- Posted On January 12, 2020
…willing to end demonstrations if court rules in its favourAt yet another picket exercise on Thursday, several members and supporters of the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) showed up to protest the reintroduction of what they described as an illegal initiative. It was related that they were willing to end this action, once the court ruled in their favour.One of the MAPM supporters said, “The legality of the contract is in the court and instead of the City Council waiting to see the results of that court case, they areA section of Thursday’s picketerstrying to go ahead and force us to accept the parking meters…if the court deems the parking meter [contract] is legal, that’s the end of our protest.”He added that there would be no need for the parking meters in Georgetown, if the Guyana Police Force did its job of enforcing the laws.Explaining why she believes the parking meter project is illegal was Renata Chuck-A-Sang. “The thing never went to tender even though the value of it is in excess of the required ceiling. We contend that the contract is illegal and, therefore, it should not be enforced…they have to go back to the drawing board, go through the process, do the feasibility study, you do the tender process and we start afresh and that wasn’t done,” she noted.Added to that, Chuck-A-Sang told Guyana Times that City Hall should take into consideration building a five to six-storey parking lot, which should minimise the massive build-up of traffic and at the same time generate an income.She posited that City Hall could have parking meters, but not everywhere in the city as that would make drivers feel like they were being penalised for being in the country’s capital city.Opposing that statement was Marcel Gaskin, yet another supporter of MAPM, who said that he would like to see the parking meter project scrapped in its entirety. He said he found the project to be “questionable” since no feasibility studies or impact assessments were done and lastly, the contract was awarded to a company named Smart City Solutions without first going to National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).A prominent businessman in Georgetown said, “The last time this (parking meter project) was enforced, business dropped like about 60 per cent, because people just didn’t want to pay for the parking and the entire street was empty.” The businessman, who is the manager of the Outdoor Store, said he tried to let his customers park on his bridge, but this effort was unable to float his business.The M&CC had entered into a contract with Smart City Solutions Inc on May 13, 2016, for parking meters to be implemented in Georgetown. The renegotiated contract with Smart City Solutions and the restructured fees come in light of a recent High Court ruling quashing the by-laws needed to activate the controversial project. The city, through its lawyers, has filed an appeal to the ruling.Drivers will be made to pay $150 per hour and $800 for eight hours of parking in the city, while residents of the city would be issued with a restricted residential pass for free parking from 17:00h-19:00h Monday to Friday with free parking on Saturdays, should the project be reintroduced.