PMB downtown parking crisis

2009-09-16 00:00

THEMBA Zwane complains that there are not enough parking bays in the city, but he rubbishes suggestions that if motorists paid for parking, there would be a greater turnover in parking bays.

“Why should we pay for parking? That’s nonsense. They must just make more parking spaces available,” he says.

Samantha Smith says she never goes to the CBD because she knows she will have to drive around looking for parking.

“If I want to shop I just go to the mall because I know there’s parking readily available and I’m not harassed by car guards,” she says.

SIMNIKIWE Mthethwa says the traffic department needs to be more vigorous in monitoring the use of parking bays as it affects their livelihood. “If people were fined for parking longer than the time stipulated on the sign, they would not park there all day and we would get more tips,” she said.

Cedric Mtshali says he used to be a car guard in the CBD, but moved to Northway Mall four months ago because he wasn’t making much money.

“At least here cars are in and out regularly so I get more tips. I won’t go back to the CBD unless something drastic happens,” he says.

LAYMAN says the decision to do away with paid parking (in 2003) was a bad one, but there needs to be a turnover of cars in parking bays if businesses are to thrive.

Although the chamber prefers parking meters over the now-scrapped voucher system, every effort should have been made to ensure that the system worked properly when it was still in operation, says Layman.

“We urge the municipality to do something about parking as a matter of urgency. The chamber is willing to be involved,” Layman says.

He adds that he realises there will be a public outcry if free parking is done away with, but residents need to realise that paying for parking is vital for trade in the city.

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