On the right track

On the right track

The Philipsburg Promotional Board (PPB) made some refreshing proposals for parking in town (see related story), starting with the conversion of some 40 spaces along Cannegieter Street into spots for 15, 30 or 60 minutes only. This should help bring more shopping and other economic activity to the area.

Currently these spaces are often occupied all day, mainly by people who work nearby and would need to find alternatives. There is hardly any denying that lack of readily available short-term parking remains a major reason for motorists not to frequent the capital unless they really need to.

A “man-monitored” system with fines for violators as mentioned might be the best immediate option, but eventually parking metres would probably be more practical and easier to enforce. Together with a new lot to come at the former Post Office location this idea could possibly make a significant positive difference.

The recommendation for an underground parking facility at Clem Labega Square is interesting too. That would obviously be a lot less obtrusive than the usual multi-storey tower.

However, the proximity of both Great Bay and the Salt Pond requires careful consideration as to how deep one may responsibly excavate. After all, much of Philipsburg was flooded by Hurricane Lenny in November 2019 and recent issues with pumps diverting excess rainwater to sea via Rolandus Canal once again illustrated its vulnerability in that regard.

Nevertheless, a bigger facility at the current paid government parking lot makes all the sense in the world, especially as a parking garage the General Pension Fund APS planned to construct on Pond Island behind the Administration Building appears to have been put on the back burner. Many seemed to feel that from there to the inner city would be a bit too long of a walk in the hot sun anyway.

PPB is on the right track. More can and should be done to bring people to Philipsburg, including both cruise and stayover visitors.

The Daily Herald

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