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#222705 - 12/12/06 11:14 PM Road argument on belize culture newsgroup
Marty Offline
THis is an ongoing discussion on the roads taking place on the belize culture newsgroup. each section separated by ----- is a different persons comment...

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR SAN PEDRO DAILY

Hi Editor,
Please allow me a tiny space of your paper to express this major problem.
I think its obvious that we know the street situation here on the island. I
work in the hotel business and I feel ashamed every time I have to explain
to the guests about the mud holes. It is a shame for such a beautiful place
to have the worst streets I have seen in my life and it is getting worst
after every rain. The problems that come with this is a never ending list.
Everyday thousands of adults and children have to take a journey from south
San Pedro to downtown. Many of these persons are teachers, bank workers,
hotel managers, students and the list goes on. Its sad to see that the
normal 10-15 minute drive now takes 20-30 minutes. Don't mention the wear
and tear that our golfcarts (not made to hike these roads) take. If
you take
a taxi the drivers think its our fault the streets are a mess and charge us
an extra 2 or 3 dollars. Some of them don't bother to show up. This makes a
lot of residents from south San Pedro very late for work.
When people think about "Isla Bonita" they think about sandy streets, not
pot hole after pot hole, after pot hole. Should we blame someone for this?
Or is our own fault for not taking control? I can sit here and point fingers
which will do no good.
My solution will be to have a general town meeting and have the people
express their views and concern on this embarassing situation.
Long time resident

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Absolutely disagree ... they are in San Ignacio ... perhaps with aclose second being the two entrances to Belize City (a tie) --- that section near the cemetery on the Western Highway, and of course the Northern Highway ... from the Haulover Bridge down to Palloti and the roundabout.



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While I will agree that San Pedro streets are horrible, I must agree with the entrances to the city being far worst. Not only are they sorry but they are dangerous...daily I await to hear of some major disaster on the news where an accident is concerned. There was some repair done to the western just past old Belize but just after the cemetery is becoming like a giant crater. I will say that with the non-stop raining not much can be expected in terms of repairs until it holds up and when it does...the patch work just won't do. AS For San pedro they have had the same council for a while and they stuck with it in March..so I guess that meant they were satisfied that they were working to their best interest and I am sure the streets were in that condition before then as I use to live there in 2004 and 2005.


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I think the worst is the peninsula road from the Southern Highway to Maya Beach. At times this summer it was literally impassable, even with a 4WD.

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Although it doesn't constitute a "street", I think that Placencia Rd. is THE WORST road in Belize. Have you tried to go down that road lately??? It takes an hour to just go 13 miles!

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Caye Caulker is BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kids have to wade to get to school. Some roads totally under water.

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The general feeling seems to be that all of the roads are horrible.

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yeah i guess so!!! fierce competition!!!!!

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Given that roads are a big issue in Bz, what about a "Road Report" in the paper?

You could get quite a bit of interest, by first inviting Readers to define a pothole, and then staging a Weekly Contest for "Worst Road of the Week".

With potholes being clearly defined, then all an Entrant would have to do would be to count the number of such potholes when walking say 30 paces down the road.

I would tentatively define a Pothole" as:
"A Pothole is a depression in the road caused by lack of maintenance, measuring at least 12" in diameter, with a depth of 2" or more."

Perhaps people who have to live with these potholes could come up with a better definition. :-)

The First Prize for having the "Worst Pothole of the Week" would be a letter to the Minister of Highways, with a picture of that week's winner. The Second Prize would be a similar letter sent to the Leader of the Opposition. :-)

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As I understand road repairs in Belize, it is the GOB responsibility and not the local town or Disctict responsibility. Can someone explain to me who is responsible for road repairs in Belize? Is it Mr. Henderson in Belmopan? I have found that the more local towns become responsible for such things, the quicker they will get fixed. This would require a dedicated source of annual funds shared down to each town based on population or some other formula typically from gas tax. To get something fixed, you first need to find out who is responsible. If the Town Councils are not responsible, then you cannot blame them.

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Good idea, except that the Placencia Road would have to be disqualified since it's basically one big pothole, with smaller potholes with the bigger potholes.

I have picture of a pothole that's at least 30 feet long --- and full of water. And that was two years ago before the road got bad.

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Saw a truck this morning working on the entrance to the
City (in front of SaveU Supermarket) this morning. They
have been working on that strip on Northern Road (BZ City
to Haulover Bridge) none-stop for the past few years. These
days they are not using asphalt just a quarry waste
mix...but they are working at it...in all fairness.

The stretch in front of Brodies Belama is a total mess
after the big construction in that area.

But I must agree that the Placencia Road takes
the cake by a long shot. Well, maybe a tie with the
Sartaneja Road???

Was in SP quite recently and while the back streets are
bad, they dont compare to others i've seen in Belize after
the long 3 days of non-stop rain.


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Caye Caulker's roads can't keep fixed without a lot more money or less gas vehicles.The soft sand streets of Caye Caulker go bad fast when the gas powered cars and carts dig them out. Electric carts are slow and less powerful and dig the streets out very little. That is why they drive them on golf courses.
By the way did anyone tell a well known fact to the BZ Gov.about the main reason those guys want gas carts? They are tired of driving around slowly and safely. They want powerful gas carts to hop up and drive fast.They found it hard to do with electric but I am told a gas cart can go 50MPH. First you need to make up some story to convince them to allow it since the tourists and parents hate the gas carts.
Local CC gov used to control this but the Central Gov. took over and they don't know how big an impact the fast noisy carts have on the life here. Children have been safe in the street here for a hundred years as long as the government made that a priority. Those days may be gone.

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#222715 - 12/12/06 11:38 PM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
It's almost to the point of needing a jet ski to get through some parts of town on the island right now.

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#222791 - 12/13/06 04:38 AM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: SimonB]
NYgal Offline
Oh my goodness....the roads are getting real bad. We watched, throughout the years, the new roads being built. Amazing how it is done. Now they are in need of repair.

I see that pot hole Placencia road. Frightening to say the least. It rained most of the time we stayed there this past year and if the water had been something other than red we could have been swimming to and from dining smile

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#222799 - 12/13/06 06:24 AM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: NYgal]
DB Offline
you guys live there and know best.... I was visiting (SPR) last week and man it has gotten even worse than I can remeber. I guess with every solution comes many more headaches (smooth roads equals faster driving, etc). But what will they ever do??

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#222979 - 12/14/06 01:49 AM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: DB]
Marty Offline
Ed Lyons
100 Sheffield Street
Old Saybrook, CT
USA

December 13, 2006
Mayor Elsa Paz
Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr.
San Pedro Town

Dear Sir and Madam:

As a tourist to your ‘Isla Bonita’ for a few years, I was appalled at the condition of the roads during our last trip at the latter part of October and early November.

We are bicyclists and were unable to go much beyond the bridge even thought we paid our toll….another story.

With the new tax scheme that seems to hit the local residents and tourist harshly, it would mitigate the raising cost to visit San Pedro if the infrastructure was improved …better roads…at least in town….north of the cut is another story that needs to be addressed by the consensus of the residents.

I wish to echo Mr. Perez’s concern that things need to be done to improve the lot of the residents and the tourists…one timers and the returnees.

One must be careful not to kill the goose that is laying the golden egg…..the visitors.

Sincerely,

Ed Lyons

Cc:
Said Musa, Prime Minister
John Briceno, Deputy Prime Minister
Mel Spain, PUP Standard Bearer Belize Rural South
Eiden Salazar, Reef Radio
Editor, Ambergris Today
Editor, San Pedro Sun
Editor, San Pedro Daily
Tom Vidrine, Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce
Godfrey Smith, Minister of Tourism
Mike Espat, Minister of Works

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#223029 - 12/14/06 07:42 AM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Casa Pan Dulce Bakery
P.O. Box 106
San Pedro Town
December 12, 2006

Mayor Elsa Paz
Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr.
San Pedro Town

Dear Sir and Madam
Being both of you proud sons of the soil, you are fully aware that San Pedro has always and I’m sure will continue to show unwavering support to noble causes. Whether a horrendous fire destruction, natural disaster, an ailing child in dire need of surgery, or a fundraising for whatever social cause, this community has been there to support and I mean full support.
As painfully obvious as it may be for this entire community and its visitors, the streets of “La Isla Bonita” can hold forth no more. The elements of nature can no longer be a reason to justify the conditions of our streets. We cannot sit down anymore and wait for the weather to subside for the problem to be alleviated. We all know that the grading of our streets is only a short term solution until the next showers come. Even when we have dry weather the dust is unbearable. A check with our local doctors will easily confirm that the dust is the leading culprit of the high amount of lung, throat and nose ailments. So, what do we do? Do we have a solution or we just answer these questions as always with the same? We cannot do anything until the rain clears. If this is the response you our local leaders plan on continuously give us then allow me to be the first to say an emphatic NO to that response.
As a businessman whose nature of business is to deliver an essential service to all corners of this town, the streets are taking its toll on my vehicle and it is literally costing me additional money. What about the rest of my fellow members of the business sector? Certainly we are feeling the ripple effects of the street conditions. Yes this is the same business sector that is there always to contribute wholeheartedly not only to any fundraiser but also to those letters of petitions issued almost on a weekly basis by the town council soliciting help for needy individuals. Yes that very same business sector that continuously gives is now hurting.
I, Andre Perez, officially write to recommend to our Mayor and our Area Representative that a town meeting be called to form a solid Ambergris Caye Street Restoration committee. A committee that will mobilize along with the town council in coming up with a genuine comprehensive presentation to Central Government who hopefully will be able to refer us to regional financial institutions for assistance We have to transform this island back to its respectful glory days of “La Isla Bonita.” If the central government was not aware of our predicament, then surely now they know since this weekend that went by a prominent minister was here with foreign dignitaries driving through our streets.
If the Government cannot help us or not even offer us an alternative then leave it to us the committee to look into what other appropriate steps can be taken to restore our streets. Believe you me, we will find a solution.
I anxiously await your response.

Sincerely, Andre Perez

Cc:
Said Musa, Prime Minister
John Briceno, Deputy Prime Minister
Mel Spain, PUP Standard Bearer Belize Rural South
Eiden Salazar, Reef Radio
Editor, Ambergris Today
Editor, San Pedro Sun
Editor, San Pedro Daily
Tom Vidrine, Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce
Godfrey Smith, Minister of Tourism
Mike Espat, Minister of Works

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#223231 - 12/15/06 08:52 PM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
C.D.B. loan for Placencia Road finally approved

Tonight the residents of the Placencia Peninsula have something to cheer about. The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a twelve point six million U.S. dollar loan to upgrade and pave the Placencia Road. The twenty-two year loan carries an interest rate of six point two five percent and five year grace period. Work is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2007. The C.D.B. also approved a twenty-five million U.S. dollar policy based loan to support government's efforts at debt restructuring and implementation of corrective financial measures

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#223243 - 12/15/06 10:16 PM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: Marty]
DB Offline
....maybe we should all get on a letter writing campaign?
I am drafting mine now......

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#224034 - 12/21/06 06:04 AM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: DB]
Marty Offline
Downtown city streets in a mess ...
It seems that at least once every year--often around this same time--we do a story on the deplorable state of Belize City's streets. Here we go again ... and from what News Five's Janelle Chanona found downtown, things ain't getting any better.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
Incessant rains, holiday shoppers and everyday traffic have taken their toll on downtown Belize City. Today Albert and Regent Streets boast some of the biggest potholes in the old capital.

#1 Driver
“Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.”

#2 Driver
“I think this dah one ah the roughest street dah Belize right now fu the main street. I can’t understand how they let it go so far right? But, maybe they don’t have the money.”

#3Driver
“Being a central street it’s really bad with the tourists and everything coming. I mean it’s a Wednesday and the cruise ships coming in so it’s really in a bad condition right now.”

#4 Driver
“Bad, bad. Eh deh bruk up me car. That’s all I could say, but I hope they fix it soon.”

#5 Driver
“To be honest Janelle, I feel like picking up my car and walking with it because the holes are really really terrible. I believe that we do need to drive on Albert Street; we do need to take better care of the streets. That should be number one because these streets are our main streets -- used every single day all the time.”

Anthony Michael, Belize City Councillor
“The streets are in -- I would say -- bad conditions. That’s a fact. If I should put it more mildly than that, it would be a lie.”

This afternoon, City Councillor responsible for streets, Anthony Michael, maintained that crews have been dispatched to give motorists some interim relief.

Anthony Michael
“A lot of the holes around are temporarily being filled with what we call the ‘all in material’ because they are still moisture in the streets, and we appreciate the residents’ patience because we cannot put the premix or the tar in the hole as yet because there is still moisture, and water and tar don’t mix. Our guys are presently on the street. They’ll be working tonight, they’ll be working tomorrow, and they’ll be working until ten, eleven at night. We ask motorists and pedestrians to please respect them, give them their way. Because when we are patching sometimes, we are paying attention to the hole and not seeing the traffic and stuff coming. If they could divert on the streets that we are working on, we will greatly, greatly appreciate it; especially at night, we’ll have reflective vests, reflectors, the cones and so forth out, but just to ask motorists to be careful because we will be working very, very late at night to fix the problem for the residents of Belize City.”

But with more rain in the forecast, the City Council’s best efforts will continue to be little more than a quick fix.

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#224035 - 12/21/06 06:04 AM Re: Road argument on belize culture newsgroup [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
... and Northern Highway no better
From downtown our cameras travelled north ... only to find more broken pavement.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
The Northern Highway has not looked this bad in a while and why it has remained in such a deplorable condition for so long is anybody’s guess. This five mile stretch between the Pallotti roundabout and Haulover Bridge, has taken a particularly costly toll on vehicles and motorists.

Jacqueline Godwin
“You use the highway frequently?”

Motorist 1
“Every day. Well I just went to Caribbean Tires and bought some tires and the guy said you are going to use it for off road? I said off road? I am on off road everyday on the Northern Highway. The guy said yes, you are right.”

The highway is the main access from the Northern Districts, Ladyville suburbs and the Philip Goldson International Airport to Belize City and it is estimated that close to ten thousand drivers use the road each day, making it one of the busiest in the country. While different drivers deal with the potholes in different ways, all are similarly frustrated.

Motorist 2
“And it is terrible not only over here but all over.”\

Jacqueline Godwin
“Because I noticed you drive a low vehicle so how horrible has it been on your vehicle?”

Motorist 2
“More than horrible. It cost me more than what the vehicle cost me in parts and stuff that I have to buy."

Motorist 3
“I am up and down everyday. It is not nice but hopefully it will get there. Sometime soon because it is really hard on the vehicle.”

With today’s sunny weather repair crows were out and the city traffic department has its officers diverting traffic away from the section of the highway under construction by the Ministry of Works.

Frank Foster, Grade Two Traffic Officer, Belize City Council
“Most vehicles that are coming on the highway are not really focusing on the road and it is really bad at this time, so they need to slow down. It is in a condition where I would advise drivers not to be overtaking, especially long points. It is really rough and there are a lot a pot holes so they need to be going slow and make sure that they prevent an accident on the highway.”

Mervin Mencias, Commuter
“First of all they have to do the drainage first and then lift the road. Instead of build this road flat they build it with an oval so that the water run off all the time. Because once the water settle on the road it will always be soft but if it is oval it will run to the drain.”

According to Chief Engineer Cadet Henderson it is less than a third of a mile of highway slated for rehabilitation. It will involve lifting the road and paving it two times. Work is also being done to improve the drainage towards the sea and the Haulover Creek. But not everyone is impressed.

Jacqueline Godwin
“Why not?”

Mervin Mencias
“They grade the road to much. The road is getting flatter and flatter every time. They should build up and build it with an oval shape and that water will always run on the side. That is why they need the drainage on both sides and that will help this road a lot.”

Although those people who must use the highway want to see the entire five miles repaired the drivers say they hope what is being done is not just a temporary facelift … because it is not the first time that the road has supposedly been fixed.

Motorist 2
“Before they finish it good they need to break up, so they need do it properly well. Not like piece of work like throwing gravel in holes and expect that is going to work.”

Motorist 1
“The thing is you got to get your front end line up. Who is going to pay these people who burst their tires out there everyday? It is terrible. They got to just got to go ahead and do it. Start back here and just do it all one time. It is killing everybody.”

Motorist 4
“Yes it is very bad the route, but they are working on it.”

Jacqueline Godwin
“So you are encouraged that something is being done?”

Motorist 4
“Yeah.”

Motorist 3
“I hope it completed as soon as possible. The sooner the better for all of us.”

If weather permits the present work should be completed by the weekend. In the meantime drivers are being asked to be cautious and watch out for pedestrians whose crossings have been temporarily removed.

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