Guyana has never established an institutional body that deals with parking. It seems that the Guyana Police Force is left to deal with most issues of parking in and around the city. Unfortunately with the consistently large influx of vehicles into Guyana over the years, there still are no established parking lots available for persons to park when in Georgetown. On-street parking remains unregulated. There is no underground parking or multi-storied car parking facilities in Georgetown or anywhere in the country.
The decision to disallow parking in front of one of Guyana’s oldest hotel is astounding as it is asinine. Where is the documented evidence that parking in front on Hotel Tower impedes the free flow of traffic when compared with other parts of the city? If one were to believe the words of Traffic Chief Neil Semple, then there should be the eager expectation that parking would be prohibited in front of a number of places. Some of these businesses are John Fernandes Ltd, Republic Bank, Fogarty’s, GBTI, and many other businesses on Water Street since to my knowledge and experience, the free flow of traffic on that street is reserved only for Sundays outside the Christmas season.
I empathise with Mr. James Manbahal proprietor of Hotel Tower who has invested millions of US Dollars in Guyana’s flagging tourism industry and is now being given the unfair treatment of the state. With this kind of treatment meted out to current investors, it will only adversely affect the way potential investors view the eco-political climate of Guyana.
Hotel Tower’s parking facility cannot have a greater impact on the free flow of traffic on Main Street than other businesses on that same street that allow parking in front their premises. The Guyana Police Force needs to commission a certified scientific time and motion study that highlights that the Hotel Tower ‘parking lot’ is affecting the free flow of traffic on Main Street more than other businesses on that street. Unless that study can also showcase the Hotel Tower ‘parking lot’ impedes the free flow of traffic more than other areas in front of other businesses in Georgetown, then the Police need to allow parking to continue in front of Hotel Tower or disallow parking in front of business places on Main Street altogether.
Like many Guyanese, I know that there is a greater obstruction to the free flow of traffic in other streets in Georgetown that should have attracted the attention of the Guyana Police Force.