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Parking Chaos at Belconnen Mall

By LSWCHP - 24 April 2011 24

Last weekend I arranged to meet my wife at Belconnen Mall for a coffee and some shopping. She was very late, and eventually called me to say that she was stuck in a “giant cluster*fck” in the new upstairs carpark off Lathlain street. Apparently the whole carpark was gridlocked, so she couldn’t park and couldn’t get out. She rarely uses profanity, so I knew things mustn’t have looked very good. She eventually managed to escape, and showed up at the coffeshop about 30 minutes later. The total distance she travelled in that 30 minutes would have been about 300m.

This afternoon I went over to the mall to pick up a few things. I intended to go into the same carpark, but there was a queue of cars lined up outside the boom gates so I drove past. As far as I could tell the place was wedged tight, with no free spaces, and all lanes full of motionless cars. I found a spot further down Lathlain street, and walked back to the mall, which was absolutely chockers beyond belief with people shopping and milling around looking at the new shops.

When I left about 90 minutes later, the carpark seemed to be in the same state, with a queue outside the gates, and long lines of motionless cars stuck inside the gates.

The Easter long weekend might explain the congestion today, but last weekend was nothing special. Has anyone else tried to park in that carpark in recent weekends and had similar hassles? Is it a place to be avoided on the weekend?

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Parking Chaos at Belconnen Mall
Pommy bastard 7:52 am 25 Apr 11

Dacquiri said :

I have sent a couple of complaints to Westfield about the parking situation at Belconnen (a particular issue for me because I pay membership fees to Fernwood and so lose money when I can’t get to the gym because there’s nowhere to park). .

Ever thought of parking a few streets away and walking in? You may get a … errmmmm …bit of exercise too.

beh1972 10:24 pm 24 Apr 11

A frigging ‘car park full’ sign would be nice

rodent 9:23 pm 24 Apr 11

I live right near the shops and in moments of laziness coming home from work/when I know I’m going to have a lot to carry, I have attempted to park in the new shopping centre.

Previously I always parked on the top level, but have not done that once since the new area opened and in the rain one weekend I spent close to 40 minutes circling the upper level for a park. The area underneath near Aldi is much better, but can still be very tight at particular times. *Any* Friday night appears to be a nightmare, as well as any lunch time/most times during normal shopping hours. Evenings is of course okay, but most of the shops except Hoyts/Grill’d/KMart/Target/Coles/Woolworths are shut. My biggest grievance with the parking is the limited signage/ability to turn right into the Aldi/bottom entrance car park (where you turn at the lights, not where you turn at the give way).

Suffice to say, the situation’s forced me to be much more of a walker to the centre now than a driver. Even then, it can be a bit of a confronting experience – there’s very limited easy entrance from that level for someone approaching by foot, so you’re invariably navigating with cars. This might be mainly because of the huge amount of construction still going on, but I doubt it.

Why is this happening? Simply, I think people like shiny new things. The JB/Myer side of the mall is comparatively dead, especially when it’s 9pm on a Friday and people are still streaming through Max Brenner and Grill’d.

Dacquiri 8:21 pm 24 Apr 11

I have sent a couple of complaints to Westfield about the parking situation at Belconnen (a particular issue for me because I pay membership fees to Fernwood and so lose money when I can’t get to the gym because there’s nowhere to park). The centre manager, Gary Stewart (G.Stewart@au.westfield.com) has advised that Westfield intends to install a Parking Guidance System (PGS) within the next few months (ie, one of those things with lights to show you where there’s an available space). The obvious question, of course — given what they’ve spent on building the thing — is why they didn’t install a PGS when they were constructing the car parks. But then, this is a company that also, even after having been told of the error, took no action to correct the exit signs from the new Lathlain St. carpark which, for months after their installation, incorrectly directed traffic for Cohen St. to turn right instead of left as they exited onto Lathlain. I would suggest that the most effective thing to do with any complaint is to take it directly to the centre manager, with a cc to the company’s national office.

grump 8:17 pm 24 Apr 11

school holidays anyone????

entrance to pictures has always been via food court side iirc

doomguy1001 8:15 pm 24 Apr 11

I do visit the centre from time to time over the course of the entire year.

The parking in general is terrible, poor access is by far the biggest issue not forgetting the insufficient parking spaces for the centre’s size and the population base it services.

My rule is during Christmas, Easter and those end of financial year sales – avoid Belconnen mall at all costs.

Very Busy 8:03 pm 24 Apr 11

Why didn’t you catch the bus instead?

basketcase 7:06 pm 24 Apr 11

Ah, so that was the problem. Rode past saw a full parking lot off Lathlain St, with 10 or so cars trying to get in, including a police car. Wonder if the police were called to sort it out.

Riding your bike through that top car park shows up what’s wrong with the design, it is plain straight out bad with no flow. That’s getting in, getting out is worse. There is also something bizarre with the way they have angle parking and right angle parking.

There is bicycle parking in the middle and the Benjamin Way end of that park. You need to keep your wits about you getting to either sets of racks when cars are looking for parking spots.

BenMac 5:53 pm 24 Apr 11

taninaus said :

I got stuck by the lack of clear signage at night the other week – wanted to go to the movies so thought OK I will park on the southern/eastern side (not sure of the road) near Myers – but the top doors near Community CPS were locked tight and the downstairs doors had the escalators blocked off so no way to Hoyts from what I would see as one of the most logical entrances after hours. I was forced to the Lathlain side to find my way with the other muppets/lemmings through the closed food court! I am not convinced that the way to get into the place has been made simpler.

Why would they keep a section of the mall open that has no shops open? All stores close at 530pm or there abouts. They only ones that stay open are Woolworths/Coles and Hoyts. So, logically, the best enrty is the ex-open air carpark for the supermarkets, as it’s always been.

dundle 5:38 pm 24 Apr 11

Never had it happen until a few days ago when everything undercover was absolutely packed. Eventually parked outside, not undercover but free, a short walk away and empty! I thought it was a bit strange too, I’d never seen it like that and didn’t realise Belconnen was so popular on not-particularly-special days.

I-filed 5:13 pm 24 Apr 11

Yep. Gridlock. I am not familiar with the mall parking, and couldn’t find my way around. Took 45 minutes to find a park for my five minute refund errand. Gridlock, so could not cut my losses after 20 minutes and get out of these. Zero signage.

aronde 5:00 pm 24 Apr 11

Since the new entrance to the shops opened from this car park I have also noticed regular gridlock. The design of the traffic flows does not seem to help – it only takes a couple of cars to be waiting for a spot and the traffic backs up. And Heaven help you if someone gets stuck at the exit as you have no hope of reversing back to get to the other exit. Also if you have kids I would avoid this car park altogether as negotiating it as a pedestrian after parking your car is a nightmare.

In another show of planning forethought they have installed heaps of bike racks outside this new entrance to the shops but there is no real safe way for a cyclist to get to them (unless you like weaving in amongst the traffic). I am yet to see a bike locked up there. Surely some bike racks could have been put outside the entrance near Kathmandu where access is a lot easier?

As mentioned earlier the undercover area seems to be less of a hassle for parking.

arescarti42 4:09 pm 24 Apr 11

A similar thing happened to me last year in the multistory car park on the corner of Joynton Smith Drive and Benjamin Way. All the ramps up to the roof parking and all the lanes on the lower levels were jammed with stationary cars. I entered the car park about 20 mins early for an optometrist appointment and was about 5 minutes late by the time i got there.

No idea what caused it, it wasn’t a weekend or late night shopping or Xmas or anything.

taninaus 2:53 pm 24 Apr 11

I got stuck by the lack of clear signage at night the other week – wanted to go to the movies so thought OK I will park on the southern/eastern side (not sure of the road) near Myers – but the top doors near Community CPS were locked tight and the downstairs doors had the escalators blocked off so no way to Hoyts from what I would see as one of the most logical entrances after hours. I was forced to the Lathlain side to find my way with the other muppets/lemmings through the closed food court! I am not convinced that the way to get into the place has been made simpler.

BenMac 12:39 pm 24 Apr 11

I park underneath that carpark, outside Aldi. I’ve never had any problems, and it’s undercover. You should give it a try.

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