Basseterre, St. Kitts – Travelling in the capital of St. Kitts, Basseterre, is expected to be much more enjoyable and efficient in the coming months as several traffic-related changes will be made to facilitate the introduction of traffic lights, also called signal lights.
The purpose of the lights, says Police Inspector Carl Caines, who leads the Traffic Department, is to control the traffic flow and make the roadways safer for all users. Incidences of road rage, unnecessary stopping and starting caused by drop offs and deliveries, and the number of collisions should all decrease when the signal lights are commissioned later this year.
To achieve this, several parking regulations and road rules for turning will have to be adjusted around the areas where the traffic lights are located: Cayon and Fort Street, Fort Street and the Bay Road, and East Independence Square Street and Cayon Street/Pond Road and Wellington Road.
“All parking on Cayon Street will be restricted,” Inspector Caines said, noting that this covers the stretch of road from the junction of Cayon Street and Fort Street up to Her Majesty’s Prison. A time-based drop-off and pick-up zone will be established along Cayon Street to cover businesses and institutions along the outlined route.
Motorists on Pond Road going west who wish to go onto Wellington Road will be redirected up Branch Street to make that connection instead of going up to the Queen Victoria roundabout.
Vehicles travelling eastward along Cayon Street will not be permitted to disrupt the smooth flow of traffic by turning right onto Rosemary Lane. Only left turns will be allowed to proceed down that street. Similarly, entry to and exit from the gas station at the junction of Cayon Street and Victoria Road will be clearly defined; vehicles must enter using Cayon Street; the exit is via Victoria Road travelling northward only.
Inspector Caines noted that changes to the traffic and parking regulations on the Basseterre Bay Road in the vicinity of the General Post Office were made late last year in preparation for the commissioning of the signal lights. Parking is no longer permitted in the area and a stack lane was created for drivers traveling westward wishing to turn right onto Fort Street.
The Discounted VAT Rate Day Dec. 15, 2017, and subsequent Fridays during the Christmas and Carnival season provided excellent testing conditions for the traffic authorities, as there was a heightened level of hustle and bustle in the city.
“Since we have introduced the third lane, the traffic on the Bay Road is moving … quite nicely,” Inspector Caines said. He added that the public has expressed appreciation for the improved traffic conditions and he reaffirmed the commitment of the Traffic Department to uphold the law and professionally serve residents and visitors of St. Kitts and Nevis.