32 streets in Kingston earmarked for paid parking

BY CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS Observer writer edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 19, 2017

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The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) wants to reinstitute parking charges in designated areas across the capital city and has identified 32 streets in New Kingston, Cross Roads and downtown to impose the tariff.


However, an implementation date is still pending because the KSAMC has not yet determined what system it will utilise to collect fees as it moves to meet a growing demand for street, parking that will provide the city management agency with a steady revenue stream.


The designated streets in New Kingston are St Lucia Avenue, Grenada Crescent, Holborn Road, Dominica Drive, Barbados Avenue and Park Street.


Those earmarked downtown are Darling Street, East Queen Street, Sutton Street, West Street, West Queen Street Beeston Street, Barry Street, Hanover Street, Tower Street, Port Royal Street, Princess Street, Orange Street, Duke Street, Church Street, King Street, Harbour Street, East Street and Law Street.


In Cross Roads Lismore Avenue, Arehad Road, Paisley Avenue, Melmac Avenue, Eureka Road, Eureka Crescent, and Caledonia Road are the proposed paid parking streets.


In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) used parking meters to collect fees pursuant to Section 54 of the Road Traffic Act 1938 and the KSAC Parking Regulations 1974, the inspection and testing of parking meters and removal of vehicles regulations 1974 (parking and meter parking rules 1974).


However, the meters were vandalised and the system was eventually abandoned.


"It won’t be parking meters this time," Robert Hill, KSAMC CEO told the Jamaica Observer.


Chairman of the KSAMC Finance Committee Vernon McLeod told the Sunday Observer that the corporation wanted to avoid a cash system and was looking at electronic systems.


He said that a cash-based system would be challenging as it would have to be monitored.


However, a clamping system has not been ruled out.


He said that the KSAMC was also looking at the clamping system used for parking fees in St James and Manchester to determine if it could be customised for the Corporate Area. When the KSAMC eventually makes a decision it must move and pass a resolution that has to be sent to the Ministry of Local Government and then gazetted.


Parking clamping systems are used by the St James and Manchester municipal corporations in Montego Bay and Mandeville respectively.


A spokesperson for the St James Municipal Corporation said that they had been using a permit parking area system in Montego Bay since 2004.


Motorists who park in Montego Bay in a permitted area have 10 minutes to go and buy a ticket, return to their vehicle and display the ticket on the dashboard. On the ticket is the time it was purchased and the time the ticket expires. Ticket prices start at $50 per hour. The vehicle is clamped 10 minutes after the expiry time on the ticket and to have the vehicle unclamped, the motorist has to go to the cashier at the corporation and pay $3,000.


The 20 streets in Montego Bay which have permitted parking include Church Street, Church Lane, Harbour Street, Fustic Road, Market Circle, King Street, Strand Street and Tate Street.


In Mandeville, the permit parking areas are Race Course Road, Ward Avenue, Upper and Lower Manchester Road, and Park Crescent. A fee of $2,500 has to be paid for a vehicle to be unclamped.


Ative Ennis, head of Innovation and Enterprise Solutions at Digicel Business, said that high technology solutions were being used to park vehicles globally. Such solutions, he explained, use an app.


Ennis said that motorists wanting to park their vehicle in a parking lot using the Digicel system must sign up with the operator of the parking lot, who would then give them access to the app. The app, which would display a map with a layout of the parking lot, would also show the empty spaces in the lot.


The motorist could then use the App to reserve a space in the parking lot and to say for how long he/she would need the space. The app would then assign an appropriate charge. When the reservation is being made, the App would give the motorist directions to the parking lot, including arrows that would tell him/her where to park. Motorists can extend the parking time before it expires. If the motorist does not extend the parking time, he/she could be considered to be illegally parked and the vehicle can be towed away, as the system has the functionality to notify a tow truck to have the car removed and towed away.


Advanced Integrated Systems Limited (AISL) in collaboration with National Commercial Bank (NCB) also has a high-technology system that the KSAMC could use for street parking.


Douglas Halsall, chairman and CEO of AISL, told the Sunday Observer that a street parking solution could be achieved utilising the Quisk Mobile Money Bank system NCB uses. Under the platform, developed in Australia, a motorist wanting to park must have a mobile money account with NCB but which eventually he/she will be able to open with other banks.


The mobile money account "can do anything a cash or debit card would allow you to do", Halsall said.


Assuming that Knutsford Boulevard is a parking zone, a motorist who has a smartphone would obtain a smart app for parking. The motorist would enter his/her car licence number and the zone number of Knutsford Boulevard and how long he/she wished to park.


The Quisk system then starts a clock counting down the time.


The attendants (also called meter maids) who would have a browser or iPad, would be able to see all the legally parked cars. If a car licence number was not on the browser list the motorist would be given a ticket. If the browser showed that the car had exceeded the parking time allotted, the attendant would be able to issue an electronic ticket.


Halsall said that the Quisk system would also send the motorist a text message 10 minutes before the parking time expired.

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