(SKNIS): There was a buzz of excitement in downtown Basseterre on Wednesday (January 17) as motorists and pedestrians witnessed the testing of the traffic lights in anticipation of their upcoming commissioning.
The tests were conducted by officials from the Public Works Department (PWD), St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) Ltd, and Synergy Engineering Ltd – a Jamaican-based company that installed the traffic signal system. The process was supervised by the Traffic Department of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, which controlled the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic at the junctions during the assessment period.
Barrington Cross, a traffic signal analyst with Synergy Engineering, explained that today’s exercise included checks on the three systems located in the vicinities of the Basseterre Bay Road, Fort and Central Streets and Wellington and Pond Roads.
“We are making sure that everything is working,” he said.
This included the Pedestrian Crossing Signal, which began a count down after the button was pushed and gave the appropriate sign for persons to cross when the vehicular lights turned red. The vehicle sensors in the road that detect when cars are queued at the junctions were also examined to make sure that there was an equal opportunity for drivers at various intersections, and that the correct corresponding signal was illuminated when it was time to go – on a green light, stop – on a red light, or prepare to stop – on an amber light.
PWD Director, Cromwell Williams, said that the tests were successful and the system functioned as it was supposed to.
“People are going to have to make adjustments in terms of their behaviour and habits when it comes to being on the road, particularly pedestrians. You have to use the pedestrian crossing, you have to press the [crossing] button and wait,” he stated, noting that some persons are already familiar with the traffic signals, having been exposed to them during travel overseas.
“This is a step forward in our development in terms of our infrastructure and I am sure that in short time the general public will see the benefit of these traffic lights in terms of the smooth and orderly flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. I think that there would definitely be improvements in the safety for pedestrians.”
The date for commissioning of the traffic lights will be announced later.