By Stephen Kangal
January 02, 2015
A decision on the demonstration was taken at the end of the Meeting of Residents held on Thursday last (18 December) at the Frederick Settlement Community Centre based on the statements made by the residents expressing fears for the safety of their children while crossing the dualled and expanded roadway as well as the absence of Minister Rambachan from the Meeting although invited.
Their areas of concerns are:
- The inadequacy of the lighting/ relevant signage on the new road causing severe difficulties in navigating the road during night time by both residents and other drivers using the road. This is a threat to life and limb and a clear violation of the CEC stipulations.
- Difficulties and dangers being suffered by the residents in the crossing of the roadway that is now very wide with two unlit lanes/carriageways and no pedestrian crossing lights even temporary zebra crossing marks.
- The risk of deaths/accidents occurring from the unregulated crossings especially when school reopens on 5th January
- The complete absence of U-Turns even though the new road is wide enough to accommodate a third lane for such purposes at the entrance to the Industrial Zone and at the entrance to La Paille Gardens resulting in unnecessary long, time-delaying journeys to the Caroni Roundabout and the Distillery Roundabout especially at morning and evening rush hours. We were assured that U-Turns will be included at these points by PURE during meetings.
- The presence of stagnant waters in the new drains that can result in mosquito infestation and dengue/chickungunya outbreaks.
- The entrance and exits to Frederick Settlement must be made more functional and easy for the motorists eliminating dangers posed by the Doc’s Wall. These are carelessly designed and need souping up or redoing.
- The paving of Knaggs Street (East to West) to restore the surface after works were done and the building of a drain to avoid flooding of this Street in front of the Caroni Presbyterian School/Church. The Catholic Church and Presbyterian school ought to be compensated for suffering from noise and dust pollution with a paved roadway in Knaggs Street.
- No bus-stops and not even temporary make-shift ones for sheltering from the elements in Frederick Settlement, Caroni Village and La Paille Villages.
- The flooding threat posed by a stagnant, not-flowing Skimming Drain and the drain located on the Eastern boundary of Frederick Settlement that is grassed up. There is a lot of stagnant drains carelessly built to retain stagnant water.
- The removal of lay-bys in La Paille Village causing loss of business for some merchants
- The lack of crossings for pedestrians in La Paille Village posing dangers to life and limb and potential accidents.
- The astronomical increases in taxi-fares and unwillingness of taxis to drop off passengers in Frederick Settlement.
It is to be noted that pedestrian lights were installed on the Tuesday morning after the protest and Minister Cadiz visited the residents and held discussions with them on Wednesday with a view to problem-solving and calming their anxieties.