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#497014 - 10/19/14 10:26 AM Traffic congestion still a major problem
Marty Online   happy

Resident proposes solution to the SPTC

The rapidly growing municipality of San Pedro Town continues to face traffic congestion challenges. The problem is even worse during peak hours of the morning, midday and evening, when the three major downtown streets become chaotic. Making matters worse is that during these peak times, it is hard to secure parking on the major section of Barrier Reef and Pescador Drives. Long-time resident Wolfgang Wind has come up with a proposal that he recently presented to San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero.

Wind’s proposal is for a pedestrian zone with a bicycle taxi transportation system to be introduced. This will allow for Barrier Reef and Pescador Drive to be closed to traffic from 10AM to 10PM, and allowing Angel Coral Street to be open to [vehicle] vehicular traffic. He explained that this system will help address some of the traffic problems that the San Pedro Town Council currently faces. In return, it would make making the downtown area calm, charming and stress and noise-free to better accommodate the needs of our visitors and residents alike.

“During the past year or two, front and middle streets saw an increase in traffic and became too dangerous for pedestrian, tourists, and even students. Middle street has no walkway. Everywhere in the world has designated pedestrian zones, and I think that if we take that concept and implement it on the island, then it can help address some of the traffic issues,” said Wind.

Wind indicated that a Pedestrian Zone would transform Barrier Reef Drive and Pescador Drive into a very tourist friendly, upscale shopping area. This will give way for restaurants, coffee shops, diners, boutiques and souvenir shops to benefit more. He also said that this will eventually see hardware stores and other non-tourism related businesses slowly move out of the downtown perimeters. “Town board could rent out road/plaza spaces in front for restaurants for tables with umbrellas. Sales for tourist related businesses would go up because tourists will have more time to actually look at windows and merchandise… I have talked to business owners on middle street and they all would prefer it to be closed to traffic. It’s just too dangerous. Barrier Reef Drive and Central Park would also strongly benefit. Middle Street is way too dangerous to walk without any walkway, and it feels like an accident and lawsuit just around the corner.” suggested Wind.

To tie in the Mayor’s initial plan of having delivery vehicles access the downtown area at specific times, Wind’s proposal also makes accommodation for that. “Beer trucks and other deliveries can be done up to 10AM. Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street) and Pescador Dr. (Middle Street) will remain open for anyone as usual for driving, shopping and parking, daily but only up to 10am.The lot at the soccer field on back street offers plenty of parking for now. From there you only walk a minute or two to [downtown]. Bicycle taxis should be waiting at the parking lot to take tourists around town. Back Street should be the only drive-through street between north and south.” According to Wind, that will help separate incoming and outgoing traffic as often as possible to eliminate stop signs and to facilitate traffic flow. He also suggested that several tight corners would then just be for one-way traffic to avoid collision.

Wind said that with the amount of movement within the pedestrian zone, San Pedro will be in need of up to 30 bicycle taxis especially during high season from Christmas to Easter. In addition it is a new way to create a tourist related, quality income employment on the island.

Wind shared his suggestion with the Mayor and invited him onboard just such a tricycle to experience what it would feel like around town. According to Mayor Guerrero, Wind’s idea is “workable” one that could be incorporated with other suggestions. “We have put his idea on the table for discussion. It is something that is positive and it is in line with some of the initiatives we have planned for this municipality that will alleviate the traffic problems,” said Guerrero who admitted that traffic-related issues remains one of the major challenges for the municipality.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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#497027 - 10/19/14 02:28 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
julie babcock Offline
I like this proposal.

The only additional suggestion I have is to add more parking north and south of town for those working in town. Perhaps the existing parking lots - Belize Bank, the old Atlantic Bank area - can be reserved for all day parking?

Can a business sponsor one of the bicycle taxis?

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#497037 - 10/20/14 02:03 AM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
Capt. Hollywood Offline


Very Nice

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#497057 - 10/20/14 05:39 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
Inplub Offline
You think by closing two of the three main streets and putting all the traffic on back street is going to WORK?

Why not get a few school bus's and stop all parents taking their children to school?


Edited by Inplub (10/20/14 05:42 PM)

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#497058 - 10/20/14 05:47 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
champion Offline
My response to that Inplub would be economics, pure and simple. The schools don't have all the basic needs from what I've seen in the last 14 years. Add the cost of the bus, R&M and fuel and the bus driver.
_________________________
Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol

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#497060 - 10/20/14 06:05 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
Inplub Offline
I am a parent that lives a mile south of town and the High School my son goes to is a mile north of town. Going will be NO problem, "BUT" coming back through town at 3/4pm will be a nightmare with two out of three roads closed.

IMHO

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#497061 - 10/20/14 06:14 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Inplub]
champion Offline
Buy him his first golf cart when he turns 16. crazy grin
_________________________
Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol

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#497062 - 10/20/14 06:17 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
Inplub Offline
GOOD IDEA. BTW what does he do for the next two years. LOL

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#497066 - 10/20/14 07:39 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Inplub]
cracked up Offline
teach him to ride a bicycle?

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#497070 - 10/20/14 10:41 PM Re: Traffic congestion still a major problem [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
Major problem: if any vehicles of any kind are parked or stopped on the transit streets traffic will come to a complete standstill. There are already several choke points on the streets that are marked as out from town and in from town on the diagram. For this to work there can be no parking of vehicles (or stopping) on Back Street, the street by My Secret Deli and the street in front of El Fogon. Plus, all northbound traffic has to cross in front of southbound traffic at the roundabout and all southbound traffic has to cross in front of all northbound traffic by Varella's. Unless you put traffic lights in there's not a chance that it will work. Nice idea but highly impractical. One other thing, students and bicycles will also need to learn how to walk/ride in single file and that will never happen.

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