I have waited with much patience for the RCIP to address the traffic problem on West Bay Road. Despite reports in the news months ago regarding a crack down, I have yet to see officers efficiently policing West Bay Road during the peak hours of the evening flow or on Saturdays.
If by some chance I’ve overlooked their good efforts, their presence (where applicable) has left no lasting impression on the public, both law-abiding and lawbreaking.
A few suggestions to alleviate the congestion include:
• $200 tickets for all law breaking and inconsiderate drivers (yes, buses and taxis too) that choose to use the middle turning lane for their personal speedway. One way this could be done is to section off a part of the Galleria Plaza and have two officers at the scene, one posted by the Burger King and the other inside the Galleria Plaza parking lot.
The officer by the Burger King would get the attention of the violator, jot down their license plate number and wave them onto the officer at Galleria Plaza for ticketing.
By doing this, potential violators in the main traffic lane and those coming off the bypass by the Cinema would be unaware of what was happening and be their normal callous selves thus earning $200 tickets too! Imagine the revenue!
Something similar needs to be done to punish those who use the middle turning lane as a speedway when heading to town from West Bay. This abuse of the turning lane and violation of the law is reckless and will one day result in serious injury and perhaps even death.
• Another option is to close off access to West Bay Road from the bypass near the Cinema during peak hours.
There is never a traffic back-up there as nine out of 10 cars coming off the bypass do not merge into the main traffic lane before they get to Wendy’s as they should; instead they shoot down the middle turning lane all the way to Galleria Plaza.
The drivers obeying the written and courteous rules of the road waiting patiently in their cars must be asleep at the wheel or unaware of their environment because all the cars that come speeding down the middle lane are almost immediately let into the main lane of traffic. Why in the world would anyone sitting unnecessarily in traffic because of selfish drivers let these same violators go in front of them further delaying all the law-abiding considerate drivers behind them? Do the lawbreakers and those who aid and abet them have somewhere more important to be than you do or I do? Absolutely not; wake-up, this is inconsiderate behavior all around.
Heading to town on West Bay Road on any given Saturday is an absolute nightmare.
The traffic backs up past Governors Harbour and all the inconsiderate drivers speed along the shoulder, passing vehicles patiently waiting in line and head down the back route through Governors Harbour, past Lime Tree Bay and then out by Safe Haven. Again, drivers who obviously have no consideration for those behind them or who must be asleep at the wheel, welcome the cheaters into the traffic lane. Get real people, do you think the occupants of the cars coming out of Safe Haven have just all finished a nice game of golf? No, they took the back route delaying you and everyone else who didn’t cheat. Why let them in?
• The RCIP should make it illegal to use the back routes during all high traffic times. All the cheaters do is help themselves and punish all others. The cheaters cause the majority of the traffic trouble.
Do you not notice that once you’re past Safe Haven the flow and speed of the traffic instantly increases? During the weekdays, the morning traffic is slow but at least it moves.
Why? Because not too many drivers are willing to take the chance of getting a ticket for violating the posted signs prohibiting access through Governors Harbour. Change these signs to include all high traffic times and punish the violators.
On Saturday, the 15th of April, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After witnessing one too many cars speed past me along the shoulder on their way to the road that runs alongside the Courtyard Marriott, I moved my vehicle to the shoulder thus blocking passage of the cheaters.
A couple of cars somehow managed to get past me but finally a van got stuck behind me. The driver of the van repeatedly honked his horn at me then managed to get along side me and ask me what I was doing.
I explained that I was blocking the way as to prevent rude drivers like him from taking a short cut further delaying myself and all the other considerate law abiding drivers behind me.
This man went on to call me arrogant among other things. Needless to say, I had a few choice words of my own for him and most importantly, he didn’t get past me! Another driver behind me gave me thumbs-up for my efforts.
After waiting in traffic for more than an hour and moving no more than 100 yards, my 11-year-old son needed to use the restroom. He exited my vehicle and managed to walk three miles to my office at the end of Seven-Mile Beach and in the same time, I managed to drive from the Courtyard Marriott to Trafalgar Square, no exaggeration of the truth.
Is this what it has come to, the public taking traffic matters into their own hands?
I telephoned the police this same Saturday to ask if there were traffic police on duty. When I finally, (2 1/2 hours later) got past Safe Haven, I saw one police car with officers sitting inside parked on the Ritz property and two police cars parked in the street by Wendy’s. One of these cars was blocking access to town for some strange reason (there were no traffic troubles there) while the two officers were having a nice conversation in the roadway.
The traffic troubles are a direct failure of the RCIP Traffic Department’s lack of action and response. It is past time to get a firm grip on West Bay Roads traffic troubles. Enough is enough.
The police need to do their part by enforcing the law, providing the man power to be a constant presence during peak hours, amending the traffic laws and punishing the numerous violators and the public needs to stop aiding the violators and start having consideration for fellow law-abiding drivers. There is always going to be traffic during peak hours but it certainly does not need to be worsened by selfish and law-breaking drivers.
It is said cheaters never prosper; with regards to West Bay Road traffic lets make that statement true.