Today’s Editorial October 29: Downtown parking needs work

Caymanian Compass readers have complained many times about the general lack of parking in George Town’s central business and tourism district.

Our front page story in Wednesday’s editions served, we hope, to highlight another situation in the downtown area where parking availability has been severely restricted in a location that needs it most.

There are a fair few parking spaces at the George Town Library that, in any given weekday, are open but unable to be used by members of the general public.

This is only exacerbating a problem caused by a widespread lack of public parking, mostly due to relatively poor planning and initiatives that have succeeded in blocking viable existing parking spaces (i.e. – limited access to parking garages, planters around Heroes Square, etc.)

How is someone who is due in court at 9am supposed to make it on time if they get stuck in traffic, then have to spend 15 to 20 minutes hunting for a parking spot? What happens to them if the judge calls out their name and they’re not present?

Can any member of the public who would wish to attend a sitting of the Legislative Assembly do so with just five parking spaces set aside for them? (Five other spaces being reserved for LA staff)

The library situation is just a small example of the greater problem facing downtown and one for which we believe legislators and businesses must seek a final solution.

There either needs to be greater access to public parking in George Town, perhaps with a reasonable fee attached; or the central tourism district should be closed to vehicle traffic and made a ‘pedestrians only’ area.

Past governments have spent significant time discussing both ideas, and exhaustive studies have been done. But no definitive action has ever been taken.

We believe the time for a decision with regard to the downtown parking situation has come.