Port au Prince is too modish by far in its fashionable disdain for roads

The typical 'road' in PaP

The typical ‘road’ in PaP

Roads, says Aaron M. Renn, a blogger who should know, “are clearly out of fashion in urban planning circles.” He’s talking about America, where he discerns an undoubted trend towards “public transit, walking or biking in developments designed to mimic traditional 19th century urbanism.”

It’s true that city planners everywhere and especially in the developed world, are increasingly looking at options other than roads. They want pedestrian paths, common spaces forbidden to traffic and public transportation that reduces the carbon footprint, congestion and the shameful sense of being unworthy of the Good Earth.

Clearly, Port au Prince is modish in its lack of roads. Or miserably lacking in infrastructure to cater to its estimated 3.5 million residents. In January, Prime Minister Lamothe told the Miami Herald that 300km of road had been finished across the country. There’s some road-building afoot in Port au Prince but not so much as to cushion the ride.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac