Sat | Mar 23, 2019

Traffic congestion crippling Lucea

Published:Thursday | March 14, 2019 | 12:19 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Marvell Sewell, councillor for the Green Island division in the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), says that the failure of the authorities to penalise big business operators who use trailers to carry goods through Lucea is helping to contribute to the chronic traffic congestion in the town.

“I am going to make a statement, and I may get into trouble for it, but what the big man dem get away with in Jamaica, the small man could never get away with it,” said Sewell, who was speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Infrastructure Development and Traffic Management Committee of the HMC.

“It is a big-man thing. If it was not big man own the supermarkets, we could never have those big trailers parked there ... . If it was a small man own them, it could never happen.”

During the meeting, councillors pointed out that the chronic congestion in the town was resulting in significant loss of productive hours each day. Against that background, a decision was made to arrange an urgent meeting between concerned stakeholders and the Infrastructure Development and Traffic Management Committee to look at possible solutions to the problem.

The meeting is expected to feature representatives from the National Works Agency, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the HMC, and the Transport Authority. Business owners will also be invited to participate.

The no-nonsense Sewell is of the view that while solutions are being sought, the authorities need to demand more accountability from the police who, seemingly, turn a blind eye to the delivery trucks, which are not only parked in the ‘no-parking’ areas, but are sometimes allowed to stay on the road for an entire day, worsening the traffic problem.

“Classism exists in Jamaica, and let’s face it, what the rich can do and get away with, the poor cannot do it. If it was a poor man own just one shop around there, he could never park and block the road and don’t get some tickets. The big man dem block up the road, and him can’t get a ticket. Is time for us to cut that out,” Sewell insisted.