CONCERN Group Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) has commended the Honiara City Council (HCC) for the reopening of the underpass tunnels.
Whilst welcoming the good news, FSII has called on all Honiara residents and users of the recently reopened underpasses to appreciate and take ownership of them.
“Our people must appreciate and take ownership over public facilities and properties for our convenience and safety. People need to at least respect what others have given us as free gifts”.
The two idle underpass walkways, one at the ITA building and at the Lel Clothing shop have been built and completed years ago but closed for a number of years, allegedly due to criminal activities and destruction of these expensive facilities.
Pick-pocketing, drinking and harassment were reported to have been perpetrated by thugs that scared pedestrians, women and children from using the underpasses.
An unprecedented decision was therefore taken by authorities to close these facilities.
However over the years since their closures, pedestrians have instead used the highway roads to cross, disturbing traffic’s free flow. This has significantly contributed to the traffic congestions currently experienced in the Honiara main city roads.
The main city roads that run from the Kukum Highway through the main city to the Town ground areas have often experienced traffic congestions.
After years of trying to find solutions to the persisting traffic congestions, authorities decided to reopen the two underpass walkways.
The reopening of the two underpasses is expected to reduce traffic congestions, especially at the main Market area where pedestrian crossing is worse.
Honiara City Council law enforcers are currently visible at the two underpass walkways in an attempt to educate pedestrians about proper usage and to ensure no criminal activities and littering occurred under the city roads.
And as a result of the new arrangements, the Main Market bus stop has been moved from the usual Victoria Shop (Opposite main market) bus stop to the Island Clothing Shop, just next to the ITA underpass.
Chief Executive Officer of FSII, Benjamin Afuga a post on the page regarding the re-opening has attracted widespread calls for responsibility.
“Almost 99% of FSII commentators both local and abroad congratulated Honiara city council for the effort taken to reopen and station its law enforcers at the two underpass walkways.
“Honiara pedestrians are kindly asked to use the underpass to avoid traffic congestion. Let us respect these facilities and use them wisely,” Mr Afuga said.
Many members termed the news as welcoming and supported the call for the public to take good care of the properties and for everyone to use the facilities properly and look after them.
Others whilst supporting the reopening and the presence of HCC law enforcement officers questioned the sustainability of their presence.
“How long will the officers become visible this time? one member questioned.
Other members called on responsible authorities to conduct educational awareness programs to educate pedestrians about proper usage and the need to look after public properties and facilities.
“Our people need to be educated about having a sense of belonging for public properties and facilities,” Afuga explained.
“Let’s all work together to make Honiara a better place to live in. Let’s stop relying on authorities because they have done their part, so our part is to help look after and maintain them so that these facilities are enjoyed by everyone for a long time,” another FSII member added.
Previously FSII has highlighted that Honiara resident’s attitude problem is becoming a threat to maintaining public properties and facilities.
– FSII News