It was an historic day in the Virgin Islands on Monday, June 15 as the Government of the Virgin Islands’ Traffic Turnaround in Road Town went live.
Motorist traversed the new route which was inclusive of the following changes:
1. Waterfront Drive - (the stretch of road from the traffic lights adjacent to the intersection by Administration Drive to the roundabout by Sol Gas station) Traffic going in one direction from the traffic lights easterly to the roundabout.
2. Roundabout – (in Road Town by Sol Gas station) traffic is no longer going towards the west on Waterfront Drive.
3. DeCastro Street – (the roadway from Bobby’s Supermarket to now Republic Bank, formerly Scotia Bank) Traffic will be going in one direction onto Positive Action Drive westerly.
4. Joe’s Hill - Traffic can continue to go left or now turn right onto Main Street. Traffic going right (westerly) from the foot of Joe’s Hill Road (by the Road Town Methodist Cemetery) will now be headed one way only towards the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital.
5. Nibbs Street – (the roadway adjacent First Bank and Cutlass Tower) Traffic will be going in one direction towards Waterfront Drive, turning right only.
In announcing his Economic Response Plan to the Territory on May 28, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie stated that part of the Government’s ongoing economic response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic included the promise to fix the traffic congestion in the City of Road Town, Tortola.
Premier Fahie said, “As a Government, we are committed to the New Regular, which means new ways of living and working in the Virgin Islands. We must do things differently to ensure new and positive results. I am pleased that the Honourable Kye Rymer has been able to lead a comprehensive study on the traffic flows in the Road Town area and drive this important initiative that is expected to improve driver and pedestrian experiences on the road.”
The study aided the Government by taking the “guess-work” out of our traffic management and planning as we look towards the short-, medium- and long-term development programme.
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Honourable Kye Rymer said, “He is happy that the new traffic flow has been successful as it falls within this Government’s mantra to “Create a Pedestrian Friendly City” and to lift the quality of life for our citizens, residents and visitors.”
The first simulation was a live broadcast allowing for public commentary. Minister Rymer said, “The findings from the first simulation led to adjustments towards the second simulation.”
“All the simulations were intended to further assess the viability of the entire proposed new routes and allow time to make any additional adjustments to the roadways. This helped us to determine the launch date of the Traffic Turnaround of Road Town,” Honourable Rymer said.
The final simulation took place on Sunday, June 14; and allowed citizens one final practice with all the major markings and adjustments properly in place.
Motorists are reminded that all new routes as advertised and aided by road signage and directional road markings should be followed. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to be courteous to each other during this time of transition as it is the “New Regular.”
The Works Minister thanked the Virgin Islands Police Force/Traffic Unit; the Town and Country Planning Department; the Public Works Department; Director of Projects, Dr. Drexel Glasgow; and his team of officials at the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities.
Upcoming phases in the construction of a Pedestrian Friendly Road Town include:
- Installation of an additional lane going westbound coming out of Administration Drive onto Waterfront drive to support vehicle capacity, enabling traffic flow towards the western part of Tortola
- Paid Parking lots within the Road Town area
- Free parking on the Festival Ground in Road Town
- Free shuttle service around Road Town
Motorists and other road users are to be cautious when using the roads, particularly at these intersections. Adhere to all the traffic lights within the Territory, Administration and Waterfront DR, Station AVE, and at Pasea Estate. Utilise the signs. Adhere to the lights. Buckle up and be careful.
Remember: “Safe Driving Saves Lives”.
Attached Photo: Images of Road Town Traffic Turnaround