By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After numerous complaints and incidents of towing and ticketing, a new parking site at Terreirão do Samba was designated on Thursday, June 19th for tourist motor homes and trailers currently illegally parked in and around Leme Beach in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone) South Zone.
The Terreirão do Samba site, located in Praça XI in the city’s downtown Centro area, is scheduled to open its gates during the late afternoon hours of Friday, June 20th.
“The adjustments needed to receive these trailers and motor homes, still need to be made in the morning to allow these special visitors to our city to continue enjoying the party here until the end,” Secretary of Tourism, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, said on Thursday.
Since the beginning of the World Cup tournament on June 12th, a number of trailers, buses, cars and campers, most reportedly with FIFA Fan Fest area.
Efforts to remove the vehicles have included, the issuing fines and the towing of the illegally parked vehicles. Seventy-seven vehicles were reportedly towed within a four day period and on Wednesday, June 18th, 244 campers were fined by the Municipal Guard.
Reportedly, twenty-six of those asked to move on Wednesday were Chilean tourists who refused to leave, saying they had already paid a military police officer R$200 in order to stay in the area. “When we arrived, a young woman from the parking lot took us to a police officer, who asked us for R$200.”
One of the Chileans reportedly explained to O Globo, adding, “We were quiet, because we would pay whatever they charged us. […] If you do not have the ability to host people, then do not hold a [World Cup]. We need to stay out on the edges now?”
The Terreirão do Samba site, in Rio’s Centro (Downtown) area, will have bathrooms and Riotur, the city of Rio’s tourism board, will provide cleanup crews for the area. Food vendors and a temporary tourist information site will also be placed in the area.
“We want to welcome all tourists, with special attention to our South American neighbors, who crossed vast distances driving with their family and friends to enjoy the World Cup in our city,” Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said in a statement about the Terreirão do Samba site issued on Thursday.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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