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JIS News

Minister of Housing, Transport, Water & Works, Robert Pickersgill said today (Sept. 4), that he was pleased with the rate of traffic flow in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA), at the start of the new school year.
Speaking to JIS News at the Command Centre of the National Works Agency (NWA) on Maxfield Avenue, the Minister said that from all indications, the traffic flow in and around the Corporate area got underway smoothly, with reports of congestion at few points.
“I am very encouraged with the way the traffic flowed this morning on the first day of the new school year. We recognize that all schools have not opened today and we expect to have more traffic later in the week when all schools are expected to be opened,” he said.
As such, the Minister informed that the traffic engineers and specialists at the NWA, along with technocrats from the National Road Operating and Construction Company (NROCC), “are reviewing this morning’s events to determine what more can be done to facilitate an even smoother flow of traffic”, in the KMA.
Citing areas, such as Marcus Garvey Drive, that were of primary concern in terms of traffic ‘build-up’, he said that from all indications, “traffic along Marcus Garvey Drive went smoothly.and the police in that vicinity had little work to do in terms of directing traffic”.
The smooth flow of traffic in this area, he noted, resulted from the adjustment of the traffic signal timing at Marcus Garvey/East Avenue, which provided additional green time for the Marcus Garvey traffic.
Noting that there were reports of traffic ‘build-up’ on the Mandela Highway, Minister Pickersgill said that much emphasis would be placed on this area, particularly in the vicinity of the exit from Highway 2000.
The traffic ‘build-up’ along Mandela Highway, he pointed out, was mainly due to how motorists exited the Highway 2000 off-ramp and merged onto the highway.
In this regard, Minister Pickersgill said he was urging motorists, “to go to the end of the lane instead of attempting to merge immediately after exiting the off-ramp”, which would facilitate a smoother flow of traffic along the highway.
He emphasized that the data collected confirmed that traffic improvement must occur at some locations, including the exit from Portmore along the Mandela Highway, the traffic signal at Caymanas along the Mandela Highway, the Highway 2000 off-ramp at Mandela, and the openings on Mandela at the Ferry Police Station and the Hydel Group of Schools.
The Minister said that the NWA, through its Command Centre, would continue to monitor the flow of traffic, both manually as well as by surveillance. This, he said, was “to ensure that the nation’s children and the commuting public in general can move freely”.
He further informed that data collected over the next two weeks would serve to assist the Ministry and the NWA in particular, “to make an informed decision as to what more will be required to improve the traffic flow out of Portmore”.
In anticipation of traffic ‘build-up’ that may have occurred on the major roads in the KMA, the NWA established traffic monitoring teams along Marcus Garvey Drive, the Caymanas crossing and at Three Miles. A roaming team monitored the Dyke Road in Portmore, Lakes Pen and sections of Mandela Highway. Meanwhile, personnel from NROCC and TransJamaican Highway monitored the Portmore Toll Plaza.