Proposals for traffic, keeping city clean
Stabroek News
February 5, 2002

Dear Editor,

I have been an annual visitor to Guyana for three weeks in December for the last nine years, so I can speak from experience. I have seen some of the problems confronting the Guyanese people and would like to offer a possible solution to them.

I have observed the buses in Guyana are overcrowded, uncomfortable, unsafe, speed and the music is too loud. The drivers take unnecessary chances in passing other vehicles and pass on curves. They drive at an unsafe speed while passing through towns and populated areas.

Possible solution: speed limit and no passing zone signs be posted on highways and within city limits, highly visible police car patrol.

Problem - Buses and other vehicles are allowed to travel through the crowded Parika market during market hours causing hazards to shoppers.

Possible solution: Widen the road to two lanes that vehicles use to come into the market. Vehicles would use the left lane to travel to the end of the market. No left turn would be permitted during market hours. Buses would off-load the passengers, turn right and move back to the entrance using the right lane. There the buses would line up, take in passengers and depart. Shoppers would move through the market street safely and board the waiting buses. All vehicular traffic other than emergency or police vehicles and delivery trucks, would be banned from the market street during market hours. People could shop freely and know exactly where to catch a bus to leave the market.

Problem - I have waited in line on a hot crowded bus in the congestion at the toll booth crossing over the Demerara Harbour Bridge. A possible solution to this is to sell a book of bridge fare tickets to motorists. One ticket from the book would permit the driver, after passing through an unmanned toll booth to exit at the other end of the bridge. These ticket bearers would not become a part of the congestion at the toll booths.

Each year I have observed the same hole in roads and streets, only bigger. Nothing much has been done to fill them.

Possible solution: Use guarded prisoners as work crews to repair the streets and roads. Let them pay their debt to society by working for society. This is practised successfully in many countries. Many prisoners would rather spend time in the fresh air and sunshine than languishing in a jail cell. Prisoners could also be used to pick up trash along roadways, to be put in large plastic bags and put on waiting trucks for disposal.

I observed that the city market is overcrowded and unsafe for shoppers.

Possible solution - city to erect produce stalls for vendors to rent. Vendors would be responsible for trash in their area. Violators would be ticketed. Trash containers should be placed throughout the market and trash pickups be scheduled. Sidewalks would be free of vendors and produce. An adequate restroom should be erected in the market place. Vehicles should not be allowed to drive through pedestrians. Buses, cabs, etc and shoppers should have separate areas. Sleeping drunks and vagrants should be removed from the market.

Guyana is in the process of promoting a tourist program. Littering and trash are a detriment. It is imperative that each citizen take pride in their country and take a part in making it a better place to live.

Yours faithfully,

William H. Rust