Belize City Mayor updates on taxi parking concerns in downtown

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley spoke to us on new arrangements for the operators of the Albert Street and Downtown Taxi Unions, which have to coexist with limited space in front of the Battlefield Park. The Mayor explains the new arrangements.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley:

vlcsnap-2013-09-03-12h46m27s249That may not necessarily mean that the 13 spaces will be right in front of the park.  They’ve been given five spaces in front of the park, and we are recommending that they take additional on the ending of Orange Street and the ending of Church Street, which is right near and within walking distance to where the park is.  So we’re asking if they would adopt a model that would allow them to get the same amount of parking spots, but just not right in front of the park, because when we are meeting with persons, the taxi associations are not the only persons that complain to us.    We have received complaints from the businesses, Belize Bank and Brodie’s, who always complain about the amount of spaces that are allotted to taxi operators, and that their customers can’t get parking. So we are allowing proportional spaces for the taxis, and then also for short-term parking by customers in that area.

vlcsnap-2013-09-04-11h16m26s137A meeting promised to the head of the union, Steven Skeen, is still forthcoming.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley:

I’m still supposed to engage with him.  This is a situation where we have issues of shared usage in the downtown.  It used to be a situation where you had taxi parking from the end of Belize Bank where the renovated Battlefield Park begins all the way to to the ending of Brodie’s, that is extended facilities for taxi operators.   We feel, from the city’s point of view, that this is an unsustainable state of affairs, because the parking in the downtown area is a commodity that is in demand, and their needs to be shared usage.  We had indicated, and what our technical persons had advised, is that we will ensure that there is all spaces that were given to the taxi operators will be maintained.  Of course, I haven’t had an opportunity to discuss in meeting with Mrs King., we only had one meeting, in terms of allowing them to have the same 13 spaces.

vlcsnap-2013-09-04-11h22m04s5The Mayor says the new arrangements are part of the Council’s efforts to make all co-exist.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley:

My understanding is that Brodie’s doesn’t have a parking spot.  The downtown area is an area that all of us share.  All of us share that space.  When we share it we have to give and take.  I’m not saying that what exists right now is the final solution, because when I meet with Mrs King we may agree for modifications in accordance with what he makes in terms of representations.  When we put in place our plans, our plans have to take into account every single person who uses that area.  We had concerns raised by the hotdog vendors.  We have concerns raise by persons who used to vend in some of the kiosks that were down in that area, and we’re trying to accommodate everyone back in the park, but while at the same time preserving the park for its benefit to the wider community.  We’re trying to fit everybody in, but fitting everybody in will involve everybody not getting one hundred percent of what [they] want.  If you want 13 spaces, maybe you end up with seven.  It means that five others will be allocated to other people who use the same space that you use.  We speak about justice, but it has to be justice for everybody who use the space.

Other issues to be discussed include the structure of the unions.

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