Traffic Hell

This morning, as I was filling up with gas on the way to drive my daughter to school (because to go anywhere with a near-empty tank of gas these days is to risk being stranded in traffic hell), we heard a cacophony of sirens. I then saw a police officer perched high on a motorcycle, standing up, as he ushered two giant, white SUVs heading south in the wrong lane of traffic. I assume it was a politician. It must be nice to be able to skirt traffic like that. (We later saw three policemen on motorcycles doing the same thing).

I wish we had an escort. It took me almost an hour and a half this morning for what should be a 45-minute trip. And it’s not just the wasted time confined in the car. It is the blatant disregard for traffic laws and the chaos and mayhem it brings. I almost got in two accidents, not my fault, because people are so agitated and trying to get to where they are going. It’s also the dust, the dirt, the lack of safety and sidewalks for pedestrians, the lost time, the extra exhaust, the lost business, the lost productivity.

It is understandable that the Prime Minister wanted to use up a loan from China EXIM Bank, but it doesn’t seem acceptable to just say, well, we have to put up with it for eight months. For the first few days, police on the road were keeping things running more smoothly, but their presence is waning and people are back to insane driving practices. This can’t go on, for many reasons.

Plastic ban

Some significant environmental news yesterday. Many questions, as with most government announcements, remain. What are the penalties? How can businesses adapt? How will small businesses afford the transition? What will replace plastic water bottles? Jamaica joins several other Caribbean nations, including Grenada, Dominica and Bahamas.