Sunday 23 February, 2020

Port-of-Spain Corp: Moving vendors to George St will alleviate crime

(Photo: Charlotte Street, Port of Spain)

(Photo: Charlotte Street, Port of Spain)

The Port of Spain City Corporation said the plan to move vendors from Charlotte Street to a facility on George Street is in the city's best interest. 

In a statement issued earlier this week, the Corporation said the move is part of the Corporation’s plan for a Central Business District which will allow for daily vending.

The Corporation said it is moving forward to launch the Central Business District Revitalization Programme which will entail the creation of an “entire new vending initiative utilizing the old Angostura Bond Property between George and Nelson Street".

The Corporation said the property, which is over 50,000 square feet in size, has spaces which will be leased to vendors.

The Corporation said the proliferation of vendors on Charlotte Street has been accompanied by an increase in crime and criminal activities as well as traffic congestion.

“We are looking at the Central Business District because at this time, several businesses in this catchment area are being affected by crime and criminal activities including extortion, dilapidated physical infrastructure and traffic congestion.”

“Many views are being expressed, including views from the users of the City that the lack of traffic and congestion on Charlotte Street since the suspension of the vending.”

“Additionally, the emergency services which have always requested and have always recommended that streets be as accessible as possible for access by the police, fire service and so on,” the Corporation said.

The Corporation added that drivers for the Belmont and Gonzales Taxi Service have been forced to “endure immense traffic” to get Belmont residents to their homes, while taxi drivers for Gonzales have had to move from Charlotte Street to the corner of Park and Observatory Streets.  

Would you go to a market located on George St, Port of Spain?

Only if it's safe

“The situation has inconvenienced many and as such while the emphasis of conversations especially in the media have centered on vending, the Corporation prefers to look at this situation from a holistic and general perspective,” the Corporation said.

The Corporation said it will be supported with police and other security measures “which brings with it added opportunities to address and alleviate crime and criminal activity”.

The Corporation added that this will allow for daily vending, and cultural activities such as steelband and other performances.

The programme also includes a plan for parking meters in downtown Port of Spain, as well as a ‘Hop on Hop off’ transport system linking the Central Market and Central Business District.

The Corporation said it will meet with the Downtown Merchants Association and the Minister of Finance regarding a business development fee which will be used for the purpose of development and beautification of the city.

It is imperative that while we develop as a city that we should not allow it to fall into ruin. Many would look at George Street and environs and say that they are hopeless places that have gone too far to return to a place of positivity. The Port of Spain Council believes otherwise. We take this decision knowing that this is a great opportunity to revitalise the City of Port of Spain the capital of our nation,” the Corporation said.

LoopTT has reached out to Port of Spain mayor Joel Martinez for comment.


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