Wed | May 22, 2019

Beg yuh likkle free parking, nuh

Published:Monday | November 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Last week, my husband and I had to conduct business at the Inland Revenue Department in downtown Kingston. To our consternation, we had to pay $200 for each two-hour period of parking (or part thereof) at a neighbouring car park.

Interestingly, although the park is operated by the Urban Development Corporation, it is quite subpar. Except for the entrance and exit gates, the parking lot has no surrounding wall for security and the road surface, despite having no visible or gaping pothole, is quite bumpy.

Certainly, given the exorbitant charge, when compared to well-appointed places that request only $100 for each hour of parking, the conditions of the lot ought to be far better.

Our greater concern, however, was with the fact that so many business places, including this government-run department, do not provide any secure parking for customers. We have to pay!

Bear with me. If one has to do business regularly in this area and spend hours - which is usually the case, considering the long queues, delays and potentially unsuccessful transactions with which one is bound to contend - one will most likely pay a hefty fee for parking!

Why can't these businesses, in light of their inadequate, and oftentimes, ZERO parking provisions, provide verification of your transactions with them? This could then be presented to the operators of the parking lots and thus be used to authorise a fee waiver.

Often, we hear of municipal police officers repeatedly ticketing motorists for parking illegally in busy commercial hubs.

Understandably, the officers must take action against such offenders in order to discourage the prohibited act and to avoid congestion. However, ticketing cannot be the sole solution to this recurring problem. We have to make some reasonable, sustainable and affordable adjustments.