Jan 23, 2017 News
Smart City Solutions (SCS) has scheduled two separate meetings today with the Guyana Teachers Union and the National Commission on Disability (NCD) to discuss concerns regarding the paid parking system around Georgetown.
The company, which was contracted by the municipality’s Mayor and City Council to implement the project, had been criticized for placing meters in front of public schools as well as on pavements. It has been argued that paying to park would be an added burden for teachers and the instruments would serve to be obstacles for persons with disabilities, particularly those who are blind.
However, according to Public Relations Officer of SCS, Kit Nascimento, in recognizing the concerns raised, the company will be meeting with representatives of the NCD today at 10:00hrs and the GTU at 14:30 hrs. Nascimento said that both meetings will be held at the headquarters of the respective organisations.
Last Monday, this newspaper had reported that the company is open to negotiating with persons so as to structure special packages which would be less than the regular rate. Currently, parking costs $50 per rotation which lasts 15 minutes.
According to Nascimento, packages will only be offered to persons who approach the company. He said that any special arrangement would depend on the prevailing circumstances at the specific location. For private companies, some of the factors which will be considered are the size of parking space in front of the identified building, size of staff, nature of the business and amount of parking spaces.
Nascimento said that whatever is decided will be a mutually agreed solution. He noted that presently, teachers have to compete with random motorists for parking. Recognizing this, he said that under an agreement with the company, parking spaces can be guaranteed.
It was suggested by the company recently that parking permits would be a viable option for teachers. However, these permits would only be granted on an application basis for spaces exclusive to teachers during prescribed times.
The company’s PRO had told this publication that SCS had conducted talks with private sector entities and government agencies in order to come up with special packages for them. He said that as a result of this, for some locations there are already settled special arrangements.
Further, it was highlighted by some motorists that some of the parking spaces have been placed too close to street corners. By law, stopping or parking within 30 feet of a corner is prohibited.
Traffic Chief Dion Moore had stated that his department had highlighted some locations where the parking spaces were too close to the corner.
He said that this was communicated to the Operations Manager of SCS, John Daniels, who wrote him saying that some of the demarcations have been adjusted while the remainder will be addressed soon. Moore said that the decision was made during a meeting with representatives of the company.
“The laws of Guyana state that you must not park within 30 feet. It is not the parking meters that are close to the corners but the claimed parking spaces as close as 30 feet. We identified it to them and they have started adjusting it.”
According to Moore, parking spaces cannot be allowed so close to the corner and encumber traffic. He said that based on the law, if a driver parks too close to the corner traffic ranks have to charge the individual, hence persons should not be made to pay to commit an illegal act.
Moreover, the Traffic Chief said that in the letter sent to him by Daniels a number of state agencies were mentioned where persons would not have to pay for parking. These include Brickdam Police Station, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Social Protection and Fire Service Stations.
Meanwhile, in an effort to provide proper parking spaces, the company in collaboration with the M&CC has undertaken the resurfacing of some parapets around Georgetown which would have been damaged, in some cases due to rainfall.
Nascimento said that this is a temporary arrangement and urged that the M&CC uses its share of the profits from the project to have other parapets around the City completely upgraded.
A total of 3,237 parking spaces will be available, managed by 157 parking meters mounted along Quamina Street, Charlotte Street, Avenue of the Republic, King Street, Wellington Street, North Road, Hadfield Street, Regent Street, Croal Street, South Road, Robb Street, Camp Street, Church Street, Water Street and Brickdam.
Paid parking will be in effect from 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs from Monday to Saturday. Drivers will not have to pay for parking on Sundays or National Holidays. In the event that persons breach their time limit, parking wardens will place a lock on a wheel of the vehicle preventing it from moving, until a fine of $8000 is paid.
To pay for parking, drivers would have to purchase a parking meter card which is being sold at a number of city stores and post offices.
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