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No parking space in Mandeville

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer

The parking and traffic situation in the town of Mandeville, Manchester, for several years, has been a major headache for shoppers, business operators, and commuters.

The population of the town has increased significantly over the past 20 years, however, the layout of the town has remained largely unchanged.

Permit parking

Several residents have called for a workable solution to be implemented soon. With limited parking areas, most of which are designated 'permit parking', monitored by the Municipal Parking Enforcement Services Company, the majority of taxi and bus operators are left to create a chaotic situation.

Business operators in the town centre have complained that they are losing business daily as their customers have no space to park while many shoppers have been venting their frustration for this same reason.

Ryan Chen, operator of Top Loaf Bakery, said: "The parking problem is terrible. It's more a traffic problem than parking. The taxi operators line the parking areas despite not purchasing parking tickets. The result is Government not getting the money that they should. I get the comments from customers daily that they would come to my store more often, but the parking is terrible."

Brenda Ramsay, mayor of Mandeville, said the Manchester Parish Council was looking at ways to alleviate the situation. "The problem stems from the number of taxi operators operating in the town. The Transport Authority just issues any number of road licences with no regard to the overcrowding in the town," she explained.

Superintendent Lascelles Taylor, head of the Manchester Police Division, said that the set-up of the town is the root of the problem. "Mandeville is a 17th-century town. It is now 2012. The buildings are right by the roadside and don't have adequate space for parking. With the vast number of taxis and buses present, there is not enough space for parking. The police, however, are working overtime in seeing to it that there is a free flow of traffic."

A resident of Mandeville, who asked to remain anonymous, described the set-up of the town as haphazard, and suggested that the Mandeville Market needed to be dismantled and removed from the town centre.

Multi-storey parking facility

"Certain services are not needed in the town centre. The market needs to be relocated and a multi- storey parking facility built at that location where people can park and conduct their business in the town," the resident said.

The resident also suggested that the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School, located on Caledonia Road, should be relocated to the outskirts of the town as it creates major traffic congestion during school hours.