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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Earlier in the week, we showed what Bernard Wagner, the Belize City Mayor, had to say about their new parking meter pilot project.

The Belize City Council wants to improve parking in the most congested areas of Belize City. They think that the use of parking meters will move the municipality forward in its development as an urban area. And of course, they will be able to regulate and charge a fee for public parking on city streets.

The project will be tested on Albert Street from its intersection with Orange Street to its intersection with Dean Street, right in front of our Channel 7 Office. Also, parking meters will be installed on Newtown Barracks, from the exit of Ramada by Wyndham Princess Belize City, to Midtown Restaurant. Starting next Monday, you will have to pay a fare to park your vehicle near these new meters.

All this week, members of the City Council have been making the media rounds to alert the general public of this incoming change. This morning, we got a chance to speak with Albert Vaughan, the City Councillor with responsibility for Traffic Management. Here's what he had to say about the roll-out of the project next week:

Albert Vaughan - City Councillor, Traffic Management
"The council is left to believe that the parking meter will propel the city forward in a smart way, and the impact we were looking at in particular, the country's social impact at this part in the program is that it will allow our citizens easy access parking space, right? It means that the area that you're visiting - that is Albert Street and BTL Park right now, is so difficult to park. These parking meters will address that. Socially. it will allow you an opportunity to drive up to the nearest store you want in these areas, and you will be able to pay and park. When it comes to the economical side, Daniel, the business in that community will develop because your customers don't have to go to a Romac's parking lot, that they will come immediately to your vicinity, pay for their parking space, and shop quite comfortably. And when it comes to the environment, which is most important, the driving around the city, when you're on a mission. These parking meters, my friend is solar panels. It is clean; it is friendly. And so we believe we believe going that it is a smart way to move Belize City."

Daniel Ortiz
"What about those business houses that have their own vehicle fleet? We understand that they will either have to pay for the parking [spot] or get a special application - or a special application has to be done, which will have to be paid for. And the suggestion is that drives up their annual business costs."

Albert Vaughan
"And one of the good things that this council has done, Daniel, is consultations. we have done almost 3 consultations. In fact, we are having one next Thursday at the Office of Culture and we ask people to come out.:

"We have consulted these business people. They have come. They have said what their concern was. We have addressed it. And so I don't think we have a problem with them. Absolutely none. If you look on Albert Street where there was a lot of preferential parking, all that is gone, OK? I'm sure if a businessman requires more time, that can be worked out."

Daniel Ortiz
"So you don't foresee some businesses being negatively affected by an increase in their business costs."

Albert Vaughan
"I don't think so. I think this will help them. More people will come to your store, right? Presently, you can't because everybody has preferential parking, and the taxis the whole parking space. So this will help them."

The Belize City Council will continue its public consultations on the use of parking meters next Thursday night. The meeting will be broadcast live on Facebook at 6 p.m.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Mayor Says Parking Meters Coming Along

Yesterday, we caught up with Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner at a Police Open Day.

We took the opportunity to ask the Mayor for an update on City Hall's Parking Meter Pilot Project for Albert Street and the areas near BTL Park.

You'll remember how drivers immediately deserted the Albert Street parking spots because they would have to pay for parking. We asked the Mayor about that, and he said that drivers are starting to come around:

Daniel Ortiz
"Nobody wants to park because they don't want to pay."

Bernard Wagner - Mayor, Belize City Council
"But as you can see, now, they are adopting. Everybody — whenever a change occurs, you have to give it an opportunity for minds to shift. And that has occurred. We are very hopeful about this project. It's not a moneymaking business. I always say that it's about giving equity to the space that we regulate for all citizens to enjoy it."

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir, we've seen that you've also made allowances for businesses that are at home in the different eras where the project is taking place."

Bernard Wagner
"You have to find a mix. You can't displace anyone. We had to displace the taxi men, but we found another area for them. And they are very happy with the area. Similarly, with the business owners, we tell them, listen, we'll try to relocate you to a safe space as well. Some of the adjoining streets, and that is what has been happening."

Channel 7

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