THE Honiara City Council must be commended for reopening the two underpass crossings in the city.
The decision was timely and relevant, as Japan is in the process of improving Honiara’s road system with the aim of addressing the worsening traffic congestion.
Under the project, the Honiara market underpass will be renovated and improved.
These two underpasses were built as part of the existing four-lane Honiara road.
They were there as safer passages for those wanting to get from one side of the road to another.
But the crossings were closed and hardly used over the years due to a number of reasons.
Firstly, there was lack of respect for the facilities. This resulted in certain individuals using the underpasses as places to relief themselves.
These individuals also stained the walling and steps with betel nuts and other dirt.
Secondly, there were cases of women and girls being harassed and intimidated by youths that roam the underpasses during the day.
All these discouraged members of the public from using the under-ground crossings, and eventually forcing the city council to close the facilities.
But this week, after some work done to the crossings to clean them up, the city council had reopened them for public use.
With the daily traffic congestion taking its toll on the city, it is only wise that underpasses are reopened to give easy passage for pedestrians crossing the road.
However, the council had made it clear that if the same treatment shown to the underpasses in the past is not changed, they will not hesitate to close them back.
The onus is therefore on the public to grow up and respect public facilities such as the underpasses.
These facilities are costly to build. And they were done for the public good.
The least we could do is to respect and care for them so that we all can benefit from their use.
Understandably, the majority of Solomon Islanders are peace-loving and caring. They always appreciate and embrace public facilities our donor friends have provided.
Only a few are creating all these mess. It is these few that we must deal with and tell them to change their attitude.
We cannot allow them to spoil the goodwill of our donor friends and the peace and enjoyment members of the public are entitled to when using these facilities.
If the law-abiding public can stand together in our resolve to protect public facilities from the destructive hands of vandals, we can get rid of the minority few who have no respect for public properties.
Furthermore, the public must work together and report those causing the problems to the police.
Those who have no respect for public facilities must not be allowed to walk away with their crimes.
The underpasses have reopened. Let’s look after them. They are the safest way to cross our increasingly congested road.