For about one week there had been a disruption of the regular programmes of both radio and television in Linden with all kinds of music on the radio filling the gap continuously, twenty-four seven without a single word. The TV station played whatever as the entire community kept guessing what’s wrong ‒ not a solitary word from anyone! If this does not fit the definition for disregard ‒ though some refer to it as ‘eyepass’ ‒ then would someone tell me what is?
You know life runs in cycles. What I’m going to say here will not raise eyebrows or cause surprises, having been spoken about so many times before, and it is hardly likely any action is going to be taken. This letter will be glossed over until sometime once more someone comes along with the exact same complaint ‒ cycles. Yet this letter would not have been made public if there wasn’t a glimmer of hope somewhere.
Now as a Lindener I have to say something which many know to be true, but still there will be some in denial and screw up their faces. Among whatever commendable and daring things Lindeners are known for I singled out the 2012 electricity protest as the pick of the crop when it comes to protests/demonstrations. I am yet to learn about another in this country comparable to or surpassing it. But as I have said before, we Lindeners must not be content with being acclaimed champions of protest only; we need also to draw the line and equally demonstrate and be recognised as a people/community and region possessing the fortitude and craving for things wholesome, positive, of quality, up to standard, raising the bar way above and beyond mediocrity, just as in the poem I wrote for our Town Week which states: “As we celebrate let’s up the tempo, set standards high deserving of every man woman and child.”
A casual talk with Lindeners will reveal that many do not have the gut feeling that on the front burner the best is being pursued for the town/region; many are not convinced that the majority of those in the top positions are keenly interested in the welfare of the community/region, everyone appears to be wearing a mask. One elderly gentleman said to me that people see all the wrong things when out of office but go blind when they get in. As former union president Jacob Braithwaite was fond of saying: “When the rice out the pot it hard and stubborn, but after boiling becomes tender.”
Now here’s a case for the traffic department which has very little to do, but does it not: Pine Street and Potaro Road have been made into a parking zone for hire cars plying the Amelia’s Ward and Wismar/Wisroc, and they are many. As all Linden knows Pine Street like most roads is a dry-weather street in a deplorable condition, a real humpty bumpty street with craters that were not so long fixed; and it is not so wide either that vehicles can easily cross each other.
Now dear reader just use your imagination to create the scene when it rains; it becomes a sloppy dam with pedestrians, cyclists, hire cars, private cars, etc, all competing and jostling for some solid spot. Understand that Pine Street is a little over 100 metres long with about 10 business places so there’s a disgusting confusion and encumbrance caused when other vehicles pull up to purchase or deliver goods; it’s a kind of madness. So there is definite need for some semblance of traffic order.
But instead, the cops whenever they arrive, take up their position at the head of Pine Street and Republic Avenue and seem oblivious to what is taking place in front their eyes. There is also a Zebra crossing sign right there which many drivers ignore and some hire cars even stop directly on it to take in or let off passenger(s) with the cop standing right there. And by the way, how faded must those zebra crossings become before they can be repainted?
Well if you think that Pine Street is in a terrible situation, let’s examine the road that takes you to and from Regma Primary school that also has not so long ago been fixed ‒ let’s forget Dakama Circle and Damon Avenue for a moment. Long before it was redone it was a ‘daymare’ to students, parents, teachers and residents of Retrieve, so much so that at one time the PTA closed the school down and staged a protest ‒ it was that bad! And though it was attended to, there’s no kind of improvement to shout about. Like Pine Street it is another fair-weather situation, quickly deteriorating because it was poorly constructed and when it rains it becomes even worse, because even though Pine Street has blocked gutters this Regma School road has none at all; on both sides are mounds covered with high grass, thus the sides become flooded and muddied.
Now there’s a substantial number of students who go to and fro by taxi; many teachers too have their own cars, motor cycles, bicycles, so here is the Pine Street scenario to an even worse degree, all (including pedestrians) caught up scrambling and negotiating for dry land to avoid the mud and circles of water. But it has got to be that things are not being done right in spite of all the millions boasted about that are spent on roads. But one would have to believe that the engineers and bosses of the town were all slumbering when this road was being done; you mean to say none saw the need for a sidewalk taking into consideration the hundreds of students, many just out of nursery walking there daily thus making it much safer for them. And just why are most of the roads now being constructed so narrow? Don’t our leaders represent us? And why is it that almost anything that starts to go bad and which we know to be well within the grasp of our local authorities is left unattended until it reaches crisis level and is beyond repair? Why isn’t there a regular maintenance crew whose primary duty is to identify and repair roads? I just hope that some relevant body is paying attention to Accara Drive Back Road; by the next heavy rainy season I’m sure those massive trucks will render it impassable.
So weary I am of saying this: large portions of water are left on the side of the Sir David Rose Avenue next to the Johnsons’ home every time it rains, forcing pedestrians and vehicles ‒ massive timber trucks ‒ to compete for the centre of the road until the sun dries them up. It’s worse at nights where like most streets/roads in Linden, it is dark.
You mean to say nothing can be done period? Can the traffic department say why there are no traffic signs from the forestry location along David Rose Avenue leading into Republic Avenue, where speeding is regular and fashionable, even reckless driving? Lindeners have got to thank their lucky stars that accidents are so few and far apart on this stretch of road. And again, why is it so difficult to attend to this blind corner at Dageraad Avenue turning left into David Rose Avenue; the same thing at the corner of Greenheart Street and Harder Road where the MSC basketball court obscures clear vision. How could all be so blind? Come on, little things still do mean a lot.
Take note dear reader that the observations listed above are those on the McKenzie shore; we haven’t crossed over to Wismar as yet. Is there still a campaign on in relation to loud music in minibuses? Why is it that cops turn a deaf ear to vulgar and boisterous foul-mouthed expressions that are the trademark around every minibus/hire-car park and go on without rhyme or reason be it Good Friday or else; is it a case of a lack of better example?
Finally, this for me seems to be one way beyond cops: getting drivers ‒ all drivers ‒ to desist from carrying on lengthy discussions and gossiping on cell phones whilst driving; don’t we have enough unpleasant evidence to go by?