‘Bring in parking meters’

2010-10-04 00:00

CITIZEN power won a reprieve for beleaguered shop owners and residents of Thomas Street, who managed to stop municipal workers from painting away the few remaining parking areas in their street last Wednesday.

They got hold of ward Councillor Peter Green and further work was put on hold until a meeting on Friday.

A shop owner in Thomas Street told The Witness that removing parking bays would harm business in the area.

“They are even taking away the loading zones,” he lamented.

The lack of parking bays has long been a problem in the CBD. Shop owners complain that because there is no parking meter system, people who work in the city centre park their cars downtown and walk to work. This means that shoppers who come during the day have nowhere to park.

The issue of a parking meter system came up in council meetings last year. However, when the administration at the municipality fell apart, this and other matters were put on the back burner.

Council officials are hopeful that a functioning parking meter system to regulate parking in the city will soon be on council’s agenda.

Friday’s meeting between residents and municipal officials resulted in a decision to halt the painting of the red line and to relocate a loading zone in the street. Residents were told to raise their other complaints about parking and congestion with their ward councillors.

A resident who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation said he is going to ask via his ward councillor for a copy of the parking plan for the area. “Arriving with a pot of red paint in a small side street seems such a random act. How does what they were doing in Thomas Street fit in with parking plans for the rest of the downtown CBD?” he asked.

All the residents agree that parking is a major problem and that this is exacerbated by the lack of policing by the municipality’s traffic department.

Green said the meeting proved useful and some compromises were reached about parking. “It was agreed that the residents will take up the other issues they raised with me and I will process them through the relevant departments. There are three departments involved,” said Green. — Witness Reporters.


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