If all goes as planned with government’s proposed traffic reform initiative in Road Town, the annual yuletide event – Christmas on DeCastro Street – may have a new venue come next year.
“We won’t be able to do this [on DeCastro Street] because all the traffic on this street will be going in one direction,” City Manager Janice Brathwaite Edwards told members of the media on Saturday at the close of the two-day event on Saturday.
She continued: “We won’t be able to block the street as easily and so, therefore, we are contemplating as to where we can move, where we can still maintain the family atmosphere, the close-knitted circumstances that we have here and include the business community.”
The City Manager said there are several venue options where the event can move to within the city limits.
She said two such relocation options include Administration Drive and the Queen Elizabeth II Park; both of which are still located in Road Town.
“The problem with that is we do not want to disturb the hospital and the Governor. We have festival grounds that we can use. We have Lower Estate Sugar Works that we can also transform, and we have the Althea Scatliffe Grounds that we can also look at. So there is a number of options on the table, but we have to sit down and decide.”
Event name change
She said the name would be changed for the third time since its inception more than 21 years ago.
“Well, it will be Christmas on whatever, whether it is a park or a parking lot. That will be the only part that will change. But we need to make sure that when we are moving, the business community can have an impact because the business community around says this [event] also helps them with their business.”
In the meantime, Brathwaite-Edwards said this year the event was “positive” and once again lured a crowd to kickstarted the Christmas season in the British Virgin Islands.
The traffic reform programme
In September, Transportation & Works Minister Kye Rymer said plans are underway to reform traffic routes on Tortola to create one-way roadways in and around Road Town in an effort to ease the current congestion in the capital city.
“When you are coming from the West End area, and you are heading east at the Admin Complex, we will erect (traffic) lights, and we intend to turn Waterfront Drive into a one way (lane) heading east. Upon approaching the roundabout, you would be able to turn left or go straight on to the dual carriageway,” Rymer said while making his contribution in the House of Assembly.
He said the one-way traffic lane would also continue in other areas. The Transportation Minister said this new system would create what he described as a ‘loop’ around Road Town.
With this loop, he said the traffic would be heading west into DeCastro Street, and motorists will have the option to access Waterfront Drive by making a right turn onto the street where the Cutlass Tower located.
The other option is to drive along the road that leads to Banco Popular.
Meanwhile, the traffic transformation will also move to Main Street, Rymer added.
While he did not indicate when the proposed traffic reform would come into effect, Rymer said residents would be part of the transformation.
He said this would be done through public meetings, among other avenues.
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