Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Even the casual observer, whether visiting or living in Georgetown, cannot escape the parking nightmare. The situation is a repeated and constant fatigue to not only those looking for a parking place but also pedestrians having to navigate their way among the maize of a situation that has gotten out of control.
The vehicular traffic in Georgetown has outgrown the designated parking spaces and as a consequence drivers are not only double parking but are parking in the roads or in areas clearly designated No Parking signs. This has created verbal and physical confrontation, accidents, damage to vehicles, and further congestion in a congested city.
Some businesses have taken it on their own to command the city parapets and convert them into parking spaces for their customers. The situation has reached the stage not only of violating the city’s bylaws but where these businesses have touts, security services or employees guarding the zones as though it’s theirs.
There is more than enough blame to go around for what is causing the problem and the seeming incapacity of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council to create some orderliness in the parking system, particularly in areas where the Council has responsibility. Guyana continues to suffer from the absence of visionary political leadership and presence of petty political partisanship. These debilitating factors are not only stymieing development but have resulted in a tug like subculture where only the strong or connected could survive.
Vehicular ownership and traffic in Georgetown have outstripped the development pace or state of the city.
There is no Urban Planning and Development to facilitate a city that is growing by leaps and bounds. The President is said to have a PhD in Urban Planning but few, if any, will expect the Central Government to collaborate with the City Government to improve the city. It will not be done because certification does not necessarily translate to vision-i.e., using knowledge to create an environment for the national good and petty partisan politics will dictate any vision for a city whose denizens are primarily supporters of the political opposition. Guarded optimism hopes that the President breaks free of the curse or could rise above it.
Georgetown needs a parking system ASAP. Some could remember the effort to do this in the life of another Council, but it met a cruel death. Though the Council could have gone around the parking meter situation in a better manner and when the brouhaha surrounding the contract and pricing flared up. In hindsight that was development as seen in modern cities but Guyanese, not without hidden political forces and some self-serving, were made to think development constitutes a burden. The baby and the bath water were thrown out and the parking situation has gotten nowhere better only worse.
The Parking Meter system deserves a second look. It would not only bring revenue to a starving Council but create an orderly parking system for drivers and pedestrians. Nothing prevents the private sector from getting involved to improve the parking mayhem by building parking lots. Few, if anything in life, are free, though Guyana as a nation of many poor costs will have to be considered.
Drivers should be free to park in safe assigned areas, go about their business and when they return to their vehicle it is not damaged and they can drive away without hassle. The poor parking system is a traffic hazard. It affects the free and orderly flow of traffic which needs to be corrected.