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November 04, 2009


Lynn Sweeting

Larry, I wonder about that label, "inner-city families," I think what you mean is that Montague is frequented by families who do not have boats. That would be me. I want the illegal vendors moved from our park asap. Why are they not simply arrested? And when you say, "better facilities for vendors" it would be better to aim for decent toilet facilities for everyone. Even the "vendors" on Montague Beach make me wonder. As I recall they cut down some beautiful trees and set up their stoves and barbeques among the stumps... do they have business licences? the smoke and smell and piles of cardboard boxes and other garbage they produce is also ugly and unhealthy. Why all the meetings? Why can we not simply enforce the law?

MacGregor Robertson

Although I have no axe to grind in this matter since I live in the middle of town, I write with respect to the Montagu fish vendors’ and launching ramp.

As you know, these ventures not only cause bottle necks to the annoyance of homeward bound Eastern and South Eastern residents but are a health hazard.

The launching ramp is ineffective at anything lower than half tide. It should be demolished and relocated just West of Fort Montagu where sea craft could be launched into sufficient water to float at any tide.

The vendors should be moved to the same area where adequate stalls could be erected (at their expense?). There is ample parking and some bathroom facilities. Instead of the stagnant water at their present location where the vendors “clean” their wares there is a good tidal flow by the point which would surely promote a healthier situation. The access road from East Bay St. should be made one way (to the East) and exit from the area could be controlled by the stop light at Bay and Village Roads.

While I am at it, a concrete barrier similar to that on Navy Lion Road (or higher) should be erected in the middle of East Bay from The Nassau Yacht Club to the afore mentioned light to encourage drivers to get in the correct lane earlier and not try to squeeze in at the last minute.

larry smith

I do not think that the Montagu area should be reorganised and developed as a commercial site. Commerce needs to be relocated with proper facilities and the Montagu's use restricted to recreational activities as the only green space in the eastern district.

I support the following suggestions that have come from various quarters over the years:

1. Repair, clean and allow access for casual boaters to the existing ramp, but only via the signalled intersection.
2. Build a new commercial ramp on reclaimed land between the old bridge and Williams Street, with a feeder road from Potter's Cay.
3. Develop a new market at the old Pan Am terminal site west of the new bridge, with off-road access.

I believe those are the best options we have under the present circumstances. Things could have been different if steps had been taken much earlier.

larry smith

Lynn, you know perfectly well why this issue is so longstanding and vexatious.

And no-one can deny that residents who have boats (but nowhere to dock them) need access to the sea.

Likewise, if we are going to have a fish market it must have proper facilities and be properly regulated.

I support the use of Montagu as a public park, but the other matters have to be dealt with too.

June Fife

I read this article with interest, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. The stench from the fish and rotten conch parts is unbearable.

And to make matters worse the vendors discard the unwanted fish and conch slop and shells in a nearby bin which attracts thousands of flies. These people needs to be relocated!

And what about the vendors who provide their fried and tasteless food? The area where they are has become a greased and dingy looking grim space.

I hope something is done very soon to secure the once beautiful and peaceful shores of Fort Montagu and its surroundings.

Peggy Stroud pstroudme@yahoo.ca

I would like to have the fish selling currently held next to the Sailing Club removed from the area! The congestion to traffic it causes daily should not be allowed, and the fouls smells of human and fish waste are simply repulsive.

This has 'grown' to include selling not fresh fish but fish brought by vendors from other locations IN COOLERS -previously frozen. The selling of T-shirts is even being allowed!

With more and more of Bahamian sea access being taken away from Bahamians-we must fight this and reclaim our right to use our land and beaches. The ramp in the area should remain for public boat launching only.

There was a suggestion for a pool to be built on another part of the Montague-at the public park. I do not support this at all! This is a substantial cost to build and maintain and takes away from the natural beauty of the sea and sand that should be protected.

If this restoration takes as long to come to fruition as it is taking to repair the huge hole that has been open in the main road in front of the Sailing Club SINCE MAY this year-this may all never happen in our lifetimes anyway.

sadaiska johnson

As a Bahamian, I am SHAME. I don't want to have small talk, I just want to get straight to the point.

1. It's a boat ramp not a fish market.
2. The place is stink.
3. I think the fish, fruit and food vendors should move.
4. The traffic is at a standstill when people are stopping to buy fish and blocking the street.

To get to the point, move the vendors from there - it's a boat ramp not a marketplace.

It smells so bad that I have to hold my breath until I pass, and the yacht club that is next door I really don't know how they can stand the scent.

That is the only ramp in the east that we boat owners can use who live in the east, because the other ramp that is on East Bay Street has conch shells all over the place and the so-called ramp is a bunch of crap, it is not paved.

Oh yes, it is paved with conch shells!

It's a disgrace to see Montagu look and smell so bad. This shows how Bahamians care about their place of employment. I have to go that way every evening to go home and I pray that there is not much traffic when I pass, so I don't have to smell the stench.

Please do some thing about our Montagu beach and ramp.


I am a watersports operator, who use to launch my equipment on the western side of Longwarf beach near to the Arawak Cay jetty.

Before we was forced to used that beach, there was a boat ramp in the little cove in the area where the Twin Brothers resturant is at the fish fry. In 1987 we use to launch our boats there in the cove and many other Bahamians hard their boats tie up near the docks there.

But when the Nassau Harbour was dredge in 1987 the Government and the dredging crew used the cove to cause the harbour dredging watery muck to be stored in the cove, so all the boats had to move and the launching of boat had to stop.

However, the Government nor the dredging crew did not make or create a temporary boat ramp in the western or the northern area for the BAHAMIANS in that area to use, so we was forced to used the hard part of the beach.

In June 2009 of this year the new harbour dredging crew along with Ministry of works remove or prevented many private and commercials boats and jet ski from using that ramp on the beach. They did not make any prevision or something tempary for the TAXPAYERS of this country to launch their equipments. They just didn`t care.

They demanded that we use the MONTAQU RAMP, but we told them about the chaos that is already at the said eastern ramp, but they did not care. We continue to use the beach but the next day Defence Force boats was posted in the water and Police was posted on the beach to prevent the boaters and we was forced to used the Montaqu Ramp.

So from the middle of June 2009 there was over one hundred more private / commercial boats launching there. That caused a dramatic loss the my business, my commute use to be about fifteen minutes and the wait to launch use to be about two minutes. But going to Montagu the commute is about one hour and the wait time to launch is about half hour.

The Montaqu ramp is in a deplorable state , I got numerous tire damage from fish bone, I had fish guts pick up by a seagull and it fell from his mouth because it was to large for him to carry, it landed in my vehicle.

The new area that was constructed just west of the ramp and east of the dock, could have been extended into the water about another 30 ft then a long ramp could have been build where numerous boats could launch, then you the boaters pull off the road to make their turn to back into the ramp to launch their boat, so the traffic would not be held up for boat trailer back up across the main road.

I just hope that something could be done soon.

drew Roberts

"While I am at it, a concrete barrier similar to that on Navy Lion Road (or higher) should be erected in the middle of East Bay from The Nassau Yacht Club to the afore mentioned light to encourage drivers to get in the correct lane earlier and not try to squeeze in at the last minute."

That would stop the prison bus and its police escort from taking the middle way in the afternoons getting back to the prison from the courts. They would need something that could be raised and lowered by remote control perhaps if they wanted to do that there.

I had the same idea for the longest time and wondered who was breaking down those flexible "pipes" that were there for a while. Then one afternoon I happened to be there at the right time and found out. There is not enough room to let traffic pull off the road enough to free up a lane at the sound of sirens, so the prison bus and in truth any ambulances needing to get east during traffic times must be able to take this middle way.

all the best,


Diane Phillips

thank you for all the research and work you put into your column on Montagu. A great job and, I hope, a huge help, in moving Montagu forward.

We are starting the draft of the final report with recommendations, and will keep you posted.

Mike Toogood

"... you know perfectly well why this issue is so longstanding and vexatious."
Did I miss something here? Is "Tough Call" not
tough enough to deal with the real issue!
Lynn has it right. The solution to this (and many other issues) is simple. Enforce the law.

larry smith

I don't agree that the solution is as simple as that, but my comment related to Lynn's awareness of the political and social difficulties that militate against a solution - which is why "all the meetings".

People must have the ability to access the sea, even if they don't have a dock or waterfront property. And people must have the right to make a living.

These are significant political and social issues. I also note that the Montagu ramp is a designated marketplace.

drew Roberts

Do the reports show the total amount of income from all selling in the area? And the costs associated with the traffic congestion?

I have a guess to which is greater and to possible order(s) of magnitude differences, but having public figures might be important. Do they exist?

larry smith

I doubt it, but we can estimate that the overall costs of maintaining the market/ramp are certainly greater than moving it.

It just has to be done in an acceptable way.

[Citizen] Allan Lee

{I NOW speak simply as a CITIZEN :-) } Good grief! I've never read such "evasive" comments in my life.

We all know what needs - and must - be done to solve this most solvable "problem." Terrific workable "models" have been put forth as per Larry above. We simply need the elected "decision makers" to ACT for the benefit of the Bahamians and not for their political future and that of their particular party. Montagu is both a stigma and enigma to Bahamians - to say nothing of our much needed visitors.

Mrs. Turner must now put her talk and good intentions into action and agitate for "the people" not simply pacify "the party." If she does not, this could well be her political Waterloo.

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