If you are establishing a business, you need to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for customer parking; otherwise your building plans will not be approved. This is more or less what potential business owners were warned many years ago.
Despite this warning, major businesses have been popping up without making any provision for customer parking, apart from the parapets in front of their buildings. It therefore needs to be asked: Whatever happened to the threat that building permits were going to be denied unless provision was made for customer parking?
Huge buildings have been erected around the city of Georgetown. In some cases, these buildings are multi-storeyed. Yet not even the ground floor of these mini-skyscrapers is reserved for customer parking. It is truly amazing that hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent constructing these structures, yet very little provision is made to purchase some adjoining lot to provide for customer parking.
The result is obvious. Parking is a major bugbear. Adding to this problem is the fact that some businesses are reserving the limited parking in front of their buildings for themselves. Some of them are erecting their own no parking signs, often mounted on stands. These signs are placed in front of their businesses. They prevent public parking, except of course when the boss arrives in which case the sign is quickly moved to accommodate the boss’ vehicle.
There are some businesses which recognize the value of customer parking. They have made arrangements for this by securing adjoining lots and converting these lots into parking bays. But by far, too many businesses are being erected in Georgetown with absolutely no provision being made for parking.
Recently, it was reported that the reserve opposite Lamaha Street, the one that separates Alberttown from Thomas Lands, is going to be used as a temporary parking lot for certain businesses. It was reported that temporary permits were granted to some businesses to make use of this area for customer parking.
A number of questions arise. How temporary is temporary? And how come permission was granted for the structures, in which these businesses are housed, to be built without any provision for customer parking. This seems to be a case of closing the door after the horse bolts. Before permission was granted for the new businesses to be constructed and/or located in that particular area, it should have been ascertained where the customer parking would be located.
There is also a huge structure going up not far away on Vlissengen Road and the canal along that public road has been reinforced. The question to be asked is whether parking is going to be allowed over that main canal and if so, whether this arrangement will also be temporary.
It will be unfair to ask a business person who has invested millions into a property to not operate until customer parking is arranged. It would have been much better if before the person went ahead and spent those millions, those involved in approving the business plans had satisfied themselves about the availability of customer parking.
There are a few lessons to be learnt from all of this. The first is that Georgetown is becoming overcrowded with businesses and there needs to be a moratorium on the opening of new businesses.
The second is that there also needs to a return to zoning. Alberttown and Queenstown were always predominantly residential areas. Businesses have started to crop up all over these wards, and this is presenting problems for existing homeowners, some of whom cannot, at times, even access their own residences, because someone is parking in their gap.
Thirdly, there is need to insist that for businesses of a certain size, unless customer parking is provided, no permission will be granted for the construction or operation of the business.
Unless this sort of regulation is enforced, further chaos will result, and the task of restoring Georgetown will become impossible.
Oct 15, 2018Eagles Basketball Club and Pacesetters played both matches contested on Saturday at the Burnham hard court in the Second and First Division of the Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur...
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