KINGSTON, Jamaica – A resolution passed at last Tuesday’s Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) council meeting has highlighted the acute shortage of public parking facilities in Half-Way-Tree and Cross Roads in St Andrew and has urged the KSAMC to play an active role in solving the problem.
The resolution urged the corporation to identify properties in Half-Way-Tree and Cross Roads where public parking facilities can be established and partner with public and private sector investors to develop such facilities.
The resolution said that the KSAMC should "engage the services of the Development Bank of Jamaica or other such entity with a view to establishing partnership with potential investors in the public or private sector to help with developing such facilities."
Pointing to the traffic congestion in Half-Way-Tree during business hours, the resolution moved by People's National Party (PNP) Councillor Neville Wright (Trench Town division) stated that neither the parish court in Half-Way-Tree, which deals with a significant number of criminal matters, nor the Passport Citizenship and Immigration Agency head office on Constant Spring Road, which attracts clients from across the island, has adequate parking facilities.
Wright suggested that a parking facility with several floors could be developed at the Constant Spring Arcade. He also said that lots owned by the KSAMC at the Hagley Park Plaza could be used for parking.
Wright said that the KSAMC also owns property in Cross Roads that could be repurposed for parking . He suggested that the corporation enter into an agreement with the Palace Amusement Company to enable its parking facility in Cross Roads to be used for public parking during the daytime.
Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Kari Douglas (Trafalgar Park division) said the resolution was timely and that greater partnership was needed between the municipality and central government to tackle the problem.
JLP Councillor Donovan Samuels (Tivoli division), who seconded the resolution, said that creative solutions were needed to solve the parking problem.
According to PNP Councillor Eugene Kelly (Whitfield Town division), KSAMC investments in public parking facilities could help to improve the income stream of the corporation.
Meanwhile, JLP Councillor Vernon McLeod (Havendale Division) believes the Constant Spring Mall is underutilised.
"We need to sit down and make plans for the car parks" he said.
For Andrew Swaby, PNP minority leader (Vineyard Town division), churches should be part of any discussion as they owned significant amounts of property in Half-Way-Tree and Cross Roads that could be used for public parking.
He mentioned that the Anglican Church owns properties in Cross Roads where the St Luke's Church and the Nuttall Hospitalnare located and the St Andrew Parish Church in Half-Way-Tree.