By Carlos Atwell | Wed, September 19, 2012 - 12:05 AM
The pedestrian overpass being constructed across The Pine section of the ABC Highway is already coming in for high praise.
The overpass will run from close to the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation across the road, near the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School.
It will connect the Pinelands area to places such as the area of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, ending the need for pedestrians to walk on the busy highway.
The MIDWEEK NATION spoke yesterday to several people with an interest in seeing the overpass completed, such as Pine residents, schoolchildren, Member of Parliament for the area Hamilton Lashley and the principal of Parkinson Memorial Secondary, Orson Alleyne.
Alleyne said the welfare of his students had long been a concern of his, as several have to cross the highway to catch buses.
He said he had also voiced his misgivings after the jersey barriers were created prior to the pedestrian crossings being placed.
“We had a few incidents where [drivers] ran into the back of other people who stopped to let pedestrians cross. We were also getting issues with emissions from vehicles when they stopped, particularly in the morning and evening when you would get a line of traffic [waiting on people crossing],” he said.
Alleyne described the overpass as an “excellent” idea.
“My main concern is that the students and the community need to be educated to use the overpass and to use it correctly. I have already decided I would educate the students here,” he remarked.
Three students, Keisha Moore, Regina Forde and Shareece Garrett, said they regularly crossed the highway, so they were glad the overpass was being built.
“It can be dangerous because you have to stand up in the middle of the road sometimes [and wait on traffic to pass],” said Forde.
Pine resident Matthew Griffith said the overpass was a good idea as the pedestrian crossings were not placed correctly.
“When you cross, even if someone on the inside lane stops, you find the people on the outside fly by and, to me, the zebra crossings were not a good idea; they were too close to the roundabout. The first thing [drivers] are looking to do from a roundabout is [accelerate],” he said.
Griffith said the overpass might also discourage people from trying to hop over the jersey barriers.
Ricardo Howell said motorists either did not see pedestrians or simply did not want to stop for them to cross; so an overpass would be “useful”.
However, he declared: “We have to think about people hanging out on that overpass at night, looking to rob people.”
Member of Parliament Lashley said the overpass would prove a great relief to schoolchildren who have to cross the highway.
“That is a very dangerous road and the only thing that could solve the problem was an overpass, which is really a bridge of safety. I welcome it and I am glad the children will soon not be at the perils of oncoming traffic,” he said.
Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce told the MIDWEEK NATION he would soon be talking in a public forum about issues pertaining to the overpass.
He said plans for building an overpass across the Brandons section of the Spring Garden highway were being finalized.
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