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Jun 8, 2023

Traffics Lights Installed on St. Thomas Street

Today, the Belize City Council organized a soft launch of a recently installed traffic light system at the corners of Saint Thomas and Saint Joseph streets in Belize City. It’s an area that is often times congested with vehicular traffic and there have been a number of accidents at the intersection. There are several schools in the area and the stoplights will assist students as they walk to school. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

If you have ever travelled along Saint Thomas Street near its intersection with Saint Joseph Street, there is usually a bottleneck.  It’s highly trafficked by students who traverse the area for school.


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“In this area in the mornings in rush hour in the evenings in rush hour, you would see the chaos that has been out here and you know how many accidents have been right in this intersection here and people have been clamouring what is the City Council’s situation. Well we had a manual person stand up in the middle of the street every day, three hundred and sixty-five days fu di year with ih hand ina ih air – no. Roundabouts serve its purpose – I commend roundabouts, but ina wah culture like Belize City or Belize where we tend to have this non compliance with laws, you have to be discipline with roundabout; you have to understand the law.”


The installation of stoplights, including pedestrian crossings, is to provide a safe path for students and improve the flow of vehicular traffic in the area. Mayor Bernard Wagner along with a few City Councillors organized a demonstration for students on how to operate the new system.


Bernard Wagner

“We have put in the type of mechanism weh really child friendly because we dah wah sustainable child friendly municipality and all of these things weh we do ina we city dah fi really drive child friendly type of activities and try change the culture that we are about our children. And having the opportunity for the kids to be able to go at that spot there and press that button and that button activate and after wah while it tell the motorist stop, we want the opportunity to pass. And that is why we have that mechanism in place. It’s a red stop, green and so you are driving in a habit, you are changing habits and it is about a light system telling you red stop, green go. In a roundabout, it is more left up to the individual understanding the traffic laws and complying with the laws. Now when you are saying red, green, yellow it begins to change habits and that dah weh we want change ina this city and in this country. Change the culture, change habits, change behaviours of people. And we can’t start with the old people like me and you – we done set ina wi ways. We have to start with the kids and that’s why we have the kids dehn out yah today because after a six years, dehn kids wah get use to these type of systems and apparatus.”


But is the introduction of the stoplight purely aesthetic and will not relieve the traffic congestion?


Bernard Wagner

“That is why our technical team run their test. They had been running these tests during peak hours in the mornings and in the afternoons and in the evenings. They have been running these tests and sure there have been areas but they have tried to tweak it and get that timing down as best as possible, but dah wah process and so we continue to work towards reaching the optimum area weh we want reach. We tried to consult with all the business people in the area. We had a good session with them. Our main thing to them is that the city is always only concern about on street parking. We can’t concern ourselves about off street parking; that is left up to the business owners. They have to ensure you have adequate parking. Unfortunately, that was not carried out in this area; some of the businesses do have off street parking. But what we tried to do is work along with those business houses in the area, the YWCA, the meat shop here, the Hoy Eye Center. So what we have done is to turn Heusner Crescent into a one way street and so now parking will be allowed on one side of that street.”


The value of the project is over one hundred thousand dollars. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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