For the longest while, there have been two misleading traffic signs at the junction of Thomas Street and the parallel roads of Stanley Place and Vlissengen Road. Thomas Street is one-way going east from Vlissengen Road to Lamaha Street in Kitty. However, the arrow sign at the junction of Stanley Place and Thomas Street directs traffic to proceed west on Thomas Street. Confoundingly, a STOP sign is also incongruously painted on the road surface of the Thomas Street bridge connecting Vlissengen Road to Stanley Place.
Recently, while driving north along Stanley Place, I slowed at its intersection with Thomas Street as a precaution. In the process, I exchanged greetings with two traffic ranks who were on duty nearby. The two traffic policemen were appreciably courteous and appeared undaunted by the seething heat of the day.
During my pause, a brief conversation arose regarding the misleading signs. One of the ranks confessed that the police were aware of the erring signs, and said that he even had prior confrontations with some road users who were abusing the signs’ misrepresentation. He added that the issue was raised “higher up” several months ago, but to date the situation remains uncorrected. As I continued my journey, I thought about the potential for accidents by the misleading signs. I thought about the oblivion or indifference by those responsible for the maintenance of roads and traffic safety. I thought about the evolved apathy of many citizens, now moved to silence, because ventilated matters like these invariably seem to bounce off of deaf ears fastened upon the brain-boxes of the powers that be. I thought about the apparent disconnection and incoherence of the arms of state – something that has seriously affected the ability of certain entities to successfully prosecute those who were, and still are, fingered in massive acts of corruption against the state. Effective networking and seamless collaboration among relevant entities – namely the Guyana Police Force, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and City Council – on matters like these misleading road signs would have seen their correction ages ago. Do we now have to import “experts” from somewhere to produce a report with recommendations to fix this teeny matter?