Entornointeligente.com / WESTERN BUREAU:
The perennial nightmare faced by motorists hunting parking space in the vicinity of Water Square in Falmouth could become a thing of the past if plans by municipal officials get off the ground.
Speaking at the recent monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, Falmouth Mayor Collen Gager said that lands have been identified near the town centre for the sitting of a car park in the parish capital.
Lands across from the bank on Market Street have been leased by the corporation and the car park is scheduled to become operational by June 3, the mayor announced.
The car park is the fulfilment of a long-standing promise by the corporation to address the nightmarish traffic gridlock since the town square was pedestrianised in 2011.
“We are looking to see how best we can reduce the number of cars parking in Water Square,” said Gager, in reference to the historic town centre.
Water Square, with its iconic water fountain, is an integral part of Falmouth’s tourism attraction and is one of the first places seen by disembarking cruise ship passengers. Gager recently stated that he wants the square to become the best-kept public spaces in Jamaica.
In addition to addressing the chronic gridlock in Falmouth, the new municipal car park is also poised to become a major source of funding for the corporation’s coffers.
At April’s monthly meeting, Gager announced that dislocation from the COVID-19 pandemic had cut revenue by as much as 50 per cent.
When the car park commences operation, fees will be J$100 per hour.
The plan to prohibit parking in Water Square is welcome news for businessman Richard Shirley, whose gas station has been transformed into an unofficial car park by taxi operators and private motorists alike.
“I have been frustrated in my attempts to have them removed,” said Shirley. “There have been occasions when I have to beg to be allowed to park my own vehicle. If there is an emergency and I have to leave in a hurry, I first have to try and find the owner of the vehicle blocking my exit.”
There is a long-standing plan to establish a transport centre on government lands beside the $300-million municipal market on Market Street but that plan is still on the drawing board.
LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Gleaner