Solution to library parking

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NIELEN DE KLERK

There may finally be a solution to the problem of parking at Bellville Library.

The City of Cape Town has allocated 10 parking bays for the exclusive use for visitors to the library centre.

Three workers from the Expanded Public Works Programme EPWP have been monitoring the parking situation since 20 October. Patrons can approach them upon arrival and ask about parking.

Once the 10 bays are full, patrons will be allowed to park inside the enclosed staff area.

This development comes as a welcome relief to an institution plagued by this specific problem for years.

The large library has become notorious for its lack of parking for visitors, as motorists use the limited space for the hospital, nearby court and businesses.

For years people have complained about the issue and it has meant a steady decline in visitor numbers.

The library itself offers a lot: it’s one of the biggest libraries in the Western Cape, with a reference section many have raved about, it houses an art gallery and many attend art classes at the centre.

In a flyer advertising the new arrangement, the library invites people to come to the library again.

“Please visit us; we miss our patrons.”

Ilze Swart, former chief librarian and part of the Friends of the Library, welcomes the initiative. “Anything is better than nothing.”

She says the project is admirable and she hopes it’s just the beginning of more parking bays being made available.

She’d also like to see the EPWP marked more clearly and she hopes they get the proper training to keep out those who may be intimidating or want to misuse the system.

The Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District VRCID previously applied to manage the parking and keep the area clean of litter and illegal structures.

This proposal was rejected by the City. Derek Bock, CEO of the VRCID, says they welcome any initiative to better manage the parking situation at the library.

“The library has lost many patrons because there has been no control over parking,” he says.