24 June 2007

Fair Canberra Parking

| Ntp
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Nathanael, author of local blog purecaffeine.com has kicked off a project attempting to address the issue of parking in Canberra.

Making some sensible points Fair Parking Canberra states its purpose is to:

channel our frustration with the parking situation into change. Let’s stop whinging to our co-workers and tell someone who has to care – the Government. What we propose is not unreasonable, but the recommendations are designed to fix an unreasonable system.

If parking is an issue for you it is probably worth at least a look and maybe signing the petition.

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LOL el, thanks for your useful and insightful advice.

I’m keen for more busses as well as more parking.

Perhaps one of these ‘small, reasonable chunks’ could be taking responsibility for your own disorganisation that causes you to receive parking tickets in the first place?

Kramer – one thing at a time; if you have the time and initiative then go for it! But these things need to be broken down into small, reasonable chunks so you can focus on a single solution rather than taking an entire wish list to the Government 🙂

Maybe instead of lobbying for more parking, you should be lobbying for more busses? or more cycle lanes!

Agree Cityboy, its a bit like the dreadful situation out at the Snowdome.

I like it how the property council always lobbies the government to build more parking, when it was them who built the buildings without adequate parking on the car park in the first place.

I have wet socks.

Absent Diane9:16 am 26 Jun 07

tuk tuk’s are the perfect solution.

“If they are going to keep on increasing the offices in civic, they should be making sure that the workers in those offices can get to work – be that Enough Parking, some sort of Park N Ride from places like the Rex or Epic, More Busses”

Fair call…

Most women are not going to park far from work at the moment, as it is dark at the time of leaving. No way I would walk alone to the Rex in the dark.

If they are going to keep on increasing the offices in civic, they should be making sure that the workers in those offices can get to work – be that Enough Parking, some sort of Park N Ride from places like the Rex or Epic, More Busses.

and fix the ticket machines – coming up with 7.50 in change daily is a pain in the neck. And the weekly parking tickets don’t work for part time workers.

I just did, albeit, from the Rex 😉

Thumper, try taking that leisurely stroll on a cold and rainy morning like today 🙂

Treasuru is probably not a bad place to park. even if you work in civic. It can’t be more than a leisurely 20 minute stroll into the CBD.

That’s correct Ant – I don’t look all that good in heels unfortunately.

And for the record I also use public transport where convenient, which in my situation is not every day and was certainly not an option while working in Woden up until a month ago.

I also think that us as a community (with or without the ACT Government’s assistance and support) could work better at car pooling. When I do catch the bus almost every car that goes past has a single occupant.

While it doesn’t allow the full flexibility of driving your own car into work it is a good compromise between that and public transport.

I have some ideas for that, but that is outside the scope of this particular campaign – but just thought you should know that I’m not just “somebody who got a ticket and has decided to throw a tanty”.


Thanks to a tip-off from someone who emailed me I realised the site had been posted here – so a bit late, but thank you to everyone who has expressed their opinions, both for and against the Fair Canberra Parking campaign.

Commercially-operated parking does have one-up on the ACT Government in that it at least provides machines that accepts notes and also the ticket dispensing method means that you can get the cash before you need to pay for parking rather than run the risk of having to leave your car in an unpaid parking zone for several minutes to get change if you don’t have coins on you.

However commercially-operated parking is prohibitively expensive.

Also the long-stay parking voucher system does NOT guarantee a long-stay parking space; ok, so at the price they’re offered at I don’t expect the current model to allow for exclusive-use parking spaces but it should certainly be a premium option – though I think the fundamental premis of the long-stay pre-paid voucher system is flawed.

To Woody, I see where you’re coming from however you are wildly inaccurate about your rather critical presumptions for my reasoning behind this particular aspect of the campaign;

I believe the lack of a “sliding scale” is due to a lack of technology – of course we don’t expect parking inspectors to somehow keep tabs manually on all parked vehicles. But my argument is that the enabling technology is not available, so rather than the ACT Government giving people the benefit of the doubt and providing a lenient system they’re rather opting for the maximum penalty approach. We’re suffering due to a lack of investment in technology. THAT, is my argument.

el doesn’t wear heels, or have any long-term sporting injuries, I can somehow tell. Where I work, things are pretty slow at 8.30am, but by 5.30pm they’re often popping, and you can’t bank on leaving then (you can bank on NOT leaving then). I think it’s nice that some people can get to work early enough to score a park, but whether those same people want to be at work at 7pm on a regular basis is debatable.

I think Treasury’s onto the Library parking. Certainly if I try to get a park at the Library in the daytime, it’s not going to happen. Questacon’s still Ok though…. lots of dirt.

Nah sepi, I usually start anywhere between 8 and 9AM. I’m not sure where ‘fit’ comes into the equation either, WALKING as far as I can tell is a fairly normal activity for people of all levels of fitness.

So fit childfree men who get to work before 7 are happy with the parking situation.
No problem then.

Woody Mann-Caruso9:15 pm 25 Jun 07

*slaps forehead*

Sorry, I meant the National Library, not the Gallery. You’d have to be walking pretty slow to take 12 minutes to get from the Gallery to Edmund Barton Building 😉

“You” suggests buy a weekly or monthly parking ticket, yep that would be good, however when you don’t work in the same place for the whole year and only know where you will be working on a weekly basis, it’s not workable.. Canberra Connect shopfronts aren’t open on weekends, nor do I have 5 working days to wait for one to arrive in the mail, and the bright spark government closed the city shopfront? no option..

“MrMagoo” suggests walk to work, sure i’ll start at 3am and walk across town to get to work on time. Catch a bus, yep great. a bus which will run late, if it comes at all, packed in like a sardine, it will take the longest route possible, then I will take the 1.5hr journey home if I want to finish work any later than 6pm. Give me a decent service and I will use it.

I don’t work in Civic! Although it’s annoying to use the parking as an excuse to get out of a job you don’t want to do, and have the employer stump up the extra $50/week to get you in. Hate that.

Woody, most of the parking at the Gallery is time-limited and the inspectors do patrol (so patrons of the gallery have somewhere to park). Many office workers do park there, and you see them skipping over the road to move their cars.
I’ve never investigated the underground park at the Gallery though, that might be a prospect. People also park between Questacon and the Library, on the dirt… Treasury and the 2 aforementioned buildings tend to get most of that though.

Woody Mann-Caruso7:55 pm 25 Jun 07

There’s acres of free, all-day, mostly empty parking behind the National Gallery. Maybe the Edmund Barton folk could park there, then have a 12-minute walk to the office.

and I’ll continue to pay zilch, and be able to get a spot up til around 9am. I’m sure the parking in Civic will get even better as they develop those sites and I’ll look forward to all the happy positive posts about it.

OK then Ant. So that means that there’s four of us (Yourself, Danman, Thumper and myself) participating in this thread, that work in Civic, that DON’T pay for parking, and DON’T have any problems finding a spot.

What’s so ‘horrific’ about that? 🙂

Drop my little bloke off at 7.45, when his Centre opens and collect him about 5.30 dependant on traffic and bus running on time. i have an understanding Manager as well which helps immensley

Sepi – the same parking problems occur in Emu ridge since pay parking was instigated at Belcompton mall.

Also – not all childcare centres only open at 8. I know of at least one, that’s open by 7, if not even earlier..

D – you acknowledged your solution wouldn’t work for kids, but then suggested people should address the issue themselves without bleating. I was interested in your ideas for that. Guess you don’t have any.

Cityboy – definitely – Campbell too. But if only the parking in Civic wasn’t so bad those in neighbouring suburbs wouldn’t find their streets turning into carparks.

They need to bring in a resident parking system rather than 3 hour limit in turner, Reid and Braddon. Residents should be allowed to park outside there houses like in any other suburb.

Sepi – in response to you danman how do you suggest those with kids address the parking problem for themselves?

– ill quote myself Not saying this is ideal for everyone – as I do no thave any children to make lunches for and drop at work etc etc yet

Like I said – my problem, my soloution.

I di not pose this as a blanket solution – merely what I do.

I thought that was quite clear – hence my embedded disclaimers in my oroginal post.

Need me to dumb it down a bit more champ ?

Magoo how do you get in your full day at work and still get back to the daycare to pick up on time?

I drop my child at daycare on the way to work and I Catch the BUS. I am also Vision Impaired so perhaps I don’t have much of a choice, but I certainly have made it work for me. BTW my child care option is in Belconnen and I work in Barton.

Absent Diane12:19 pm 25 Jun 07

Well I disagree with putting kids in long term childcare as well – with single parents (in most circumstances) being the exception.

The aged are in a different ball park.. they have done their time and are given the opportunity to die peacefully and a little easier.

The Edmund Barton Building people are moving to that new building in civic west just down from the police station.

I’ve noticed as well now that staff around the Parliamentary Triangle area have also taken to parking on the lawn directly behind Olde Parliament House as well.

Because people with kids have to make two stops of a morning – at childcare, then to work. Childcare opens at 8 and shuts at 6, so parking at the crack of dawn is not possible. Neither is a long walk to the car if you want to work an 8 hour day.

I’m happy to pay my 7,50 a day, I just want to be able to actually find a carpark.

If more employers would incorporate childcare into workplaces this problem would be solved, but that is a separate issue.

Bus is not possible unless the childcare is co-located with the workplace.

I used to bus until I had a child – now I do need different facilities, as my circumstances have changed.

Do you also resent the additional requirements of the elderly and infirm?


I agree totally…

Where are the Edmund Barton people moving to?

that whole precinct struggles, and I’ve noticed changes from even a year ago. The carpark behind The Ottoman fills quickly and chaotically from Edmund Barton people, AGs, and the various office buildings all around (to the south). Edmund Barton people also park over the other side of Kings Ave, near Finance/Heritage, which means they’re doing battle with people who work in the old Admin building.
PM&C were competing for spots in a very pot-holed dirt park behind their old building, but fences went up there a while back so I think it was going to be built-on. God knows where they will park. The Archive mob seem to have some reserved parking around their building, and various other buildings seem to have boom gates up – DCITA and DFAT put one up for their staff some years ago.

It amuses me the people in the Edmund Barton Building, who already struggle for parking, are being transplanted to that new building where the parking problems are even worse (and they have to pay as well).

Absent Diane11:14 am 25 Jun 07

why do people think that because they have kids there should be exceptions made for them or that they are special?

I park at the Rex and walk for 15-20 minutes.

Not a problem. Free car park as long as I get there before 0745.

Leave the car at home, walk, ride or catch the bus, our reliance on our cars to get to and from work each day and leaving in carparks all days is a waste of resources. If more people take alternate trnsport options, greater services and frequency will increase. It is time the Government stopped listening to loud minority voices and started acting to save the place. Public transport is the answer. Stop pretending your are too good for the bus and don’t want to ‘sit next to those people’. Lock cars out of the city I say.

danman how do you suggest those with kids address the parking problem for themselves?

If you have to drop kids and pick them up by 5.45, you are already pushed to do your 8 hours at work. Adding a 20 minute walk to and from the car is just not possible.

Wow! I never knew parking could be such an exciting subject, but El has certainly enlightened me. Well, you can continue to pay $7.50 a day for parking, and I’ll continue to pay zilch, and be able to get a spot up til around 9am. I’m sure the parking in Civic will get even better as they develop those sites and I’ll look forward to all the happy positive posts about it.

neanderthalsis9:43 am 25 Jun 07

And here I was thinking you endorsed child labour Danman…

children at school – rather than dropping them at work 😛

I always have a good parking spot in the morning.

Its there everyday – and if not – I can move my car 200m down the road and find an even more spacious carpark.

I think (where its practical of course, not everyone can do it because of family commitments – dropping kids at school etc) people should start addressing the issues themselves.

When I started working in Civic I refused to pay for parking – and took measures to do this legally.

I now get to my “Spot” at 0630 and walk 15 minutes to work.

Civic parking may not be ideal – but what do you want – it served to you on a silver platter.

Instead of having a crack at other people – why dont you try and address it for your circumstances..

I have been working in the same office in Civic for about 1.75 years – and saved approx $3120.

Not saying this is ideal for everyone – as I do no thave any children to make lunches for and drop at work etc etc yet – and Mrs Danman usually beats me out the door in the mornings (Nurse) – but this is how I addressed it without bleeting poor me.

p1. That is the requirement according tothe media reportsn the law court development.

The government also has said that if you have to walk 800m from you all day car park, well you are getting some exercise.

prehaps the government, as part of development approval for any new building, should insist that they have sufficent parking for the same number of cars that are being displaced by the loss of the car park.

Or perhaps they could just put money from the sale of the land into public transport….

But both those large carparks are now slated for development aren’t they?

There are some people who can’t walk for 12 minutes – pregnant women for one.

And I have driven around ALL carparks one lunchtime a few months ago and eventually gave up in disgust and parked about 3 blocks away in Braddon (and was massively late).

It is great that you can currently find parking – but I think we should be trying not to lose any more civic carparks. With a couple of carparks already sold off, and Anzac Park soon beign occupied it is only going to get worse, not better.

At Russell you have to get ther before 8.25 to get a spot.

Agreed You. I think the absolute longest walk to my office has taken about 12 minutes. Maybe that’s too far for certain folks?

And yes, all these car parks I mentioned are useable for long-stay/all day parking, $7.50. I’ve arrived as late as 9AM and still been able to find a spot. Unless of course you consider 9AM ‘very early in the morning’…?

I park in the long term carpark opposite the ATO. Entry is off London Circuit (directly opposite Constitution ave) and you can turn left to head for long stay or right to go for short stay.

I get there at around 8:30 – 8:45 every day and have never had a problem finding spaces down the far end of the carpark. Sure you have to walk about 10 or so minutes before you make it to the Canberra Centre, but if that is considered an effort then you have some fitness problems to deal with.

OK then “Ant” (do we need to justify our usernames now?) – guess what: I work in Civic too. Your line that ‘parking in Civic if you have to work there is horrific’ is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. I’ve never had issues parking right next to the very same multi-level on the Western side of Civic (opposite 40 Marcus Clark Street, yes?) that you mentioned. Or finding a spot in the MASSIVE car park opposite the ATO Building. Or a bit further round (also on London Cct) behind the Police Station (opposite the new construction sites).

Are you seriously not aware that these large carparks exist?

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt8:12 pm 24 Jun 07

Parking’s not terrific in this town, but will likely get worse over time. Fortunately I never have to pay for parking as I have an effectively unlimited company expense account. But the driving around looking can get annoying.

WMC, putting change in the ashtray/tray/anywhere in your car means the druggies will break into your car to get it. the popular car park near the Rex was full of smashed glass… I had my canopy slashed to get 50 cents in change. Most of my workmates had windows broken there at some point. I rang the cops once to report 2 guys going around the carpark, doing this, and I waited there for 20 minutes watching them, and the cops never showed.

well, “el”, you must certainly be trying to park in a different city. Or so you only use short-term parking? There’s enough of that.
Parking in Civic if you have to work there is horrific. I tend to work over the Western side… I don’t work in shops. Certainly the highrise on that side has a full all-day top floor very early in the morning. You discover this after going round and round to get to the top. Next option was $8/day a year ago. Nowadays, if they really want me to work for them and they’re in Civic, they are required to chip in $50/week extra to pay for my parking (oddly enough, they do). I used to park rooftop above Target in the 90s, and the roof used to fill up very fast also. Has that changed, el?

Brindabella Park, another work venue, wants to charge CBD prices to park in a paddock. won’t work there on principle.

Barton, although better, is still tricky. So I prefer to work for employers who have their own carpark so you’re not doing battle with all and sundry. some precincts are full by 8.25am.

I didn’t know about being able to buy all-day parking permits though. That would be handy if still working in civic. Thank you, “You”, something useful rather than the “I’m all right Jack” comments by some.

The complainers do realise that you can buy a monthly or yearly parking ticket for any long term stay carpark in Canberra from the government shopfront right?

Tape it to your dash and your parking problems are over.

I forget to mention, they need to make the pricing structures fairer for all day parking. If you work a half day you still need to pay a full $7.50 if you park in the city anytime before 1pm! The obvious Government greed is rediculous, the fee should be proportionate to the length of stay, $4 should be the maximum paid after 12-12.30pm.

I have no problems with the fines in place for overstaying.. do the crime pay the fine.

Though if they keep charging a fortune for all day parking in dirt carparks it’s time to introduce note machines for all day carparks, finding $40 in change a week is a pain.

The parking is getting rediculous. Working at City West it’s getting to the point where all surface car parks are full by 8.30am, the multi story carpark is full not long after, and you pay more for it. In the next few months all the surface carparks in City West, and the short stay near the Law Courts will be built on, with the useless Government having no forsight to provide any contingencies for the 1500 odd cars who use those carparks each day, unless you want to walk for 20 minutes from the lake or 10 mins from the Canberra Centre site?

I’d catch a bus, but I need a car quite regularly for my job, and I don’t particularly want to be packed like a sardine in a bus that runs late or takes an hour and a half to get me to or from work if I miss the 3 direct ones a day!

I’ll answer for el: YES! Never a problem with the one behind the skate-park/Dendy.

And now it is $2 flat after 6pm Mon-Thurs and after 9pm Friday. Good one!

el – are there really empty spots up there at lunchtime?

And ant: Please describe exactly what it is about the current parking ‘situation’ that makes it a debacle. Anyone whinging about parking in Civic obviously hasn’t bothered to try the multi-storey carparks that have hundreds of empty spaces on the upper levels EVERY DAY.

Agreed 100% WMC. Very well said.

Woody Mann-Caruso10:32 am 24 Jun 07

Sounds like somebody who got a ticket and has decided to throw a tanty. I’ve never had any problem parking anywhere in Canberra, on any day, at any time of week. At worst, I’ve had to park five minutes’ walk from my destination. If I drive into a shopping centre carpark on a Saturday morning, I expect it to be busy, and I expect to drive around for a few minutes. If I get to work after 8:30am, I expect to have to park further away from work – ditto if I work anywhere remotely busy, or have to visit an office during the day. Maybe if he stopped expecting a free parking space in front of everywhere he decides to drive to he wouldn’t be so unhappy.

To answer his ‘problems’:

The fine is the same because parking inspectors cannot, and should not be expected to, calculate a sliding scale fine for each and every car they ticket. ‘Let’s see, you were 3 minutes and 12 seconds over when I visisted, and it’s a 4 hour spot, and it’s 80c for the first hour, and you’re coming from the bank, so carry the 3…”. Do what normal people do when they visit busy places like shops, banks and post offices – anticipate a delay and pay more at the meter in the first place. You admit you’re late getting back, so it’s like you want free time to make up for your inability to plan an hour into the future. If you overstay your park, then _you_ are the one contributing to a lack of parking in Canberra, not the evil gubmint, and you should be fined.

Yes, I always carry around change, because *gasp* I know I may need to use a parking meter. Know all that useless change you dump into a bowl near the door when you get home? Dump it in the change drawer / ashtray / centre console of the car instead, and you’ll always have change like I do. You’re like the whiny bitches who try to pay for the bus with a $50, and then when the driver can’t change it, insist they should ride for free. You’re an adult – act like one, and take responsibility for your own actions instead of blaming the government because you can’t rustle up a handful of shrapnel in the morning.

It won’t matter what limit the government places on car parks – an hour, two, four – there’ll always be numbnuts like you who overstay their welcome. Admit it – you won’t be happy until there’s a six-storey car park built just for you in front of everwhere you’re likely to go, and you get a special gold key to your own floor.

It’ll be interesting to see how he goes. The current situation certainly is a debacle.

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