Windshield wipers 'tax' motorists using unfinished bypass
For men from the inner city community of Majesty Gardens in Kingston, their newest means of making money was birth out of the belief that when one door closes, another one opens.
The men, many of whom used to be windshield wipers in the Three Miles area, are soliciting money for vehicles to pass through the unfinished Three Miles bypass.
The new bypass, which authorities say will bring relief to the traffic congestion the Corporate Area, is expected to be completed in two weeks. However, motorists are already using the road.
Three Miles, which was closed in September for eight months to facilitate construction works to upgrade road infrastructure in the Corporate Area, has resulted in traffic nightmares for motorists.
This is why the men from Majesty Gardens, commonly called ‘Back To’, say they have capitalised on traffic by ‘taxing’ motorists who use the bypass.
Our news team visited the location on Tuesday, and men were seen collecting money for passage at two points — the roadway leading into Majesty Gardens and another section leading into Seaview Gardens.
STILL NAH ROB
“A window we used to wipe, but that cut out ya now, so we have fi find another way. We still nah rob anybody. We nuh play hard and tell dem fi turn back. But if dem have a thing and want give us, we take it. Memba, it nuh open enuh, so if we wrong fi collect, dem wrong fi drive [here],” one of the men told THE STAR.
According to the men, the situation is lucrative when the traffic is tough.
“A mostly early morning and late evening — anytime the traffic up, you find people a tek this road weh nuh open yet. We make a likkle thing then we go in, cook, rest up and come off the road,” the man said.
When THE STAR approached their collection point, two of the three men ran from the spot.
When THE STAR asked them why they moved, one of the men said: “Cause we think a camera unuh a come wid. We nah do nobody nothing. A we same one weh used to wipe glass a Three Miles. Dat out, so we jus a try another living. Nobody will be violated. If a man nuh have it fi give, dem still pass.”
Our news team also observed work being carried out at another section of the roadway. The site supervisor pointed to building material stretched across to road to prevent the passage of the vehicles. He added that this method is also being used to help curtail the extortion.
Meanwhile, the police say they have not received any report of robbery along the new bypass.