The Castries Constituency Council (CCC) has begun installing ten solar-powered parking terminals on streets around the Saint Lucia capital.
The installation, training, signage, and other preparation are due to last between four and five months.
Castries Mayor Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel noted that there had been a long-standing cry for better parking in the City, which experiences daily congestion.
“People who come to Castries find it difficult to get parking, even for a short time,” Lendor-Gabriel observed.
She explained that the parking terminals would facilitate affordable parking.
The devices will accept coins and paper money and can also be programmed to take debit or credit cards in the future.
“The parking terminals have the other option we will explore. It’s not just parking. It can allow for issuing tickets for any purpose – buses, comfort station use and vending,” the Castries Mayor disclosed.
It would cost motorists three dollars an hour to park in the City.
Each parking terminal would serve an entire street, but drivers could buy a ticket and park elsewhere in the City.
“If you buy a parking ticket, say, on Peynier Street, you just display it on your vehicle and you can park on the William Peter Boulevard. It is not restricting you to an area. It just affords you parking in the City,” the Castries Mayor told St. Lucia Times.
Landor-Gabriel explained that the choice of various locations for the terminals was to facilitate easy access by motorists, preventing them from travelling a long distance to obtain paid parking.
The Mayor said enforcement would accompany the installation of the parking terminals.
“I don’t think we should even argue over whether people should pay for parking because we have seen the kind of congestion we get in Castries. If we want the City to remain alive, to facilitate business and persons who work in the City to continue earning a living, we need to improve the parking situation,” she asserted.
The Mayor noted that there has been paid parking around Derek Walcott Square, an area of high demand, for years.
“It’s not new. But we have seen the need to increase it and make it more affordable and flexible rather than tying people into a monthly fee,” Lendor-Gabriel explained.
Lendor-Gabriel disclosed that the parking terminal initiative pre-dated the current CCC administration.
She told St. Lucia Times that the predecessor administration had partially paid for the devices.
“When we got into office, the terminals had been purchased and were sitting on the wharf and we re-energised the project,” the Castries Mayor stated.