Move afoot to solve traffic woes in Hanover
STAKEHOLDER groups have begun planning to alleviate traffic congestion in two of the major towns within the parish of Hanover – Hopewell and the capital Lucea.
Both are noted for the long traffic delays and representatives from the National Works Agency (NWA), the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Hanover Division, along with the members of parliament within the parish – Dave Brown (Eastern) and Tamika Davis (Western) – have been meeting and tabling plans to find short- and long-term remedies for the long-standing problem.
The traffic flow system in the seaside town was adjusted for the Christmas period, turning some streets into one-way thoroughfares. This resulted in greatly reduced traffic congestion.
Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels said that with the success of the short-term changes in Lucea, attention will now be turned to Hopewell.
“Our major concern is really on the town of Hopewell now, because somehow we got some partial resolve in Lucea. So we want to do something about Hopewell,” he told The Gleaner during an interview.
Samuels added that HMC personnel will be meeting soon with NWA representatives and the police to discuss a way forward.
Superintendent Sharon Beeput, head of the police’s Hanover Division, told The Gleaner that there is already a traffic-flow plan in place for both towns, adding that she has been meeting with the Transport Authority.
“It is between the Municipal Corporation and the NWA to get the Transport Authority together to a meeting, and we’ll take it from there. But we (police) would have met with the NWA towards the end of 2021, relative to the traffic situation, and there is a plan that we have that we are working towards,” she stated.
Beeput added that disorderly conduct by some public passenger vehicle (PPV) operators was at the root of issues in the Hopewell town centre.
“The road licensing (of the PPVs) is important, because we cannot continue to have taxis on the roadway out there (Hopewell square). We need a better approach for 2022.”
She disclosed that she would be raising the matter at the next meeting of the traffic committee for the parish in a matter of weeks.
“There is a transport centre in Hopewell, which not one of the PPV operators whose route terminates or begins in that town uses. ... Until the police or the Transport Authority removes them from the town square, everything else is in vain in Hopewell,” one resident told The Gleaner, lamenting that the usual three-minute journey through the town when the roads are clear could take up to an hour when congested.