29 June 2012

Namibia: Werner List Street Irks Speaker

THE Speaker of the National Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab, says he will join demonstrations against a decision by the Windhoek municipality to turn Werner List Street in the city centre into a one-way street.

"This is bad news," he said from his Speaker's chair in Parliament before closing the business of the House yesterday, saying the situation, which was already chaotic when it was a two-way street, has gotten worse.

He also criticised Parliamentarians for not "making noise" against the change, and said Namibia must be the only country in the world where municipalities and local authorities take precedence over central government, of which Parliament is the nerve centre.

"[We] are so democratic that we don't make sense," he sarcastically said.

The nature of Werner List Street, he added, is of such a nature that everyone driving through the city centre on their way to work have to cross the street.

Numerous people have complained that the change to a one-way street has caused traffic chaos posing a risk motorists and pedestrians alike.

Because the street runs parallel to Independence Avenue, Werner List Street has become the main taxi drop-off and pick-up spot - besides providing access to Shoprite, the Convent of the Holy Cross school and the Roman Catholic Hospital.

Municipal spokesman Joshua Amukugo earlier indicated that the city engineer is considering creating a dedicated taxi lane that would separate taxis from other traffic, which he said would ease the flow of traffic.

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