June 29, 2011
A mound of sand and asphalt and a deep trench marooned the workers and vehicles of Kurtiss Memorial Mortuary on Robinson Road and Fifth Street yesterday, the result of the "insensitive" manner in which the New Providence Road Improvement Project is being carried out, president of the mortuary Randy Curtis said to The Nassau Guardian. Curtis said when he arrived at his business, workers had dug a trench in front of his driveway and piled the sand and rubble so far across it that only a muddy, rocky walking path was left. There was no way Curtis could remove his hearse - an essential part of his business - until the mound of rubble was removed and the trench covered. "We arrived to work this morning and when we arrived to work the men had a trench blocking our vehicles here," he said. "I understand the work has to be done but we are asking for sensitivity, we are asking for respect, they don't respect the small business persons in this area and just do what they have to do." Curtis, as have so many other Robinson Road business owners, complained that they received no consultation or warning from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport before the work was carried out around their businesses. And he said that adequate signage has not been placed in the construction zones. "They see us every day and no one said, well Mr. Curtis tomorrow we'll be doing X, Y, Z," he said. "There is no signage in adjoining streets to say how to get to the businesses through here." Yesterday area businesses 'Fashion With Class' and 'Adorable Beauty Supplies' on Robinson Road across the street from Curtis' mortuary were closed, as there was no possible way for a vehicle to access the stores. And anyone who chose to traverse the construction area was forced to vault the trench in the road. Curtis said both of the stores were open on Monday. He added that he has had to place television advertisements to remind his customers and possible future patrons that he is still open for business. Part owner of 'Just Pets' on Fifth Street Sandra Johnson said she has watched her sales decline drastically since the road construction began. "I have been there almost four years and I have seen a traumatic drop in business," she said. "Sometimes my clients get lost trying to get through to me and if for some reason they can't get through and they turn back, the traffic sometimes is just bad (for them)." She also said she was not given any kind of warning by the Ministry of Public Works before the area in front of her store was excavated and vehicular access cut off. "There is no communication with the small business people," Johnson said. On Baillou Hill Road Theo Albury, a barber at Tyrone's barber shop, has also been marooned in an area restricted to vehicular traffic due to road work, and said his business has declined almost 50 percent in the two weeks the road has been under construction. He said signage is one of the biggest problems in the area because people are not able to find his business through the maze of construction. "Signs on the road aren't properly set and we would like to have a sign to show the customers what corner to come through," he said. "We would like for them (Ministry of Public Works) to show the proper detours to come to the barber shop."
Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian