Following expressions of dissatisfaction with the installation of parking meters within the vicinity of public schools, the company contracted to manage and regulate the operations – Smart City Solutions – has said that it is inclined to consider issuing parking permits for teachers.
This was reveled in a statement issued by the company on Wednesday.
“SCS is willing to consider, for instance, granting Parking Permits on application for spaces exclusive to teachers during prescribed times which would regulate those spaces on behalf of the Permit holders, thus guaranteeing them preferential access to parking in proximity to their schools” the company said in its statement.
This position came after the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) expressed strong objections to the meters being installed in the vicinity of public schools, since it was likely to affect teachers who drive.
It is estimated that the parking meters will incur a monthly cost of $25,000 for teachers; a figure GTU has said is “burdensome.”Meters have so far only been installed outside of the Bishops’ High School and the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation centre.
The Bishops’ High School is already making moves to have a parking lot constructed in the school compound.
And with calls mounting for them to be removed, the company said that it is prepared to meet with the Union to discuss this issue. GTU has already indicated that that the body is scheduled to meet with the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) this week to discuss the matter.
In justifying its intended proposal for teachers, SCS said that, “special arrangements such as Parking Permits for teachers and specific parking regulations in school areas are, in fact, consistent with international practice.”
The company noted that at present, given the unregulated parking system in the city, teachers have no choice but to compete with all other motorists searching for space to park even in front of their own schools.
As such, they said that they are willing to consider granting Parking Permits on application for spaces exclusive to teachers, during prescribed times which would regulate those spaces on behalf of the Permit holders, thus guaranteeing them preferential access to parking in proximity to their schools.
In relation to similar concerns raised by the National Commission on Disability (NCD), SCS disclosed that it has spoken with, and invited the NCD to a meeting to develop a workable solution.
“We look forward to holding a constructive discussion with the NCD to ensure that the placement of the meters conform to internationally accepted standards and practice while taking into account prevailing local conditions, in order to minimize any impact on the free movement of persons with disabilities, in particular, persons who are blind” the statement read.
The company also pointed out that while it has taken note of all concerns expressed, scores of parking meters have already been mounted on City streets and while over more than a hundred parking meter foundations have already been installed throughout the city, it appears than only a handful of meters are the subject of concern to the NCD.
The company boasted that since the day it was contracted by the M&CC to implement this “state-of-the-art,” efficient street metered parking platform, it has always taken care to ensure adequate transparency and forthrightness with the public and the media.
“SCS has also continued to remain open to any and all constituencies that would like to discuss the project. SCS have, in fact, already met with many different constituencies and have always welcomed and taken into consideration their input, to the extent feasible and practicable. The company remains ready and willing to do so with both the NCD and the Teachers Union” the statement ended.