Apart from the separation of cargo and passengers at the St. Thomas Bay Jetty, the Lee Road is probably one of the most talked about issues on Virgin Gorda. Visitors to our shores by ferry, wishing to visit one of the BVI landmarks attractions, the Baths, must not only endure the eyesore of the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, but also the trial of the Lee Road.
Conscientious tour and taxi operators have attempted to circumvent this problem by taking alternative routes to the Baths, needless to say, this is not a sustainable approach to the issue at hand. Many businesses and residencies lay along this route and this should never be overlooked. Historically, a large portion of the Valley demarcated by the Lee Road and the sea shore was pond area, from Dixies in the North to Rock Café in the south.
Reclamation of the pond area began with Rockefelar in the late 60s, followed by Anderson Flax in the 70s and later on, by the late Edwin George and others in the 2000s. As a child growing up on Virgin Gorda, I remember many days when the road in front of Fischers Cove was inundated with water, making it very difficult to traverse. The recent reclamations have only exacerbated the problem. The increase in traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, patronizing businesses and tourist attractions on the southern side of the island has raised concerns among the general public.
Not only is the Lee Road uncomfortable, it is also deemed unsafe and dangerous. Pot holes the size of small swimming pools, poor lighting, lack of side-walks and poor drainage also characterize this road. The Government, in an effort to appease residents, spends thousands of dollars doing remedial works on the Lee Road, the last of which took place in October of 2018. The usual November rains have since returned the Lee Road to a state even worse than has been seen in recent times. So where do we go from here?
We should definitely not continue putting plaster on this sore. From the many conversations I have heard and blogs I have seen on social media concerning this issue, I would strongly suggest a Town meeting be called to get the ideas of the public. All too often, we depend solely on the advice of “Experts” and totally ignore the common man. Let us come together as a community and address this vexing issue. Once the road is addressed we should then come back together as a community and figure out how to make the entire road from St. Thomas Bay to the Baths a lot more attractive. I have heard many excellent ideas already.