38 comments

  • Why start up major changes like the Wildey/Clapham/Upton triangle before completing the paving, sidewalks and the various infrastructures.

    The Upton section should be taking three types of traffic, the Upton straight, the right turn to the Shell station and the left turn to the Polytechnic and the irony is the road using just one lane because the construction company is still working on the road.

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  • Businesses along the Wildey stretch are already complaining. Should they be compensated for the inconvenience.

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  • I hear through the C.O Williams grapevine that Rayside have asked them 200 men to help………

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  • The sooner traffic changes are introduced the better, here in Barbados, even if the road works are not completed. My reason for saying this is that I want to see Barbadians change in their attitude to driving, if they want to become a first world nation. Lane discipline is practically non-existent, indicators are hardly ever used when they need to be used, anyone stops wherever they like for whatever reason, bad road position is actually encouraged by those stupid yellow boxes which are drawn to tell us where to stop at a junction, even if we want to turn left or right.

    However, I do ask that whilst the changes are being implemented, e.g. at Wildey, more use could be made by the road workers of signage and cones to help us past the roadworks. In other words, use the inconvenience to teach Barbadians how to drive in a modern urban environment.

    I enjoy and respect Richard Hoad and his Friday piece in the Nation, but when he complained about the Bell Junction, and said that if he had a tractor he would stop, and not filter, then I thought we will all have to wait until the old ones can no longer drive on our roads. BTW, I am 66 years old, and was taught by the British School of Motoring, and passed my driving test in the UK, in 1963. What they taught me then has never become out-of-date. I came to Barbados permanently in the mid-nineties, and, as far as motoring is concerned, I thought I had stepped back into the fifties, and little has changed since.

    Well, we do now have jam-buster, and it seems to be working, after some unbelievable letters in the dead tree newspapers.

    I want this experiment to work at Wildey, to show that we do not need flyovers in Barbados.

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  • I am not a traffic engineer, and stand to be corrected, but it occurs to me that the section between the Upton Junction and the Clapham Junction should also be one-way, south only. This would make a one-way triangle, and remove the need for traffic lights at the Upton Junction. They do this a lot in London. Those who drive in cars should expect to travel larger distances, even out of their way if necessary. Bus lanes can be introduced for ordinary travellers.

    I know the old government (BLP) wanted flyovers so that the wealthy and elite could literally fly past Bridgetown to get from the airport to the West Coast developments. I used to work in Surrey, UK, and the wealthy had a helicopter to get them into Central London. We do not need that in Barbados. To get past Wildey, no flyover and no two-way highway, go around the triangle like everyone else.

    As it is, if I am travelling on this Bridgetown bypass, south to north, at the Clapham Junction I could wisk up the one-way to the Texaco Station, turn right (no waiting of course, we have two lanes), change lanes and left at the Upton Junction traffic lights, and possibly beat the wealthy in their taxis sticking to the two-way highway bit!

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  • On a related note. We find the decision to create a body to study the implementation of the controversial flyovers very interesting. During the last election we heard two positions on the flyovers 1) their construction would not be a good fit with our landscape i.e. maintaining our tropical paradise aura 2) local experts believe that other solutions would be more effective. We would have hoped that the DLP would have come to government already armed with a position on this contentious matter. Can anyone tell us what the body looking at the flyovers is doing?

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  • I glad the BLP gone but we do need flyovers. If we dont install flyovers now they are going to become essential futher down the road. The costs then will be astronomical just like the four lanes Tom Adams deferred back in the eighties.

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  • At first glance the changes as they relate to traffic seem sensible.

    On the other hand, businesses on the south side of the triangle may have their traffic cut by 50%.

    There is no way if I happen to be approachig Wildey Y from town that I am going all up to the Garfield Sobers roundabout to come back down.

    Some may have to close and relocate to better locations if the traffic system works.

    Wonder if anyone will twig and complain about the TCPO granting change of use of what was a residential area to commercial with no plan whatsoever.

    Somebody got taken!!

    If it turns out to be successful traffic wise I am going to wonder why we spent $117 million on widening the highway, discussing flyovers and getting into bed with 3S.

    I avoid the St. Barnabas stretch completely. I gave up any day work I was getting from businesses in the area because of the traffic and the excessive time it took to get to the job and get back to the office. It made no sense timewise.

    Yet I saw yesterday that the traffic actually moved. Got through it quickly.

    … then I got stuck on St. Winifreds hill, from the time I turned of Pine Road. Hope the moving of the school at Erdiston eases up this artery to town.

    The reason I actually took the St. Barnabas road on my way to Town was that I was trying a “short cut” to get around the backup to South District from Bussa.

    When I got to Lower Birney’s Gap, I took the turn and passed through by ex Minister Gline Clarke’s special friend’s house (Nigel Ben Aunty Bar) and came out opposite St. Barnabas church.

    Suspect this detour around the traffic down to Bussa will become popular.

    We can stop by for breakfast on a morning and ask Gline about the $117 million now that he doesn’t need to go to go down the hill to MTW anymore on a morning.

    .. just check the Merc is parked outside, …. and that he is awake.

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  • Last evening at about 5.45 pm the traffic exiting Wildey Road on to the highway at the Pine was backed-up to Sanitation Authority. As a daily user of that road, I have never seen a tail-back that long. I eventually turned around and went on my way through Bridgetown. Can somebody let me know if there were unusual circumstances, or is it likely to be that way from now on?

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  • John, making the bit of highway between Upton and Clapham Junctions one way (south) would mean that south-bound traffic would not have to go to G. Sobers to get down Highway 6 back to town. They would turn right at the Shell station, as we have always done. The main problem, as I see it, is for traffic leaving town wanting to go straight out at Upton, past Cable and Wireless. I guess they would just have to go left up to the new roundabout by the Community College, and back down to Upton and then turn left.

    I am not suggesting for a moment that my idea is sensible or workable, I just do not want to see any flyovers in Barbados, EVER! The most effective solution, and I did allude to it earlier, is improved public transport, and make it VERY EXPENSIVE to take a private car into town, with road tolls, etc. Town Centre should be totally pedestrianised anyway, I think.

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  • We used the triagle twice today from the East West points. There seem to be still an issue from the Western point. Our feedback ignores the cry of the businesses on the Wildey stretch.

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  • It seems to me, David, that if all north-bound traffic was diverted into Wildey first, with my one-way triangle throughout, then they, including tourists, would have their first opportunity to stop in an urban setting after the airport. Good car parking and excellent, but not expensive, facilities would have to be provided, Like the motorway stops in the UK – but they are expensive!!

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  • I think that the idea of a on-way three lane stretch from the traffic lights at Upton junction to teh Shell Wildey with the two left lande continuing on to the Sir Garfield Sobers aroundabout and the right lane being a filter back onto Clapham road could be better.

    This means that all traffic heading up the highway from south would have to proceed towards the Texaco station and make that turn back towards Upton.

    The problem with this is that that turn is so sharp, I don’t think that articulated trucks (the kind that carry containers, etc.) can make that turn.

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  • i’m guessing the no right turns at clapham junction if you’re coming down from C&W would be the one that most would complain about. Otherwise its not too bad idea an idea from a traffic perspective.

    From a business perspective though I can see lots of issues

    What about folks on public transit? If you”re travelling from town and live off that area the minibus or transport board bus cant go along highway 6 so you may have a bit further walk

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  • Well, that’s one more vote for the complete one-way triangle, simplebajan! To solve your problem at the sharp turn at the Texaco, compulsory purchase of Texaco and demolish it! It’s an old and congested little petrol station anyway, and the triangle island only needs one which would be Shell. I don’t think it would be too difficult either to make Highway 6 from Shell to Texaco a three lane one way. Left lane for town, two lanes for the highway north.

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  • The Observations of a Simple Bajan has posted a Youtube video of the trek around the triangle roundabout 🙂

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  • Barbados, give up the flyover idea, please! Roundabouts are good, anywhere in the world, and Barbados already has them, and they do work when designed and used correctly. This brings us to our own problems. Many of them here are not well designed, and very few Bajan motorists know how to use them, even the well-designed ones!

    The only problem with roundabouts anywhere in the world is when traffic is heavy. To avoid building more flyovers which are expensive (and only usually result in the heavy traffic piling up somewhere further down the roads), developed countries control the entry into the roundabout with yellow boxes (“sinbins”) and/or traffic lights. Lights can be switched on only during rush hours, or as required.

    The correct use of a roundabout is well-explained on numerous driving websites, for instance. Just Google ‘driving roundabouts’, and pick the UK websites for driving on the left side of the road.

    Concerning design, if the road approaching the roundabout is two-lane, then there should be two lanes on the roundabout, and ideally two lanes on the exiting roads, especially the main through-road. Traffic should stay in their lane on the roundabout, signalling left to exit. If you have entered on the outside lane, leave the roundabout on the outside lane of the road you are entering. If that road narrows to one lane, there should be a short stretch of it, with markings on the outside lane after the roundabout, arrows which indicate you have to slow down and merge into the left-hand (slower) lane. Simple really, and works very well, especially around in the urban, Greater London areas. Barbados is rapidly becoming such a greater urban area.

    Many Barbadians, and bad drivers in the UK, approach too fast, cutting corners around the roundabout, crossing from one lane to another, and back again! This is even encouraged by those awful designs on the road signs which were introduced for the jam-buster scheme. If you look carefully at them (they are getting pretty old now) you will see two drawn lines indicating the flow of two lanes on approach, but the lines move closer together ON the roundabout, encouraging motorists to ‘cut the corner’!

    Slow right down on approach, and then I find if I stick to my lane, and come alongside an even slower vehicle on the roundabout, the other driver often has a near fit! I wonder how they would manage around Hyde Park, London, (a ’roundabout’ with 8 lanes on it, I think) or around the Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Paris, (12 lanes, I think)? If your exit is clear, especially checking the left-hand lane if you are merging, accelerate out of the roundabout. Without other signs, the rule-of-thumb for roundabouts is to give way to traffic from your right, on entering or when on the roundabout.

    That is brilliant, David! Many thanks simplebajan. When I wrote the above I was thinking particularly of the Garfield Sobers Roundabout.

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  • Mind you, I should have said, London taxis do that sort of thing all of the time.

    P.S. Do not let the yellow and ZR drivers read this bit!

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  • It is clear from the footage that simple bajans do not understand the concept of a bus lane which most first world countries have.

    What is a car doing driving behind a bus in what is quite clearly a bus lane?

    Laws need to be enacted to control these simple Bajans and keep them out of Bus lanes before we can approach first world standards..

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  • Hi John, to my knowledge we do not have bus lanes in Barbados, yet! This bus which cuts into the left is, in fact, doing what I explained in my long post above, and is, therefore, acceptable in first world countries. Lane understanding and discipline is practically non-existent in Barbados, and indicators are rarely used at the correct times (notice the right-hand indicator on the bus, not cancelled).

    On the websites I mentioned, MIM is clearly referenced. ‘Mirror, Indicator, Manoeuvre’, manoeuvre includes braking and steering. That is, indicate before you brake. In Barbados, you must be joking!

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  • My favourite joke when I first came to Barbados (circa 1996) was that if you see a Bajan driver with his hand out of the window, the only thing that you can be sure of is that the window is open!

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  • I am only being facetious!!

    Of course we don’t have any Bus Lanes in Barbados.

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  • Permres,

    I am becoming a little tired of your ongoing references to England and how perfect everything there is.
    What you come bout here for anyway?

    What England what?!?

    We like Barbados and we like how we do things here. If you want to maintain the PERM in your RES you had better get used to our ‘Bajan ‘ ways…
    Why do you English ALWAYS assume that others want to be like you? to drive like you? eat like you and love like you?

    Man you have moved UP in the world by coming here… leave your unfortunate past behind and learn to enjoy the Bajan ways…

    …Next thing you will be telling us how to bath and how to make love…

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  • Just a thought about the Bus Stop in the Video.

    How does the Bus driver know that someone at the Bus Stop wants to go to town and not to Sheraton Centre?

    All he is doing by stopping and starting picking up and dropping off passengers is causing a blockage in the lane.

    The maneuver to cut back in by Observatory word infront of the car being allowed in seems unbelievable yet certainly not unexpected in Barbados.

    A taxi signaled by a a prospective hirer is completely different to a bus.

    Can’t believe a fist world country would operate like what I saw in the video. This could only happen in Barbados!!

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  • John, when I mentioned London taxi drivers, it was in relation to the multi-lane one-way systems which now abound there, either on main through roads or roundabouts. They take advantage of the rule-of-thumb ‘give way to traffic from the right’, cutting in to their left whenever. They will also do it to their right if they can get away with it!

    Bush tea, I am sorry I have given you the impression that the UK is so perfect, as I certainly do not think that way at all (that is one reason why I am here in Barbados!). This thread is about traffic, and in my experience (that is all I have – mostly in the UK hence my constant referrals there) over the decades they have learnt, often by terrible experiences, to stop doing some of the things which are still prevalent here.

    I have said Barbados should develop a better public transport service, and take the private cars off the urban roads.

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  • So the bus driver cuts into the right lane, like the taxi driver, to pick up a fare.

    What happens when the next fare is on the other side of the road.

    The taxi has his fare and is gone. Does the Bus driver cut back into the left lane to pick up the fare?

    This completely defeats the purpose of having the two lanes.

    There simply is no comparison to be made between a taxi and a bus.

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  • Sorry John, we have a misunderstanding here, I think.

    All of my posts so far are about lane discipline, and giving way to traffic from the right, which should apply to all of us, not just taxis and buses.
    I only mentioned London taxis because they are very adept at cutting in, whilst on the move, nothing to do with picking up fares.

    When the bus in the clip cuts into the left, he is not doing it to pick up passengers, but to get into that left-hand lane, therefore correct by rule-of-thumb.

    If the lane has been marked earlier on, say right only, then it is incorrect. However, we all make mistakes, and even around Hyde Park, if you see your exit on your left, three lanes away, you can indicate left and respectfully ask other drivers to let you over. You may get a few hoots, or it is either that or go round Hyde Park again. That is fun in its own right!!

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  • I should have said Hyde Park Corner. It is a long way around Hyde Park!

    Its the same around Place de Gaulle, Paris, (anti-clockwise, though!). Four lanes entering off the Champs-Elysees, all moving, and you want to take the sixth exit. Amazing!

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  • I wish to cite two very dangerous practices on our roads here in Barbados which need addressing as we move to first world status, assuming private cars are still going to be affordable.
    1. Stopping close onto a pedestrian crossing to let off a passenger, and then even worse, allowing them to cross in front of you. I remember the introduction of the yellow zig-zag lines at these crossings in the UK (circa 1960?) to indicate the illegality of doing this, once the law had been passed. Why? Several fatalities, especially children, had resulted from this practice, as cars overtook the parked vehicle.
    2. Turning left off a main road here in Barbados, the driver swings over to their right before turning to presumably take the corner at speed. I quote:
    “Race track driving and public road driving are entirely different disciplines and require a radically different approach. Race driver steering techniques — and several of their other specialized methods, such as the “racing line” — should NEVER be used on public roads. They are inappropriate and can be very dangerous. ”

    Taken from:

    http://www.driveandstayalive.com/articles%20and%20topics/driving-myths-and-mistakes/steering-wheel-use.htm

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  • Trained economist

    Has anyone else noted the surge in the fiscal deficit in the latest central bank report. The report says that the deficit surged by the largest amount in ten years. This occurred despite a significant increase in government revenues.

    Donald duck and others how can you make such strong cases for continued fuel subsidies in the face of such information?

    How long can government continue to tax, borrow and spend and claim credit for consistent growth, low unemployment and low fuel prices?

    Call me biased if you want but owen and crew seemed bent on letting the good times roll whatever the fiscal consequences. Leave the mountain of debt for later.

    The new team seems unwilling to continue on this path and in that I support them.

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  • A depressing observation coming out of the road improvement are the high number of dead animals sighted along the highway. The poor blitters are not use to running such long distances to move between districts.

    The relevant ministry have to take note and improve their PR to receive calls and respond quickly. Barbados is a service country, right!

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  • You do not mention which type of animal, animal lover? I have no sympathy whatsoever for stray dogs, they need clearing away quickly by a good sanitation service.

    Cats perish all over the world, we have got used to it. Wild animals, like mongoose and monkeys here, may just have to learn to re-route. In the UK, I think they have made special tunnels in places for hedgehogs and even frogs.

    Sheep and cattle should not be loose on the roads anyway. If at night it might be an opportunity for lamb stew over the weekend.

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  • Riddle: How does an animal cross the ABC highway?

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  • Hello Everyone

    I just had to add my piece to this. I think i have a unique view of this. I grew up in Barbados, migrated to USA in 1998, Married a Brit and moved over to the UK. So i have experienced all sorts of roads, highways and motorways. Not to mention roundabouts and flyovers.

    I always said that Tom Adams should have made that ABC Highway a dual carriage way. Now look at the stress. I agree that round- a- bouts have a place. But to be honest with you, with your high influx of north American tourist, there is less risk for them on the roads. But lets get serious; for ease of movement you need the flyovers.

    The British prefer the roundabouts because they are adapting very old , small roads to carry a modern load. But if you have the space, the fly overs do a way better job with less risk. Don’t forget that you are also future proofing the highway. If you don’t do this now, the cost will be astronomical in the future.

    I am always amazed at the ease of flowing traffic in the USA when compared to UK. Roundabouts always impede your flow. You always have to stop.

    But Hey, Its your decision. I would like to see the best for my country. I hope you go with the flyovers.

    Steve

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  • I should have read the whole post before responding. Not i am angry.

    WHO DA HELL IS permres, Why are you living there? Next thing you will want Bajans to walk around with a stick up the butt and a stiff upper lip.

    You are in Barbados like it or leave it. You didnt hear me complaining about the lack of bathing, and teeth in your country. Man you just got me angry.

    You must learn to accept when you are in a different county, you are the minority. you cant change a county to fit you. If you dont like it move on. its that simple. No one is forcing you to be there.

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  • I am very sorry you got so angry, Steven! All I would like is to see Barbados retain its laid-back, tropical aura.

    Narrow country roads in the UK? That sounds like Barbados. Enough space for flyovers? Not in Barbados. The USA is a big country, I understand they have not gone the roundabout route, and they have the space for their huge junctions.

    Slowing down at a junction, that is what we are all into here, life is too precious to rush around. I do not want Barbados to go the way of the UK, thank you, where hardly anyone says hello nowadays.

    Come home, Steven, and relax! Before jambuster here I used to enjoy staying in the right-hand lane, stopping, and viewing the surrounding tropical landscape.

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  • As an EX Bajan living in Australia for the pass 35 years all I can say to you guys is “get a life!”

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  • Lisa Merrill Hinchey

    Please Help Me Bajans!!

    Looking for an old friend..
    Nigel Hoyte..
    Please pass the message..

    With Gratitude..and Many Blessings..

    Lisa Merrill Hinchey
    Vancouver, B.C.
    778-292-0800

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