Safety First

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Now You See It - Now You Don't: Chain shuffle highlights need for beach parking in Mullins area

From Barbados Today's article: Chain gone
"The controversial chain erected on a sidewalk in Mullins, St. Peter, has been removed.

The chain, which was located outside the Sandalo luxury villa, caused a stir after pedestrians complained they were forced to walk in the road because of it.

Maureen Hackett, manager of the Villa Management department of Bajan Services Limited, managers of the property, said the fence was removed on Friday after Barbados TODAY brought the concerns of pedestrians to her attention.

“We like to follow rules and regulations so as soon as I put down the phone, the fence was taken down,” she said.

However, Bajan Services management stressed that the intention was always to protect pedestrians, rather than restrict them. According to the company, motorists attending the beach and a nearby establishment had made a habit of parking on the sidewalk, damaging it and forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.

“The intention was always to make it safer for the pedestrian.”"
Phew!  If we could only get such prompt action on the groynes at St. Peter's Bay, we would be all set here in Road View/Mullins.  Seriously though, we have be campaigning for nearly four years for the removal of three rock groynes in the area that have devastated our beaches, all to no avail or action from government or the developer responsible.  I wonder who we have to call at Barbados Today to get the ball rolling.  I know it's a little different from taking pictures by the roadside, whatwith all the sand you might get in your shoes, or have to walk in water up to your waist; but I still believe that the groynes are a much bigger issue for the area and Barbados as a whole than a silly little movable chain-link parking barrier.

This is not to minimize the dangers posed to the public by what transpired outside Sandolo last week, but it calls attention to the need for beach parking and proper sidewalks in the area which this blog has also been calling for, also to no avail.   Again, government has been contributing to the problem by doing what Sandolo was trying to do at the other end of the beach - only difference being (as pictured below) the government's barrier is permanent.  The holes are still in front of Sandolo and they can re-setup the wooden posts and run the chain in a few minutes.  

Government's permanent parking barrier at northern end of Mullins Beach
One of the post-ready holes for the movable parking barrier in front Sandolo
Again, as with the groynes, government needs to take the lead here with respect to providing adequate public parking at what is still arguably one of the best beaches on the west coast even with all the beach erosion that is still going on in the area.  With Bajans now having easy access to cars you cannot expect them to arrive at the beach on foot or by bus; and with more and more tourists opting for rental cars it is becoming increasing urgent to provide the parking that is needed.  There is plenty space in the area that can be quickly turned into parking.  One good example is the mangrove area just north of Sandolo between the Sea Isle and Sea Shell beaches houses.  A small portion of this mangrove (pictured below) fronting the road could be turned into angled parking for about two dozen or so cars.  Likewise, now that there is only one remaining (but also in danger of toppling over anytime) coconut tree,  the time may now have come to finally get rid of the controversial "beach garden" on Mullins Beach itself by also developing the area as angled parking, after all that's what it was used for before the "beach garden."

Mangrove area near Sandolo which can be filled for parking
Controversial "beach garden" should be returned to parking
Whatever is done needs to be moved on quickly because parking in the area is becoming more and more of a headache both for beach goers and residents.  And, with the parking there needs to be a plan to cover up all the open sewers along the road so that we do not see anymore Bajan octogenarians sprawled out on the road in a pool of blood like we witnessed recently.

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