On Monday, January 16, 2017, The San Pedro Town Council hosted a community consultation regarding traffic flow, public transportation and the regularization of the taxi industry at the San Pedro Lions Den.
Four main topics discussed were:
* Traffic Congestion
* Parking Issues
* Taxi Regulation/ Taxi Manual
* Public Transport
The San Pedro Town Council invited Mr. Darwin Jewel form Alberta, Canada to speak to the community on changes that can be done for the alleviation of traffic congestion on Ambergris Caye. Mr. Jewel is a traffic consultant/ traffic manager; he has been in the traffic work force for the past 20 years at a municipal level. He has created many master plans for many municipalities therefore CARILED, who is the main sponsor of these consultations, invited him to Belize to speak on possible future plans that island authorities can undertake.
Ideas to put in place were suggested, such as expanding Nurse Shark Street (lagoon side) to connect with Swan Street (south side) and with Caribena Street (north side) in order to reduce the flow of traffic on Barrier Reef Drive (front street).
Also discussed was the possibility to pedestrianize Barrier Reef, where only bicycles, golf carts and pedestrians can pass. Parking on Barrier Reef would only be allowed for two hours and failure to do so would result in a fine by a traffic officer. Residents whose work places are located on Front Street would be given a special parking. Suggestion was made for more side walks with a 4ft width to be built on both sides of the roads, especially on Pescador Drive.
Mr. Jewel also emphasized that there should be a limited number of gold carts on the island. He also discussed that the use of public transits would be a good idea for the island. These transits would not be for tourist but residents only especially those who don’t have a golf cart and need to get to work or school. Having each transit pass every 15 to 30 minutes at a speed of 15 mph is sure to decrease traffic and promote traffic safety.
The San Pedro Town Council is conducting these public consultations to generate more plausible ideas and plans that would alleviate the traffic congestion that plagues the island. Ideas have already been discussed and plans are being made, but the San Pedro Town Council seeks the response of the community and invites the public to attend the next public consultation.