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Tuesday Morning Traffic Jam in Belize City As Wife of Mexico’s President Visit Belize

Apr 18, 2023

Tuesday Morning Traffic Jam in Belize City As Wife of Mexico’s President Visit Belize

And while the wife of the Mexican President came bearing gifts, her short visit created quite a bit of inconvenience for motorists and commuters in Belize City. Traffic was backed up for miles along the Phillip Goldson Highway for just over two hours. But, could this long wait have been avoided if there were better planning and execution? News Five’s Paul Lopez has the story.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Following her arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport, Doctor Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, the wife of the President of Mexico, met with Prime Minister John Briceño inside the V.I.P room at the airport. Amalia Mai, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs escorted Muller into the room where she was met by PM Briceño. They exchanged a few words before taking their seats to continue that conversation. Following the discussion, Doctor Muller departed the PGIA in a motorcade en route to the House of Culture in Belize City.
On Monday night, the Belize City Council issued a road caution notice, informing motorists that traffic will be delayed on Phillip Goldson Highway, Freetown Road, Mapp Street, North Front Street, Albert Street and Regent Street to facilitate Doctor Muller’s visit. But, this morning, what motorists and commuters experienced was far more than just a delay. It was a near-complete road block which lasted for approximately two hours, in the peak of the morning’s rush hour, causing many to reach their places of employment and schools late. Anita Nembhard, a resident of Ladyville, was on a public bus en route to Belize City to take her nine-year-old daughter to school as she does daily. Worried that she would not get her child to school on time, a frustrated Nembhard decided that she would walk the rest of the journey from Chetumal Boulevard to St. Joseph School.

Anita Nembhard

Anita Nembhard, Ladyville Resident

“I thought it was really ridiculous this morning. We were in the line for like an hour and it really was not going so we thought the road was being fixed, not knowing that they blocked us from coming that direction because some high ranking person was visiting Belize so we couldn’t be on that road so we were sitting in the bus for a while and I said to my daughter you know what mama I want you to get to school early today and I want to reach to work. So, we said let us walk. She said, cool and we took the journey and walked all the way to almost by the roundabout at Belize Mills before we got a ride and that is exactly when they let the traffic flow.”

Complaints from motorists flooded social media at the same time as traffic was backed up across the city. Here this group of motorcyclists maneuvered their way through the long line of vehicles on the Phillip Goldson Highway only to make it to the front where they were informed that they could not go any further. One cyclist waited patiently with his hand under his chin as he bore the heat of the morning sun.

Anita Nembhard

“I mean I know that everybody has to get where they need to get. But, I think that if the people in who has to make these decisions so early in the morning could have said, let us look at how we could allow one area to flow and just the entire traffic that come to a halt again. We just went through this same incident two weeks ago when not even cycles could cross and I was on a cycle two weeks. Like twenty-five to Belize City, but with the road that has been bad for a couple months now we give ourselves and hour. So, she should have been to school by eight o’clock.”

Paul Lopez

“So a usual twenty-five minutes trip?”

Anita Nembhard

“Took almost two hours and the walk, I didn’t even look at the time but I knew it was almost nine o’clock when we got to where we would normally come off the bus.”

Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, issued a statement on social media this morning, apologizing to motorists. He says, it appears that the police blocked the traffic too early causing major and lengthy inconvenience to user of the Phillip Goldson Highway. He noted that moving forward the department will conduct greater assessments to ensure that future blockades and inconveniences will be for a minimal time. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez