Residents and business owners in the Woodbrook/St James areas are "ecstatic" the experimental traffic plan introduced in July will end in almost half the time it was intended to last.
The plan, which aimed to reduce traffic congestion into and out of downtown in the capital city, was supposed to last for three months from July 16, but will be reversed and the old system reintroduced on September 3—the first day of school.
"I think the next day (July 17) is when they should have changed back," Ashook Gobin told the Express yesterday.
Gobin, who is a general manager of a stationery store on the Western Main Road (WMR), said since the plan, his business had been steadily declining—especially during the "wrecking hours" of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. when no parking is allowed along the street.
"That's six hours of business I would be losing every day," he added.
James Rivas-Caesar, proprietor of Hio's Bar, also along the WMR, said he had seen his business drop by almost 50 per cent. "I wasn't like the bigger bars, but I did well. Now I even had to let people go," he said, adding that he was one of the main voices in the community to call for an end for the plan.
Produce vendor Reynold Jagessar lamented the difficulty people had crossing the street. "Old people can't cross. Children can't cross. Even the dogs not crossing the road anymore because of how these people speeding. And sometimes these drivers don't even slow down or stop for a red light," he said.
Shenelle Aston was concerned for her younger siblings who start school on Monday.
"With this plan people speeding and it is really difficult to get a taxi. Now it will be much safer for them," she said.
But not everyone is content. Commuters who previously spent almost twenty minutes trying to get through the length of Ariapita Avenue for example, found themselves getting though in a breezy five minutes.
Lisa, who lives in Maraval but works on Murray Street, said she was going to miss it.
"It takes me half an hour to get home and back to the office at lunchtime. Before it would be more than an hour. They spent so much money to make this change and now for nothing. It's a waste," she said.
Mikhail from Trincity but who works on Kitchener Street said he also preferred the new system. "They don't have to remove it completely. Just keep it for a couple of hours. The plan works very well. It takes five to ten minutes out of Woodbrook as opposed to almost an hour. Don't scrap it," he said. —See Page 11