At last a council has decided to face up to the ugly problem that is blighting streets and neighbourhoods across Australia’s cities – car parking.
As population density is increasing in the inner and middle suburbs, fewer people are using cars to get around.
Streets built for a 1960’s car-based world no longer make sense.
Motor vehicles, which actually get used only 4% of the time on average, are stored out on the street – public land of great value that often could be used for another purpose – say a bike lane, or a tree, or a bus lane.
The City of Darebin in Melbourne’s north – a source of a great number of bike riders – wants to change the way we think about and use the curb space we currently prioritise for parking.
It is looking for feedback on fresh ideas for parking in Darebin from people who live there and/or use the streets in the municipality.
The end result will be a parking strategy that aims to balance competing demands in parking management as part of the wider transport picture.
The City says it is committed to reducing reliance on driving by dramatically increasing opportunities for walking, cycling and public transport.
"Our population is growing, and space is limited – if we don’t change our approach to parking, we’ll need to add 41,000 parking spaces by 2041,” Darebin says.
"We need to make the best use of our limited space and economic resources – Darebin cannot accommodate more private cars on our streets."
"We want to manage parking to increase and improve our public space – parking occupies street space which could be used for other things."
"We have an oversupply of car parks – on average 40 per cent of off-street residential parking in apartments is vacant and people use their garages for storage while parking their cars on the street."
Some of the options being considered for the new strategy include:
- New technology and priced parking to improve parking availability and show parking space usage in real time
- More short-term spaces provided for ride share services, deliveries and customers in activity centres
- Parking spaces be allocated to other uses, such as accessible public transport stops, open space and trees, wider footpaths, alfresco dining, footpath trading, car share spaces, and tram, bus or bike lanes.