Consultation Needed to Address CBD Car Parking
As a resident of the central business district I am in a privileged position with a lovely place to live, ready access to retail, entertainment and hospitality businesses, the railway station and more.
Council imposed rates due to my location ensure that I make a fair contribution to the income of the council.
The proposed changes to parking in the CBD and surrounding areas are a retrograde step with no consideration of a long term fix for the increasing pressure on parking demand.
The council is making it more expensive to access current parks, which have been paid for by residents and businesses through their rates, but is not increasing the number of available parking spaces.
Past and current decisions allow for re-development in the CBD and the proliferation of medical based businesses in residential areas surrounding the hospitals without imposing conditions such as off street parking for staff and clients.
One of the effects is an explosion of long term parking in residential streets.
My dealings with council staff have been positive.
However this current proposal seems to have been drafted by staff who may not have consideration for those living, working or visiting the CBD on a daily basis.
Many workers in the CBD do not have the benefit of free or employer subsidized parking.
The council needs to work in consultation with all stakeholders to plan and deliver a sustainable solution to this problem and one which will not be solved by simply imposing an ever increasing monetary charge on its residents.
It seems the council has missed the opportunity to provide a significant increase in parking for CBD workers and public transport users by constructing an appropriately sized underground or high rise car park as part of any demolition or redevelopment of the Civic Hall site and the Ballarat railway station.
See the plans here.
Ian Wilson, Ballarat.
As a resident of the area near the hospitals, I have been aware of the problems associated with provision of parking to suit the differing needs of residents, workers, patients and visitors to the hospitals and medical practices.
I am astounded by the fact that plans for a fundamental change to parking for such a large area of central Ballarat are made public only three days before council is to vote on their implementation.
This provides no time for any careful consideration of these plans.
A few articles in The Courier and a letter box drop to a limited area of the city does not represent a proper level of consultation with the people of Ballarat.
This scheme appears to be an excessive overreaction to our parking issues and should not be implemented before adequate public discussion can take place.
Stuart Kelly, Ballarat.
The council’s new parking plan is released and affected residents are given a day and a half to study, discuss and analyse the proposals and attend a council meeting.
This will be a massive change in the way people park in Ballarat and there are implications for lifestyle and the community. Is this another example of change by deceit?
Why are the central ward councilors so quiet about this?
They should canvas the people they represent which is what local politics is about, not herd us blindly into a scheme that is all about making up for the shortfall in the council’s budget.
Al Penhall, Ballarat East.
The proposed plan represents a massive overreach by council.
It proposes an almost tripling of the paid parking area of Ballarat and will force many workers who work in or near the CBD to pay up to $2000 a year to park near their workplace.
In most cases it will be impractical to park outside the pay zones due to the size of the proposed area.
The council says 12000 employees will be working in the CBD soon so the annual income from workers parking will be $24 million per year compared to the current $6 million!
Without increasing the hourly rate in the current parking zones, this appears to be nothing more than a massive revenue initiative which provides no additional benefit to the workers of Ballarat.
Glenn Mansell, Haddon.
I have concerns about the proposed regulations.
Already all the spaces in front of our house and adjoining houses are filled by 8.30 am by hospital workers.
This is because it is unlimited and free.
The parallel street to the west is slowly filling up on both sides of the street, thus leaving a narrow stretch of road available for access for passing traffic.
I cannot see how the new regulations will help this situation unless parking on one side of the street only is allowed.
This is not a solution.
On another matter, I feel that to charging residents for parking outside their own houses is unfair.
Anne Warwick McKee, Ballarat.
I cannot help but feel deceived by the proposed smarter Parking plan proposal if this is the result of the so called consultation process conducted with residents and other interested parties at the Craigs Hotel some time back.
I wish to register my, and that of my family’s, objection to this proposal.
At that consultation workshop, residents in my area bounded by Macarthur Street, Wendouree Parade, Mill Street and Creswick Road/Midland Highway unanimously noted traffic flow along these boundaries as the key concern.
Over use of roundabouts on surrounding causeways produces a never ending stream of traffic preventing safe escape from this neighbourhood.
Wait times of more than 30 minutes for a break in traffic to allow safe departure are not uncommon at peak times including both work and school times.
This plan does nothing to address this aspect (traffic control/flow) of the problem increasing population growth brings to Ballarat.
Cars are increasingly less patient and willing to allow merges into the main travel routes.
I also note the increasing danger for school children and other pedestrians trying to cross these roads, particularly Wendouree Parade.
Parking is not an issue in our street.
Excessive speed of vehicles and oversized loads using our street to bypass traffic is.
The difficulty of exiting the neighbourhood is.
Revenue raising by the introduction of parking fees does nothing to alleviate access and address safety concerns.
Hence I object in the strongest of terms to this proposal and will exercise my democratic right to both protest against it and assist any campaign seeking to unseat any councillor that supports this proposal.
No Yellow Zone Parking North of Mill Street!
Bill Reddick, Lake Wendouree