Friday, April 12, 2024

Give our roads wider sidewalks

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IF IT WERE within my power I would arrange for every road in Barbados (except where there is an overridingly valid reason why not) to have adequately wide sidewalks on both sides of their length.

There used to be a time when it was quite common for country dwellers to walk all the way from their homes in the country to Bridgetown. But given the immense volume of traffic, this is now hardly possible if not downright impossible.

Yes, it is true that a large number of roads “evolved”, so to speak, from what were essentially cart tracks. They became not much more than paved versions of the same thing.

However, there is no escaping, the conclusion that (with just a statistically small exception) Barbadian roads were planned and built for the benefit of carriage and cart owners and their successors – the motorists.

No real attempt was ever made in the construction of these old roads to accommodate to make provisions for people who would have to walk alongside these roads.

What I want to suggest is that various groups of ordinary “poor” people get together and discuss the problem. How can this nation get or convert at least a majority of our roads into possessing adequately wide sidewalks?

Let us not have the usual “top” first, percolating to the “bottom” layer (level), approach. What is more to be desired is that a collection of groups of ordinary “working class” folk present a set of papers which try to be and purport to be a thorough examination of the problem. This should not be instead of but as well as having and reading what the so-called middle and upper level thinkers of all types have to say on this problem.

– MICHAEL MOSELEY

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