Arawak cay and have a boat to ferry people there as well.

On Harrold road they need to cut huge chunks out of the sidewalk and median so people can have a safe place to pull over when their car breaks down or they need to change a flat. This will also keep traffic from getting held up by 1 stopped car.

Ever heard the term "paving the cow paths"? There are a lot of unpaved shortcuts that people take during rush hour. If just 2 or 3 of there were made inaccessible traffic would become EXTREMELY worse IMMEDIATELY. These paths need to be discovered, evaluated, bought by the government and made into proper roadways ASAP.

Then there are lots of different areas that are separated from each other for no good reason. For example, if you go to maps.google.com and examine where Nassau Village is separated from Sea Breeze or the area behind Prince charles shopping centre you'll see that there are many places where you could cut a road here and there and connect it all. It makes no sense that I can walk to KFC faster than I can drive there because of traffic.

drew Roberts

"Then there are lots of different areas that are separated from each other for no good reason."

I know what you are saying and I agree, but let us not gloss over the fact that there is indeed a good reason and that is crime. And there is another reasonable reason and that is people want neighbourhood streets to stay neighbourhood streets and not become highways.

all the best,

drew

nicob

Hear, hear, Larry. I used to cycle -- in BC and in Cambridge, which is far more congested for cars than Nassau is, if you can imagine, having a good thousand years of settlement's headstart, roads that were built to accommodate cattle carts, and ancient buildings that cannot be knocked down and replaced. Still, there are good bicycle routes and strict traffic controls, and park-and-ride arrangements for the city centre and shopping lots.

I stopped cycling when I came home. I have a healthy respect for my limbs, something that drivers don't appear to share. There is only one day of the week I can imagine cycling in vague safety -- Sunday mornings between 9 and 2, when most cars are parked either in church parking lots, while their owners are in church, or in driveways, while their owners sleep off the effects of their drinking the night before.

Of course that would necessitate becoming a practising heathen and renouncing my citizenship in the process.

Hmm.

Jeff Albury

I read this article with interest, and I totally agree with your position. However, I have a few questions:

1. There are a lot of driving schools in Nassau. What are the qualifications to teach someone to drive? Or is it only to be in possession of an "L" plate.
2. What are the qualifications of the testers at Road Traffic?
3. Do persons actually take a test for a driver's license these days, or do the majority of people just go and "buy" their license?

It's all about standards, Larry, and in the Bahamas we have none.

Gordon Boyd

So hundreds maybe thousands of Atlantis employees spill across the bridge towards that expensive traffic control system at Shirley/ Mackey Street, This to my mind has been such a waste of both public and Sol money, as we now have a Traffic policeman posted on the East Bay lights giving even more preference to the bridge traffic, much to the chagrin of traffic heading East. Can’t he see that East bound bridge traffic from the slip road and the Jitney drivers refusal to use the bus stop completely blocks both lanes heading East. Surely his time could be better spent issuing speeding tickets or pulling over Jitneys for any of the numerous infringements they commit every 10 seconds or less of driving, or the DWCUS (Driving Whilst Completely Unaware of your Surroundings) offenders.

Yes Larry I agree with you, let’s start with a system for Atlantis rather than try to prioritize their speedy car exodus from PI.

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