No to excessive parking fees in Ballarat
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The Ballarat City Council is proposing new planning laws, that will impose parking on the greater part of Ballarat. The proposed new changes will affect purely residential areas, proposed zone 3. Some of the concerns over the proposed parking laws that were raised at the council meeting on the 31st March were, the increased cost to the elderly, possible risk of social isolation of the elderly. Whether home and community workers could be retained if workers had to send a fifth of their pay on parking. The impact that paid parking would have on essential service workers, such as police, nurses and firefighters.Concerns that the council was being discriminatory by wanting only smart phone app payments. Also concerns from Employers that the restrictive proposed new laws would discourage people from shopping or dining in Ballarat, forcing businesses to relocate to outer areas.
My suggestions for a compromise with council are as follows.
The following Submission was made to Ballarat City Council on 4 June 2018 re the proposed extension of the parking meter zone into residential streets.
1. Future planning should be based on the abolition of parking meters now and in the foreseeable future from Zone 3 i.e. those areas at present ruled or de facto purely residential.
2. A 3 hour limit would be useful for Zones 1 and 2, also retaining coin meters so that people do not require a smart phone app in order to park.
3. Reductions in parking fees with smart meters for proof of purchase at shops within Zones 1 and 2, as is the practice in some Melbourne stores and complexes e.g. Ikea, would help retain business within our central area. At Ikea Richmond, an extremely successful retailer, fees are waived for proof of any purchase. I suggest graded reductions such as 50% for scanned goods of value less than $100, and waived fees for purchases over $100, would prove useful.
4. Essential services should receive parking permits, visible in the manner of disability permits in current use. An alternative could be a park and ride bus service managed in consultation with the hospitals, fire brigade and police to ensure that shift times are fully covered.
5. Residents housed within Zones 1 and 2 should receive parking permits for each vehicle registered at that household, within some reasonable limit. This courtesy to residents should also apply if it happens that parking time limits are imposed in Zone 3. Council should provide on request additional short term vouchers for use of family visitors. Four weeks should be free, additional paid for.
6. Council should make a strong attempt to increase parking via modification or addition of levels to existing facilities such as the Dana St. multilevel park.
7. Council should lobby State Government to change planning permits to ensure that large businesses must provide adequate staff parking on their own premises.
8. Where multilevel carparks are already present and expansion is feasible, this should occur. For instance Council could lobby State Government to compulsorily acquire the roadway at Anticline lane next to the hospital carpark. Hospital workers, both staff and casual would benefit, as would Aquinas University students, from a multilevel carpark on this site.
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