April 29, 2010
The Government has got it "totally wrong" on Blue Hill Road, a former Chamber of Commerce president blasted yesterday, adding that it had "devastated and destroyed" a number of businesses at the peak of their vulnerability, one of his outlets having suffered a 14 per cent month-over-month sales decline since the traffic changes took effect.
Dionisio D'Aguilar, Superwash's president, told Tribune Business that the Government, in implementing the changes as part of the New Providence Road Improvement Project, had forgotten that Blue Hill Road was a "significant Over-the-Hill depository" of Bahamian-owned businesses that relied heavily on commuter traffic for the majority of their customers.
With Blue Hill Road converted into a one-way system going north only, the immediate past Chamber president said the area's businesses were attracting little commuter business because few had time to stop in the mornings on their way to work.
Most did their shopping in the evening and, having to travel back home south on Market Street, were reluctant to travel to Blue Hill Road - a round-trip that Mr D'Aguilar said was effectively six blocks long.
"I think the Government has gotten it totally wrong on this one," Mr D'Aguilar told Tribune Business, "and people are legitimately justified in complaining about the change in traffic because it has devastated businesses there.
"Where I think they went wrong is that while it makes sense to flow the majority of traffic north on Blue Hill and south on Market Street, Blue Hill Road is a significant Over-the-Hill depository of local businesses.
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