Former Port Of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing has claimed that his successor Raymond Tim Kee is set to resume parking in Mandela Park, formerly known as King George V Park. Lee Sing tweeted earlier today that the decision was a backward step and must be stopped. Parking at the green space was stopped under Lee Sing during his tenure as Port Of Spain Mayor wherein he implemented several ground breaking changes.
Among these were enforcing parking laws through wrecking which has resulted in a change in behaviour of motorists on the popular 'Avenue' and Tragarete Road. Other attempts such as banning bottles during carnival and addressing the homeless issue were not as successful. However, the removal of parking on the then King George V park led to the rebirth of the grounds as one of the most popular grass areas in the country. The field was upgraded to the tune of millions of dollars and lights were installed leaving a park that is utilised by hundreds on a daily basis .
The return of parking to the grounds, rumoured to be in time for the "Fete With the Saints", has the potential to upset many fitness enthusiasts whose routines will be affected as a result. In addition, the vehicles on the primarily sand based surface results in an increase in dust circulating in the area on dry days and damage to the outfield on the wet days. However, the lack of parking options in and around the Port-Of- Spain area always leads to a debate as to the merits for keeping such an open are unavailable for easing the parking situation. The Queen's Park Savannah itself is usually turned into a car park during the Carnival Season. Questions can also raised as to why St. Mary's Grounds itself could not be used for extra parking rather than force the public to bear the burden of repairing the field after it is damaged by fetegoers.
Green spaces such as parks are generally protected in metropolitan cities globally and "No Parking" and even "No Walking" on the grass are enforced.