Residents of St Kitts and Nevis after the traffic lights commissioning ceremony. (SKNIS)
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BASSETERRE – An air of excitement was present on Monday evening at the intersection where Wellington, Cayon and Pond Roads meet in Basseterre, St Kitts. Members of the Cabinet, senior law enforcement officials, and a wide cross-section of residents and citizens gathered to witness Prime Minister, Dr Timothy Harris, hit the switch that signalled automated traffic controls at three points in the capital city.
Applause rang out as the lights began to blink for the first time ever in the twin-island federation of St Kitts and Nevis, while Prime Minister Harris gave the crowd thumbs-up.
Minister of Public Infrastructure Ian “Patches” Liburd, said motorists and pedestrians will be much safer with the use of the signal lights located at the aforementioned intersection, commonly referred to as Baker’s Corner and also at the intersections at Fort and Cayon Streets, and Fort Street and the Bay Road.
“Believe it or not, we have almost 30 000 vehicles in St Kitts and more are coming,” Minister Liburd stated, noting the frequent visits by the boat that delivers imported cars to the island.
“So we want to improve the traffic management and this is what these traffic signals are going to do - improve traffic management and improve safety on the roads.”
This will be accomplished by limiting the “free for all” attitude that some motorists have as they drive through town. This will now be controlled by the lights as it gives a fair chance to all drivers to proceed when their turn arrives. Additionally, the careless practice by some pedestrians who blatantly cross the road with little regard for oncoming vehicular traffic will be addressed with the use of the pedestrian signals as part of the traffic control system.
The public was encouraged to give feedback about their experiences with the new system to the authorities that will be used to help inform Phase 2 of the project that proposes additional traffic lights in Basseterre. (SKNIS)