BVI News

Funding now available for major developments to parking, market in RT

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. 

Long-time plans

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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33 Comments

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  1. Hmm says:

    I hope you all are reading the blogs.

    These “kiosks’ sound very cluttered to me. I believe there needs to be a system where these vendors pack down at the end of the day and I mean down to the dirt. No unsightly tents, fruit/vege stands, crates, etc. MOVE OUT!!

    Also, if this will not be the case, and we insist on building up additional things, these vendors need to be charged for the use of these spaces? This should be their contribution financially to the upkeep and maintenance of Road Town. Make them contribute!!

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  2. L says:

    I hope that the free parking lot used as it is intended. We don’t want businesses (car wash & food vendors) setting up in the parking lot. Also, we can’t have company trucks and buses parked there full time. This will defeat the purpose and we will still have the same parking problem.

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  3. VOW says:

    ROAD TOWN IS S**TY IT LOOKS AND SMELLS WORST THAN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY . WHAT YOU HAVE A CITY MANAGER FOR THAT IS JUST A D**N WASTE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY. FROM BOBBIES TO THE WATER FRONT IS A GHETTO.
    AND THEY NEED TO GET THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WORKING BACK TO WHERE THEY COME FROM THE MARKET SQUARE TO THE OLD POLICE STATION THEY CAN BE FOUND HANGING OUT THIS NOT WHAT WE WANT FOR THIS PLACE. IMMIGRATION DO YOUR JOB . THESE VENDORS NEED TO BE CHARGE TO HELP WITH THE UP KEEP NOTHING IS FREE ANYMORE. IT IS TIME THE GOVERNMENT GET THOUGH NO MORE FAMILY OR FRIENDSHIP TIME TO GET THIS PLACE LOOKING CLEAN THAT RESIDENTS AND TOURISTS CAN ENJOY. IT IS ALSO TIME THE GOVERNMENT STOP BEING SOFT TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT CARE ONE D**N.

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  4. Michael Helm says:

    Good News at last! I served on the Wickham’s Cay Authority Interim Advisory Committee and it’s planning sub-Committee for some 14 or 16 years from when it was set up by Lavity Stoutt until it sort of faded out when the Town Manager position was created. We tried to follow the Shanklin-Cox plan for the Cay which had the pedestrian walkway run from Turnbull Plaza, past the Cutlass building, continuing past the now-demolished Palm Grove building, across Administration Drive to in front of the Social Security Building. This pedestrian space was accessed through walkways on the setbacks between the individual buildings and a wider walkway with its axis centred on the tower of St Georges, providing a visual connection to Main Street. We were able to pave and landscape a portion of the space including the Plaza the Wide walkway fromWaterfront Drive and connecting bits of the main pedestrian walkway and the main pedestrian area. The area gradually fell into decay from lack of on-going funding, due to a significant number of Wickhams Cay lease dues continuing to be in arrears for years. The proposed new long term car park, shuttle bus, together with shaded pedestrian spaces would encourage a lot more foot traffic on the Cay, especially if there is a lot of seating and some kiosks for licensed street vendors. Any Pay-to-park spaces in town should have time limits, There would also have to be designated free parking for Certified handicapped people, spread around town as many handicapped people have very very limited mobility. Some of us can’t walk even relatively short distances, certainly not extended ones through the town. In the USVI there’s a $1,000 fine for parking without a Handicap card displayed on the dashboard. It works! Road Town will be so much improved, and perhaps with people walking more, we will regain the casual social intermingling that recent events have so clearly shown we have lost.

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  5. at last says:

    @ Michael Helm
    I agree 100% with everything you stated.
    It’s a shame, for one reason or another, that the Shanklin-Cox plan you refer to lost its way.
    Improving pedestrian walkways by providing shade (preferably trees but also architectural pergolas etc – something akin to the Lincoln Rd Mall in Miami Beach) would definitely encourage social intermingling and help bring out the very best of the unique West Indian culture and improve the social fabric of Road Town no end. I really hope that provisions are also being made to encourage cycling – with bike paths and bike racks. Perhaps even the implementation of a bike share scheme that have proved so successful in many towns and cities around the world.

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  6. my suggestion says:

    in my humble opinion, a good place to build a Bus Terminal over the ghut area between Supa Valu and Ward’s Building. you can build a first access road (one way) over the ghut between Scatliffe Funeral Home and International Motors, and you can build a second access road (two way) in the area next to the former Cable TV building. The first access road, again, one way, can serve as an access to the Bus Terminal, as well as an exit towards the Highway for those heading East Wards, and the second access road, again, two way, can serve as another access road to the Bus Terminal and exit twards the Highway also, as well as an exit towards the FishLock road for buses heading West Wards. in my humble opinion, that area there is a perfect location for this endeavour.

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    • Me again says:

      @ my suggestion
      GREAT IDEA. If only the powers that be would listen

      But you offered this for FREE But you know what ? A couple months down the road they will pay a foreign Countsultant to tell them what you offered right here on this site

      Will keep our ears n eyes wWIDE open

  7. Good Stuff says:

    This sounds great!

  8. small island says:

    Please don’t forget Main Street. There has been much talk through the years and it has so much history. I often see the tourist trying to walk and read signs etc. Let’s make it accessible for all of us to enjoy. I would love to see it designated as a walking area for certain hours. This would be a fair compromise.

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    • hit the nail on the head says:

      There is a need for a small and influential committee to meet with all the owners of buildings on main street and offer 30 year fixed loans to rebuild the structures and assist with obtaining occupants. Do it in a phased approach starting with those buildings that are abandoned. We must change the way how main street looks. Those spaces that are not developed are to be turned into green spaces or parking lots. If they are owned by private individuals then government should lease them or encourage operating the parking facility or lease out to government as a green space.

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  9. vip heckler says:

    Will hon mark vanterpool have his say in this?

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    • BuzzBvi says:

      Unlikely. He didn’t say or do much for the country in the last 8 years. And more recently resigned his position after wasting the time of the people by standing for a vote he did not want when it turned out he had no power. What makes you think he would have anything useful to say now.

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      • MS says:

        AT THE END OF ELECTION HE HAD ONE SHOE AND FOOT OUTSIDE THE DOOR BUT WHEN HE SAW DOLLAR SIGNS HE THEN WANTED IN AGAIN. DO YOU THINK HE HAS THE BVI FIRST OR ALL FOR HIM AND NOTHING FOR THE BVI. GREED IS WHAT OPENED UP THE DOORS AGAIN FOR HIM. WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO. THEY VOTED HIM IN BUT HE ID NOT WANT TO SERVE HIS PEOPLE ONLY WHEN HE HEARD MONEY – MONEY – MONEY BROUGHT HIN BACK

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  10. Albion says:

    There is so much about Road Town that is completely backwards. When you drive down Waterfront drive, facing the sea (with the view and the breeze) is all parking. On the other side of the road (with all the noise, and dust, and no view) is all the restaurants.

    Just crazy, crazy town planning.

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    • true, but says:

      … I think this has more to do with the various stages at which things were built and then land was reclaimed than an active attempt to build things this way. Remember that Main Street used to be next to the water and that pretty much anything flat has been reclaimed. This was not all reclaimed at one time.

  11. Wait? says:

    Are my eyes playing games? Is the plan for the parking at the festival ground including the destruction of all those mangroves? How is that even a thought?

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    • small island says:

      I worry about that too. The birds have come back and need that protection and habitat; not to mention the many fish that come up the ghut.

  12. Ausar says:

    All great ideas!

    Especially, in the town area, we really need sound planning.

    Paid parking, hmmm… well, I guess,is unneccessary as long as there is efficient bussing.

    But there must be efficient bussing!

    And as for the kiosks,as long as they are aesthetically pleasing and unclutteredly looking,they will be a welcomed sight.

    And, do what you have to do, to clean up the garbage, in and around town. See how you can assist business and home owners, in the repainting of buildings, and the caring of sorrounding environs.

    All of us must do our share to enhance the town, by not littering, spitting in front of business places,and spitting chewing gum on the roads.

    Enhancing the town’s square is all of our business, and we must do what we must, to make Road Town, the best that it can be!

    • Not2Sure says:

      The thing that worries me is traffic flow. Let’s say you come from East, you park at Festival grounds, then the shuttle bus runs you in to town. So far, so good.

      But at the end of the day, the shuttle bus needs to run you back out, so they have to go all the way East, through the lights, around Delta and back to the Festival grounds to drop you.

      Then you have to turn LEFT, drive back into town, go around the roundabout and come back out again just to East.

      That is a lot of unnecessary driving. They need to sort out the traffic flow issues first before putting any kind of park-and-ride solution along the divided highway.

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  13. Another idea says:

    Why not move the existing market place plus the food vendors to the far side of the festival grounds instead? They can co-exist and blend in with the festival activities every year.

    The current market building should be demolished and that whole area including a covered ghut then used for parking. Charge a parking fee if you have to.

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  14. Over population says:

    Is this what progress is all about? My dear homeland, now we have to pay to park in our own country and fight for free parking space in the outskirts. Is this the great USA? What else is next???

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  15. hmmm says:

    Be it known thatthe Bus Rides from the Festival Grounds to Town has to paid also

  16. Chupidy says:

    The first big plan Mr Planner sir is to open up the road at the intersection at BnF and put traffic lights to allow cars to flow from the immigration side up east without having to go to the roundabout. This will decongest the roundabout and subsequently the town area.

  17. Wait a minute says:

    Why is anything being done? I thought this was the BVI you all jumped up and down saying you all built for us BVIslanders. What is wrong with it now?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why are locals not taken into account at the time of bid?

    Why are these projects just awarded with out the participation of our local contractors?

    Where is the RFP ( Request for Proposal ) Located for us locals to propose on?

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  19. Zoning says:

    Irma created an opportunity to look at zoning- waterfront (including the admin building ) should be Tourism. Gov office, schools, police fire, courts are littered around town whereas they could be neatly zoned. If Prospect isn’t viable as a hotel put either government (all) or schools on that lot.

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