Govt defends Potter’s Cay parking restrictions
The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources yesterday defended its decision to impose parking restrictions at Potter’s Cay Dock.
Vendors at Potter’s Cay Dock have called on the government to intervene after two months of extremely slow business due to the new restrictions.
The vendors said that after two murders at the dock earlier this year, there was increased police presence and new parking restrictions. The vendors claimed that the new parking restrictions were supposed to be a trial, but now appear to be permanent.
In a statement, the ministry said, “Vendor participation is critical to the consultative process as it relates to the proposed project to revitalize Potter’s Cay.
“That is why the ministry has taken purposeful steps to restore order to that area. Loading zones are designated for the specific purpose of offloading supplies and services and were never intended to be utilized as parking spaces. This is not unique to Potter’s Cay.
“The police have long expressed concerns that parking in front of the stalls poses grave safety and security challenges. The misuse of the loading zones prohibits access to delivery vehicles and impedes the regular flow of traffic. The foregoing concerns were communicated to vendors earlier this year.”
The ministry said that the parking lots to the east and west of the dock are equipped with lights and are routinely patrolled by police.
“The ministry recognizes small businesses and entrepreneurship are keys to a stable economy and has been working on a number of plans to spark renewed public confidence in Potter’s Cay and will work with the vendors in support of such efforts,” the statement read.
“Vendors have been encouraged to maintain and make repairs to their properties.
“The ministry has also been working with BPL and the Port Department to bring resolution to the issue of power supply on the dock and other improvements.”
One vendor suggested that the government not demand rent from them due to the lack of business, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources encouraged vendors to continue to pay the “very modest” $50 per month to assist with the maintenance of Potter’s Cay.
Vendors also expressed concern over a proposed public-private partnership to develop and manage the dock. They claimed that it will allow the government to get rid of long-time vendors and “cherry pick” who is allowed to sell goods at the dock. However, the ministry assured that will not be the case.
“The ministry has met with the vendors and their associations on a number of occasions to discuss the development plans for Potters Cay,” the statement said.
“In one of those meetings, the associations were encouraged to consider forming themselves into an entity that could also submit a proposal to government as a partner.
“In any case, the criteria for participation at Potter’s Cay under a public-private partnership has yet to be determined, although there is the strong likelihood that preference will be given to vendors who have a well-established tenure at Potter’s Cay and are financially current.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish