By Carlena Knight
Discussions are now underway for the feasibility of converting two of the country’s major highways into one-way streets.
The matter has been discussed in social circles, but the Head of the Traffic Department of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Superintendent Rodney Ellis revealed that this is something officials have been looking at for both Factory Road and Old Parham Road.
However, he explained that a number of factors would have to assessed before this could become a reality.
“I just raised that maybe couple of weeks ago with the Attorney General, but there are certain things that we have to do so that we can really have it down pat before we can really go into it, because we have to take into consideration the bus route and the number of intersections on those roads. We don’t want to have the situation that we have all those intersections and exits and entries on those roads. It will take some planning … and before we even get to that, it will take some simulation which we are planning to do to see how best it can work,” Superintendent Ellis said.
He gave some scenarios on how exactly the flow of traffic would be on those roads if it was implemented.
“Some of those by-roads will be exit only and some entry only. If you’re coming into the city, you have to get on Factory Road. If you are leaving the city to go anywhere eastward, you have to utilise Old Parham Road and that’s the plan going forward, and I believe with two lanes, you will always keep moving.
“If you want to turn into St Johnston’s Village turning west on Factory Road, you keep in the right lane. If you are going east on Old Parham Road and you want to go into Johnston’s, you keep the right lane. If you are going up to Clare Hall School, then you keep in the left lane,” Ellis explained.
For bus drivers leaving from New Winthorpes, however, they would have to go through Cassada Gardens and exit onto Wireless Road, cross Simon Bolivar and then enter onto Factory Road, while if they are leaving town and heading to that area they would just take the normal route.
Those bus drivers going back to Potters would go up Old Parham Road, come across Sir George Walter Highway or Mahico Drive and back into Potters.
“That’s the plan but, as I said, it is in the planning stages and when we get there, we will do more consultations with members of the public to see where we go from there,” he added.
Despite that fact, Ellis says he is confident something like this can be done and would help to improve the flow of traffic on both roads.
“I believe it is something that can work because if you look at the traffic now even during Covid and if you are still having those type of traffic, imagine when the country is fully open and what can happen with over 45,000 vehicles.
“You’re leaving the city at 4.30 — 5 in the evening and the traffic is backed up from Harney Motors almost down to the fire station. So, if you have two lanes, the traffic would ease up,” he added.