As the high tourist season is here and Christmas is just around the corner, I would like to advise both the Dutch and French Governments to start implementing short and long-term solutions to ease the traffic situation on both sides of the island.
I think it is high time we address our traffic bottlenecks with quick wins to ease the traffic congestion for the tourists during the Christmas season.
On the Dutch side, a short-term solution is to make the Ring Road drivable by fixing the road all around the pond and put proper signs from the Soualiga Roundabout, behind Ketty’s Snack to inform motorists they can use this alternative route to ease the traffic flow on the Pond fill.
You will be amazed that a lot of motorists don’t know the road is open for vehicular traffic, but the road needs to be fixed as soon as possible of potholes for the Christmas season.
Another short-term solution is to make a filter lane by the intersection by Zagersgut before you reach the bridge by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. This will ease the traffic flow in the morning hours in the area.
As the former Minister of VROMI, I did the same type of filter lane by the John Jose Lake Sr. ballpark intersection, which is a huge success. The intersection going into Cay Hill needs to be upgraded with proper road markings to regulate the traffic in that area.
I would advise the Minister to discuss these short-term solutions with the Traffic Inspector of Police, who also has some great ideas to ease the traffic flow. Another area is by NV GEBE intersection, to put a proper road marking line or make it one-way to avoid traffic congestion in that area with the local buses.
A long-term solution is the upgrading of the Old Cake House road making it a two-way road with guard rails to ease the traffic flow from the Causeway and airport area.
Government already purchased the hillside land from the James family some years ago to widen the road. This is another quick win to ease the traffic in the general interest of the island. I really don’t see why this project can’t be executed along with Link 2, and the most very important Link 6 from South Reward over Weymouth Hill to Dutch Quarter once discussions are again held with some of the landowners. The majority of the landowners already agree with these links.
Government just has to sit down with the other land owners and come to a win-win agreement.
I would advise Government to purchase property at the Arch Road intersection in Sucker Garden and build a Roundabout to alleviate the traffic in that area. There also needs to be speed bumps added in all districts for the safety of residents.
The Weymouth Hill road project should not be a difficult project to execute because two of the three landowners already agreed while the third one is reviewing the draft agreement.
I also would advise Government to look at ways and means to upgrade the Simpson Bay and Airport Road with proper sidewalks and drainage for the safety aspect of all cyclists and pedestrians. Actually the entire island should have proper drainage, sidewalks, speed bumps, road markings, railing light reflectors with cyclist and pedestrian safety signs. I come from a cycling family and lost a brother by a reckless driver, so safety is and should be our number one priority when upgrading our infrastructure.
The French side needs to seriously look at short and long-term solutions to ease the traffic flow in the Marigot area. I would advise that both governments look at opening the Marigot Hill Road to ease the traffic flow on both sides of the island. The French side has to sit again with the landowners to make this road project a reality for the general interest of the island.
In closing, this is the time of the season for both Governments to address these short and long-term solutions to ease the traffic flow on both sides of the island.
USP Party Member Maurice Lake