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West fetes lead to traffic nightmare

Saturday, March 1 2014

THERE was standstill traffic entering and leaving West Trinidad on Thursday afternoon well into the night, as partygoers swarmed into the Capital City and environs for various events which were held in the vicinity, inclusive of the Camboulay Re-Enactment Riots, Tribe Ignite, and Beach House Carnival.

In fact at various points throughout the evening and night, several persons reported being in frustrating standstill traffic, for several hours, and complaints were bitterly levelled against the police for what was perceived as “poor planning”.

The major arteries in the Diego Martin, Petit Valley and Carenage areas were blocked with traffic, as feters attempted to reach their various events, in conjunction with residents who were simply commuting to their homes.

Head of Western Division Snr Supt Ishmael David said he was aware of the traffic situation that occurred in his jurisdiction but denied there was poor planning by the police or a lack of action by his officers.

“We had several events in our jurisdiction yesterday and we had some traffic as a result of it. Now this traffic was not a result of road works, or accidents, or anything like that. Instead, this traffic was caused by the huge influx of patrons who wanted to come out to fete, and the over use of personal vehicles. Instead of carpooling, many persons opted to drive to the venues themselves, and with the number of venues we had yesterday, this was a poor decision which led to the traffic problem which was faced.

“The police had nothing to do with the traffic. In fact I can assure you that our officers were out in full force and fully available. They were doing the best they could, conducting traffic where necessary and rendering assistance where necessary. But at the end of the day there is only so much the police can do.

Promoters have teamed up with us and advised shuttling to events, and carpooling, but patrons are not adhering to this, and the traffic we experienced is the end result of that,” David said.

To combat this for the further events to be held in the Western and Port-of-Spain Division over this weekend, David once again advised patrons to carpool.

“Utilize the shuttle service of the fete promoters. Park at a distance and let them bring you to the venue, so you could minimize the volume of persons and vehicles coming into these areas, because honestly, the roadways in this area were not designed to facilitate the heavy influx of traffic of everyone wanting to drive their vehicles for this seasonal event,” David said.

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