The Queen's Park Savannah will be made available for Christmas shoppers heading to the capital from Monday.
This was one of the solutions put forward by Cabinet to help alleviate the perennial problem of parking in the city, especially around the busy holiday shopping season.
National Security Minister Jack Warner wrote to Chaguanas mayor Orlando Nagessar and Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) president Gregory Aboud yesterday to inform them of the new parking regulations.
Warner had met with Aboud on Thursday to discuss plans to mitigate shoppers' fears of malevolent vehicle wreckers but instead of offering a resolution, he said he needed to go to Cabinet to get their perspective.
The parking situation and traffic congestion in Chaguanas was also discussed in Cabinet.
In letters to Aboud and Nagessar dated yesterday, Warner said he hoped the recommendations would provide balance and order, as well as serve the interests of both commuters and businesses.
For Port of Spain, Cabinet approved several new parking areas available to the public. Their recommendations are due to take effect from Monday:
• All parking regulations in the City must be adhered to;
• Additional parking will be provided at the Queen's Park Savannah opposite Memorial Park. Drivers using this facility can catch a PTSC shuttle, running every 30 minutes, to downtown at no extra cost.
• The Salvatori site is available for public parking, with provisions for vending along the perimeter. This is to be provided at no extra cost and will continue until further notice.
• The Nipdec parking lot spanning Edward and Richmond Street will be made available for parking on weekends
• Parking will also be made available at the Cruise Ship Complex, Dock Road.
Aboud had said on Thursday he was "tense" awaiting Cabinet's decision. Yesterday, when the Express contacted him for a response to the letter, he said he had discussed it with his DOMA colleagues and they choose not to comment at this time.
In Chaguanas, Cabinet's recommendations were that:
• All parking regulations in the borough must be adhered to;
• Parking at the WASA parking lot will immediately be made available on weekend for shoppers;
• The borough must find alternative parking opportunities for shoppers, which may include a shuttle service to and from shopping areas;
• Movement along streets in the borough must be unimpeded.
When the Express contacted Nagessar, he said he was not aware of the plans, but these recommendations had been in place long before any Cabinet approval.
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