By: Spokesman Newsroom
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (FEBRUARY 2018)– Mentions of ‘famalayy’ and ‘Warriors from the East’ were among the word choices by Minister of Public Infrastructure and Transport Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd which created a party politics feel at this week’s ceremony to mark the official commissioning of the traffic lights in the Basseterre area.
What is more, in giving tips for traffic lights usage Liburd, who is the Parliamentary Representative for Constituency One (East Basseterre) told that green means go, amber means to wait but cautioned that when the light turns red it means “don’t go there.”
Red is the affiliated colour of the opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris officially flipped the switch to officially turn on the traffic lights system during an official ceremony held on Monday 12th February at the roundabout connecting Wellington Road and Cayon Street.
Scores of onlookers gathered around to witness the occasion.
Among those in attendance were other government representatives- Hon. Lindsay Grant, Sen. Wendy Phipps, Hon. Eugene Hamilton and Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins, and also Head of Traffic Department Inspector Carl Caines, Director of Public Works Crowmell Williams and Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley.
Williams during opening remarks stated that “this is something that we all have been waiting for eagerly” which was met with cheers and applause from the audience.
On a side of more political reference, Liburd who had disclosed that the commissioning of the traffic lights had been delayed to accommodate the schedule of Dr. Harris applauded him as being the “best Prime Minister so far.”
In regards to the traffic signal system, Liburd said the traffic lights would be used to manage traffic flow and see to pedestrian safety.
“We looked at the traffic flow in St.Kitts and believe it or not, we have almost 30,000 vehicles in St.Kitts… and more are coming because every week the car carrier comes and we are not into banning of vehicles because we believe (in putting) people first and if you want to buy a vehicle, you have a choice.”
He added: “We want to improve traffic management and this is what these traffic signals are going to do, improve traffic management and improve the safety on the roads and we have also taken into consideration you the pedestrians, it would be safer for you to use the pedestrian crossings…”
Managing Director of ADeB Consultants Limited Martell Lee gave an overview of the project.
He shared that the best type of equipment have been used.
“Let me first say that you probably will find that this is the most modern of these equipment that exist. We have got military grade equipment and this means they are probably the most robust you’ll find. We have also ensured that all the equipment are rated for the environment and we classify that when you are on the island as the marine environment susceptible to the hazardous environment of the seas and salt air.”
Lee continued: “We have also ensured that the lighting and the equipment are to the highest specks. The signals are LED, the controls are probably the most modern. The installation, we have gone through the process of ensuring that we have competitive pricing and sometimes you are doing these type of modern and sensitive procurement, you tend to want to go to the cheapest (and) sometimes the best known but for us we have gone through the manufacturers of the equipment, we have looked at the best there is and then we have gotten competitive prices and for the people we have engaged to install it, they have been doing this between Florida and Jamaica…”
Wowed by the support by those in attendance, he commented: We appreciate your presence here. Engineers are not always having always the most esteemed of crowds and when I look around here I can’t remember being in the presence of so many people for an engineering feature.”
The commissioning of the traffic lights came three days ahead of the Team Unity Government’s three-year anniversary date (15th February).
The administration’s kicked off its celebratory week of activities with the official reopening of the National ICT Centre at the CA Paul Southwell Industrial Park.