Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Road Switch

Road Switch

I haven't mentioned the road switch in the old blog yet because I was waiting for something to happen. However, with the switch less than a week away, I thought I better bring it up before it is too late.

On Monday, 7 Sept, Samoa will switch from driving on the right side of the road to the left side of the road. At 6 am all the drivers on the road will pause for 10 minutes, then switch to the other side of the road, pause another 10 minutes and then go about their business. 

In preparation for the switch new lines have been painted down the middle of all the roads in country and smaller lines were painted on either side in anticipation of adding arrow heads to indicate the new direction.

Road Switch

The switch has plenty of people in Samoa none to happy and some villages have already begun painting the arrows on the lines, going in the current direction, not the new one.

I thought I would talk about the switch in a blog post on Friday. The Supreme Court was hearing a case about the switch that was to be decided on Friday. However, I could find no result on this case all weekend (maybe if we had a TV, the TV news would have told us, but the Samoa Observer's web site certainly didn't). However it now appears the case to stop the switch was rejected by the Court.

I thought I would talk about the switch in a blog post on Monday. There was to be a huge protest march/rally in Apia and rumor had it that all the buses would go on strike that day. The bus drivers are upset because the doors on the buses are on the wrong side for the switch and the bus owners are expected to pay to cut new doors in their buses. No buses running on Monday would mean no school, so I figured I would go into Apia via taxi and take pictures of the protest and see how the Teuila Festival starts out. However, the buses didn't strike on Monday, so there was school as usual.

It is starting to look like all the threatened civil unrest is evaporating and that we will go about the road switch as planned on Monday with no problems. A current rumor has it that the government is going to force all schools to close the entire week of the switch (Monday and Tuesday are holidays for the switch) for the safety of the children. The government schools are already on break that week, but many schools cancelled their breaks after the two-week swine flu holiday (like mine) or weren't going to be on break that week (like Cale's and mine). Since most of the switch related rumors turn out to be just that, rumors, I am not holding my breath.

I'll keep you posted.

— Sara

1 comment:

John said...

Nice photos. More views on this issue at: