Solar crosswalk signals installed

The content originally appeared on: The BVI Beacon

New solar-powered crosswalk signals being erected in Road Town will help make the capital greener and more pedestrian-friendly, according to Deputy Premier Kye Rymer.

“Five sets of the solar-powered crosswalks are to be installed,” Mr. Rymer told the House of Assembly last month, adding, “The solar-powered crosswalks are signage that flashes to get the attention of the oncoming traffic, therefore bringing awareness to drivers that a pedestrian is intending to cross the street.”

Mr. Rymer, who is the minister of communications and works, said the systems are being installed in some of the more highly trafficked areas in the capital, including at the Sir Olva Georges Plaza, on Waterfront Drive in front of Clover’s, and on De Castro Street near Bobby’s Supermarket and Republic Bank.

“The ‘BVI Going Green Initiative’ announced in August 2021 is still in effect and ends in August 2023,” Mr. Rymer said. “The initiative came from an amendment in the Customs Management and Duties Act, and makes provision for residents of the Virgin Islands to achieve significant savings by going green.”

Last August, the House of Assembly passed a resolution to add certain energy-based goods to the list of zero-tax items coming through customs. The resolution covers items categorised in “renewable energy (wind, solar and other systems); energy storage; and energy-efficient equipment and transportation.”

The special rate is to last for two years before being reassessed.

Public Works Department Director Jeremy Hodge said the solar crosswalk signals also have other benefits.

“Safety is paramount in this effort, as well as the government’s green initiative,” he said. “The electronic crosswalk signs flash brightly to get the attention of vehicular traffic, all the while verbally cautioning pedestrians before they cross.”