British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Sep 18, 2021

Vanterpool voices disapproval for new RT double-lane traffic system

Vanterpool voices disapproval for new RT double-lane traffic system

Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool said he does not support the double-lane traffic system that currently exists in Road Town, particularly in the absence of traffic lights.

Road Town makes up part of his overall constituency.

“I’m still not in favour of two lanes in the city unless you can put street lights where people can cross over [the road] comfortably where the traffic stops to allow crossing,” Vanterpool said in the House of Assembly recently.

The government implemented the new traffic turnaround system last year to help ease congestion with the traffic flow in Road Town. The new plan included converting previously single-lane roads into double-lane roads on DeCastro Street and along Waterfront Drive.

But Vanterpool, who expressed that he had been approached with the same proposal while he was in government, said he did not mind when changes occurred but argued that these changes ought to satisfy the needs of the public.

“Road Town is no longer a pedestrian-friendly town,” the former Transportation & Works Minister said.

Dangerous double-lane

He said there remains a danger when two vehicles are made to travel from the same direction; explaining that persons trying to cross would not be able to see the vehicles travelling in the outer lane.

Vanterpool acknowledged that there are two-lane roadways in US cities such as New York and Atlanta but said these work because of traffic lights.

“That’s how a double-lane in a city works. It can’t work without that,” the legislator said. “We will get some accidents and some people will get knocked over, especially the elderly people who can’t move as fast and who are not so quick to determine whether they should go across now or not.”

Pedestrians now fear Main Street

The Fourth District Representative further said he does not like what has been made of Main Street in terms of the flow of traffic.

He said pedestrians find it considerably difficult to cross because motorists usually travel at full speed along that winding thoroughfare.

“I had to beg for some speed bumps on it. But it’s still the wrong way. We were trying to turn Main Street into more of a pedestrian street than the traffic street it has now become,” Vanterpool stated.

“When you’re in the city people should be able to walk and cross and go to businesses as they wish comfortably – and not only people – you have to remember the senior citizens of the country who traverse through the town on foot, or maybe holding a stick or maybe in a wheelchair,” he added.

Consultation with Kye Rymer

According to Vanterpool, the incumbent Transportation & Works Minister, Kye Rymer had consulted him before the traffic turnaround in Road Town. Vanterpool said he told Rymer he was not opposed to trying something different but advised Rymer at the time to reverse the changes if they did not work.

The Fourth District Representative told the House of Assembly persons could no longer walk along Main Street because of fear. “That’s not what a city is supposed to be,” he said.


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