Ariapita Avenue

UPGRADE COMING: Ariapita Avenue, Port of Spain. —Photo: ROBERT TAYLOR

House to house and business to business.

One thousand questionnaires are being delivered to a cross-section of residents, burgesses and the business community to solicit their views over the imminent upgrade for Woodbrook and environs under the Ariapita Avenue Enhancement Project, says Port of Spain South Member of Parliament Keith Scotland.

The 1,000 questionnaires come on the heels of last week Monday’s virtual consultation at which Scotland gave Woodbrook residents the assurance of increased police presence and security when the project is completed.

Monday night’s forum was hosted by the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) at which Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell, Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez spoke. Scotland also said Mitchell had said the beautification and improvement project was expected to cost between $20 and $30 million in its first phase.

Displaying a questionnaire at his Methuen Street office, Woodbrook, on Wednesday. Scotland, an attorney by profession, said: “It will be house to house, and business to business... We want to hear their views on the upgrade. We await their suggestions, comments and criticisms. We want to know what they are thinking, and where they would want the proposed upgrade to focus on. If you are not a home, you will get it in your mailbox. We want a truly democratic process to unfold in going forward.”

Scotland added: “I have heard some of their views before. I want them to express it again. Do your research, and let us know what you would like to see the community look like. We are all united in the common goal of improving the community. As poet John Keats would say, ‘We want a thing of beauty in the city’.”

Asked about the low-hanging fruit, Scotland said: “We will be focusing on pedestrianising the streets. We want to make it comfortable when people take strolls, or sit and enjoy the ambience. We will focus on lighting, and security.”

Good idea but more info please

Meanwhile, several residents have labelled the project a “good idea” but confessed they did not have sufficient knowledge about all the grand plans for Woodbrook.

Carlyle Prescod said: “It’s a good idea. I don’t have much information.”

At a popular grill, manager Rene Lumsden, who hails from Maraval, said: “It might be hard if there are no vehicles at all on the streets. If it’s limited to a certain part then it would be nice. Thank God, I was never robbed but I have heard people say they were robbed. We need to beef up security.”

Woodbrook resident Robert Ramdeen asked what would happen to the traffic congestion. “Before Covid-19 struck, the streets were already congested. It was bumper-to-bumper traffic. Will the traffic be diverted full time?”

On the issue of safety, Ramdeen added: “We don’t feel safe on Ariapita Avenue. Break-ins take place regularly on Adam Smith Square. What are they going to do about policing? What will happen around Robert Street and Tragarete Road?”

Ramdeen said there was a desperate need for public urinals and bins, especially during Covid-19 pandemic.


Trinidad and Tobago is now at the height of the spike.

That spike, says Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram, is T&T’s deadliest third wave of Covid-19.

He predicts that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Trinidad and Tobago is now under a state of emergency.

A curfew is also in effect, requiring citizens to stay in their homes between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions made for essential workers.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the measures yesterday, one day after the business community called for an state of emergency and curfew to be implemented in an effort to bring the Covid-19 case count under control.

The parallel healthcare system is at near capacity, even as hundreds of new Covid-19 cases are being reported daily.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer, Institutions, noted that more people are being admitted to hospital daily than those being discharged.

Young people are most hesitant about taking the Covid-19 vaccine, while those aged 65 and older are more likely than any other age group to express interest in getting it.

This is according to data of a 2021 Consumer Economic Study (CES) conducted by Market Facts & Opinions (2000) Ltd (MFO) over the period April 14 to May 3, 2021.

Respondents were asked to indicate their perceptions of the Covid-19 vaccine, and whether they were prepared to be vaccinated.