BVI News

VIP proposes high-rise parking facilities for Road Town

It is no secret the capital city of Road Town struggles to provide adequate parking for the convoy of motorists who traverse the area daily. Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Chairman Andrew Fahie has therefore proposed a solution that is commonly used in large, developed countries such as the United States.

He said a VIP government would “seek proposals from the public for the construction of high-rise parking in Road Town”.

High-rise parking facilities are multistorey buildings designed for vehicle parking. It provides for parking on several levels of those structures.

Fahie proposed such a facility for the BVI during his Annual First District Report and Recommitment to Service address at Capoon’s Bay, Tortola on Saturday.

Fahie’s three-‘D’ proposal

The parking proposal is part of a larger three-discipline approach Fahie has planned if his party is elected as the next government of the Virgin Islands. The VIP chairman describes these disciplines as the three D’s — decentralization, digitalization, and diversification.

Decentralisation has to do with branching off an organisation and/or certain services from one central location to other locations.

Diversifacation, in the meantime, has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent times, considering the problems currently bedevilling the territory’s main economic pillar — the financial services. While Fahie did not specify, there have been reported plans of diversifying the BVI’s economy more towards tourism and agriculture. Fahie, in the meantime, also did not expound on his plans of the third ‘D’ — digitalisation.

In addition to other promises of implementing consumer protection and whistleblower legislation — two laws the governing National Democratic Party has failed to deliver on during their two consecutive terms in office –, Fahie promised improved social development systems for residents.

“[A VIP administration] will establish a land bank, so that you, especially our young people, can genuinely own a piece of this rock … [we] will ensure that every man and every woman will have a better opportunity to provide for their families and to live their lives in dignity,” he said.

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40 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to see how much a parking garage will cost in the Territory. Multiple ministers will become very very wealthy over this. I suggest a simpler solution. For every new car brought into the Territory an old one must leave. Less cars, more available parking and a cleaner island. How about one of the future Premiers run on that.

    Like 26
    Dislike 12
    • Not2Sure says:

      I have to agree. Big ugly multi story car park in the middle of Road Town? Who pays for that I wonder. And whatever electronic arm they put on it will probably work just as well as the one at the airport – always bust, and you always have to go inside to pay.

      Like 3
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    • BuzzBvi says:

      Has nobody thought of a quality bus service around the island that would mean we would not all need cars. The over inflated taxi prices and lack of buses is the problem.
      We do not all need or want to drive. It is a necessity. Is no on interested in challenging the rise of the car and the chaos we now have and thinking there is a another solution. Please!!! Someone!!!

      Like 13
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      • Lawyer says:

        The number of persons needing a ride is not enough to sustain a service. We will have to restrict private car ownership.

      • Ask FracZar says:

        Ask him – he spent loads of time and money on this and it sat and died when lack of action man got in and buried it. A multi storied parking facility with shops around the ground floor perimeter will work if done sensitively and carefully! It’s can be clad in materials and colors that fit in with the surroundings. Doesn’t have to be a monstrosity with vague aesthetics!

    • lol says:

      thats what they shoulda spend the $7M they use for the planes

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
    • Concerned says:

      Bermuda used this and it worked. New car drivers bought old junks to get the credit and it cleaned up the place.

    • Import tax says:

      Indeed, a parking structure (besides being ugly) is likely to be pork barrel politics at best.

      IMHO There needs to be a disposal fee assessed for every car brought into the territory. If properly managed (and I know it’s a big ask around here), the funding would be in place for disposing of old cars. Owners who have not registered their cars for more than 3 years would be required to turn them in for disposal. One could consider Bermuda’s approach: cars are very expensive there, only one per household (I believe) but there is a very efficient (and inexpensive) public transport system. Alas, these kinds of approaches require commitment from all of us. I doubt it’s there.

  2. Wedgie says:

    Andrew don’t fly off and make big promises. A regular scheduled bus service will do and reduce the number of cars in town. Yes I know this will upset a lot of taxi drivers. Get over it. Better water & sewer would be nice. Electricity service that does not fry our appliances. A police presence once in while might help. Keep it simple & down to earth, you’ll be fine..

    Like 35
    Dislike 5
  3. Soiled Son says:

    Let me guess here, $2.5 million in consultancy fees for a $35million parking garage? Sound about right?

    Like 29
    Dislike 5
  4. Good morning says:

    Places like San Juan Puerto Rico has them at plaza Las Americas we can too can’t stay one way all time

    Like 14
    Dislike 5
  5. vip heckler says:

    I see gravy but no meat on the bones

    Like 7
    Dislike 7
  6. Haha says:

    @Anonymous, The best solution is a parking garage. The idea isn’t new as Mark mentioned this a few times but as usual NDP never seems to prioritize anything that is reasonable or needed the most. You can have 2 cars but you can only drive one so your logic is flawed based on that. Chances are the other car will be parked at home wherever that is and not contributing to the current problem. The traffic/parking problems are due to our growing population and the small size of the island. In the 80’s and 90’s I recall the population being around 10,000 and traffic/ need for more parking was never an issue. Over the last 20 years there was a population boom and the need for transportation increased as a result. Another solution is better public transportation. If we had reliable, cheaper public transportation similar to the system our neighbors in St Thomas use it will reduce the reliance of having your own vehicle. These ideas aren’t new its just that the people in power seem to focus their energy on stuff that affects us the least.

    Like 15
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    • Albion says:

      Even if that is true – where do you put it? Nobody is going to walk far in the hot sun, so where do you locate it where most people will be willing to use it?

      Do you charge for using it? If so, then how much?
      If not, how do we pay for it? Is there going to be security there for cars left overnight?

      Lots of questions.

      Like 9
      Dislike 5
      • @ Albion says:

        there are several sites within Road Town where parking garages can be built. but rather starting two or three at once, I would start with building the first one across the entire parking lot that stretches from Scotia Bank to the road next to the building where the Varieties store is located. putting up a 4-storey parking garage in that area should accommodate more than 200 vehicles. two other locations – although I have my reservations still – can be 1) where the Palm Grove Shopping Center used to be, and 2) the parking lot across from One Stop Mall. If these locations are not close enough to where persons work or have to go to, then the problem of laziness is much bigger than it seems.

        Like 10
      • Haha says:

        2 locations were previously mentioned. The area surrounding the festival grounds and the area opposite Bobby’s where vehicles are washed. People are so accustomed to a certain way of living in the BVI that they think nothing different can work. When they go away they drive for miles to go shopping, for entertainment, work etc. sometimes for hours and they dont complain because that is normal in the US and Europe etc. In the BVI if you give them a chance or the possibility I am certain a few people would even drive through the supermarkets and their place of employment. That’s another thing we have to change. Everything is located in Town. 75% of the vehicles in Tortola are forced to compete for parking spots in an area that was poorly developed for high traffic decades ago. We have to branch out. Put important offices in other places West, East etc. to create other business hubs beside Road Town to prevent traffic congestion. When Tortola residents go away they dont park stupidly blocking other vehicles, parking on sidewalks etc. because they know it’s a total different culture where they wont get away with it. We have to change the culture in regard to traffic in the BVI.

        Like 14
  7. Lazy Bones says:

    Too many lazy bones in the BVI: half the people driving in Road Town could walk about

    Like 28
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  8. What!!! says:

    People will still park as close as they can to where they have to go , will not park and walk. Before Irma the pay car park next to Scotia Bank was never full.

    Like 14
  9. Citizen says:

    I think you should concentrate on fixing the dawn roads, build proper retainers, sewerage system, water pipes always burst, bridges etc. what nonsense about things that are not possible about this time. Come on man!

    Like 7
    Dislike 4
  10. Shorty says:

    I think the bigger question is where in Road Town can a parking garage be housed on crown land? Answer, no where at the moment. People simply do not want to walk anywhere period. Even if we entertain the idea of a parking garage I assume it would not be free? If it comes with a cost many persons won’t utilise it. If it is free we will run into the same problems of double parking persons being blocked in etc. Imagine person for instance work in the heart of town but instead of walking to get lunch in the immediate area they hop in their car to drive. Park and walk simple.

    Like 3
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  11. Congrats says:

    Wow, what a wonderful idea. High rise parking, east end building a stadium. Roads track is been worked on but not the high school. Why build a facility that educate the young generation. Our leaders are so smart my god. This island will always be and remain stagnant,

    Like 4
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  12. E. Leonard says:

    Road Town, Tortola and BVI capital city, is a relatively small city but it is the hub for health services, banking, commerce, business, entertainment, finance and the central location for most government services; it is the seat of government. Each day hundreds of drivers stream into the city to work, shop, visit medical facilities, conduct banking services, procure government services…etc. However, finding a parking space during peak week day business hours can be a challenging, frustrating and stressful experience.

    Further, both the population and the number of cars on Tortola has skyrocketed over the last 25 years. The number of vehicles on Tortola has increased exponentially over the last 25 years or so. Dated data from DPU indicate that between 1980-2005 there was a 300% increased in the number of licensed vehicles on Tortola. In 2005, there were approx 11751 vehicles on Tortola. There is a severe shortage of parking spaces in Road Town. Suggested solution(s)?

    Commission an ad hoc committee to evaluate the parking problem in Road Town and make administrative and structural/engineering recommendations for alleviating the problem. A parking garage may be among the recommendations. Few questions on a parking garage, ie, 1)will it be constructed and operated by government or the private sector, 2) where will it be sited, 3) will parking be free or will there be a nominal parking fee, 4)what will it cost to construct………etc.

    • E.Leonardo says:

      What else can we do to eliminate congestion in RoadTown? Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why people may be needlessly traveling to one location and come up with some
      new solutions.

      Like 2
      Dislike 3
      • E. Leonard says:

        @E. Leonardo, below are some thinking out loud thoughts from a 2010 article and some of which may perhaps help to improve parking. Some suggestions may be dated or already occuring:

        a. Commission an ad hoc Road Town Parking Study Committee;
        b. Construct a three-story parking garage. Allowing ~320 sq ft per vehicle, an acre (210’x 210’) of land can accommodate approximately 138 vehicles per story. Some of the construction, maintenance and operations cost can be defrayed by charging a nominal fee for parking ;
        c. Encourage and incentivize car pooling. Insurers can offer discounts for carpooling. Carpooling, and park and ride offer many benefits: lower insurance, reduce wear and tear on vehicles, lower operating costs (gas…etc), reduce number of vehicles on the road, reduce congestion, reduce traffic management demands…..etc;
        d. Establish, promote, and improve the quality, reliability, and convenience of public transportation so as to make it appealing to drivers to move from their private automobiles to a higher occupancy mode of transportation;
        e. Establish commuter-parking facilities outside of the city to encourage commuters to park and ride(credit due to my niece Laurilee Sprauve for this idea);
        f. Establish a water taxi service from East End and West End;
        g. Limit parking time to a maximum of 2.0 hours at certain public off- and on-street parking spaces in the city during peak business hours. Demand and use can be managed by charging a nominal fee for use during peak business hours;
        h. To the maximum extent practicable, require businesses to provide parking for customers;
        i. Establish courtesy mode of transportation to ferry residents around the city during peak business hours, i.e., small passenger buses;
        j. Limit the number of vehicles per household. For example, Bermuda limits the number of vehicles per household to 1 per family;
        k. Reduce single occupancy vehicle commuting;
        l. Employ technology to leverage decentralization of some government services;
        m. Reduce the concentration of businesses in Road Town and shift to other locales, i.e., East End/Long Look; and
        n. Explore expanding the operating hours of some businesses and government offices.

      • Need to Know says:

        @E. Leonardo, is E. Leonard and E. Leonardo the same person? If no, interesting. One is in Ingles the other in Espanol. Inquiring minds need to know to sort out pullet from fowl.

        • E. Leonard says:

          @Need to Know, E. Leonard and E. Leonardo are not the same person. This response is provided only for me to take personal responsibility for my own written folly.

  13. What a set says:

    I applaud Fahie for looking ahead and not taking on these few negative people.

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  14. First District says:

    Good speech Saturday night Hon. Fahie. Your heart and plans of the VIP are in the right place.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
  15. vip heckler says:

    Another pie in the sky dream?

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  16. Private says:

    This needs a private investor or a EU/world Bank grant. Build it across from Peebles hospital along with some government offices and operate a shuttle from there to the Purcell round about and back. anyone with a parking ticket will ride free.

  17. 2 Grand says:

    too much creature comfort if some of us had the power we would park our beloved rides in our bedroom

  18. Lawyer says:

    Where is the money coming from to fulfill all these promises? Tell us how you going to improve the revenue. We all know that politicians knows how to spend our money.

  19. Concerned says:

    Bermuda used this and it worked. New car drivers bought old junks to get the credit and it cleaned up the place.

  20. @ says:

    I would have to agree town needs a multi-level parking lot. An architect with modern vision would design something that works.

    I don’t really feel the bus idea because the country has so many buses running as taxi and that hasn’t helped. Plus not everyone is going to use it. People with children and so forth need their cars at work. It won’t solve the problem.

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