Our Readers' Opinions
January 31, 2014

Vending out of control in Kingstown

Fri Jan 31, 2013

EDITOR: The already narrow walkways of the capital city Kingstown are overrun with vendors. This situation is less than ideal as there seems to be no control, rules or regulations, which in all things, ends up in havoc. This is a situation which can be improved, and it is my sincere hope that we do not wait until tragedy strikes to deal with it.{{more}}

One has to manoeuvre through town, amongst not only the vendors and people who stop to purchase goods, but also around the permanent wooden structures they erect. Some of these structures can be a hazard to the general public, and can be an eyesore when left lying around Kingstown, accompanied by boxes of garbage left at the end of the day. Slightly amusing is the music vendors who pound pirated music as loudly as they please, some stationed under places of business. I must say, I admire the creativity of the roving music carts, which are fitted with cd players and full electricity, but these must be controlled as loud music complete with heavy bass cannot be acceptable in a country’s capital. Last but not least, there are the street-bars, selling alcohol and offering seating with a liquor licence. On evenings, the smell of urine emanates from the pathways.

Vendors are entrepreneurs in their own right, and no doubt have families and/or themselves to feed. However, I am certain that a better compromise can be met. Why not arrange dedicated areas of vending in the streets of Kingstown such as Middle Street and Heritage Square? If this isn’t a viable option, can we explore the prospect of revitalizing the market? Rather than simply sweeping them off the streets and shoving them into the market, we should also make sure that the market is clean (which it is in desperate need of right now), the toilet facilities well-kept and most importantly that some marketing events are planned and executed. A well-publicized Market Day event where families venture into the market for giveaways, cultural performances and the like is just one suggestion for reviving the Central Market and encouraging traffic to ensure that the vendors get their sale. I really think we need to take greater pride in the beautiful and historic capital city Kingstown, especially as we work towards marketing it as an international product.

Concerned Vincentian