Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee has announced that several streets in Georgetown will soon be designated one way streets to reduce traffic congestion and aid the fight against crime.
“We would of course have to lay out the plan to make it public, and we would of course have to engage in discussions and consultations with many other stakeholders, as well as residents in various parts of the city where we intend to establish this network of one way streets. This is another innovative way that we will be implementing to address the traffic congestion in the city of Georgetown. We believe that it is workable, ‘doable’, it is acceptable, and based on the consultations we would have had already,” Rohee said at a press briefing at his office on Tuesday, according to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report.
The announcement followed a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday which examined a presentation from the National Commission on Law and Order on the question of one way streets, Rohee said
“How do we deal with the situation.. . the number of streets in Georgetown remain basically the same while at the same time the number of vehicles are growing astronomically. …Importation up to a certain amount might be one of the possibilities, but it seems to us at the ministry that we have to find various means of addressing the traffic situation in Georgetown,” he noted.
The minister said that implementing the one way street network is a workable solution to easing the traffic congestion as well as helping to stem crime. The ministry would consult with stakeholders, including residents, in the areas where it intends to implement the one way street network and draft a plan to introduce it in phases.
“We will then… assess how it is working, and how people are reacting to it, and we will proceed with the other phases. It will be divided in to four quadrants…. This will help us in many other respects apart from traffic control, it will also help us with the fight against crime…,” he said.
It was observed that there are three causes of unlawful behaviours on the roadways: lack of proper enforcement of the road rules; a gap in the education of the public regarding proper road usage; and congestion due to a large number of vehicles on the roadways.
The minister pointed out that the congestion near the Stabroek Market during the evenings and at the weekend is one that needs to be addressed. Rohee suggested that one way to address traffic congestion in the city is to assign more ranks to monitor the roadways. He also said that persons who have acquired their driver’s licence without having attended the theoretical and practical classes will be dealt with condignly when they are caught breaking the law.
According to GINA, Rohee noted that the ministry has advertised in the press for traffic wardens but the response has been slow. However, the ministry envisions that traffic wardens will be patrolling city streets by year-end.
“We expect that the Guyana Police Force will train these persons very quickly so that in a short space of time they would be able to perform their duties,” he said.