Canberra Centre carpark not for big cars?

By 28 April 2007 114

Did any of the architects of the carpark in the new part of the Canberra Centre actually think about the space that might be needed to drive a car into and out of it?

I used the new carpark today instead of the usual older carpark – which is bad enough – and found that on the way in, I had basically no space either side of the car in the entry lanes. The 90 degree left hand turn just before the ticket machine was almost impossible – my heart was in my mouth worrying about whether or not I was going to scratch one of my wheels, but in the end I got away with just scuffing one of my tyres on the left hand side gutter. (Gutters which aren’t really necessary other than to deliniate the lanes, by the way…)

Now, you may wonder what sort of gargantuan behemoth I drive that I had trouble with – well, it’s not some sort of massive German luxo-barge or big Yank Tank from the 1960s, it’s a current model Holden Commodore. In other words, Australia’s best selling car last year. I’m hardly going to be Robinson Crusoe with this problem, then.

Amusingly, some of the parking spaces near the mall entrance are designated ‘Small Car Only’. Any chance of putting a sign up at the carpark entrance saying the same thing?

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114 Responses to
Canberra Centre carpark not for big cars?
el 10:57 pm
28 Apr 07

Yep, I noticed the same thing. Scratched a 19″ VE SS Commodore rim the other day (which wouldn’t have upset me too much except the car WASN’T MINE). Equally stupid is the spot on Ballumbir Street it left hand turn dumps you out into traffic at: Maybe a metre and a half after a set of busy traffic lights? Obviously they don’t have any problems with causing damage to cars, whether it be from their badly-designed carpark or from accidents with other vehicles.

shiny flu 11:06 pm
28 Apr 07

It’s a tight carpark, but you’ll find car parks like that all over Europe. Either way, not what we’re used to… maybe QIC (owners of the CC) have a special deal with ACT’s panel beaters *nudge*

terry_wrist 3:19 am
29 Apr 07

Speaking of design floors in the Canberra Centre. Did anyone notice the hastily laid pieces of carpet, slightly damp… and the wet floors signs in the new part yesterday when it was raining. Oh yeah, and the drips from the rather dodgy skylight.

More heavy rain like that and any fish still alive in the fish shop downstairs might have a second chance at freedom.

terry_wrist 3:29 am
29 Apr 07

Oh, one more thing. What are you people doing driving petrol guzzling, tanks like Commodores to the shops for. Seriously, I see stories on A Current Affair with these people complaining about paying 90 bucks to fill up their SS, and there is only one occupent in the Vehicle… the driver. Try an Aurion, or a Corolla or a Yaris. Cheap to run, class leading safety and comparable performance. That’s why this week:


Or if you want something cheaper, get a Getz. Gets you from A to B and costs peanuts to fill up.

Now if you’ll excuse me, i’m going to fill up my Yaris, but I’ve got to move the Corolla first.

P.S. 80 bucks fills up both my Yaris and Corolla in one week! Enjoy your Commodores

P.P.S. To be fair, Commodores are actually pretty good cars, except for the size and fuel economy ad enginces and build quality (3 recalls in 5 months). But only because a far worse car make exists…. are there any Falcon drivers here?

shauno 6:24 am
29 Apr 07

Yeah but jeese what a boring car the Yaris and Corolla are. For enthusiasts out there its not just about getting from A to B. And fuel economy who cares, aussie fuel is still cheap as chips compared to some other places I frequent. When it gets to $10 a litre I might be a bit more concerned.

Pandy 7:24 am
29 Apr 07

Yaris are for pussy whipped men. SS Comodes are for the boys at heart not a boring fart.

But seriously, the SS around Canberra has better mileage than many SUVs especially that Subs and Mazdas.

Ralph 9:06 am
29 Apr 07

In case it has passed you Terry, we live in a free society. Some people actually like big cars. So get off your high horse and stop dictating to the masses what you think is best for them.

simbo 9:24 am
29 Apr 07

The other side of that free society is that private businesses are free to build carparks to whatever size they like – and if it doesn’t happen to fit your oversized behemouth, well, hey, that’s freedom for you!

dusty 9:26 am
29 Apr 07

I cant get a Yaris or a Corolla as I am not a) homo or b) old lady, so guess Ill stick with my Commodore despite having to squeeze it into car spaces occasionally. BTW drove 4 passengers and their luggage to the Sydney Airport last week and back and used less than half a tank ! Try doing that in your Yaris! PS Non homophobic lady driver

el 10:29 am
29 Apr 07

Nice trolling Terry. I particularly like the ‘design floors’ line.

As to car choice – Toyota don’t make a large, powerful station wagon to carry my gear in. If they did, I’d seriously consider buying one. So for now I’ll stick with the V8 Berlina wagon, and not complain about fuel prices, until it reaches, I dunno, $3 a litre. Enjoy your $80/week running costs, mine costs $75 to fill up every fortnight or so.

bigred 11:13 am
29 Apr 07

I’ll stick with my big red motorcycle. Costs $15-20 per week, free parking all over town and will exceed every damn speed limit in second gear(if I ever felt socially irresponsible). Carry a spare helmet and you meet the nicest people.

Sammy 11:17 am
29 Apr 07

BTW drove 4 passengers and their luggage to the Sydney Airport last week and back and used less than half a tank

The trip to Sydney airport and back is approx. 550 kilometres. You claim to have done this trip using less than 37.5 litres of petrol, with a standard Commodore tank being 75 litres.

This would require you to achieve 6.82 litres per 100 kilometres fuel economy.

A V6 Commodore runs to 11 litres per 100 km.

It’s time to take your hand off it.

Sammy 11:20 am
29 Apr 07

Try doing that in your Yaris

The Yaris, with fuel economy figures of 6.1 litres/100km, would have a shot at your claimed figures. The luggage would be a stretch, but there is always roof-racks.

bigred 11:37 am
29 Apr 07

Peugeot claims around 4.5 5 l/100kms for their TDI wagons. They have the space to do that trip.

boomacat 12:03 pm
29 Apr 07

Hmm, I think Commodore’s are awful suburban cars but there is no way I would drive a bitch mobile like a corolla or a yaris, or even worse a bloody toyota echo, seriously I’d rather catch the bus. (ps woman here so don’t accuse me of being sexist).

Ralph 12:15 pm
29 Apr 07

Corolla, Yaris, Echo etc are sheilas’ cars.

footyboy 1:04 pm
29 Apr 07

Obviously car park designers drive Barina type cars and have no consideration, only contempt for drivers of anything larger.

jellen 1:12 pm
29 Apr 07

I drive a Honda Civic. I used to drive a Camry. Before that I had a Holden Belmont 69 wagon with a V8 engine. I used to think I was pretty manly, but until I was enlightened by the RiotAct, I didnt know that there was a correlation between annual petrol expenditure manliness. Now I am really worried that I left my manliness in the Belmont when it finally went to the wreckers. Should I take a stand and get a Hummer for my next car, or admit defeat and Yaris up???

johnboy 1:37 pm
29 Apr 07

I like under Terry’s way of thinking that we’d need to have several cars to suit each occasion.

Now there’s a carbon saving!

terry_wrist 2:54 pm
29 Apr 07

No johnboy, only two cars. A yaris (or similar) for getting to work, and a larger car such as a Civic or Aurion to get the kids to school (if they can’t walk there) and for longer drives (such as holidays).

I don’t condemn people who use Commodores simply because they use Commodores. Indeed many tradespeople, professionals and even personal users need a large car to carry luggage and equipment. But for people who don’t need the extra capacity, it is simply ridiculous to drive such a large car. And I might add, too many people own a smaller car, but use the larger car just to go to the local shops for a carton of milk, even if they have a smaller car. Seriously, if you need a big car and a huge petrol bill to feel big and look big, you people must have some real insecurities. Look at Europe, a 3-4 star ANCAP rate beast would impress no one and would be a poor seller. A petrol efficent, 5star euroNCAP rated car like Yaris, would be a winner… and IS a winner!

Ralph 3:20 pm
29 Apr 07

There you go again, passing judgement on others. But then again, you do know everything, don’t you?

I suggest you move to Europe (you sound French).

smiling politely 5:36 pm
29 Apr 07

Lovely to see things degenerating here, thanks to our Manuka-livin’ latte-sippin’ eco-friendly mate terry. Love your work mate, no, really, I do. *hugs*

Now, where was I?

Ah yes. Real men drive utes. Unless, like me, your sperm is so powerful that you produce superhuman progeny thereby forcing you to get a sedan instead. With a requisite amount of pining, nay, deeply held regret, about the ute since departed. There endeth the sermon – away!!

ali_m 6:54 pm
29 Apr 07

maybe you should just drive better, then your car would fit. Canberrans get their panties in a little twist if they can’t drive in their own lane, get over yourself and your ugly car.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 7:18 pm
29 Apr 07

“The trip to Sydney airport and back is approx. 550 kilometres. You claim to have done this trip using less than 37.5 litres of petrol, with a standard Commodore tank being 75 litres.

This would require you to achieve 6.82 litres per 100 kilometres fuel economy.

A V6 Commodore runs to 11 litres per 100 km.

It’s time to take your hand off it. “

All this shows is that you have truly no idea about fuel consumption and larger cars. My V8 Berlina easily achieves 8 l/100km on the trip from Canberra to Sydney, because at the speed limit the engine is ticking over at less than 2000rpm. Also, much of the trip is downhill.

Modern V8s, especially Chev engined Holdens, can return remarkable figures on the open road. Around town, not so good.

It’s also worth remebering that the ‘official’ figure is simply a value returned from running the vehicle at a variety of engine speeds on a dyno in a lab (according to a standardised testing procedure).

The standard Commodore’s official figure is 11 l/100km or so, but on an easy trip it should return under 8l/100km no trouble at all.

Around town I routinely use 13-14 l/100km. Strill less than many smaller engined SUVs, and I don’t spare the horses. I spend about $100 per tank filling it (with 98 octane Premium, of course). I fill up every 3 or 4 weeks, and don’t care about the cost. After all, being my ‘work’ vehicle, I get to tax deduct the fuel cost anyway. It’s a free country, and if I choose to drive a 320 horsepower car to the shops, that’s my business. Giddy up!

terry_wrist 12:28 am
30 Apr 07

Can any of you meat headed Holden fans provide a sensible answer to the following two questions (regarding statements made by contributers on this thread), that can convince any one with an IQ of more… well more than 50:

1. Why do real men drive utes?
2. Why do real men drives commodores?

“It’s a free country, and if I choose to drive a 320 horsepower car to the shops, that’s my business.”
Yes VYBrelina…., it is a free country. And we have for a decades now used our right to drive what ever petrol guzzling monster we want. But technology and the environment are changing. Cars account for a substantial amount of the Greenhouse gasses we pump into the atmosphere. The Europeans see it. The Amercians see it and have created cars, even high powered sports cars, that can run for 500km on battery power. European cars still use fossil fuels for the most part, but use the more efficient diesel to milk 1,000km out of a single tank. But they are also developing Hydrogen and electrical powered cars.

I’m not really saying we shouldn’t drive such big, petrol hugry cars. I’m trying to say that with todays technology and knowledge, WHY WOULD WE?

shauno 4:45 am
30 Apr 07


Because we can! and its fun lol.
And you can believe all this climate change crap and Al Gore’s hysterical propaganda if you want but the jury is still out on that one with regards to human C02 causing global warming.

Um your forgetting a few small little facts about European cars. The general trend has been larger and faster cars coming out of Europe over the last few years. Just have a look at whats available at Mercedes Benz these days 6.3lt 500+ hp V8s and 5.5lt supercharged V8′s also twin turbo V12′s.

The latest BMW M3 is coming out in 4 litre V8 up from 3.2 litre 6 in the previous model.

Also Europe is the sports car capital of the world there are more high powered sports cars per km then anywhere else.

Granted there are a lot of small cars in Europe bu thats demographics for you its much easier driving driving a small Smart or Fiat type car in places like Marseille.

All these cars and the aussie V8 cars coming out all pass and better govt emission targets and one thing you have to take into account is engine efficiency.
In terms of Kw per litre engine size some of these engines would be more efficient then a Yaris engine and put out less emissions per litre to.

Diesel in Europe is generally heavily subsidized as well thats one of the main reasons it is more popular over there. Take France for example its much cheaper buying Diesel at the pump then petrol mainly because of the strong transport trucking Unions over there.

V8 Utes?? They are a great car very handy for various things and also good value for money. You can get a nice 6lt Chev powered one and just out of the US in the new Corvette is the latest small block Chev 7.0 litre LS7 V8. So there are plans to possibly bring this V8 to aussie soon as well.

I don’t care what type of cars people drive Ive owned various models my self with no real brand loyalty. I just like interesting cars mainly.

The hydrogen and fuel cell powered cars are a long way off especially hydrogen because the infrastructure its just not there and it will cost many many billions to put this in place. So we will have petrol powered cars for a long time to come and unless the Oil price reach $200 a barrel this isn’t going to change.

Sammy 8:58 am
30 Apr 07

All this shows is that you have truly no idea about fuel consumption and larger cars

If you can get a Commodore to achieve anywhere close to 6.82 l/100km with five people on board, and a boot full of luggage, i’ll buy you a new Commodore.

Pandy 9:05 am
30 Apr 07

Terry, can you do 0-100 in 13.5 secs? No? thats why I want a V8!

Also I have been in a big accident in a Commodore. I survived. I doubt that would have been the case in a Yaris 5 stars or not.

bonfire 9:06 am
30 Apr 07

commodore ss’s are for people who let gm decide they are cool.

its essentially still a berlina.

although i have got a 4spd auto from a commodore in the stanley steamer (for the overdrive) mainly to aid highway fuel consumption.

hit the hume, slide into overdrive, watch the tacho needle drop…

i detest parking in multi-storey carparks – mainly because of the size of the parking spaces. i dont want my doors dinged up.

although i usually catch the bus into civic on the weekends so i can get sauced up.

the carpark next to the afp hq/courts has decent sized spaces.

johnboy 9:09 am
30 Apr 07

So terry, you want to burn coal hundreds of kilometres away, lose most of that power in heat, use what’s left boil water to spin a turbine and make electricity. Lose most of that in transmission, lose most of charging a battery.

That’s bloody brilliant for the planet.

Another of those false economies you’re incapable of understanding.

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