Non-functioning traffic lights make key intersection a hazard for drivers

The busy intersection around midday on Wednesday.

Motorists say the lack of working traffic lights has made it increasingly difficult to use the Vlissengen Road and Carifesta Avenue intersection in George-town.

Since the nearby junction of Vlissengen Road and Kitty Public Road was reopened to traffic after the completion of infrastructural works, the traffic lights at the intersection have not been functioning and road users have questioned why since the area is usually busy during peak periods in the morning and afternoon.

Drivers have been forced to be very cautious at the intersection of Vlissengen Road and Carifesta Avenue

Around midday on Wednesday, Stabroek News observed a significant amount of traffic flowing through the intersection. However, many persons had a difficult time crossing the roads since drivers rarely stopped for others from the intersecting lanes in the absence of the traffic lights. This resulted in the buildup of traffic moving north along Vlissengen Road, west along Carifesta Avenue and those exiting the seawall road.

“It’s madness out here sometimes, especially when it’s busy. Nobody wants to let you cross because everybody think they have the right of way, especially those traveling along Carifesta Avenue or trying to reach that road,” Michael James, a driver who regularly uses the intersection told Stabroek News.

Another driver pointed out that on numerous occasions while trying to move from Vlissengen Road into Carifesta Avenue in order to access the Rupert Craig Highway other vehicles almost collided with his car.

“…Especially those bus drivers. Them man head mad. They don’t stop at all for anyone and you does have to push, push and inch, inch your car to get a pass. It’s a whole scene out here sometimes because nobody does want let you pass. You know how many people I see get jam up because of this same thing?” another driver, Deonarine (only name given), said.

The drivers said the traffic lights should have been repaired and working since they provided control.

“This is a very, very busy area. Almost all the traffic exiting the East Coast and into the city and leaving the city to the East Coast. That is a lot of traffic every day, especially during the peak times in the morning, lunch and during the afternoon when people are going over. Those traffic lights used to control the traffic, now it’s just bare confusion. Every-body always in a rush and not willing to give anyone a pass. I’m surprised they haven’t been any major accidents here,” another driver pointed out.

While Stabroek News was unable to contact officials from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for comment on the situation, a knowledgeable source said the lights will not repaired since the works on the nearby roundabout are expected to start soon.

Drivers also said they were unsure whether having a roundabout in the area would prove to be a wise decision. “Round-abouts aren’t very simple to use and I could see many accidents and confusion happening, especially with the way Guyanese drivers are. I just hope that they take the initiative and educate people on how to use them properly,” one driver said.

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