The Carpocalypse Has Arrived in Guyana


Posted on August 16, 2022 in Our World

Among the collection of vessels that I observed on my morning run along the sea wall was a roll-on roll-off vehicle carrier steaming towards Port Georgetown.

Suddenly the warm thoughts of the fresh air coming off the Atlantic and the weak rays of morning sun hitting my face turned to the onset of a carpocalypse in Guyana.

Gazing north, one can see an array of ocean liners coming and going about their business but none of them piqued my interest like the behemoth with its belly full of cars.

A plethora of questions entered my mind. Can the Guyana road network accommodate any more vehicles? Is Guyana the new dumping ground for all the inefficient cars that have no place at the point or origin? Is Guyana facing a ground transportation crisis? Did the Guyana population double overnight thereby requiring more cars?

There are no new roads being developed in Guyana. There are no more sidewalks left for vehicles to be parked on. Double parking has long been overtaken by triple parking on some main thoroughfares.

Didn't Guyana max out the capacity for discourteous drivers? Is there really room for more?

My poor brain got stretched to the limit on all the possible outcomes for the rapidly growing vehicle count in Guyana.

The current road network in Guyana is beyond saturation and no relief is visible on the horizon. A healthy mixture of cars, minibuses and trucks have dotted every roadway to the point where it is more expeditious to get to your destination on foot rather than by car.

We have all seen how the carpocalypse play out in various parts of the world, but who could have imagined that Guyana would one day experience it.

Coffee Pods in Guyana

Is anyone measuring the air quality in the Georgetown and the corridors that lead to it? Have Guyanese grown a fetish for sitting in traffic for hours?

I totally understand that people have the right to purchase vehicles but is there any consideration given to how we as a developing nation can handle the problem of road congestion?

As I continued running east along the seawall, I passed a car dealership that had no space on its lot to take in additional vehicles. More questions arose.

Has anyone thought of a reliable mass transit system? Thousands of cars and minibuses can come off the streets if there was a viable alternative to get from point A to B.

If Guyana insists on personal transportation, then every effort should be made to dissuade people from buying the gas guzzling cars in favor of electrical ones. According to scientists, the planet is on a course that will eventually annihilate life as we know it. While Guyana's contribution to global warming might be small, we still have to act responsibly.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were required to work remotely thereby skipping the daily commute and abating the congestion. This was a blessing in disguise for both commuters and the environment. Perhaps employers can maintain some aspect of the work-from-home model for the post-pandemic period.

Now that life has returned to some semblance of normalcy, there seem to be an over-drive to make up for the intervening period. Commuting times are gradually increasing by the day, and a shift in thinking needs to take place at the governmental level in order to curb the trend.

In the meanwhile, I will continue to run along the sea wall at the crack of dawn to capture the fresh air before the motorists taint it with their presence.

The questions are endless but I have one more for the road: When is enough, enough?

P.S. On August 22, Oil Now carried a story "Guyana pushing massive road projects; more than 100,000 new vehicles registered in 5 years". In the article, it states that 1,176 new vehicles are being registered every month.


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