Pushed back until next year, an update of Ballarat’s CBD parking plan still signals big changes since the first proposal in May.
From changes to timed parking to a reduced footprint from what was initially proposed, City of Ballarat’s parking proposal will look very different once it returns to the chamber.
The city has said a lack of information around the Labor state government’s $14 million election promise for 1000 free CBD car parks was to blame for the delay.
A finished parking plan is expected to be voted on by council in the first three months of 2019.
City of Ballarat’s director of infrastructure and environment Terry Demeo said the “overwhelming” message from residents is that we’re ready for a dramatic overhaul, and they wanted better parking compliance to mediate the current issues.
“Given what we were proposing in terms of the paid parking network, we’ve now got a modest extension of that, driven by streets immediately proximate to the hospital and key activity areas across the CBD,” he said.
“I’d hope there would be an understanding [from residents] its desirable to understand the specifics of the commitment before we adopt a plan for off-street.
“I do understand the frustration that this has been a conversation which has run for the whole year.”
Another large change is hourly price increases the longer you park. An earlier plan stated CBD parking would remain $2 per hour, without a time restriction.
Officers are now floating the first 30 mins free across the whole CBD, and then $2 per hour up to three hours, $4.50 per hour for hours three to six, and $6 per hour if you park on-street for more than six hours.
“I’ll be candid, It took us a little while to get engagement with businesses, but it was a concern that with all day parking being a premium price, there was potential for it to be abused,” Mr Demeo said.
The Eastwood Street car park which services Coles and Woolworths – also known as the Little Bridge Street car park – will be paid parking after two free hours.
An agreement remains between City of Ballarat and Woolworths where the city needs to provide customers at least two free hours of parking.
In a report to be table at next week’s council meeting, officers said the new proposal would include a 29 per cent expansion of the city’s paid parking areas.
It will include changes to Sturt, Drummond and Mair streets.
The new update stands in stark contrast to the original parking plan, announced in May this year, which would have seen more than 4,300 new paid parking spaces created, more than doubling the current spots.