Road View headache

Maria Bradshaw,

Added 28 October 2011

mtmstpeter

A spate of serious accidents has prompted a concerned resident of Road View, St Peter, to launch a Road View and Mullins Beach  road safety petition. Franklyn Holder, who has been an independent community activist for the area since returning to Barbados from the United States a few years ago, is planning to submit the petition to the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) hoping that road safety matters would be attended to with urgency. Holder, who has launched the petition online on his Save Mullins Bay blog and on the social network Facebook, believes “urgent corrective action needs to be taken at this location for the safety of both pedestrians and motorists”. So far for the year, there have been three major accidents which resulted in serious injuries; two involved Transport Board buses and the other a minibus. Yesterday morning, there was also a fender bender. There have also been road fatalities, the most recent being three years ago, when off-duty police officer Coby Connell lost his life after the car he was driving struck a pole. An 80-year-old woman was also struck trying to cross the road. In his petition, Holder is asking the MTW to:  1. Cover the open gutter. which runs between the Texaco service station in Road View and the Kings Beach Hotel to provide a sidewalk for pedestrians. 2. Install flashing lights or clearly visible signage at least 100 yards north of the Texaco service station in Road View warning motorists of the blind corner before the service station and to slow down. 3. Consider the installation of speed limiters on all Transport Board buses and public service vehicles (PSVs) in order to reduce the number accidents involving these vehicles. And while Holder has admitted that most of the accidents were as a result of speeding vehicles, he pointed out that there were blind corners – one north from Mullins Bay and one south just before the gas station – which were bothersome to motorists. “They come flying across the road and when they get around, they can’t see what is ahead of them,” he stated. Holder said pedestrians were also using the busy highway at their own peril ecause there were no sidewalks along the narrow road – only open gutters. On August 24, several British tourists were injured when they were involved in a collision with a Transport Board bus. A pregnant woman, who was travelling in the bus, was also taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Pointing out that Road View which is along Highway 1B, was a “high volume tourist area”,  Holder said this situation could get worse “as long as the authorities continue to ignore the call of this blog for something to be done about this dangerous stretch of roadway”. “Unless this matter receives urgent attention people will die here.” So far, several visitors from England, the United States, Germany and other countries, who were equally concerned about safety along this road have signed the petition. However, Holder said he was the only Bajan to have signed and has called for more people to get involved as it would be to their benefit. Here is what some of them wrote on the blog: Emma Carson: “We use this stretch of road regularly when on holiday and both for tourists and locals would like to see something done to make it safer for people to use.” Wayne Connell: “Always was a dangerous stretch of road before I left the island . . . Governed by two dangerous corners . . . something needs to be done!' Yvette Downes: “As far back as I can remember that stretch of road was always dangerous. I hope that the Ministry of Transportation or whatever ministry there is should do something before someone dies.” Elvis Sobers, manager at the Texaco service station, said he has been a witness to several of the accidents during his 20 years at the station. He felt the majority of accidents were as a result of reckless driving, but noted that most of them occurred while vehicles were heading north and around the corner from Mullins. “The road is always going to be an issue. Most people drive 60 kilometres and any distraction on either side would create a problem,” he said. However, Sobers said there was not much he could see being done with the area since there was no room to widen the road. “It all comes down to speed. People will have to slow down,” he stated. The matter was drawn to the attention of public relations officer at the MTW, Avonda Scott, who said it would be passed on to their technicians.

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