Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams says that plans for a transformation of Kings’ Street in the downtown business district into a pedestrian-only zone, continue with several stakeholders, despite a few hiccups.
Mayor Williams spoke exclusively with Jamaica Today after the adjournment of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) monthly general meeting on Tuesday, November 13.
The mayor told Jamaica Today that several businesses along the busy thoroughfare have voiced their objection to the proposed pedestrian-only zone, a fear he acknowledges but does not share.
“We have varying views on it (the pedestrian-only zone), and because of that, it has hindered the progress. They (the business community) tend to believe that it may hinder business activity. I don’t share that view, to be clear,” Williams said, adding that he believes the opposite will be the result.
On the other hand, Mayor Williams argued that the Supreme Court is among several entities in favour of Kings Street’s ‘pedestrianisation’.
“I know the Supreme Court is in favour of the pedestrianisation, as it would fit nicely with the expansion,” Williams noted.
“The store owners have concerns and those concerns are legitimate and we can’t ignore them. So now, we are gathering data and doing the research so that we can use it in convincing them it will work,” he said.
In the meantime, Mayor Williams said that another option would be the introduction of the pedestrian-only zone in phases, starting from the intersection of Kings’ Street and Ocean Boulevard – heading north to Port Royal Street.
“We could phase it in those sections, which wouldn’t seriously affect where most of the store owners are now, which is from Barry Street up to the Parade area,” he said.
By: Gavin Riley