… as parking meters take full effect
While the installation of parking meters throughout the capital city recently commenced, with the setting up of the first unit on Regent Street outside City Hall, officials say the machines will take full effect on January 23, 2017.
This is according to Smart City Solutions (SCS) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Kit Nascimento who was quoted in the media saying that the meters would commence operation on January 9, for informational purposes only.
This means that no payments will be taken at the meters until January 23, when regular fees will be collected from those utilising parking spaces in the city. The period from January 9-23 will be used to educate the public on the proper usage of the parking meters Nascimento noted.
The Managing Director of SCS, Amir Oren calls this the “introductory period” where the public will be taught how to use the machines.
Currently, the units have been installed mainly on Regent Street, Avenue of the Republic and at a few other locations.
Oren had expressed confidence that those who are against the parking meters presently will be much more receptive of it once they become acquainted.
The parking meters will be charging a fee of $50 plus Value Added Tax per every fifteen minutes of parking along the streets of Georgetown.The lowest would be 15 minutes ($50), while the highest would be six hours ($1200). This will also be mandatory to public transportation, until preparations are made for alternative parking spaces.
It was also disclosed that if persons go over their allotted time, then meter wardens would clamp their vehicle wheel making it immobile. Persons would then have to pay a hefty $8000 fine to clear their vehicle. Failure to pay that fine would result in the vehicle being impounded.
Recently, Oren had said that the implementation would be divided into two phases, adding that the first phase of the parking meter project will occupy 3237 parking spaces in Georgetown, utilizing 157 parking meters.
The Machines will be stationed close to all the commercial hubs in Georgetown. The meters will be situated along Quamina Street, Water Street, Hadfield Street, Camp Street, Church Street, North Road, Robb Street, Regent Street, Charlotte Street, South Road, Croal Street, Brickdam, Avenue of the Republic, Wellington Street and King Street,
The parking meter project was introduced by the Mayor and Town Clerk in June of this year, and from its inception it was faced with rejection- from the private-business community, taxpayers and the political Opposition among others- primarily in the monopolistic way the contract was foisted unto the populace, with no tender being awarded and no consultations held.
The controversial parking meter contract, after being exposed in the media as being shrouded in secrecy and smelling of corruption, was reviewed by the Central Government for any illegalities.
Despite the flaws highlighted in the contract, Government discovered nothing illegal and gave the green light for the commencement of the project once certain recommendations were implemented. This included a reduced fee for parking, which was eventually changed in the contract.
At that time, the project was being spearheaded by Ifa Kamau Cush, who was named the Director of Smart City Solutions. However, Nascimento had stated that Cush was only a shareholder of the company and was no longer operational.
The company’s PRO had also stated that the parking meters would be operational from 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs Mondays to Saturdays. However, he noted that parking is free any time before 07:00hrs and 20:00hrs, and on Sundays and holidays.