The jury is still out on the overall success of the recent traffic changes in Road Town, but we applaud the government for trying something new in order to tackle the capital’s longstanding problem of congestion.
The rerouted system of one-way roads already may be easing traffic somewhat, though we find it hard to know for sure because the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have reduced the number of vehicles on the road.
A potential downside to the new arrangement, however, is that drivers tend to go faster on two-lane roads, in part because they can pass each other more easily. Pedestrians, then, could be at even greater risk than they were before, especially as they try to cross the street.
One solution is easy enough: Government should consider adding speedbumps at crosswalks and in other areas, in addition to installing at least one new crosswalk on De Castro Street.
The park-and-ride system that launched Tuesday also seems like a very reasonable approach in conjunction with the planned paid-parking system in the central business district. In fact, such steps have been recommended by planning consultants for decades.
Needless to say, the shuttles will need to run consistently and frequently in order to be helpful. But we see no reason why the initiative can’t succeed.
In general, then, government seems to be moving in a positive direction with the reforms, and the pandemic is a good time to experiment and allow everyone to adjust during a time of lighter traffic. If the changes don’t work, after all, they can always be rescinded.
Kudos to Transportation, Works and Utilities Minister Kye Rymer for boldly going where no minister has gone before.
If he is able to stick to the programme while continuing to tweak the system as needed, he and his ministry could bring real change to a problem that has bedevilled the capital city for much too long.