POLICE and road authorities in Honiara have initiated new measures to address the city’s worsening traffic situation.
Head of Honiara City Police Jack Balaga told the Solomon Star yesterday the new measures will come into effect as of Monday.
“As of Monday, we are going to close down the two bus stops for eastern-bound traffic at the central market,” Mr Balaga said.
“So if you are travelling to Kukum, Ranadi, King George or Naha-Kola’a, you are no longer going to board the bus at the central market,” he said.
“Instead, all buses travelling east will drop off and pick up at the bus stop near the Old Guadalcanal provincial headquarters just before Hyundai mall.”
Mr Balaga said the bus stop opposite the central market for west-bound travellers is not affected under this initiative.
He added the bus bay (stop) next to Fairwest office opposite the Honiara City Council headquarters will also be closed.
Instead, a new bus stop for Naha-Kola’a bound passengers will be set up at the small open space outside the Fairwest office as you drive in towards Sea King Restaurant.
At the same time, the barricade built at the entry of the exit lane at the Honiara City Council round-about will be lifted and the lane reopen to vehicles travelling to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, the National Library or to Fijian Quarter.
However, Mr Balaga said the one-lane Mataniko bridge will remain one-way.
He said the barricade built a few meters away from the western end of the bridge will remain to indicate to drivers that the bridge remains closed for east-bound vehicles.
Mr Balaga said a warning sign will also be erected on the middle strip between the two bus stops in Chinatown to warn drivers against making U-turns.
He said no vehicles will be allowed to make U-turns at the end of the middle strip because their actions contributed to the traffic hold up.
Mr Balaga added a traffic sign reminding drivers to travel faster as they approach the western end of the two-way Mataniko bridge will also be erected at the western end of the bridge.
“This is to remind drivers that they must travel at speeds of 25 miles per hour and above when they approach the bridge.
“The pot holes on the bridge will be filled and repaired over the weekend so that when these new measures come into effect on Monday, drivers will have no excuse of slowing down because of the pot holes,” Mr Balaga said.
Finally, he said drivers are now using the road going down the wharf at Point Cruz towards Low Price Enterprise as a two-lane when driving in from the wharf.
“This should not be the case,” Mr Balaga said.
“That segment of the road is also going to be addressed,” he said.
Mr Balaga called on the public to cooperate with the new measures.
“This is a trial. If it works well to ease our traffic situation, we’ll keep it there.
“If not, then we’ll look at other alternatives.
“But as we approach election day and the busy Christmas period, I am appealing to everyone to work together with the police to ease our traffic situation,” Mr Balaga said.