with the number of road fatalities and traffic congestion still a major concern for Government, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has disclosed plans to create three pedestrian overpasses, as well as a fly-over at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
The Minister made the announcement at the unveiling of the Independence Arch at the city’s entrance, Agricola, Greater Georgetown, on Friday.
Noting that the construction of the arch is an upgrade for the East Bank of Demerara, Patterson also elaborated on the ongoing projects by the Public Infrastructure Ministry for the access road as well as future plans to decrease traffic fatalities.
One of the projects the Ministry will be embarking upon, he said, is the creation of the overpasses and a flyover, as part of its aim to ensure maximum security of pedestrians who are more than often, the victims of accidents.
The Minister added that these overpasses will be constructed at three junctions, which research shows are the busiest.
“Each month, the Guyana Police Force, through its traffic statistics, indicate that pedestrians are the most affected by fatal accidents on our roadways. Saving even a single life is important. The pedestrian overhead crossings will be located at the Harbour Bridge intersection at Peter’s Hall; Eccles and Houston. These sites were chosen following studies which showed that these three areas have the most pedestrian movement,” said Patterson.
Referring to the proposed vehicular overhead crossing at Diamond, Patterson added that this will be constructed at the intersection of the East Bank road and Diamond, given that traffic congestion in this area is a constant inconvenience for commuters and drivers.
This, he said, will also play a significant role in reducing the number of accidents.
According to Patterson “The community is also one that suffers from serious traffic congestion, so the overhead crossing will bring relief. We expect that the overhead crossing will significantly reduce accidents; save on travel time for those from Diamond; and also precipitate a free flow of traffic at the proposed site.”
Speaking about the Ministry’s current projects, Patterson updated that the East Bank Demerara four-lane expansion project is in its final stages, as works are being done between Providence and Herstelling. This project, he said, is set for completion by the end of August 2016.
This expansion, he cited, will not only serve to provide additional space but also will significantly cut down on travel time, allow a smoother flow of vehicular traffic, and most importantly, reduce accidents seen along the East Bank Demerara corridor.
Since the issue of traffic congestion continues to be high on the agenda for both the Ministry and drivers, Patterson revealed plans by the Government to commence its Sustainable Urban Transportation Study in the month of June.
He explained that the study will focus primarily on analysing the public transport system so that possible solutions can be derived as to how mobility can be improved in and around Georgetown.
“It is important that we look at ways to diagnose the urban transport situation. We all are aware of the problems and trends and the Government of Guyana believes that it is high time that we deal with matters of public transport infrastructure, operations, financing, and institutional organisation” the Public Infrastructure Minister posited.
The Sustainable Urban Transportation Study will support the design of a public transport system to provide users with a safe, efficient, clean, and affordable service.