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Parking is vital for City to be successful

Corporation U-turn: Over proposed changes to City Hall’s parking lot (File photograph)

Dear Sir,

I have been following the plight of the new Corporation of Hamilton in its attempts to raise money to try and survive the previous administration’s “Book of Debt”.

Its immediate U-turn concerning the City Hall parking lot shows it is not in touch with the people or reality.

The City of Hamilton exists because people go there to buy goods and services not available in other areas of Bermuda. Over the years, the Corporation has consistently made it more and more difficult for the people to do that.

Shoppers are not appreciated if they have to walk a mile to get to their shop or service.

Parking is an integral element in any city planning, and successful towns and cities around the world have successfully integrated that element. The City of Hamilton has not considered parking as a priority for a successful business centre.

The City Hall parking lot could have, and should have been, excavated to provide at least a three-tier underground parking centre, with a building on top to accommodate major events to augment the tourism industry’s large group requirements and local events such as the festival.

A 1,000-seat theatre with all the services would encourage usage by overseas groups and make it more attractive for local drama and music groups to run one or two nights instead of seven to ten nights, as takes place at present.

But, getting back to the parking situation, commercial vehicles get clear use of the City up until 10am, then they can park in the areas that private cars should be using and double-park, blocking a private car double space as they deliver stuff that should have been delivered before 10am.

This is nonsense. Commercial vehicles should park only in their loading bays.

They should be ticketed if found in private car spaces and double-parking should also be ticketed.

The world anywhere else does not run only from 8am to 5pm. Elsewhere, restocking is done after hours so that the shopping or services can start from dawn if necessary.

Hindering parking until 10am is a turn-off for shoppers, as they are then pushed into the mayhem of nearly lunchtime and lunchtime shopping when half the staffs are also on lunch.

I would suggest private car parking spaces be available at any time night or day, but payments for that slot should begin at 8am through 5pm.

I believe that this would provide more revenue for the City and encourage the shops and services to open earlier to take advantage of the early shoppers.

This could also lead to the hiring of additional people to provide the services as this catches on.

It is time the City management balanced its input for decision-making by adding the ear of the public that is actually spending the money to keep them afloat.