The plan to install parking meters in Apia began over three years ago when a study was done on the western side of Samoa’s capital city.
The details of the plan were released when the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) addressed local business owners and stakeholders on the recently installed parking meters.
L.T.A. Manager for Procurement and Programming division, Toaigaoaloali'i Matthew Wendt, said a 2014 study of the western side of the town center concluded parking meters would discourage long-term parking, which he said was a key cause of congestion in the area.
L.T.A. embarked on their research into suppliers of parking meters and once they found an agreeable price they set upon bringing them to Samoa.
Toaigaoaloali'i’s presentation was followed by questions from the business community.
Of particular interest were how the L.T.A. planned to enforce the new policy and whether they would consider building parking buildings to account for the increased need, rather than charging for existing parking.
He was also asked if the parking would include a handicapped space.
“We are still in the pilot stage and will be adding spaces as requests for them, or as the demand arises,” said Taoigailoalii.
Member of the Chamber of Commerce business community, Grant Percival said the parking meters would not do enough to address traffic flow problems.
Mr. Percival said the L.T.A. was not thinking far enough into the future, in terms of their urban planning and urban planning should be taken seriously to prepare for the next generation.