In Photo: A crowded Independence Street, Roseau on Monday, January 18, 2021
As we move into a New Year and consider how we can improve and increase business activity in the city of Roseau, parking remains a ticklish issue. As a business person in Roseau, I feel I am well placed to make some recommendations.
Many businesses in the city require and already have ‘loading’ and ‘off-loading’ signs. These are placed in front of the business establishment so that the company’s vehicles and customers can stop for a short time, load and offload goods, conduct business and quickly move on. This approach has proven to work very well for establishments.
I suggest that businesses be required to pay a monthly fee of EC$150 per slot for this convenience. This means that with two slots, a business owner will pay $300. On Cork Street, for example, I can easily identify ten (10) spaces. Add that up and you have $1500.00 per month or $18,000.00 per year. When we consider the number of streets used for parking in Roseau, this adds up to a significant annual amount which can be reinvested in parking solutions.
Many people drive into the city and take up one parking spot for the entire day, FREE, whilst others who wish to conduct commercial activities are forced to make several turns around the city searching for a spot. This burns fuel and is an inconvenience for someone on a busy schedule seeking to conduct business.
At a cost of approximately EC$25,000.00 per meter, one can be placed on every block. Drivers will be required to park, go to the meter, enter the space number and make payment. A recommended fee is $1.00 for 30 minutes. I have observed an average of ten (10) cars parked, per block. This translates to $2 per hour, per car x 10 cars = 20 x 8 hours = $160 per day x 6 days = $960 per week, $3840 per month and $46,080.00 per year. Here, we have paid for the cost of the parking meter with money to spare! And this is just the return on one block!
If parking meter costs are prohibitive for some, the authorities can consider a monthly plan with special fees with a corresponding sticker, easily identified by parking wardens.
Now we get to the MAJOR ISSUE- the BUS STOPS.
Roseau has turned into one big bus stop. I will be bold enough to say that it is absolutely annoying and ridiculous! But there is hope! The parking fees can go toward the relocation of bus stops along the River Bank, stretching from the market to the Bath Estate Bridge. One big bus terminal should serve all areas, with clear markers for the benefit of passengers. These areas may include vendor stalls, bathrooms and other facilities and conveniences. How do we make money from that? This opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurship such as a shuttle service to the city as well as the vendor stalls and other services.
Another recommendation is the installation of slabs across the drains in various parts of the city, creating diagonal parking on one side of the street and regular parking on the other.
Any of these recommendations, if implemented properly, could help ease the parking problem in Roseau providing convenience to drivers who wish to conduct business in the city. These initiatives could give rise to the creation of new jobs and contribute to efforts to make Roseau a true commercial capital.
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