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Nov 28, 2000

Taxi drivers fed up with Lake I streets

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Last week we ran a story on problems created for students forced to navigate a north side street turned into mush by a construction project. Tonight we focus on a southside neighbourhood whose street problems appear to be rooted in simple neglect.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Driving through parts of Lake Independence Division can be a long and uncomfortable ride. Residents and motorists say they have had to tolerate the deplorable conditions of the streets for the past six months and it seems no one in authority is feeling their pain.

Mark Sutherland, President, Mahogany St. Taxi Assoc.

“Nothing is ever done to the streets. I don?t remember them never throw any stuff on the street from before the hurricane, long before that, let’s say for a year no stuff never throw on the street.”

Rafael Novelo, Businessman

“Well I have a business back there on Morning Glory Street and it affects me because people have to go back there. But I am mostly sorry for the ones who have to walk because the streets have become impossible for the pedestrians when the streets are filled with water. So it affects everybody.”

Of course recent rains have not helped the problem. Mark Sutherland, resident and also the president of the Mahogany Street Taxi Association, says the situation has created major headaches for the taxi men who serve the area.

Mark Sutherland

“It?s more expensive for the taxi to travel through the mud and water. It costs us starter, alternator and your brakes eat out, with the streets, and sometimes you bog. The holes are across both sides, so every time we have to the fix starter, alternator and different things like that.”

Sutherland says they have approached a number of departments concerning the problem, but nothing has been done to repair the streets.

Mark Sutherland

“We phone City Council over and over. We see Mister Grant and we phone people at the City Council. All they say… once they told us that Ministry of Works will take over the streets, then pass it to them, but nobody?s still not doing anything. We need the mayor, the city manager or engineer to come and say what are their intentions or what plans they have concerning the streets because the way they have us now we do not know what to do, who to go to or what will happen.”

Alfred Conorquie, Taxi driver

“It seems like nobody can help me concerning the situation of the streets. When PUP was in power, when UDP was in power, they put the blame on the City Council because they say they can’t get money from the City Council, or central government does not want to give City Council money to fix the streets. But since one party is in now, you still find that they have the same problem. Nobody come and fix the streets, nobody come and do nothing to the streets. When dry season they don’t even send the grader or machine to fix the streets.”

When we called City Council, Public Relations Officer, Paco Smith told us that they are aware of the problem and that there are plans to repair the streets. However, Smith could not tell us exactly when the work would commence.

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