New vending initiative working in MoBay - mayor
The St James Municipal Corporation is reporting a near-100 per cent compliance from vendors in regard to the implementation of the plan to designate several streets in downtown Montego Bay as no-vending zones.
"So far it has been working and it is about 90 per cent better than what it was before," said Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, who is also chairman of the corporation.
The western city's main street, St James Street, is among the roadways singled out as a no-vending are a following years of complaints from motorists, pedestrians and business stakeholders about the extreme difficulties caused by street vending.
When The Gleaner visited St James Street shortly before midday on Monday, the street was visibly cleared of vending, except for one vendor who was spotted near Sam Sharpe Square.
WON'T LAST LONG
"A long time the place must look so, but it nah go last long," said a female pedestrian.
According to the mayor, over 130 vendors have so far been registered to ply their wares on a number of streets, such as Church Lane and Lower Market Street, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m.
"There are a number of designated areas like Lawrence Lane and Corner Lane at the bottom of Market Street, where vendors are now doing their thing between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. All of this, however, would not be possible without enforcement," said Davis, who added that the municipal police were working closely with the St James police to ensure continued compliance.
"We can't let St James Street go back to what it was because, overall, things are working quite well. Hopefully by the end of the year, there will be a stark difference with how vending is done in Montego Bay."
The mayor also pointed out that the corporation and the police are partnering to tackle illegal parking on the main thoroughfares throughout the Second City in a bid to ease traffic congestion.