BELIZE CITY, Mon. Apr. 4, 2022– The Belize City Council’s Parking Meter Pilot Project was officially launched today. As a result, anyone wishing to conduct business in the Newtown Barracks area or on Albert Street will now be required to pay at the newly installed meters in order to park their vehicles. The project, whose pilot phase is expected to last for one year, seeks to not only improve traffic in key areas of the city but also to transform Belize City into a “smart city” through continued urbanization. According to the City Council, the project also aims to provide more efficient and equitable use of city parking while reducing air pollution usually caused by carbon emissions from vehicles cruising to find space. Despite it being only the first day, the Communications Manager at the Belize City Council, Miss Erin Garnett, has informed AMANDALA that there has already been a noticeable increase in available parking spaces in the usually heavily congested areas.
Since the announcement of the pilot project, many Belize City residents have voiced their questions and reservations about the initiative. To address those concerns, the City Council will be holding a public consultation meeting, which includes a question and answer segment, at the House of Culture this Thursday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m. Additionally, the meeting will be broadcasted live on the council’s Facebook page. While the parking meter project is still in its early stages, the City Council has expressed that it hopes Belize City residents will attend the public meeting being held this Thursday in order to give feedback on their experiences throughout this first week. The council has also shared that it will continue to post updates and notices on its social media in order to sensitize the public on how to use the meters. One such post outlines the steps to be taken when using the parking meters, and another details the parking meters schedule: while the meters will be non-operational on Sundays and national holidays, they will be active from Monday to Thursday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and from Friday to Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For now, the Parking Meter Pilot Project will be implemented on Albert Street from its intersection with Orange Street to the intersection with Dean Street as well as from the exit of the Ramada by Wyndham Princess to Midtown Restaurant on Newtown Barracks. According to the Belize City Council, parking meter assistants will be present in those areas to ensure a smooth transitionary period. Those assistants will also be offering parking meter cards, which will be used instead of physical cash to carry out transactions. The cards, which can be topped up with various values of cash and do not expire, will also be available at any City Council cashier. The cost of parking at the meters is $3.00 per hour (and $1.50 for half an hour).
Those using the meters are required to insert their license plate number along with their estimated parking time. After paying the corresponding fee using their meter card and receiving a receipt, they should then display that receipt on the dashboard of their vehicle.