Hot Topics in Guyana; Trump the Parking Meters – by Francis Quamina Farrier

Hot Topics in Guyana; Trump the Parking Meters – by Francis Quamina Farrier

demo-on-parking-meter

Parking meter demo

Over the past month, (January/February 2017) I have been accessing what is the most popular talking point by Guyanese here in Guyana. Certainly there is a tie with the actions of the new American President, Donald Trump, in the White House, and the actions of Guyanese who are for and against the recently installed Parking Meters in Georgetown. These two “Hot Topics” are discussed everywhere you go in this beautiful English-speaking country.  

Now I’ve decided to write this brief report on the controversial Parking Meters issue here in Guyana, since the other issue of the recently installed American President, is international and is the talking point all around the globe. I’ll also post some photographs related to the controversial Georgetown Parking Meters, especially for those Guyanese who reside abroad; but more especially, those who have not been home for many years; not even for the Jubilee Year 2016.

Everywhere one turns in Guyana, especially in the capital city of Georgetown, people are talking about the controversial Parking Meters; and I can tell you, most seem to be against the deal and the way it was presented (or not presented) to the Guyanese People. That is not because Guyanese are against progress, but most peace-loving, law-abiding Guyanese, want the kind of progress which is above board, and done with transparency. Citizens who give respect, want to be shown respect by those in authority. That for them is an integral part of the “Good Life” package.

Many citizens are speaking up against the arrogance being displayed by some Power Brokers. There is this open lack of respect displayed by some who are in high office, for the ordinary citizen. Citizens have noticed that even some secretaries of the powerful, display an attitude when dealing with the Public. Their tone of voice and body language indicate a lack of interest in what the visitor to the office is there for. Even in some police stations, the officer on duty displays a total lack of genuine interest for what a visitor has to say. I’ve personally done surveys over the past five years, and it is very disappointing how many Police Ranks at Police Stations, welcome a visitor; someone who is law-abiding and who might be there to give important information in the fight against crime.

But back to the issue of the Parking Meters which were recently installed in sections of Georgetown. Inanimate objects, they tell their own story, as they are shunned by the majority of vehicle owners. They feel dejected and ostracized by a large section of the Guyanese people. Here now are some photographs which were taken early February 2017, and which highlight the Georgetown Parking Meter fiasco.

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Schools and Houses of worship protested and this is as far as the Parking Meter outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Brickdam got; only the base.

Resistance continues against the Parking Meter Contract

Resistance continues against the Parking Meter Contract

 

 

Empty parking spaces on a working day from boycott

Empty parking spaces on a working day from parking meter boycott

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Supporters of the Parking Meters demonstrate on Regent Street just outside the City Hall

 

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Comments

  • Clyde Duncan  On February 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    The furore about something new – is nothing new!

    I live in Canada and we see the same phenomenon with people up here. The fact that they are not parking and clogging up the streets in Georgetown, indicates that their driving [and parking] habits need some adjustment or reconsideration.

    Everywhere I went on my last visit to Georgetown, I observed one thing – there are motor vehicles where there used to be bicycles and motorcycles – vehicular, insanity.

    For example, way back when – before independence – we used to be able to dress in our Sunday Best and go for a ride along the Seawall. Today, on a Sunday, the place is clogged with cars. That needs to be addressed. Parking meters and Bylaw Enforcement, with some tow-trucks on standby – what do you call them in Guyana? “Wreckers”? Place the ticket on the windshield and tow the errant vehicles away – they look a mess, anyway.

    Up here, they paved a new highway or two and exacted a toll to use the road; then the crying began. After the vehicle operators realized that no one was using the new highway, while they were stuck in a daily traffic-jam – parked on the parkway – when they should be driving on the parkway, then they go home to park on a driveway … The brain kicked in and they tell themselves “I am not stupid!”

    – The new highway is now being put to good use.

    Up here they put parking meters in a commercial area. So, the business owners found their way down to City Hall and raised Cain over the intrusion; ‘we’re struggling business people – blah – blah – blah.

    So the City Manager ordered Bylaw Enforcement to not ticket the vehicles, until further notice.

    Some people will put their coins in the machine – they do everywhere else – and some will not. Nobody gets a ticket for a parking violation [for now].

    When City of Georgetown administration gets wise, they will put up the parking meters and the vehicle operators could pay if they want.

    If I am visiting and I see a parking meter, I got a parking spot, there is a parking meter – I pay, no questions asked.

    The enforcement part comes later … why pour gasoline on the fire?

    Trumped …. for now!

  • Tata  On February 21, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    — Why pour gasoline on the fire? Clyde, the world is on fire. Regrettably, no one respects authority any longer and they are those who will use this very volatile political climate around the world, to fan flames of fury, just to advance their own political agenda.

    – On the other hand, CHANGE for some means distrust of Government and disrespect for the LAW.
    —- I Don’t know how much you know of Guyana because Guyanese are intelligent people who understand that in order to keep abreast with the rest of the world CHANGE is something they will have to embrace because nothing in life is free.
    Unfortunately, Living in America is costly. We pay the parking meter because it is the LAW. We pay for a lot of things we do not agree with but it is the LAW. We pay hundreds of dollars for cable when most Guyanese receive the same service for FREE.
    —Governments need revenue to successfully run countries.
    Guyanese need to get with the program. They want to live and travel like Americans and this move by the City not only help to create jobs but provide some measure of order around the City.
    PLEASE!

    • C A.Griffith  On February 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      “For example, way back when – before independence – we used to be able to dress in our Sunday Best and go for a ride along the Seawall.”

      Clyde, way back when, did you sit on the sea wall by the Camp Road junction and listen to sweet soul music spun by the resident who lived on the only home on the hill between Camp Road & Vlissengen Road ? I may remember seeing you on your Humber cycle with cheese cloth covered with steel clips and reflectors around your saddle bag. Thanks for the memories.
      A 1948 Native born.

  • Albert  On February 22, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Basic marketing and public relationship use to be foreign to Guyana and maybe still is. Sometimes its not what you do but how you do it. With a new project which might be unpopular in some quarters govt. need to first sell the idea to the public.
    Look at it from the public viewpoint and show them the benefits. Tell them on talk shows, radios etc.
    Discuss the project with a sample of people and get their reaction. Learn how to neutralize the negatives in their minds. Emphasize the positives.
    These are all very basic ideas but when you take the consumers into the picture, and let them feel they have a voice in what’s been done, matters go a great deal smoother.

  • Stella  On March 3, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I agree with Albert. Public relations is important, though it is possible that even after public relations efforts there will still be resistance. Then, one will have to decide whether tg go ahead with the program.

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