We asked the Mayor about a pilot project from City Hall in which they want to install parking meters on Albert Street.

It's supposed to improve parking in the very congested areas of Belize City, but it needs the support of the driving public for it to be a success. But, it's also going to be an added strain on drivers' disposable income - and pump prices are already eating that up.

That's why the Mayor said that they had to put it on a slight pause to get Cabinet's approval:

Bernard Wagner - Mayor, Belize City Council
"Actually, we had a brief hiccup in terms of getting the required approval Given that it's a pilot project, we had to receive some measure of approval from the Cabinet. We received that letter. Those notices have been Gazetted because we had to Gazette it as well. Our 2 vendors are currently doing the layout of their model and their platforms, and so, we expect this to be launched by the 4th of April."

Daniel Ortiz
"Where will these meters be focused first, specifically?"

Bernard Wagner
"It's in 2 areas. 1 area is in the BTL Park area, and the other is on Albert Street. The reason why we chose the BTL Park area is that we have many small vendors in that area who do day-to-day business out there. And what has been happening is that due to business activity in that area with many of the call centers and people parking in front of the park the entire day, it does not give the vendors the opportunity to really drive their little economy. So, we wanted to share the space. It's a public space. It's on-street parking, and we want to really regulate on-street parking around the entire city."

Daniel Ortiz
"Will this have any sort of punitive effect on busy areas like Albert Street, where you have issues with parking? What can motorists expect when this project is rolled out? And what effect will it have on the people who expect to have parking when they go to their office spaces?"

Bernard Wagner
"Well, we had extensive consultations with the business houses in both areas, and again, we only control on-street parking. That is what the City and the municipality are responsible for, on-street parking. We want to regulate on-street parking so that our residents have equal access to that space in the City. We can control off-street parking, which is a private parking facility. Those business houses obviously have to find some sort of parking for their staff and for other people who do business with them. But, the thing is we want to regulate on-street parking so that the space that we have on the streets is shared equitably by all residents."

We'll let you know how it goes with those parking meters.

Channel 7