Traffic Congestion In Castries To Be Eased

Press Release:–  Motorists navigating Castries should expect an ease in congestion in the coming year, as plans to prepare a traffic circulation plan aimed at relieving traffic conditions, parking, and the safe movement of pedestrians in the downtown Castries city area, gets underway.

Activities to accomplish this Plan is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries, who have contracted the Danish based firm, COWI, under the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project (ORTCP).

The Danish Based consultants, who are engaged to prepare the traffic circulation Plan, are currently consulting with relevant stakeholders in Castries to get an idea of the prevailing issues that are contributing to traffic congestion at peak periods.

So far, discussions have been held with the St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority, Council for Public Transport, Holiday Taxi Association, Cox and Company, National Council for People with Disabilities, and the Castries Constituencies Council (CCC).

Over the next few weeks, discussions will be held with representatives of several relevant government departments before making recommendations on how to improve the flow of vehicles and pedestrians, in order to improve the safety, and better the experience in Castries, for both locals and tourists.

Head of the ORTCP, Dr Lorraine Nicholas contends that “the traffic congestion has the potential to adversely impact business in Castries and by extension, the economy of the island. It not only slows down urban traffic, but contributes to make downtown Castries unattractive for tourists, and creates a security hazard for all pedestrians, both local and foreign. Moreover, it creates a negative image for Saint Lucia that can only reduce its destination appeal”, she added.

The Traffic Study is an important initiative for the Ministry of Tourism, as it will address an age old issue that has recently been compounded by the fact that large cruise ships berth near the city and passengers are deposited within a few yards of Jeremie Street – a primary street which connects northbound traffic navigating the city.

On cruise ship days, more than sixty (60) taxi operators also occupy Jeremie Street, further cramming an already crowded downtown area.

To alleviate this situation, Dr Nicholas observes that “improving urban mobility and accessibility is critical not just for motorists and local pedestrians, but for tourism enhancement. The idea is to introduce a program of low cost/high return measures that would be easy to implement with minimal disruptions to city life.”

As part of the plan, the consultants, under the Ministry, will deliver the following:

 Traffic plan for downtown Castries;  Complete redesign of the Jeremie Street/Compton Highway intersection;  Plan and detailed design of improvements for efficient movement of pedestrians and public transport vehicles around La Place Carenage;  Plan and detailed design of other improvements in intersections (including specifications for traffic lights) and walkways in downtown Castries; and  Assessment of training needs, and on-the-job development to improve the capacity of key governmental departments involved in urban mobility in the broader Castries urban area.


    • Idiot if you read properly. You’d see the part that says all stake holders in consultance with the Danish.
      Ncop, ccc, disabilities. Taxis.

      • JAMES , you have the guts to call somebody idiot. You are the damn idiot because TRUTH BEING TOLD if you had read Becket’s contribution properly you would realise that the implied suggestion is that experienxing the situation first hand would provide for a better solution. Speaking with ncop, cc, disabilities, taxis is just second hand information. Now James the TRUTH BEING TOLD is that you are more the idiot.

      • Let us refrain from the name-calling guys, allow everyone to state their points of view but let’s not attack their person.

        Live clean and let your works be seen!

  1. Wouldn’t it be better to renovate the plywood city before making these traffic adjustments? I am just saying that we need to stop putting the cart before the horse again and again.

  2. The Government ought to relocate the main road, our main vein of transportation shouldnt be passing in the heart of town, there ought to be a on large road which would bring you around the entire island in less than 40 mins and have filter roads for those wishing to enter communities.

    La Place Carenage needs a walk-over, it is a hot mess any time a cruise ship is in harbor. I notice the building opposite was being renovated, hoping that they would connected the two with a walk-over I thought wrong. Just Chreiki playing the monopoly game as per usual.

    • There are walkovers along the John Compton highway, yet lucians still run across the road and risk their lives. Some have died in the process yet they persist. They walk in the middle of the roundabout at the waterfront while there is a pedestrian crossing 20 feet away. Again risking getting hit by vehicles. You really think they will use a walkover at La Place Carenage? You need to understand the mindset of St. Lucians. They do not subscribe to rules and order. You see it in every aspect of life in this country.

  3. Positive initiative! Lets hope that final palns are implimented. Millions of dollars of plans and reports setting on shelfs gathering dust . I also hope that the consultants do appreciate the interrelated issue of flooding in Castries. Solutions have to be holistic.

    • Nothing can be done about the flooding in Castries. Much of it is reclaimed land and much of it is below sea level. Even with state of the art drainage the water can’t go anywhere with usual gravity. Only pumps would help with this situation.

      • You say nothing can be done then say only pumps can help with the situation. Pick a lane man! I hope you dont call yourself an engineer! SMH

      • Sometimes I forget many people reading comments here lack basic comprehension skills and concepts have to be dumbed down tremendously since readers can’t make inferences. So here goes: Much of Castries is on reclaimed land. It is claimed the shoreline once went as far as the Chaussee. True or not, much of the city is below sea level and water flows with gravity. Ergo, nothing can be done about sea water flowing back into the drains that are designed to get the water out into the sea when the tides are high. Pumps relieve the flooding problem by getting the accumulated water out faster than the drains, however, the problem remains because the sea level is higher than the many parts of Castries. Levees and dykes are typically used in such scenarios but we have no such. Hope you understand.

  4. One of the improvements to decongest CASTRIES CITY is to have government departments diversified to various districts; there should be key government offices in Vieux Fort (to serve the southern districts: Micoud, Laborie, Choiseul), Dennery (to serve the Eastern districts of Praslin and surrounding areas), Soufriere (to serve the Eastern districts of Canaries, and surrounding areas). Let Castries serve Anse La Raye . Gros Islet should have their own government departments. This suggestion would surely contribute to the traffic decongestion in Castries, since a lot of people from other districts come to Castries to register vehicles, births, deaths, customs import/exports, and a host of other activities which they should not have to come to Castries for. I know my suggestion will fall on the myopic, and deaf ears! Again PLANNING with no maintenance, technically or physically. If banks and merchants can open branches in other districts, why not government?

    • They don’t need to bring foreign entities to alleviate traffic congestion in the city. Your plan will reduce congestion by at least fifty percent on business days. This administration have reversed all initiatives of the past administration, and have compounded the problem, even at a tremendous cost to the tax payers. They have so many plans but none have come to fruition. Elections are around the corner, expect a few temporary jobs and a whole lot of plans

  5. … Further … install ($$$) cruise ship, and cargo ship berths in Vieux Fort and Soufriere. That should be in the plans. And don’t forget MAINTENANCE!

    • I was just reading to see if this was mentioned…voila….too many persons either have migrated to castries and environs or have to face this place each day by bus or private vehicle. With less public sector employees having to face Castries plus persons having to transact business mainly in Castries…traffic will not be that major issue. Please continue the government administrative complex in vieux fort at least and provide services in the south. Consultants my foot!

  6. No need for Danish Based Consultants. Castries is less than a square mile and it will not get any wider unless some major earth moving works are contemplated. One step to give immediate relief is to reverse the traffic flow on Coral street from Riverside Road up to Darling road which takes traffic out of castries. No traffic enters Castries via Darling Road. Mini buses travelling north will use Darling road thereby easing traffic on the John Compton Highway.

    • Engineering is science-based. You cant just say your solution will work without backing it up with numbers and information. One cant pick solution out of thin air. SMH

    • I have a dream that Vieux Fort will become the new capital of St. Lucia in the not too distant future, because of the available space, but with proper planning. We need to do away with two-lane traffic altogether, [roper drainage must be high on the list; we will need affordable car parks, as well as business parking lots for customers and employees. Gone are the days of two-lane streets built by slaves way back in the time. We need four to six lanes leading to the capital; you engine-years have traveled, I suppose and see how it is done or else hand it to the Danes, but please ensure proper planning.

      Let’s make it happen!

  7. The only way to improve traffic is to limit choice to the stupid drivers we have here. Give them too many options and they clog up the roads.

    • Just to answer you….yes there is suggestive uptown if you understand city planning. The Sans Souci area by urban definition is an uptown as it is an extension of what we know as Castries urban core. Sans Souci is fastly becoming a business district just like the boulevard and Chausee and anywhere else in Castries City…hope that helps curb your inquiries. respect!

  8. There are lots of interesting comments here on this Castries situation – from the “idiots” to the “engineers”. I just wish the “Planners” and “Engineers” read it to get “innovative ideas”. As for “city planning”; another idea to alleviate parking is that any new buildings being planned should provide adequate car parking BELOW the new building (ground floor). So that patrons and/or car owners using the building should have easy parking, and be able to access the building by means of a lift or stair case. This should be “easy peasy”, instead of overhead walkways – use the ground floor for parking!

  9. I notice that the consultants said nothing about the motorists. They mentioned all sorts of organizations but they did not mention motorists as part of the stakeholders group. Traffic lights will not work as we’ve seen before. That will just hold back and further delay traffic. Like someone said in a blog above government needs to arrange another road through castries. And remove bus stops along the roads in castries. Instead of using Danish consultants hire me.

  10. You all should consider clearing the the side walks so pedestrians can walk freely instead of having to walk on the roads on jeremie street .there are too many vendors on the side walk clogging the side walks .this will help congestion.

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