St. Maarten Pride Foundation believes Ring road project is not about alleviating traffic

St. Maarten Pride Foundation argues that if government seriously intended to address St. Maarten’s traffic congestion challenges the commissioners would have long pursued the implementation of the comparatively more cost effective proposals aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the long-term as listed in numerous government commissioned reports such as the Multi-Annual Policy Plan, the Tourism Master Plan and other studies.


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Pride points out that the Ring road project as it now stands is slated to cost the island millions of dollars which can be spent a great deal more effectively. Whether this particular project is initially funded through what remains of the "Harbor buy back funds", USONA, or some other means of creative financing, the island’s tax payers will ultimately be indirectly burdened with covering the costs of the project by having to pay for much more necessary projects such as the upgrading of existing roads or the building of much needed solid waste or sewage management infrastructure.

Based on the aforementioned and that no studies have indicated that the planned Ring Road will ease traffic congestion in the long-term St. Maarten Pride Foundation has come to the conclusion that the Ring Road project cannot be aimed at alleviating traffic congestion. The Foundation believes the project is very likely about appeasing the island’s large construction companies and the shipping companies involved in transporting the tons of material and equipment needed for the project to the island.

The Foundation is furthermore of the opinion that Commissioner Heyliger’s recent announcement in the press to involve local truck operators in the moving of sand for the Ring Road is just a means of gaining local support for the project. The work concerned is however very short-term and will not provide long-term sustainable income for local contractors. The construction of direly needed solid waste and sewage treatment infrastructure and facilities as well as the upgrading of St. Maarten’s roads on the other hand, would provide sustainable income for local contractors as these projects will take years to complete and will require constant maintenance and additions as roads wear out and neighborhoods grow.

St. Maarten Pride Foundation wonders how the Island and Executive Councils can even consider approving a multi-million dollar project such as the planned Ring road in the Great Salt Pond without having commissioned any studies to determine whether or not the project is feasible and will have the desired effect of alleviating traffic especially when there are much more essential projects which need to be carried out.

St. Maarten Pride Foundation