Once upon a time, donkey carts were a common mode of transportation in the Virgin Islands. As the story goes, those four-legged critters had a natural tendency to travel left.
When motorized vehicles began sharing the road, they simply followed established paths; driving left became the rule of the road in paradise.
Whether or not that explanation holds water, one thing is certain: in the Virgin Islands it’s imperative that drivers “keep left.”
A trick to help newbies and visitors remember is the phrase: “shoulder to shoulder.” Your shoulder should match up with the shoulder of the road. Of course, on multi-lane roads and intersections, that guideline isn’t totally helpful.
Finding your way around in the islands as a driver isn’t as simple as plugging into GPS, either. In addition to unfamiliar surroundings, lack of street signs, poorly defined lanes, missing traffic lights, and ongoing pothole challenges, it takes time before most drivers feel confident. Switchbacks and narrow, winding mountain roads can drain your sense of direction dry, as well.
The good news is, it’s a small island. How lost can you get? St. Thomas is only thirteen miles long and three miles wide. Speed limits are 35mph in the country and 20mph in the city, unless otherwise posted.
One more thing to keep in mind: visiting pedestrians are sometimes disoriented by left hand traffic patterns. Watch carefully for visitors in crosswalks.
Take it slow — and enjoy life in the left lane!
A bit about oceana restaurant
Located on Frenchtown’s south shore, the estate dates back to the 17th century; it was settled by Jurgen Iversen, first Danish Governor of St. Thomas. In 1894, the property sold for $12,000 and served as the Russian Embassy for a decade. Formerly a Chart House, Cordon Bleu chef/ owner Patricia LaCorte established Oceana in 2002. She has been part of the island culinary scene since the 1970s.