Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Need for Flag Men or Traffic Cops

Every morning I drive through San Vicente to get my daughter to school and me to work. The construction of the four-lane highway is in full swing. I hate it.

I can't stand the idea of our small community school being situated on a 4 lane highway. I didn't like the demise of the Roundhouse.

But just now, I can't stand (even more than my dislike of the overall objective of the project) that it takes from 6 to 10 minutes to drive south the half mile or less from SVES to clear pavement. Ordinarily this takes about a minute or two.

Worse, I feel for all of those trying to turn left from Dandan and the eastern roads of San Vicente village. Cars are lined up 10 and 20 deep, with no hope of finding a space for turning. The traffic on Isa Drive goes in both directions, and is now so slow, that those waiting to turn onto Isa must wait for kindness from both directions. But it's hard to be kind to those waiting to turn when you've been waiting a long time just to go straight, and being kind to one will mean forcing the long line of traffic behind you to wait longer.

It's a mess.

A simple fix would be a traffic cop or flagmen directing traffic.

Of course, there is going to need to be a more permanent fix, so we don't end up with a dead child when the traffic from Kagman comes zooming along on the new 4-lane highway and fails to adequately slow down in the village when kids are walking to school. And probably there won't be any sidewalks added, because no one thinks of pedestrian traffic, even if it's our school kids going to a school right there smack dab in the middle of the village on the main road.

We're setting ourselves us for a disaster.

I just can't stand any of it.


cactus said...

I agree that this road expansion is a bad idea. Frankly, I think we would do better to rip up the 4-lane highways we already have than to build more of them.

If it is built, it should at least be made to include not only sidewalks, as you mention, but also a grass median (at least throughout the San Vicente and Capitol Hill village areas, and better yet for the entire length of the road), as well as a generous number of speed bumps.

The dead child scenario is not just speculation. At least one kid has been killed crossing the road in San Roque since it was widened a few years back.

bigsoxfan said...

title twelve, someone will have to be paid for the money used to construct the median. If I lived and owned land on an island, I suppose I would be a little particular at how the land is used.
Catch twenty-two applies. Land near the roads is valuable, therefore it is more valued than the undevelopable (sp?) hillsides, therefore, walk in the street as the government can't afford to pay the owners for the value of the land and you can bet their kids aren't walking on the side of the road.

Anonymous said...

This project was pushed through by the outgoing DPW Secretary and TSD Director. No thought was given to sidewalks and medians as these two mental midgets have no technical road design experience. Expect nothing more from the new acting Secretary and Director. The dead children scenario is frightening and a possibility as now we have another highway where school buses can get up to speeds of 55 MPH and more to try to beat passing cars to the next compulsory red lights bus stop. No kidding these moronic school bus drivers play this game each school day on Pale Arnold Road. PSS has no accident/medical liabilty insurance on the school buses. The government is self insured with a maximum amount not to exceed $100,000.00per child.

Saipan Writer said...

I haven't seen any school bus drivers exceeding the speed limit. But I have seen drivers coming along the back road from the Kagman direction and driving very fast. The back road is long and fairly empty and invites greater speed, but then you come into SV village where the school is, and some of these same drivers do not slow down.

We're going to need a traffic light, and not just a yellow blinking "school zone" light which many people ignore. We're probably also going to need much better paint on the crosswalks and a safety crossing guard like they have at HJHS.

It's too bad we don't have experienced and competent people in positions like the heads of departments; but even those people could just do a better job if they held well-advertised public hearings before undertaking projects (and then listened to the comments).

Anonymous said...

I'll go out on a limb (a very short one) and state that 99.9999% of folks agree with you. I haven't heard ONE positive comment about that road expansion or the removal of the roundhouse.