By Mellica McPherson-Ganda
Steps to commence the implementation of multi-level parking garages in the Territory commenced last week with the issuing of a public survey that is aimed at garnering community response. However, despite the possession of renderings from architects and the identification of three locations for the parking garages it was stated that Government does not want to take on the project. It was revealed that Government prefers that the initiative be implemented as a private venture.
In an interview with The Island Sun newspaper on Tuesday, less than three days after the survey was distributed Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool explained that the multi-level parking can fix the chaotic parking situation that has existed in Road Town for years.
However, he disclosed that the Government is more open to a private venture of the multi-level car parking facilities. “The government doesn’t want to own the parking lots. The government wants to make it a commercial venture for anyone who wants to apply for it and get involved as a venture. We are going to lease the land and let private ventures take place,” the Minister explained.
He noted nonetheless, that even as a private venture the aim of the project is the same: “We are seeking to begin to address the issue of parking in Road Town, and one of the concerns is rather than having cars spread all over the town and park, we want to encourage the use of multi-level parking,” he said.
“We have in mind one (location) closer to the hospital, one (parking garage) close to the One Stop Mall area, and one between Scotia Bank and Burhym Electric on that side of the road where we can have more cars parking at multi-levels, but with a combination of buildings that don’t just look like parking lots, but commercial along with parking lots,” he said.
As regards to the survey the Minister explained: “We put it out there to get ideas from the public. Some architects have already given some of their renderings of what they think it should be… We are putting it out there to see what ideas people might have. Then we’ll move forward.”
Minister Vanterpool said that he is keen to see the process of implementation of multi-level car parking in the Territory move forward as quickly as possible: ”I think we are behind the eight ball on it.”
In fact, the Minister disclosed that insufficient parking around Road Town is a major reason why the Main Street rehabilitation plan cannot move forward: “One of the reasons we haven’t started our Main Street rehabilitation project as yet is because it entails no parking on Main Street. So we want to have other places to park.” In that regard the Minister said that he hopes that the process to make the multi-level parking a reality goes quickly.
In the survey that was promoted on Facebook, titled the “Feasibility Study on Multi-Level Parking Garage in Road Town” residents were asked among other things if they would utilize the garages, if they would pay to use the garages, and how they would prefer to be billed for parking.