Parking meter negotiating committee to hold night consultations

– as end of 90-day suspension nears

With the end of the 90 days suspension of the parking meter by-laws fast approaching, the city’s negotiating committee yesterday announced that it will be holding night consultations with residents of the designated zones today and tomorrow.

The Parking Meter Negotiating Committee held its tenth consultation, fourth on the road, yesterday on Regent Street in front of the Bourda Market where the ordinary citizens were able to engage several of its members, including its head, Councillor Malcolm Ferreira.

Head of the Parking Meter Negotiating Committee Malcolm Ferreira (left) engaging a citizens at the consultation yesterday in front of Bourda Market on Regent Street.

Persons were able to sit and engage the group on their views about the implementation of the metered parking system and what other suggestions they might have. They were given questionnaires which sought information about whether they live in or out of town, what they thought about the previously implemented parking meter system, what they thought would be a fair rate per hour, whether they want a parking meter system and whether they had any suggestions for the negotiations of the contract.

Persons slowly trickled by during the day and expressed their views. One person related to the team that he was in support of the parking meter project since he was able to find parking throughout the day when he had to do business around central Georgetown.

Another person expressed that the only issue he had with the project was the initial high cost for parking per hour and the high penalties.

Meanwhile, according to Ferreira, the committee will embark on night consultations starting today and ending tomorrow, with individual residents of the metered parking zones, to get their opinion on the controversial issue.

He stated that they have also been using other methods such as surveys to collect data in order to get a better understanding of the image the general public has of the issue, before making an informed decision on the way forward.

So far, the committee has only had one meeting with Smart City Solutions, which was just to inform the company of its existence and what it will be doing.

The metered parking project in the city was suspended by the government following a public outcry and almost seven weeks of protest organized by the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) calling for the contract to be revoked. The 90-day suspension order was issued by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan on March 17, which means that it will end on June 15.

The negotiating committee, however, was not set up until early May. It has since met Bulkan, who urged the negotiation of a contract that the entire council can freely support.

The committee also met with the business community and MAPM, both of which reemphasized their position of wanting the contract scrapped.

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