Features — 27 August 2013 — by Charles X

Some members of the cycling family insist that it will be no big deal when they host another Albert Street-Regent Street September cycling criterium, which has become a traditional feature for city dwellers. They say that it will just be a little sharper curve at the end of Mule Park, since the wide turn around Belize Bank has now been blocked off.

Perhaps, if the cyclists run into difficulties, they might just forget about the old downtown criterium and resign themselves thereafter to Marine Parade. But there may be other problems down the road on account of the removal of the old Mule Park crossing.

There have been some historic court cases in Belize that drew large numbers of our citizens into the street in front of the Supreme Court building, waiting anxiously for the verdict. One recalls the UBAD Seditious Conspiracy trial of 1970; and older folks also remember the Sedition trials of the 1950’s against Philip Goldson and Leigh Richardson, and later on, George Price.

During the Heads of Agreement crisis in 1981, large crowds thronged Battlefield Park for meetings, and there have been occasions during politically heated times when the Battlefield Park area was jammed with excited crowds, that could easily be sparked to a level of civil disobedience.

In these moments of uncertainty and volatility, it has been the normal tradition for drivers of vehicles in Belize City to avoid that long loop around Albert and Regent Streets that must pass so close to the crowded Battlefield Park and then Court House area.

This past weekend, we have seen what happened with flooding in some areas of Belize City that never flooded before, since the construction of many new cement streets.

It will be interesting to hear the explanations from the master minds of our downtown remodeling, when a crowd crisis arises again in the Battlefield Park/Supreme Court area, and Orange Street traffic must risk the Albert Street – Regent Street course in order to reach Swing Bridge, since the convenient “Mule Cart” short-cut has been erased from our history.

Perhaps it is also in their plan to ban mass meetings from our historic Battlefield Park; but it is not likely that they can move the Supreme Court building.

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