Parking Meter protest return to streets on Thursday

Several months after central government suspended the Parking Meter by-laws which brought an end to public outrage in the form of massive protests at the contract and its clauses, the Movement against Parking Meter is once again mobilizing the masses for another wave of public protests.

The body has announced that on Thursday, April 19, 2018, there will be a public protest in front of City Hall at 12:00-13:00hrs.

Recently the Georgetwon Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Movement against Parking Meter (MAPM) have signaled their intentions to oppose the re-introduction of paid parking with Smart City Solutions (SCS) in Guyana, a company with no records of metered parking project anywhere in the world. The two bodies have noted their concerns with Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan.

The Government has already indicated that the Parking Meter project will return to the city and that central government will not intervene only if it is asked to do so, this was related to the media by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during a press conference.

In March of 2017, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan suspended the Parking Meter project with the blessings of the government. Cabinet had deliberated on the actions by City Hall, which despised the rulings of the government and refused to execute the order to suspend the project for three months to allow for the review of the agreement. The government had said that it was disappointed with the lack of action taken by the City Council.

Fierce critic of the current parking meter contract and by-laws, political commentator, Raymon Gaskin, noted that the current by-laws have a lot of illegality in it and it does not bode well for the ordinary Guyanese.

Gaskin said, the by-laws have a clause which states, that if monies are owed by the errant parker, their vehicle will be seized and sold. That clause did not change from the old by-laws. Gaskinn noted that nowhere in Guyana’s laws there is provision for a company to seize and sell a person’s vehicle, as a matter of fact, only the courts can do such thing as set out in Article 142 of the constitution of Guyana, whereby the court can seize a vehicle for evidence and so forth, Gaskin noted.

He further alluded that the committee which was set up to look at the previous by-laws, did not heed to the public protest where there were calls to provide special parking for schools. Hospital, Government utility vehicles, parlor services and make parking affordable. The new by-laws provides for parking to be charged $800 per day or $24,800 per month for one person who works in the city and $49,600 per month for a couple who works in the city with two vehicles.

The commentator stressed that a lot is wrong with the new by-laws, one that it is corrupt and too expensive. He further noted that he supports paid parking, but, not it its current form. He also said that City hall has no respect for the courts of Guyana, because they are going to introduce a new set of by-laws, when there is a matter of similar nature engaging the attentions of the courts. Gaskin stressed that if the by-laws take effect, he along with other colleagues will take to the street in full numbers once again.

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