A special feature by Western Mirror Staff Writer – Michael Nattoo
For years, we have complained about our roadways needing work, and finally, I am happy to declare – those complaints are no more!If you have never travelled or if you don’t travel the Tucker to Spring Mount main road in South St. James daily, you are missing out on an exciting and luxurious life! While the rest of Jamaica awaits Vision 2030, we there up in the “bush” are living that life! We invite every man, woman and child to take a drive on our state-of-the-art roadways, starting the moment you turn off Fairfield Avenue to head up into the country!
You may think this is a joke, but hear me out: can you recall the last time you heard of a strike/roadblock on that particular stretch of roadway? Exactly! And sure, you cynics may argue that our road users are just simply too tired to protest, but I assure you that’s not the case. I can further assure you that the constant migraines we get as a result of traversing those roadways have nothing to do with the roads themselves, but from our constant guilt that we are the only ones who get to enjoy roads like these in all of South St. James.
Take, for instance, our taxi operators – buses and all. They love that beautifully designed and maintained roadway so much, that they refuse to disrespect it by driving on it with old car parts! That’s whynearly every week, they engage in the sacred practice of replacing their front end parts, simply because they know that that roadway deserves better. Sure, it’s expensive, but when you have roads like we do, only then will you understand these rituals.
Coming onto our roadways, you are to drive with care and please, be educated. What we mean by that is this: though you may see things at every point along the roadway that you would call craters or, to use a more slanderous term – potholes, you’d be mistaken to think of them as such. Those things that you see our drivers carefully navigating through are not potholes, but are thoughtful engineering marvels that serve a number of purposes on those roadways. For one, they negate speeding, and ought to be considered as a new sophisticated design for speed bumps. That’s why our drivers are among the most skilled and disciplined. Secondly, given prevailing drought conditions across the island, those craters store water anytime it rains, becoming safe havens for our much-hunted and persecuted Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – proving once again just how much our councillors care about the health and welfare of ALL things.
“Yes man! A full time unu show dem! Dem need fi see di road dem weh affi drive pon everyday! Yes, missa Mirror, show dem!” was the cry of one bus driver as I stopped to take pictures of our ‘holy’ roadways. He was no doubt thrilled that finally, I could ease his guilt by allowing others a peak into our well-kept secret. “Show dem all a it missa Mirror, every single one a dem! Dem need fi know how wi a live up ya suh!” shared another impassioned taxi operator. He, however, seemed angry that yet another crater had been placed on the roadway without much of a notification given. Seems you can’t please everyone, right Councillor Uvel Graham?
CLEANER, SUPERIOR ROADS
“And what of the constant clouds of dust?” you may ask. Well, there’s a simple explanation for that. If the dust isn’t in the air, where would it be? On our roads! Exactly! So, to keep those superior roads cleaner than most (if you ignore the garbage placed along strategic points of the road), the roads are kept as is, so as to ensure a delicate system we have remains intact. Now don’t go copying this, but that delicate and intricate system ensures that most of the dust is stuck to vehicles – which are usually washed daily, travelling those roadways. These vehicles then have to be transported to a car wash multiple times per week, ensuring that car wash operators make a lucrative living, while motor vehicle operators ensure their cars’ hygiene is well-kept. Yet again, another flawless modern marvel.
Ultimately, should you visit our roads, you may be tempted to walk instead of drive given the state of the roadways, but I implore you to ignore such temptations. Otherwise, you won’t get to partake of the weekly car parts replacement ritual we so thoroughly enjoy. And finally, we can’t take credit for this. Huge thanks must go to Councillor Uvel Graham and our local government officials! You guys are the real superstars!