JIS News

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is continuing its initiative to increase the number of parking spaces designated for the physically challenged in the city’s commercial districts.
Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, told JIS News that there were some 14 on-street parking spaces for disabled persons now available downtown Kingston under the KSAC’s Disabled Parking Programme, which was launched last August.
He said persons had been abiding by the law and respecting the use of those spaces in the busy market district. Parking spaces for the disabled have been designated on King, Orange, Duke, Church, and Tower Streets. The Mayor informed that the programme had been initiated on a limited basis in New Kingston, with four spaces.
“All the KSAC parking facilities in New Kingston have at least two areas that are reserved for persons who are disabled. The programme has gone extremely well and I hope that we can look at other sections of the corporate area where there is that need for parking, to institute that as a part of the Council’s drive to ensure that the disabled are properly recognized,” he told JIS News.
Under the programme, which was implemented in collaboration with the Combined Disabilities Association, some 250 stickers have been presented to disabled persons across the corporate area, making them easily recognized by parking attendants.
Persons who are caught parking in spaces designated for the disabled may find themselves face a stiff fine of $7,500, which is over 100 per cent more than the current fine of $3,500 for parking in a no parking zone.
As it relates to on street parking downtown, the Mayor said this was cause for some concern, as although there was adequate space at the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) car park and other private facilities, there was a culture of persons parking at their own convenience.
“We are looking at the possibility of using King Street as a pilot project for hourly parking, but the mechanism that we were trying to put in place was not something that I felt would be worthwhile in terms of all the logistics that have to be worked out,” he disclosed.
He noted however, that the Council’s Commercial Services Committee was looking at this prospect and “as soon as we are able to put something in place, then we will make some announcement as it relates to on street parking”.
Turning to general parking in New Kingston, the Mayor said, “the whole question of what goes on in New Kingston is something that we are concerned about and have had several discussions with the police on. We hope to take it a little bit further by getting the New Kingston Civic Committee involved”.
He noted however, that some level of discretion had to be displayed, because of the fact that “there isn’t much parking (in New Kingston) and the parking that is available is fully utilized. But the fact of the matter is, not because there is a shortage means that we should allow the situation to mushroom and get out of control”.
With the busy Yuletide shopping season just a few months away, the Mayor pointed out that the demand for parking downtown would grow more intense and as such, the shuttle service, which the KSAC introduced last year, and which had proved to be successful, would be embarked on once again.