By: Precious Mills
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts- At a town hall meeting held this week on the topic of the traffic lights in Basseterre, one vocal and interactive audience member advised officials not to rush the process of turning on the traffic lights for the Christmas season so as to give the members of the public time to learn the new system.
That individual was well-known local business professional Schneidman Warner, a financial analyst who is the President of the St. Christopher National Trust.
The public outreach event, hosted by the Public Works Department and the Traffic Department on Tuesday 12th December at the Old Girls School (Anglican Church Hall) located on Victoria Road, saw a low attendance from members of the public.
Directing his advice to Director of Public Works Cromwell Williams and Chief Inspector of the Traffic Department Carl Caines, on the heels of information shared by a team member of ADeB Consultants from Jamaica, Warner encouraged the local officials to put together public service items on ZIZ TV and radio for the benefit of pedestrians and motorists alike.
“We need you to have 15 minute segments on the lights… and voice overs telling us, the users of pedestrian crossings and lights…” he shared.
In driving his point of reasoning, Warner also stated: “People coming for Christmas are not going to be impressed. They’ll be more inconvenienced by people hesitating because they are not sure what to do. We would rather wait for January when we could take our time and learn these things. They’ll get through the hustle and bustle of Christmas like they would have done in previous years.”
Engineer at the Public Works Department Livingston Pemberton, at the end of the hall meeting, thanked those for attending whilst indicating that the feedback would be used going forward.
“We have made note of the questions. They are going to inform the way we move forward.”
Appearing on the government’s ‘Working For You’ weekly programme the next day (Wednesday 13th December), Minister of Public Infrastructure and Transport Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd announced that the traffic lights will be officially commissioned and turned on this coming Monday (18th December).
Work started on Saturday 18th November this year and the overall project cost for the installment of these street lights is estimated at US$600,000.
Notably, many people share similar views as expressed by Warner regarding sufficient public education before the traffic lights are officially turned on.
Apart from that town hall meeting, this media house has been informed that visits were made to two high schools in located in Basseterre earlier this week-the Washington Archibald High and Basseterre High.
As publicised by those in authority, the traffic lights and related road signs have been put in place at strategic locations in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion in the Basseterre area.