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Govt gets wealth of ideas for alternative uses for parking spaces

Makeshift parks erected in Reid Street parking spaces sparked a wide range of suggestions for the potential use of Hamilton's parking spaces.

In an initiative organised to celebrate International Park(ing) Day last month, the Department of Planning worked with the City of Hamilton, businesses and artists to turn car parking spaces into parks for a single day.

Residents canvassed by the department following the success of that event offered varying opinions as to whether the car parking spaces should remain as they are.

Several called for the “partlet” to become a permanent fixture on Reid Street, with several suggesting it could become a pleasant place to enjoy lunch.

Others suggested that the idea could be expanded to allow buskers, vendors or sidewalk cafes.

One respondent suggested that the area could be changed on a weekly or monthly basis: “People can showcase/bring samples of new products or ideas. Different products every month/week.”

A few respondents proposed that the entire section of Reid Street should be closed to traffic, along with other popular shopping areas in Hamilton.

“Permanently pedestrianise Reid, Front and Church [Streets] during the day, [with a] train for the differently abled [access],” one suggested.

And another said: “I think the whole of Reid and Front Street should be used for walking, talking and relaxing without any cars or vehicles.”

Some respondents however said the parking spaces should remain for parking, saying there is already a shortage in Hamilton.

One said: “Leave the parking, but just put a few flower pots for decor along this road.”

More creative but less practical suggestions for the parking spaces included low-cost housing and a zoo.

Said a Government spokeswoman: “The excitement surrounding Park(ing) Day was contagious. We were overwhelmed by the positive responses to the idea of using parking spaces for something other than cars. In total, 11 parking spaces were transformed by Gibbons Company, The Phoenix Group, Washington Properties, MORE Pink Bermuda, Bermuda Society of the Arts, Fat Tire Massive and Bermuda Seed Savers who each brought their own ideas and collaborated with other businesses and artists.

“We were thrilled that the event sparked people's imaginations and thoughts about how parking spaces might be used in the City. There was no shortage of ideas. We hope that this can be an annual event.”

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Published October 18, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 17, 2013 at 12:58 am)

Govt gets wealth of ideas for alternative uses for parking spaces

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