Those who listened to the parliamentary debate on a resolution to borrow 35 million dollars from the Barbados National Bank (BNB) earlier this month would have been surprised at the robustness of the exchanges. Unfortunately many of the contributions delivered by MPs and Senators centred on which government was responsible for roads built over the years. Regrettably politicians on both sides of the fence continue to insult Barbadians with the poorakey debate which spews forth from parliament.
Is it unreasonable for some level of strategic thinking to be applied to the perennial issue of how to improve the road and traffic systems in Barbados? With 130,000+ vehicles on our roads is it a more sensible option to ponder if our narrow and dense network of roads can efficiently accommodate existing traffic flows? Instead we cut down hundred year old trees, build gigantic roundabouts a la Warrens, create jambusting, triangular roundabouts and the like?
Barbados is a 166 square miles and at some point commonsense will have to take root. The number of vehicles on our roads cannot be allowed to go unregulated for much longer. However just like the subject of education do not expect our policymakers to show the testicular fortitude necessary to take this particular bull by the horns.
Since the madness in progress at Warrens Roundabout and its environs it has been estimated about 30 accidents have occurred. Some will argue the confusion about its use is as a result of the ignorance of Barbadian drivers made worse by the use of Warrens while under construction. Others suggest the type of vehicles (high speed), the heavy volume of traffic and lack of road use savvy continue to be key reasons contributing to the high number of accidents and why the Accident and Emergency Department at the QEH will be kept busy.
Although the Barbados Road Safety website is not current it shows a worrying trend since 2008. Has the time come for policymakers to regulate the number and types of vehicles on our roads?