The closure of Knox Street, Port of Spain, between St Vincent and Abercromby Streets, to vehicular traffic was requested by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for several reasons, acting PoS Mayor Hillan Morean said yesterday.
Morean said the reasons included security to facilitate establishment of the eternal flame and human rights monument; to re-inter previously unearthed cultural remains; and to accommodate a staging area for construction work. Morean said the OPM was granted responsibility for the restoration and refurbishment of the Red House, the traditional seat of Parliament.
“The Urban Development Corporation has been engaged to provide project management and construction management services for this project. The OPM forwarded correspondence to the corporation to secure approval as it is the city corporation’s role in authorising the conditions of traffic permitted on the public streets within the city,” Morean said.
He said Cabinet Minute No 2424 of September 8, 2011, shows Cabinet agreed that this section of Knox Street should be closed to vehicular traffic and converted to a pedestrian-only area, and the corporation continues to work closely with the Ministry of Works and Transport and Highways Division to ameliorate the city’s traffic circumstances.
“The corporation is currently conducting city-wide consultations on the topic, for which we have already begun productive talks in the Cipriani Boulevard area and environs,” he said.
On the issue of the homeless, Morean said Cabinet appointed a Street Dwellers Working Committee which worked for much of 2017 to produce a report which was presented to Cabinet. “Our Mayor has advised that Government has identified land space close to the Riverside Car Park that can be utilised for a multi-functional facility,” he said. “Clarity on funding can be sought from the Ministry of Social Development, which is the agency assigned to address social displacement.”