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With last week’s decision by the San Pedro Town Council's to open the Boca del Rio Bridge to taxi drivers only (other than golf carts), a stream of backlash has flooded its way. Some objection to the Town Council’s decision has risen from residents in North Ambergris Caye, similar to the resistance that came as the town decided to remove the old ferry and construct a bridge to connect San Pedro Town core to North Ambergris Caye which is also within town boundaries.

Today, the San Pedro Town Council tells Ambergris Today that it has made the decision to open the Boca del Rio Bridge to taxi drivers; prior to this, vehicles no larger than a golf cart had access to the bridge. However with the high demand to access the resorts in North Ambergris Caye, development has prompted the San Pedro Town Council to allow taxi drivers to extend their services for tourists and residents who want faster access to their resorts and not be dependent on the scheduled runs of the local water taxis.

“Allowing taxis to have access to North Ambergris Caye via the Boca del Rio Bridge is on an ongoing trial base. There is no way of stopping progress,” commented Deputy Mayor Pablo Ico. “The program will be monitored and there are a few simple rules that need to be followed by taxi drivers.”

Taxis will only be allowed to cross from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day; the speed limit will be 10 miles per hour (less than the town limit of 15mph), and they are only allowed up to Las Terrazas which is 3.5 miles north of the bridge.

Mr. Ico also mentioned that there will be a daily recording of which taxi goes up north with the name of the taxi driver and license plate number logged in. If taxi driver is reported to be speeding and not staying within the road boundary, he will be penalized and not allowed to cross the bridge ever again.

The San Pedro Town Council will be holding a meeting later today with the  Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia after which they will be holding a meeting with all the taxi associations to further discuss how this trial system will go about. Even a fixed fare for all taxi drivers will be discussed and implemented.

While there are a few North Ambergris Caye residents that bitterly oppose to a bit more traffic up north, there are a few who don't seem to mind and others are very open to the idea. The development of North Ambergris shouldn’t and can’t be stopped as it summons more development and progress in the area. Taking positive steps towards monitoring progress and maintaining sustainable development is the way to go. A positive outlook goes a long way.
Taxis Allowed Across the Bridge!?

Sofia's picture

Sofia

21 Comments

  1. avatar

    You are right when you say that there will be no good monitoring of these vehicles, but then your statement falls apart.  It's true that the town board will do little to enforce the restrictions they laid out.  Who will stop a speeding vehicle or a non-taxi north of San Mateo?  Although we have a shiny new police outpost hut, it remains vacant and the residents of Tres Cocos have banned together to hire a private security guard to patrol and protect us from the thieves that come from south of the bridge.  The town board is allowing taxis AND private vehicles as far as San Mateo, but no one  is on the north side of the bridge to make sure that the private vehicles do not continue north.  This new rule is only days old and In have already seen two private jeeps parked at the Palapa Bar, a clear violation...but who will punish them?

    As far as claiming that we desire all of the utility service that you have in town, that is simply not true.  We gladly pay for our own PRIVATE trash pickup and live happily off of our wells and cisterns.  Make no mistake---we did not want the bridge and we definitely do not want your vehicles on our half of the island!  We have worked hard to make North Ambergris Caye a safe and respectable place to live, and would prefer to keep the riff raff in San Pedro...or better yet, send them back to Belize City.

    The town board promised that this would not happen when Sir Barry put up the cash for the bridge.  Now the bridge is beginning to fall apart and will need major repairs soon due to addition weight and traffic, too bad Mr. Bowen is not here to bail San Pedro out again...

  2. avatar

    Ooops, sorry youn man or young lady, but it is absolutely unfair to say that you don't need a bridge and that you do not want our vehicles on your side of the Island.  Let common sense prevail. The bridge is a necessity.  Communication bt land is a need, and it is nonsensical to call north Ambergris as "Yours".  The town of San Pedro runs from the channel down south all the way uyp north.  It is one town and it belongs to all of us.  We all have rights and privileges.

  3. avatar

    "....live happily off of our wells and cisterns"

    ummm....obviously not been living on the north during the dry season. I PRAY for BWS to run their pipes up here ASAP.

     

    "....we did not want the bridge"

    umm.....obviously just moved north. Do you remeber the pull ferry? Have you ever tried being pulled accross when the seas are rough? Have you ever tried being pulled over the split during hurricane warnings. The Bridge is the biggest blessing this island has ever received.

     

    ".....on our half of the island!"

    umm....obvioulsy a gringo with that "my" mentality. The island is for all of Belize, and right of way along the island is constitutionally granted.

     

    My friend - put down the pipe and embrace Belize and San Pedro - gated gringo communities are not a good idea, check out Jamaica.

  4. avatar

    Your vehicles on our half of the island? That's the most bigoted, ill-mannered, rude, and just plain *ssholish comment I've read in a long time...on any article about anything. People like you are the reason locals are automatically weary and apprehensive of people like me when we come to visit. You consider yourself so superior and entitled you give all of us a bad reputation.

    You should be ashamed. Just because you have some money and you bought some land on an island where people have lived and visited and traded for centuries, if not millennia, does not mean half of the island is YOUR island. It means you own some property on some land that didn't rightfully belong to the guy who sold it to you anyway. While you may enjoy living your Colonialist lifestyle, you don't have the right to run everybody out of their own town and then build a wall around what used to be theirs.

    I'm afraid you and your mentality toward the people of Belize are part of a much greater problem than any you've pointed out in your comment.

  5. avatar

    Exactly! You have it spot on....

    (From a north dweller)

  6. avatar

    Who died and made north Ambergris residence king! Hey if you don't like it here in Belize...... Then GO HOME!  Go back home and tell OBAMA what to do!

  7. avatar

    Keep strong Deputy Mayor Pablo Ico.  San Pedro supports your wise decision.  Let common sense prevail over the emotions of a few selfish persons.  Stay strong.

  8. avatar

    The hotels up North do not rely on "walk in" tourism trade or tourists brought there by taxies. Their rates reflect what they provide and and part of that is tranquility. Fire trucks, police, and if we had any, emergency vehicles should be permitted across the bridge. The bridge is not suitable for other frequent traffic on a large scale. Please, lets take our time on this issue and think of all the ramifications in the future where traffic will be a happening thing.  Is the road where it will be, REALLY? Is the survey complete and will folks have to comply that are in violation?  One step at a time.

  9. avatar

    A voice of reason...I hope yours is not the only one.

  10. avatar

    At long last.  Now Coastal Express will become obsolete, thank god.

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