Fri | May 25, 2018

Plans under way to relocate bus park in downtown Kingston

Published:Wednesday | March 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Commuter terminus at South Parade in downtown Kingston

Discussions are about to kick off between the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation and the Ministry of Transport regarding plans to relocate the bus park in Parade, downtown Kingston facilitate the establishment of a recreational and historical site in the area.

Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams told journalists yesterday that it is a well-needed space, which will aid in the transformation of the city.

"We need a historical space in our city. We had the 1907 earthquake when nearly 1,000 persons within the city were killed, and I have not seen a monument that relives that moment in our history," said Williams. "We want this historical space for our residents to come and enjoy it and to teach our children about this moment in history.

"We also have visitors who like to traverse the city and learn of the country's history, and I believe that the Parade area would be ideal. Having the Parish Church nearby, the St William Grant Park and the Ward Theatre; that would be the perfect space to transform into a historical site."

He acknowledged that he expected some backlash, but said every effort would be made to make the plans a reality.

"In managing a city and transforming sections of it, you will have pushback from different quarters, but if you begin to get the buy-in from critical sectors, then, over time, we will get the necessary support to proceed with the project," Williams said.

He said the timeline would be dependent on how the discussions go, but indicated that the corporation was committed to the project as a major part of the transformation of the downtown Kingston area.

Abraham Gordon, a vendor in downtown Kingston, said he does not mind the idea, but pleaded for proper consultation before any establishment is made.

"It would depend on where the park will be located and if the area is safe for citizens and vendors. Security will be very important, because if it is not a secure location, it is going to be a problem. They also need to have town-hall meetings, meet with the vendors and the citizens," said Gordon.