(Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News)
Consideration is being made to enable more paid parking in the city of Road Town, once Government completes the public parking that is earmarked for the Festival Grounds. This announcement was made by Minister for Transportation, Works, and Utilities, Hon. Kye Rymer as he disclosed plans to improve parking in the city.
The Minister, during his appearance on the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton-Cline programme on September 10, mentioned that the plan to convert the Festival Grounds into a public parking space is still on the table.
Back in May, the Minister told the House of Assembly that the Festival Grounds will be converted to public parking, with shuttle service to and from Road Town. While speaking on the matter a few weeks ago, Hon. Rymer indicated that this is still going to happen.
The Minister however noted that those who wish to park closer would be able to do so by utilizing paid parking, which the Minister said would be facilitated.
“The plan for the city is for us to have paid parking. That would discourage you from coming to the city and parking – utilize the parking at the Festival Grounds. You’ll be paying for the parking that is there within the city.”
In relation to the parking at the Festival Grounds, the Minister announced, “We are waiting on Public Works to finalize some drawings for the parking lot over where the Festival Grounds is.”
Hon. Rymer said that he is hoping to get those drawings back within a couple of weeks and then perhaps the project will be able to go out to tender.
“I have seen the drawings; we’re waiting actually on the drainage aspect of it and that is something that should be on my desk within the next couple of days or so,” Hon. Rymer further added.
The conversion to parking lots is not expected to affect the annual Emancipation Festival activities that occur at the Festival Grounds. In fact, the Minister explained that the parking plans will coexist with the Festival Village.
“During that two weeks in July/August, the site would be used for the festival activities,” Hon. Rymer assured.
It was noted that the Ministry anticipates to get at least 270 parking spots at the Festival Village, and this, it was stated, would be for public use.
Meanwhile, as it relates to parking enforcement, the Minister said that the City Manager’s team will be tasked with ensuring people are parking as they should. However, the Minister noted that there might be need to increase staff at the Office of the City Manager.
“We can repurpose, but we will need to hire some additional staff, because we must enforce and make sure that it works,” Hon. Rymer said.