As place of relaxation, Georgetown seawall needs much improvement

Dear Editor,

I sometimes get the feeling that letter writing is just for entertainment and wonder how much of it is monitored by the authorities that be and our city councilors. After all, letters are another great way to gauge the temperature of the people on a wide array of topics.

Today, I just felt that I should speak up on the condition of the area in Georgetown popularly known as the sea-wall which takes in an area extending west from Fort Groyne to the Kitty Pumping Station in the east.

I recently took a stroll there with my wife, our son, his wife and our two-year-old granddaughter and found that while the air was invigoratingly fresh as usual the actual sea-wall area was less than inspiring.

Starting from the Marriott end, I thought that the area was not too bad but so much more could be done to enhance the visitor’s experience. For starters, there is a new concrete footpath from the Marriott to the Round House and instead of putting some kind of chained barrier and a prominent sign forbidding motorized traffic and perhaps even bicycles other than children’s between the ages of four and twelve one has to be constantly moving aside as motorbikes and even cars at times rudely honk their way through. I would also love to see a few benches along the path and some improved landscaping. I am not too sure if the path is lit but if not, it should be with a regular foot or bicycle security patrol that’s properly trained to interact with the public.

On the way to the Round House you can see vagrants who have taken up residence preparing their evening feast while others are strolling or sitting around as if in their private dwellings

The Round House itself, which should have either been some kind of refreshment stop-cum-souvenir shop with a bit of historical information on the area is just an ugly, dilapidated structure with its roof shingles scattered on the ground. The walk on the wall from the Round House to the Band Stand is bearable but gets worse as you approach some scattered and sloppy make-shift vending booths if you can call them that, along with trampolines, inflatable Bouncy fun houses, cool-down carts bicycle vendors and even a menacing  merry-go-round at times all with noisy generators adding to the mass of polluted confusion to what really should have been a quiet and tranquil get-away spot after a hard day.

The rest of the way to the Kitty Pumping Station is just a lot more of the same.

I am not saying that you get rid of vending altogether but acquire better, more up-scale, organized vending and properly designed booths with laid down rules and standards of operation which must be followed and demanded.

We are operating in our prime real estate areas which should be laid out to attract Guyanese and our visitors, as if they were ghettos.

I have even passed by in the evenings to find the entire place in darkness.

The once lovely Band Stand is now a night shelter for vagrants and the surrounding area most untidy.

Where is our pride and why have we come to this stage where we feel that this is the best we can do?

I feel sad for Georgetown as a whole, with all its untidy and ugly junk and vending structures at every turn but why on earth can’t we carve out a little area where decent citizens and their families can retire to and relax in safety for a few hours whenever they choose to. That would be a start towards the good life instead of some tired, empty slogan.

Yours faithfully,

Bernard Ramsay     

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