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Safe lights for highway


Carlos Atwell

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There are plans to have a temporary lighted pedestrian crossing system on the Spring Garden Highway following a fatality this week.Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce told the WEEKEND NATION this was something he mandated his department to do with urgency following the latest road death on that stretch of road.“We have had suggestions about building both an overpass or underpass on that road but this temporary lighted pedestrian crossing will be put into place in the meantime,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.On Sunday, 68-year-old Errol Briggs, a Barbadian living in Toronto, Canada, lost his life when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing Spring Garden after leaving his uncle’s home in Brandon’s. President of the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA), Sharmane Roland-Bowen said such “remedial” measures were good but a longer term solution was needed.“This is the most dangerous road in Barbados and there is a lot of people in the lower income bracket who have to cross it as they don’t own cars. The speed limit needs to be lowered to 60 kph; it would take only 35 seconds longer to traverse Spring Garden at 60 kph than 80 and it could save a life,” she said.Roland-Bowen said the BRSA would be visiting the residents in the area today to interview people who have to cross Spring Garden on a regular basis.THE WEEKEND NATION also took the opportunity to speak to residents of Brandon’s yesterday who once again aired their views on the nearby highway.“We need some sort of Zebra Crossing with lights, one where you push a button to cross. No one wants to stop for you on that road,” said Christopher Harewood.Emmerson Williams said an underpass was the solution while Dwight Rose wanted to see an overpass as he said lights might back up traffic. A woman who lives in Deacons Farm said she was too afraid of traffic to venture across the road and suggested a walkover.In 2004, a letter from the Brighton Residents’ Association was published calling for increased traffic lights since, they said, Spring Garden was not a true highway but an urban road.In 2008, Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris recommended having either an underpass or an overpass built to facilitate access to Brandon’s Beach after a ruling on the death of a 15-year-old boy who was killed on his way back home from the beach in 2004.

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