A team of four officials from the Road Traffic Department in Nassau visited Hope Town on August 21, 2014, to get a first hand look at traffic challenges there. The nation’s Road Traffic Act is being reviewed and up-dated, and government wants it to be inclusive of the Family Islands. Different islands have various issues, and the revised Act will for the most part provide for these differences.
The team did not have any simple solutions but left with a better understanding of the issues. They were all astounded to discover that the current Act prohibits motorized traffic north of the Methodist Church. It is possible that the new Act will have provision for local authorities to enact rules more easily that are suitable for their particular circumstances.
The Local Government Act gives local government the authority to “. . . . formulate traffic schemes . . .” but this is not a simple, straight-forward process, and no further instructions are given.
The streets through Hope Town would be more suitably called sidewalks. Golf carts compete with pedestrians and an occasional contractor’s truck for road space. A confrontation by two trucks requires one to back up to where it can get off the road. Golf carts can usually find an unfenced yard or side street to pull off into. Green Turtle Cay established one-way traffic through town which greatly eased their traffic issues. The Hope Town settlement does not have roads that would easily accommodate one-way traffic.
The team returned to Nassau with notes and impressions and expects that a comprehensive Road Traffic Bill covering the entire country can be presented to Parliament in late September or early October.
The four team members were representing the Transportation Policy and Planning Unit of the Nassau Road Traffic Department. They were Marc Ingraham, Economist and Team Leader; Michael Hudson, Traffic Controller and Safety Officer; Sonya Borrows, Senior Executive Officer; and Simone Francis, Engineer.