Not feeling ‘Welcome' - New sign irks Montegonians
The new sign at the entrance to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, which is being constructed to replace the old, 'Welcome To Montego Bay' sign, is being constructed without the word 'welcome', much to the chagrin of persons who adored the original
"Da sign don't mek it. Just 'Montego Bay'? Where is the 'welcome'?" asked Paula Brown, who thinks a replica of the old sign should have been rebuilt. "When I come in on a flight from overseas, I never feel really at home until I see the 'Welcome To Montego Bay' sign."
The old sign was generally accepted as one of the city's iconic landmarks. But the new sign has been a hotbed of controversy, from its whopping J$17 million price tag, its height, which is said to be a traffic impediment, to the multi-coloured rainbow-like lights, which some people detest.
"Mi personally nuh like de light dem, dem remind me of a certain type a flag whe mi nuh inna," said a young male motorist. "Every time mi pass deh at night mi spirit grieve."
In regards to the absence of the word 'welcome', Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, said he was aware that the old sign had 'Welcome To' on it.
"I don't recall the sign saying 'welcome to Montego Bay' before," said Davis, when the WESTERN STAR spoke to him yesterday about the concerning omissions on the new sign.
While he was unclear about whether or not the 'welcome to' will ever be added to the new sign, the mayor said he was aware that additional words would be added when it is fully completed.
"What I do know is that the present sign, when it is completed, it will have the words, 'The Resort City', beneath the present words, 'Montego Bay'," said Davis.
In regards to the height of the sign, several motorists, especially those coming from the airport and those heading from Flanker towards Queen Drive, said it is blocking their view, creating momentary uncertainty, especially approaching the round-about.
"A two time mi nearly mash up mi bus a de roundabout," said Winston Bernard, a tour bus operator. "The sign too high ... I don't know what can be done to fix the situation at this late stage."
While the WESTERN STAR was not able to get an official comment from the St James Police's traffic department about the sign's height, a police source confirmed yesterday that they have heard complaints from motorists about the sign being somewhat of an impediment to traffic flow.