LETTER: Assistant Superintendent Ellis Traffic Division RPFAB HQ


To: Assistant Superintendent Ellis Traffic Division RPFAB HQ

Dear Sir,

At about 2pm on the afternoon of Friday 3rd June, I needed to visit my doctor in Long Street, St John’s.

I was driving up the road looking for a parking space when a vehicle pulled out from the left side of the road.

I stopped and waited for it to exit the space with the intention of occupying it but, as I moved to do so, a man placed a metal frame in the space to prevent me from parking.

I asked him to move the frame as I wished to park in the space but he told me that the space belonged to the shop.

I told him he was wrong and that it was part of the public highway. He said the shop’s name was painted on the highway which was untrue.

I pointed out that I wished to park to go to my doctor as I was unwell and could not walk far (I was admitted to hospital later that day).

The man sneered at me and said “Have a nice day.” I repeated my request for him to remove the frame and he repeated his suggestion that I have a nice day and walked into his shop.

Unless otherwise specified, the public highways are for the use of all road users in Antigua and not the private preserve of certain shopkeepers and, therefore, I presume that by placing an object on the highway to prevent other road users from having access to any part of the public highway, that person is causing an illegal obstruction.

I would be grateful for clarification on this matter and, if an illegal obstruction is being caused, I would be grateful if the offender is advised to cease and desist.

Parking is difficult enough in St. John’s without some shopkeepers reserving spaces for themselves.

I attach a photograph of the offending metal frame and I am copying this letter to the media.

Yours faithfully

John J Duffy MRICS – Chartered Surveyor

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    • @Born Jamaican… No, the store owner has no such right! The laws in Antigua and Barbuda are very clear when it comes to parking. All parking spaces, unless marked otherwise by the police, are for EVERYONE. A business person may get the COURTESY (not a right, a courtesy) of having a space reserved for them close to their business place, and it is marked as such. Even when it is marked as reserved, if the business person is not there, anyone can park in the spot. All persons who drive pay taxes in the form of a driver’s licence and this entitles you to park wherever parking is permitted.

    • Says who? It’s a privilege not a RIGHT. Study Antigua laws before you run your damn mouth.

      I’m sure you don’t even know proper laws of Lovely Jamaica

  1. Well done Mr Duffy, I see these type of obstacles all the time in town blocking up legal parking spaces.

    I spend so much time driving around St John’s looking for parking as it is.

    This is definitely a growing problem, and the highway authorities and police need to look into these matters and update the motorists as to the current byelaws.

    • If the shop owner owns or rents the building common courtesy would say don’t block his spot. Would you be happy if when you drove to your house you found random people parked in front so you could not park at your own home?

      • Common sense, decency and courtesy are different than regulations and laws. Of course i will not like if some one else was to park in front of my house, but i cannot do anything about it. It is not my road, it was not built for me.
        I think your reasoning is faulty. let us use High Street as an example. From Independance Avenue all the way down to Post Office are businesses. If they all have exclusive parking where will we park. There will be no parking for us anywhere in town.
        love to here your rebuttal.

  2. Simple, if a business owner wants to claim a “parking space(s)’ reserved for the public, then let the business owner pay a fee to use the space(s). The space legally marked, and anyone who parks there, illegally, gets fined.

    Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee!

    • @Ras Smood….. Then when the business places buy all of the parking spots, where then do people park?

      • @Wash an’ Basin…
        A…you do an assessment of the total amount of parking spaces are available in an area.
        B…a certain percentage is for business and a certain percentage public parking. As for parking in St. John’s say Dickenson Bay St to All Saints Rd or few blocks further south and The port to Nugent Ave, you make this area of St. John’s PAID PARKING. Exceptions for residents, in some areas 24hours etc.

        B…small business parking(entrepreneurs) on several vacant lots by utilising RAISED LIFT PARKING(eg if a lot holds 10 cars on ground level, RAISED LIFT PARKING can triple that. Great for employees who work in one location.

        The larger long term DEVELOPMENTAL PLANNING is to incorporate EMPOWERMENT ZONES – Residential(Condos/Townhouses) with Commercial(doctors, lawyers, artists, food, restaurants other professionals, mom n pop businesses) MUST be TOURIST friendly.
        It’s time to manage the Historic St. John’s and at the same time, these new housing projects being undertaken by the Government MUST be EMPOWERMENT ZONES as well. The University of The West Indies @ Five Islands should be on its way to become this kind of zone.

        Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee
        Son of Queen Mami_Wata and
        De Original Dan_Dah_Dah Papa Elegba!

  3. What you should have done in my opinion at that exact time.Call the Police and ask them to come to the area and advise you on the issue. As far as I am aware of,no one has the rights to be blocking areas for their personal parking inna St Johns,Antigua.I do hope the Chief Traffic Guru responds to your letter.

  4. This is a regular happening here. Over the years I have heatd 4 diffetent high ranking Police Officers on radio and TV, saying the same Laws about the situation. And also, as a buisness ower wanting to apply for one such spot, I called PHQ for info.
    So here goes. We can pay for the spot and have it marked reserved in our name. It is like a courtesy not a right. It is to tell drivers please take the other parking spots and leave this one for me. But legally anyone can park there if no other parking is available.
    if the buisnesses have exclusive rights then all the parking in town will be reserved by the business places. They know the rules so that is why only a few actually have reserved parking
    That is also why they put obstacles because that is the only way they can stop persons from parking there.
    Now, all those obstacles are very unsightly on our streets and i think that anyone who places them there should be charged by the police
    This was a public letter to the police. I hope the police give a public response.

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