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Lawlessness returns - Some downtown Kingston streets make way for illegal activities again

Published:Tuesday | January 15, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Bus operators on Heywood Street in downtown Kingston.
Bus operators create an unofficial terminus on Heywood Street in downtown Kingston.
Taxi operators park illegally in West Parade in downtown Kingston. - photos by Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor

FOR MONTHS following the May 2010 incursion into west Kingston by the security forces, law and order was maintained on the streets of downtown Kingston with a strong police presence.

This resulted in a reduction in the crime numbers, a restoration of some night life and easy passage for motorists and pedestrians on the streets of the market district.

However, in recent months, some disturbing signs have emerged that need to be fixed immediately if the planned rebirth of the city is to become a reality.

At the top of the list are the bus and taxi operators - legal and illegal - who have decided to ignore all the rules governing where to pick up and let off passengers.

Particularly bad is Heywood Street in the vicinity of West Parade where the busmen have created an unofficial terminus.

grave inconvenience

Motorists who attempt to use Heywood Street are now inconvenienced, as these bus operators park in the middle of the road trying to solicit passengers.

The taxi operators are no better as they park anywhere in the West Parade area shouting their destinations and moving only on the approach of the police.

Also making a return to the streets of downtown Kingston are the men who line some roads demanding that motorists pay them to park.

These men place objects in the areas designated for free parking and demand that they are paid before any motorist can park their vehicles.

While some police foot patrols are still visible in downtown Kingston, these and other illegal activities need to be fixed fast before they fester.