Little illegal parking in Port of Spain – but wrecking continues over weekend

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A tow truck in Port of Spain wrecking a car that was illegally parked on the corner of Park Street and Victoria Square on May 29 as the city resumed towing operations – Photo by Enrique Rupert

As of 2 pm on Wednesday, four cars had been wrecked, two of which belonged to police officers, as wrecking resumed in Port of Spain.

One fixed-penalty notice was also issued to a driver who returned to his vehicle before it was towed.

Acting Sgt Ravi Maharaj, supervisor of towing operations in the city, said wrecking will continue into Thursday night, when there will be cricket at the Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair.

Maharaj reminded the general public that the impound is on Wrightson Road, Dock Road where they could pay and retrieve their vehicles.

He said the general public has been listening.

“Frederick Street has two lanes clear; Hart Street, there’s no vehicles parked on both taxi stands.”

Taxi drivers were previously said to have been “clamouring” for the return of wrecking, as illegal parking had affected their business.

Maharaj added that emergency vehicles usually had trouble navigating throughout the city, but on Wednesday the streets that usually had illegal parking were clear.

Maharaj warned that on Ariapita Avenue elsewhere in Woodbrook and in St James, towing will take place on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We encourage people to lime, but we also encourage you to not park on corners, footpaths or to block any driveways.”

Speaking at the impound on Wednesday as rain fell, Port of Spain mayor Chinua Alleyne said parking enforcement was very important to the city council and it was a “significant achievement for us in order to get the initiative started as we prepare for the rainy season.

“It’s really timely we got the project started today.”

On Tuesday the mayor said resuming wrecking was necessary as the city prepared for the rainy season, particularly for emergency vehicles to move about freely.

Newsday noted there was one wrecker working throughout the day.

Asked about this, the mayor said, “We are taking our time to roll the initiative out. There was some feedback from members of the business community and some concerns.

“We’re implementing this activity at a particular pace so we receive the necessary feedback and we’ll make whatever necessary adjustments.”

He said one wrecker worked for the morning, and two in the afternoon.

The mayor said the tow trucks were owned by the corporation, and the service had not been contracted out.

Asked if the arrangement would stay that way he said, “We will take whatever decision is necessary based on the circumstances at the time, but for the foreseeable future it will be an in-house service.”