While uproar swallowed discussion around Ballarat’s most radical CBD parking shake-up announced in May, council is hoping residents and workers will share feedback over coming weeks.
The Smarter Parking Plan Pop-Up Shop at 315 Sturt Street opened on Monday, where the general public can get details about the plan and provide feedback in office hours and by appointment.
The city’s new parking scheme would include three new paid parking zones, from 50 cents to $2 per hour, stretching from Macarthur Street in the north to Urquhart Street in the south.
It will also see new technology – such as a smartphone parking app and number plate scanning – get implemented in Ballarat.
South ward councillor Ben Taylor said “people feel the pressure now” when it comes to CBD parking, but it will only be intensified by the Civic Hall GovHub building and the Ballarat Base Hospital redevelopment.
“We need to do something, and this is the start to implement a really good system for the city as we’re growing,” he said. “But we need people’s feedback, whether its good, bad or otherwise, we need to hear what’s going to work and what isn’t.”
Cr Taylor admitted it was “never the intent” to implement a parking proposal overnight, and they need to find “balance” between office workers, residents, hospitality staff and shoppers.
City of Ballarat’s executive manager of regulatory services Amy Boyd said that 115 of the city’s current parking meters could be retrofitted in the overhaul to include number plate input and ‘tap and go’ card facilities.
The plan will be presented in its final form to council for approval in around November, with full implementation by mid-2019. The provision of new signs and centrally located pay stations will cost council about $500,000.
“We could introduce some elements of it earlier,” said Ms Boyd. “For the app it’s just about switching it on and getting people used to it, but rolling out the new meters, that’s going to take a little lead time.”
More information at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au