By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Funds are already earmarked to begin physical changes aimed at decluttering Road Town to make the city more pedestrian-friendly and colourful.
While the exact figures were not revealed, work is set to commence shortly, beginning with a transformation of the festival grounds into a parking lot.
The festival grounds will be a free parking lot year round except during the emancipation festivities, at which time parking in the city will be allowed.
For persons wanting to park in the city, there will be parking areas available at a fee while shuttle services will be offered to persons who require manoeuvring within the town.
The preliminary plans were unveiled at a recent community meeting at Maria’s By The Sea hotel in Road Town.
“We called you here because we want your input, we want your concerns, your ideas, as it is all in our interest to see our beloved city of Road Town look like the city, it should be,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works Jeremy Hodge said.
“We cannot do all that we want to do at one time, but if we start somewhere together, we can then get to where we would like to be in the future. In terms of the low-hanging fruits, the mass parking at the festival grounds is the first area we are looking at to start. Those are drawn, designed, cost and moving towards the tender [process]. It is just for your feedback on whether you agree with what you saw in the rendition.”
Food market improvements and bus terminal
He said the next phase will be targeting the town’s market.
“ … To begin with having it surfaced, having kiosks and eventually move to have a little historical plaza with the first Premier and Chief Minister and some of the other history surrounding the BVI,” Hodge said.
He said also, there will be a small bus terminal.
In the meantime, Waterfront Drive will also receive some attention, Hodge said.
Preliminary plans are to create paved walkways between Cutlass Tower and Vanterpool Plaza. It will also be partially covered and beautified.
Chief Planner Greg Adams said the concepts have been in the pipeline for ‘quite some time.’
“Many of you are aware that Road Town has been planned, and planned and planned for the last years … decades,” he said.
“What we have made a conscious effort to do is make a more implementation strategy. Looking at ideas from all the plans that we’ve had that are still relevant and in keeping with the vision that we would like to see for the city. Nothing that you see here tonight is set in stone or a done deal,” Adams added.
Works Minister Kye Rymer who also gave brief remarks said the undertaking is ‘quite important for our government’.
He said: “After taking office I met with the Permanent Secretary, and I told him that the city must be a city that people want to enjoy. We tweaked a little bit the plans they had already drawn up, and the concept you will be presented with would be what we came up with.
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