While not completely ruling parking meters, Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine believes that with the current development the capital city is undergoing, parking lots are more of a necessity.
“Before you actually bring back parking meters in the city, in this kind of development you need parking lots,” Narine said while speaking at a press conference at City Hall on Friday.
“If you bring parking meters in the city, the parking meter can’t take off of this traffic right now that you have,” the Mayor said while responding to journalists on whether he is in favour of the meters returning.
In May 2016, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council signed a contract with Mexican parking meter company Smart City Solutions for a paid parking system to be rolled out in Georgetown.
The meters were active in January 2017 but this was met with strong resistance with citizens forming a group called the Movement Against Parking Meters which led major protests in the city.
Amid public pressure, the then A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government intervened a few months later and halted the parking meter project.
“I’ve never been involved with any parking meter and I know nothing about parking meters and I never met with anyone in terms of parking meters,” Ubraj said on Friday while offering his comments.
Narine believes that a parking meter project should be done by and between the private sector bodies and other relevant stakeholders only after comprehensive studies were undertaken.
“You just can’t bring parking meter and wake up next morning and see a meter at your door that happened before,” he said.
“I believe a proper study, engage the citizens, the private sector, civil society and have something comprehensive before you move forward with parking meters,” he added.
In January 2022, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C disclosed that Smart City Solutions had sued the Government of Guyana for US$100 million in damages for non-implementation of the contract.
The government has since retained Washington law firm – Foley Hoag and Associates to defend the proceedings filed at the International Centre for Settlement of Investments Disputes in Washington D.C.