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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Portmore Toll Fracas!

Some may think of the new Portmore highway as the best thing since slice bread, a road to the future, a solution to the malignant Portmore traffic. Others might think of this new highway as unconstitutional, a compromise of their rights, a forceful attempt of the government to extract money from poor people.

A few Portmore residents did think the latter when, despite the government’s attempt to make it appealing, they filed a lawsuit to stop the completion of the toll road to the municipality. However, the government won that battle and work has resumed.

What are my views?

I embrace the highway concept. I have driven on the south coast leg of the Highway 2000 project a couple of times and let me tell you, it was like a breath of fresh air…lawd mi car grin wid pleasure! Why! No meteorite craters…oh sorry I mean potholes, no winding corners, no lumpy “crocodile back” roads, no traffic jam, no “stop-stop”, and how can I forget…110 km/h! With all of that in mind why wouldn’t I want good road fi drive pan?

On the other hand, as I said before it’s a toll road and that means, yes every Jamaicans fear, you have to pay, it nuh free! The residents of Portmore realize this and as a result some are very opposed to the construction, as this will replace the inadequate Causeway. Jamaicans more than everybody love freeness; I think we have “Freenessatitis” – an acute and abnormal love or obsession with obtaining everything in life for freeFimmi Dictionary 2005 Revised Version. But some of us who are complaining bitterly have been to The United States of America, the land of milk and honey, and know that to drive on any highway, any major bridge and any underground tunnel is not free! Unnu haffi pay through unnu teet or else unnu haffi go get road map and spend the better part of your lives navigating through the parochial or alternate roads. The fact of the matter is, if you want good road someone has to pay for it, and the US government has devised a way to build and maintain high quality roads by making you pay to drive on it. And fiwi bruk pocket government weh worse off realize that if they are to provide world-class roads the tax money alone caan do it!

The only thing that I fear is that the government a go get “likkie-likkie” and greedy and want fi overcharge the poor people of Portmore. Times are hard and people pocket dry. My view is that the Portmore toll should not be expensive, hence, I think it should not exceed J$20.00 or J$30.00 at the most due to the sheer volume of traffic that will traverse the Portmore toll highway.

My conclusion, “Yes run di toll highway!” but keep in mind the burdens many Jamaicans face and make the toll reasonable and affordable for all the hard working Jamaican people and the unemployed too. And everyone has a choice, pay the toll and you and your car can have a comfortable ride or have an adventurous ride on the alternate route.

That’s my views on this matter. But, what are your views? Yes…what you tink, eeh?

8 commented:

My respect for freedom of speech has placed me a position to be tolerant, very tolerant of others opinion however limited the facts, on which those opinion are based. The writer’s article suffers from a drought of facts, which led me to believe he or she is only verbalizing feelings which has not benefited from meaningful data.

Now lets not be delusional or be too emotional either way, which ever one of the preverbal sides you find your self, Government or Portmore residence. There are no objections to the building of Highway 2000 by the citizens of Port more and that needs to be clear. High Way 2000 is without a doubt one of best project that this failing stat has embark upon and the Government needs to credited favorable for it and yes I have being on it many times and I pay and I enjoyed it and oh yes it compares to international standards and yes even the Portmore leg is a wonderful thing that will bring benefit to the people of the sun shine city (Portmore) and Jamaicans at large.

So what are the grouse of the Portmore people? Love freeness mentality? Certainly not. Portmore people are willing to pay the toll by choice not forced. Yes this is what our elected Governance are attempting to do when they want to make an alternate route so far that it will take you more than ten miles away from home just to reach home. What was a five minutes drive to Down Town Kingston (Jamaica capital city) will take 30 to 40 minutes if the Government is to have its way.

The law as it relates to toll roads in Jamaica states that there is to be a suitable alternative in the same area where the toll road is to be built, now this alternative is no way near the same area where this new toll road is being constructed.
The Cause way was build primarily to provide access to the community of Portmore and what the Government of Jamaica is attempted to do is to replace that road with a toll road forcing the residence of portmore to pay a toll to get home. That is wrong by law. There would have being no fracas if the existing cause way was aloud to remain in use and people could choose either one. Demolishing the existing cause way is a deliberate ploy by the government to force these people to pay to leave and return to there homes

What the people of port more are saying? Build yu high way and lef wi road.

Not a Portmore Residance.

Thanks for your comments sabbo.

Let me make my self clear, I'm neither on the Government’s side nor the complaining residents' of Portmore. I'm just an advocate of a change for the better and good roads to dive on.

I am glad that you agree with me that both Highway 2000 projects are advantageous to the people of Jamaica and that you yourself enjoy the pleasures of driving on a road of good quality and that you too embrace the idea of a toll road to Portmore.

It is unfortunate that the Government of Jamaica has decided to do things in this manner. However my theory is that, bearing in mind the government’s financial predicament, the government noticed that building a major toll highway:
1. would alleviate Portmore's ailing traffic situation at no upfront cost to them as overseas bidders fund the toll.
2. would by abandoning the existing roadway rid them of the chore of maintaining a major thoroughfare on a dwindling reserve of funds.
3. earn revenue once the investors have earned from their investments.
4. Using the Causeway route would provide the shortest distance to build a road, which in turn would be cheaper.

I don't know wah dem thinking but that's just a theory. As to an alternate route, the court itself ruled that the proposed route is legal. It is unfortunate that the alternate route is long, but as the saying goes "you can't have your cake and eat it" something has got to give.

People are resistive to change, especially if the change will make them a bit uncomfortable. I still support the idea of a toll road to Portmore. What I think the people of Portmore should do is to discuss an affordable toll and ensure that it is reasonable instead of fighting the construction.

I agree with you. Stunner. I was a resident of Portmore up to last year. Firstly, I have never ever taken 5 minutes from downtown to Portmore. The alternate route is 4 miles longer. What I would like are all the facts as to why the government is in such a rush to do away with the existing route.

Have the residents given thought to the possibility that the bridge has outlived its useful life. It is now ailing and some believe failing. I just think there are more issues than are being released.

Stunner, I drove on the new road for the first time last weekend and trus me, the cyar did happy like a man dat jus bruck him ducks.

I agree with your views. I hope they will complete the remaining sections of the North Coast road soon.

Pass chru mi site one o dem days if you bored... I came via Scratchie

I too came via Scratchie. Will be back.

I don't live in Portmore, but I have heard my coworkers complain bitterly of the traffic situation. And as scrachie said that bringe outlived its usefulness, that bridge could verywell collapse (just like most of the bridges in Jamaica) any day now.

Fi real dr.d the toll road sweet. I hope they finish it soon myself, especially the north coast leg which seems to be taking for ever. It's in the same state 2005 as iwas in 2002.

I agree with stunner and scratchie. Whose money is going to maintain the causeway bridge anyway? I dont hear the people who live in Maypen complaining that the alternate route for highway 2000 is 40 mins longer. Put it this way if you want good you nose haffi run. What the government should do is sell toll tickets to portmore residents at a discoiunted cost. For example you buy a tag card worth $500 and you get more trips than someone who just passes through the toll and pay a $30 or $50. I heard that after making a certain amount of trip through the same toll you start using it free. So guess what you kids may benefit.

I personally think they should do some more toll roads. We would probably spend less maintaining our cars and save on gas which so ever increasing.

"Emergency wi a suffa roun ere"-Vbyez Kartel.
This toll issue is just another case of the negligence and disassociation of Jamaican with regards to issues that concern them until its too late.
Personally,the whole toll argument is a waste of time because as with the many other issues where they should have stood up together and united to fight for themselves, they instead bend over and submit without excerising their rights or develop the "for themselves" mentality.
Personality I stop go Portmore cause over there too damn hot but if I need to go, the Mandela Highway is there for me.I'll pay the toll to go to Mandeville, Portmore too hot for me.
But since the Portmorians going to pay the toll what they need to work on is the amount they are going to pay and hopefully they stick get together on that cause
Stunner back to u man