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STREET BEAT: Patchwork roads

Carlos Atwell, carlosatwell

STREET BEAT: Patchwork roads

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BAD ROADS in the country are all but expected these days, especially in areas where the land is slipping away.

Three of them, Coggins Hill in St Andrew and Vaughn’s Road No. 1 and No. 2 in St Joseph, caught  Street Beat’s eye this week.

Coggins Hill was thrust into the limelight as a result of the closure of the nearby Chalky Mount Primary School and the announcement that the student roll will be amalgamated with A. Dacosta Edwards Primary in Belleplaine. In a town hall meeting, parents raised concerns about their children having to travel repeatedly up and down Coggins Hill.

Laureen Hinds, principal of Chalky Mount, said the constant patchwork on the road was inadequate but admitted she was no expert.

“I think something needs to be done but from layman’s terms, I can’t say exactly what. They probably need to look at something more lasting than gravel, though,” she said.

Even so, Hinds said the Alleyne School bus traversed the hill and she had not heard of any incidents.

This was supported by parent volunteer Claudia Moise, who said buses usually travelled on the route.

“The Alleyne bus goes there morning and afternoon. The road is bad but it is not the first time; I had children that catch the Alleyne School bus so I am not concerned something will happen,” she said.

Despite this, Moise said the road was too narrow and full of potholes and she would not mind if it was somehow corrected.

A motorist travelling along Coggins Hill stopped to give her lament. However, she did so under condition of anonymity.

“This is the worst road in St Andrew, it needs fixing because the other road break way (and) this will be the only route to Chalky Mount. If I can avoid this, I do, it is very dangerous,” she said.

Destiny Henry was spotted trudging up the hill. She said she had no choice but to use it sometimes.

“Whenever I go to town and catch a Shorey Village bus I have to walk because sometimes the Fairchild Street terminal bus don’t run. It does be hard, this road needs to fix,” she said.

Truck driver Romel Forde recounted an encounter he had with a bus last week.

“I had to move my truck because the bus came ’round the corner and start to slide. It is very bad because this whole stretch of land sliding especially when you get farther down where parts of the road lean. My aim is to start from somewhere else so the weight either balance or it light before I go down that hill,” he said.

At the interconnected Vaughn Roads Nos 1 and 2, there are a myriad of problems. The first road is completely inaccessible to vehicular traffic because of severe landslides while the alternative route, No. 2, is ill lit and full of potholes, which made people wary of walking it at night.

Sharon Bootman said she and her fellow residents were fed up.

“This side (No 1) is the easiest side to get to the bus and is the only one with street lights but only the younger folk can use it. Ever since Tomas [in 2010] we had this pulling way and all we hearing is talk [about getting it fixed] but it is still the better road so if they can find a way to fix it that would be good,” she said.

Dorothy Cumberbatch, 80, told Street Beat how she was almost seriously injured while walking on No 2.

“I went to stay up there (pointing to an area of the road where a large pothole was seen) as I went to check out something and I misstep but I had nothing to hold on to so I had to jump into the banana trees to save falling on the road and scratching up all my face. Ever since then, I stop going down there,” she said.

Other complaints included dust, which Jane Alleyne said was “outrageous”.

“I have asthma so when people drive by I have to rush and shut my window,” she said.

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