Library parking problems persist

To the casual observer, the parking situation at the new downtown George Town Library might seem a bit odd.

library parking

Photo taken 13 October show the current parking conundrum at the George Town Library. Photo: Brent Fuller

On the left side of the brand new building, which opened in May to replace Cayman’s historic George Town Library, there are dozens of often unused parking spaces reserved for library and Legislative Assembly staff and visitors.

On the right side, where there are no actual parking spaces, cars are piled up in what appears to be traffic lanes. Most of the vehicles are parking there all day.

Ministry of Education officials said this week that the parking situation is only temporary.

Soon, there will be even fewer spaces for drivers to park.

‘Parking is being permitted on the right side of the library for members of the public in the area‚Ķthat used to be occupied by the bus depot,’ Ministry Deputy Chief Officer Christen Suckoo wrote in a response to Caymanian Compass questions about the parking situation. ‘Once the buses return, no parking will be allowed in that area.’

Mr. Suckoo did not give a date for when the public buses would return. Right now, the buses are operating out of a dirt lot on North Church Street next to the Waterfront Centre building.

When the buses return, a ‘buffer space’ will be kept between those vehicles and the library pick up and drop off area to the immediate right of the building. Also, a separate fire lane will be preserved as is required by law.

The library is in the process of putting up signs that will prevent parking in those two lanes.

On the other side of the library, there are 27 spaces reserved for library patrons across the entire parking lot, 13 spaces reserved for library staff members, eight handicapped parking spaces and five spaces apiece for Legislative Assembly staff members and visitors.

There are 13 spaces located at the back of the lot, which can be used by members of the general public.

On a drizzly Tuesday two weeks ago, the Caymanian Compass dropped by around 11am to take a look at the parking spaces. There was one person parked in a staff parking space, roughly four or five cars in the library visitors spaces and no one parked in the 10 Legislative Assembly spaces.

On the other side of the library and in the unreserved back parking spaces, cars were lined up along the traffic lanes, and two had been driven up over the curb to park on the grass space in the back right corner of the lot.

Mr. Suckoo said the 27 spaces reserved for library patrons and the eight handicapped spaces are required by law. The 13 spaces reserved for the staff members may also be used as spill over parking for groups using the library’s conference room.

‘The design of the parking lot has been carried out with focus on adhering to legal requirements related to parking for users of the facilities, and providing essential parking for staff of the two government entities,’ Mr. Suckoo said.

‘Prior to this there was no parking dedicated to library patrons.’