Road Works

One of the things I was pleasantly surprised by after the election was that road works continued to take place. Our roads were in danger of falling apart; cracks and potholes were all over the place and commuting was a bit of an adventure in many places.

However, Works and Engineering continued to repave several key roads over the past few months, including North Shore in Flatts, Middle Road near Paget Lights and Middle Road near Amaral's.

I'm a bit concerned that perhaps the fix won't hold up, as after rain and wind from Tropical Kyle passed through over the weekend, a visible pothole appeared in the road near Paget Lights. I don't know if the material laid down wasn't strong enough, it wasn't allowed to harden enough or we simply have too many large vehicles tearing up the roads in the first place. But it's not a good sign that road laid down less than six months ago is already falling apart.


Safer roads? Really?

A serious contradiction here in two related articles:

From the EVR report:
The Premier added: "For the motoring public, unlicenced vehicles on the road equate to greater risk because unlicenced vehicles have not received an annual safety inspection. Today I can report that our roads are indeed safer than they were before EVR."
Predictably, the weekly vehicle crash report, courtesy of the Police standard verbiage:
Police said that last week there were 66 reported accidents on Bermuda's roads with 25 resulting in injury and two people arrested on suspicion of impaired driving.
As far as I can see there's no correlation between throwing $250,000 worth of fines and the roads being safer. Just means Government's making a little more money, as they should, but if there's no stats showing the cars and bikes involved in crashes fall into the category of being unlicensed, and the 'accident' rate on island remains at its high level, it's disingenuous to make the statement that the roads are safer.

That said, the Police have been visible on the roads more over this month. I saw one squad car pull over a bike rider who ran a stop sign near Barnes' Corner, there seem to be more morning blitzes, and while they should still post someone around the city's traffic lights every now and then, I'll applaud the police for showing a slightly more visible presence out there.


Students and free bus rides

I only just realized that Bermuda and Barbados implemented free student bus service at the same time, which is interesting. Wonder if this idea was floated during one of the many meetings that our government ministers have had with their counterparts over the past year or two.

I haven't heard much in the way of feedback from bus operators or students in Bermuda, so don't have any idea of the successes or failures, whether economically or other. Hopefully there's a study or poll going around at this time.

In Barbados, where privately-owned minibuses and vans (ZRs) operate alongside (or in competition with) public buses, the owners of the private vehicles have shown concern over potential severe loss of income, on the flip side it does seem as though many students are taking advantage and if it saves them/their parents money then that's of great benefit to them.

Bermuda's a different animal, of course, because of a number of factors, but it may be interesting to observe the parallels over the rest of the year.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this bit on the PLP blog which highlighted what to me would have been an overlooked benefit, that is, setting up class field trips without scrambling to organise drivers and the like, a teacher can pretty much gather up the kids, get on a bus (wonder if the school wouldn't have to pay for a charter bus, then) and go. Interesting.


Stupid party politics

A big reason to be dissatisfied with party politics in Bermuda (and I presume, in other countries). People, even if they're senior members of Parliament and have lots of experience, don't want to speak out against their party when it comes to deciding legislation.

Case in point, a former Premier is against a certain bill. Staunchly. He has his reasons based on morals, which is totally fine. But he says that if such a bill is up, he won't vote against it?

The MP, who is supposed to represent a constituency of x number of voters, will abstain from a vote despite his own personal beliefs or what his constituency of voters may desire.

Sad. How much money are these guys making to sit off?

Roundabouts 101

Seriously, driver of 21335, don't kill me. Our roundabouts aren't too difficult to navigate. If you just freaking GIVE WAY to traffic from the right and not jump on it, you're less likely to run me over. Sheesh.

I don't know if she mouthed a weak 'sorry' response at me but I was basically thinking to myself that I really don't want to get knocked off my bike in town during the morning commute to work.

Wish some of the cops on patrol would hover around the roundabouts, actually.

Actually, I just wish that Bermuda's drivers would just pay attention.


Opportunity for bananas

We should take advantage of the banana-laden ship being forced to stop in Bermuda by buying some of those Caribbean bananas and avoid those hormone-laced Dole and Chiquita variety we keep on importing, perhaps...


So that's a third lane

Third-laning in Bermuda, to me, refers to situations such as rush hour on East Broadway or the Paget traffic lights where traffic is pretty much at a standstill and bike riders overtake several cars at a time while traffic in the other lane may or may not be flowing.

However, after seeing the rider of O067 (it's a rental bike) fly down the center stripe while traffic was free-flowing in both directions, I'm going to have to dismiss the earlier definition. It's amazing that he went through without getting clipped by a car or truck...


Just for laughs, UBP

I am a little curious to know what else the UBP machine would have had lined up on their "light touch of humour" pre-election Flash animations, titled "Fishing for a Better Bermuda". Surely, others must have been produced and slated to go live, before the first one was panned mercilessly by people on all sides and forcing the project to get shut down entirely. Sorry for going back to 2007 times, but heck.

Come on UBP, give us something to smile about. Just for the fun of it.


Stop spamming me, Digihell

Today I got this SMS message on my mobile phone:

"Text the letters VIP to 5307 to enter the draw to win tickets to the Bermuda Music Festival. All text entries cost $1. Tickets given away weekly! Digicel"

Well the bright side is that at least I didn't get a phone call from them. However I think I want to check my Terms of Agreement with them to see if I'm liable to receive regular spam from the company that's not a service notification. At least I haven't received a Netherlands Mobile Promo scam recently.

I'm not fond of raffles in the first place, so I'll let them earn their money from everybody else. They can use the cash they get from those who do participate, to improve their service or something.