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Parking in Braddon – something needs to be done

By Alexandra Craig 9 September 2014 57

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Braddon is one of the fastest growing town centres in Canberra and while this is not going to be another article advocating for an IGA (however a recent survey found that around 80% of respondents are in favour of a supermarket in Braddon, just saying), this is an article advocating for greater parking availability.

Parking in Braddon is scarce – it’s on the verge of being non-existent. I am lucky enough that I live within easy walking distance to Lonsdale Street, and even luckier that my house has allocated parking so I don’t have to worry about parking on the street. However if I’m meeting up with non-Braddon residents for lunch, nine times out of ten they will be late because they’re not able to find a parking spot. Unless you’re one of the super lucky ones to nab a park in the small parking lot of about 20 spots (Haig Park, next to the big yellow Mandalay Bus), you’ll be fighting for a street park on Lonsdale or Mort Street – dizzy from doing laps around the block.

While friends being late for lunch and driving around in circles is frustrating for all parties, it is obviously not the most hugely inconvenient situation we’ll face in life and we can deal with it. So what about the businesses that are impacted? How does this affect them?

Adam Ciaccia from Axis Hairdressing took to Twitter in late August to express his frustration at the lack of parking. On average, four Axis clients per week are forced to cancel their appointments at the last minute because they’re unable to find a parking spot. Four customers per week, at an average cost of $250 per person is $1000 per week in sales lost by Axis. In one year, this will cost Axis – a local small business – around $48,000. This is a huge cut from their sales. Based on the minimum award rate, a loss of $48,000 each year is the cost of wages for a couple of junior apprentice hairdressers on the Axis staff. Before I lived within walking distance, I used to arrive about 30 minutes prior to my appointment with Axis because I was so worried about not being able to find a car spot. On multiple occasions I only just found a parking spot in time. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to drive around for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot like I had.

What can be done to increase parking in an already established town centre? Build on what you’ve got. I would be in strong favour of the parking lot next to the Mandalay Bus being extended to take up some of the largely unused Haig Park, however I suspect some may not like the idea of taking any amount of greenery away and replacing it with concrete.  Perhaps we build up instead? Use a similar perimeter to the current parking lot and build a multi-storey parking lot. It might only fit about 50-100 extra parking spots due to height restrictions that might be in place but it would definitely make a noticeable difference for visitors.

With a new business opening up every few months, it can be guaranteed that Braddon is not slowing down. It’s thriving with every new day and parking should be a priority.


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57 Responses to
Parking in Braddon – something needs to be done
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dkNigs 8:52 pm 11 Sep 14

Plus we have to remember the lack of parking is due to construction and construction workers. If you took the existing parking to rebuild into a multistory, there would be absolutely no parking in the immediate area for a good year or two (these things always take longer than they should). If you waited that long, Braddon would have a tonne of parking, every new apartment building is required to add to the pool of public parking.

fabforty 7:02 pm 11 Sep 14

Haig Park should be turned into a proper park – the playing and enjoyment kind, not the car kind. This is an excellent space for maybe a community garden and nice trees and gardens. People living in apartments need some attractive green spaces – not more car parks.

Alexandra Craig 4:57 pm 11 Sep 14

Kalliste said :

dkNigs said :

adamciaccia said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Surely the parking in Braddon, despite its apparent near third world crisis levels, is an improvement for Axis compared with their old Barry Dr location?

Yes, when the Feds cut jobs Canberra’s small businesses usually suffer, but this is a far larger problem than whinging about parking in one suburb. And the effects are felt well beyond the narrow scope of shopfront retail stores.

I know Canberra is not Sydney and that’s one very big plus for me, I love Canberra, but if (otherwise healthy and mobile) people are seriously sooking about parking in the Canberra Centre and walking to Braddon they need to HTFU.

It’s a 5-10 minute walk, haha, that’s all.

We have it pretty good here.

I agree with you, unfortunately my customers don’t. Canberra centre is a reasonable distance away 100%.

Haig Park is seriously only 100-150m closer than the Canberra centre carpark. Are your customers parking behind Mode 3 in the near vacant carpark since it went to govt parking a few weeks ago? I live in the building, and haven’t looked outside during the day in the past fortnight without seeing several free parks. $3 an hour, hour max stay, and inspectors doing laps to fine the all dayers seems to keep those spaces free which should be exactly what your clients need.

I also can’t believe people in Braddon want Haig Park to become a car park, while Braddon residents are fighting the Raiders building a new club/parking/retail space adjacent to Northbourne oval on the next damn street.

I don’t think Haig Park should be made into a carpark. That being said, something needs to be done with it, I don’t know many people who would walk through there at night and I barely want to during the day.

It needs a makeover, better lit, less dodgy toilets and nicer places to sit. It would also help if the nearby flats weren’t there.

Definitely needs to be better lit. Some extra maintenance wouldn’t go astray either – the grass gets quite long from time to time.

Kalliste 10:18 am 11 Sep 14

dkNigs said :

adamciaccia said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Surely the parking in Braddon, despite its apparent near third world crisis levels, is an improvement for Axis compared with their old Barry Dr location?

Yes, when the Feds cut jobs Canberra’s small businesses usually suffer, but this is a far larger problem than whinging about parking in one suburb. And the effects are felt well beyond the narrow scope of shopfront retail stores.

I know Canberra is not Sydney and that’s one very big plus for me, I love Canberra, but if (otherwise healthy and mobile) people are seriously sooking about parking in the Canberra Centre and walking to Braddon they need to HTFU.

It’s a 5-10 minute walk, haha, that’s all.

We have it pretty good here.

I agree with you, unfortunately my customers don’t. Canberra centre is a reasonable distance away 100%.

Haig Park is seriously only 100-150m closer than the Canberra centre carpark. Are your customers parking behind Mode 3 in the near vacant carpark since it went to govt parking a few weeks ago? I live in the building, and haven’t looked outside during the day in the past fortnight without seeing several free parks. $3 an hour, hour max stay, and inspectors doing laps to fine the all dayers seems to keep those spaces free which should be exactly what your clients need.

I also can’t believe people in Braddon want Haig Park to become a car park, while Braddon residents are fighting the Raiders building a new club/parking/retail space adjacent to Northbourne oval on the next damn street.

I don’t think Haig Park should be made into a carpark. That being said, something needs to be done with it, I don’t know many people who would walk through there at night and I barely want to during the day.

It needs a makeover, better lit, less dodgy toilets and nicer places to sit. It would also help if the nearby flats weren’t there.

Holden Caulfield 9:11 am 11 Sep 14

Pork Hunt said :

So far, no one has mentioned the several construction sites in Mort and Lonsdale Streets. The tradies start work at 6:30-7 am and quickly fill up the parking areas adjacent to Haig Park.
I am one of those tradies but I ride a motorcycle to work and as such am part of the solution, not the problem.
Once construction is complete at these sites, parking will improve rapidly.

That’s a good point, but until the transformation of Braddon into at least four blocks of shiny brand new mid-rise buildings is complete then there will be tradies taking up car parks.

Pork Hunt 7:55 pm 10 Sep 14

So far, no one has mentioned the several construction sites in Mort and Lonsdale Streets. The tradies start work at 6:30-7 am and quickly fill up the parking areas adjacent to Haig Park.
I am one of those tradies but I ride a motorcycle to work and as such am part of the solution, not the problem.
Once construction is complete at these sites, parking will improve rapidly.

dkNigs 7:34 pm 10 Sep 14

adamciaccia said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Surely the parking in Braddon, despite its apparent near third world crisis levels, is an improvement for Axis compared with their old Barry Dr location?

Yes, when the Feds cut jobs Canberra’s small businesses usually suffer, but this is a far larger problem than whinging about parking in one suburb. And the effects are felt well beyond the narrow scope of shopfront retail stores.

I know Canberra is not Sydney and that’s one very big plus for me, I love Canberra, but if (otherwise healthy and mobile) people are seriously sooking about parking in the Canberra Centre and walking to Braddon they need to HTFU.

It’s a 5-10 minute walk, haha, that’s all.

We have it pretty good here.

I agree with you, unfortunately my customers don’t. Canberra centre is a reasonable distance away 100%.

Haig Park is seriously only 100-150m closer than the Canberra centre carpark. Are your customers parking behind Mode 3 in the near vacant carpark since it went to govt parking a few weeks ago? I live in the building, and haven’t looked outside during the day in the past fortnight without seeing several free parks. $3 an hour, hour max stay, and inspectors doing laps to fine the all dayers seems to keep those spaces free which should be exactly what your clients need.

I also can’t believe people in Braddon want Haig Park to become a car park, while Braddon residents are fighting the Raiders building a new club/parking/retail space adjacent to Northbourne oval on the next damn street.

James McMahon 6:07 pm 10 Sep 14

I have been informed that these guys are coming to Braddon http://www.parkhound.com.au

Holden Caulfield 4:54 pm 10 Sep 14

adamciaccia said :

I agree with you, unfortunately my customers don’t. Canberra centre is a reasonable distance away 100%.

600m.

Of course a park outside the front door would be ace, who wouldn’t love that!

But I think it’s time we Canberrans began to understand our city is changing and the price of the “Braddon + small boutique business = mega popular” equation is some minor inconvenience with things like parking.

600m is not that far to walk, 100%. It’s a mindset.

600m is about the same as walking from the southern end of the QVB in Sydney and through The Strand into Pitt Street mall.

Too far?!

You need to start edumacating your customers, lol!

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:02 pm 10 Sep 14

Bugger me, $250 is a lot to pay for a haircut! Fortunately we live in a wealthy and free country, and good on the business owner for successfully selling a premium service.

Alexandra Craig 2:46 pm 10 Sep 14

watto23 said :

carnardly said :

I’m more blown away by the ‘and at an average visit of $250…’

who in God’s name gets hair services done to the value of $250 at a time – unless its say for a wedding party.

That’s what I spend on haircuts in a year… blimey Charlie.

So I had to google. a haircut is starting *FROM* $105 for a haircut with the big cheese. Seriously???

Is that what people charge (and other suckers pay) for a haircut these days? Then there’s another $80 to $90 or so for colouring up.

What is the difference between a $200 cut and colour (chokes on own lungs at the mere thought…) vs a suburban hairdresser at half that cost. Please someone who goes there, enlighten me…

I’m astounded by this too. I thought $28.50 was pricey, although found a new place that is $25 and every 5th haircut is free!
I realise women like a a few extra things done, but I still can’t imagine why you’d pay more than $100. Is it just that they can get away with charging $250+ to women? How often would a woman get a $250 hair job done?

I guarantee you, if I went to a really basic salon in the suburbs and got a cut, colour, wash, blowdry/style and sometimes a treatment (this is what I get done at Axis) it would cost about $180. This is the standard. I pay extra to go to Axis because of the expertise of staff, the quality of products used, the experience you receive (I mentioned this in an earlier comment – the staff offer you a variety of drinks, an iPad to read magazines on, the salon is always in pristine condition/always spotless etc), and the satisfaction you have with the finished product. I’ve always loved my hair after leaving Axis. When I used to go to other salons I was never 100% happy with what I ended up with.

Masquara 2:27 pm 10 Sep 14

watto23 said :

carnardly said :

I’m more blown away by the ‘and at an average visit of $250…’

who in God’s name gets hair services done to the value of $250 at a time – unless its say for a wedding party.

That’s what I spend on haircuts in a year… blimey Charlie.

So I had to google. a haircut is starting *FROM* $105 for a haircut with the big cheese. Seriously???

Is that what people charge (and other suckers pay) for a haircut these days? Then there’s another $80 to $90 or so for colouring up.

What is the difference between a $200 cut and colour (chokes on own lungs at the mere thought…) vs a suburban hairdresser at half that cost. Please someone who goes there, enlighten me…

I’m astounded by this too. I thought $28.50 was pricey, although found a new place that is $25 and every 5th haircut is free!
I realise women like a a few extra things done, but I still can’t imagine why you’d pay more than $100. Is it just that they can get away with charging $250+ to women? How often would a woman get a $250 hair job done?

Actually I think the women who spend that sort of money are women who need grey hair fixed up perhaps – good colouring takes ages and is very fiddly …

watto23 12:18 pm 10 Sep 14

carnardly said :

I’m more blown away by the ‘and at an average visit of $250…’

who in God’s name gets hair services done to the value of $250 at a time – unless its say for a wedding party.

That’s what I spend on haircuts in a year… blimey Charlie.

So I had to google. a haircut is starting *FROM* $105 for a haircut with the big cheese. Seriously???

Is that what people charge (and other suckers pay) for a haircut these days? Then there’s another $80 to $90 or so for colouring up.

What is the difference between a $200 cut and colour (chokes on own lungs at the mere thought…) vs a suburban hairdresser at half that cost. Please someone who goes there, enlighten me…

I’m astounded by this too. I thought $28.50 was pricey, although found a new place that is $25 and every 5th haircut is free!
I realise women like a a few extra things done, but I still can’t imagine why you’d pay more than $100. Is it just that they can get away with charging $250+ to women? How often would a woman get a $250 hair job done?

adamciaccia 11:51 am 10 Sep 14

Holden Caulfield said :

Surely the parking in Braddon, despite its apparent near third world crisis levels, is an improvement for Axis compared with their old Barry Dr location?

Yes, when the Feds cut jobs Canberra’s small businesses usually suffer, but this is a far larger problem than whinging about parking in one suburb. And the effects are felt well beyond the narrow scope of shopfront retail stores.

I know Canberra is not Sydney and that’s one very big plus for me, I love Canberra, but if (otherwise healthy and mobile) people are seriously sooking about parking in the Canberra Centre and walking to Braddon they need to HTFU.

It’s a 5-10 minute walk, haha, that’s all.

We have it pretty good here.

I agree with you, unfortunately my customers don’t. Canberra centre is a reasonable distance away 100%.

Holden Caulfield 11:11 am 10 Sep 14

Surely the parking in Braddon, despite its apparent near third world crisis levels, is an improvement for Axis compared with their old Barry Dr location?

Yes, when the Feds cut jobs Canberra’s small businesses usually suffer, but this is a far larger problem than whinging about parking in one suburb. And the effects are felt well beyond the narrow scope of shopfront retail stores.

I know Canberra is not Sydney and that’s one very big plus for me, I love Canberra, but if (otherwise healthy and mobile) people are seriously sooking about parking in the Canberra Centre and walking to Braddon they need to HTFU.

It’s a 5-10 minute walk, haha, that’s all.

We have it pretty good here.

davo101 10:20 am 10 Sep 14

tuco said :

So the suggestion is to make Haig Park into Haig Car Park? Seriously? Let’s work out if those car park options (sans trees and a park) are X metres closer to Axis than the bazillion carparks in the city. Because that X is how much value we are putting on the greenspace.

davo101 said :

There are many many car parking spaces about 400m to the south of Axis. The existing car park in Haig park is about 300m to the north. Are you really that lazy?

Yeap, we’re talking 100 metres closer.

aussieboy 7:12 am 10 Sep 14

What a ridiculous post.

I live in Braddon and we most certainly do not need any more parking or an IGA. It’s so great that we have equal numbers of cyclists/drivers at the moment, and there’s always a bus from Civic if you need it. Once a city gets to a certain density, it is a complete waste of time adding carparking – the only thing anyone should be advocating for is better public transport.

The other thing we need in Braddon is a decent non-ripoff bar. Bentspoke and Hopscotch might be popular, but if any of the microbreweries from Sydney or Melbourne set up shop, their customer base would collapse overnight. Canberra needs to stop settling for the mediocre.

adamciaccia 11:20 pm 09 Sep 14

I wasn’t going to involve myself in this, but it seems that I need to clarify some things, as a business owner I have to.

This post has gone from issues small businesses not just in Braddon but the wider areas of Canberra face with a lack of parking to what I charge in my business.

First things first, if you read what was in the first few comments, someone mentions that the solution to my problems is to put my prices up to $500 per haircut and offer a valet parking service. Well, valet would be good, we seriously considered it, it would be great if there was somewhere to park, unfortunately providing a service to parks someone’s car is a good idea, but you can’t lap Lonsdale St for an hour while someone attends an appointment, and yes I did make a commercial decision to move to Lonsdale St, the ACT Government sad they would support small business in the area, this is not the case at the moment, but wait the light rail will solve that right?

On the cost of pricing in my business, never have I ever seen anyone get charged $500 per appointment, and the average for a cut/colour/treatment is about $250.

To address the innuendo regarding Axis as a business and my pricing I say this, some people eat McDonalds and think its good food, others want to sit in a quality establishment, with highly dedicated trained staff, that provide customer service and a healthy quality meal, one is $6.95 the other $100 per head. There are pretty clear differences between the two.

Back to topic, the cost of a private space in the Mode 3 building is $500pm to rent or $40,000 to buy; yes that’s right 40 grand! Does that scream to you there is a parking problem?

A huge part of where people choose to shop, make their personal/professional appointments or go for a coffee/lunch is largely dependent on a significant element of convenience. In Braddon at the moment at times it’s far from it. However it has improved slightly and when the construction in the area settles down if will ease some more. Long term the government will need to provide a government built car park. Haige Park is disgusting, nothing but perverts and drug users/dealers hang out there and it makes sense for that space to be used for additional parking.

I also agree that some people are not prepared to walk extended distances, Canberra for a long time has been the Hollywood park capital right? The Canberra Centre is only 600m away, but it’s also someone’s right to drive a car, and to have a reasonable amount of accessibility while using it. We need balance, and its just not balanced.

Alex has raised some valid points here which I think needs to be the focus, several business on the Lonsdale St strip are struggling, some have been sold 2-3 times in the first 12 months. Today marked 1 year since we have moved in, and the complaints about parking are real, its not a joke, its costs us money, real money, it effects your bottom line as a business, in some cases inevitability it will cost people their financial lively hoods, jobs, put stress on families and relationships, small business is hard.

We have a local economy, which is far too reliant on Federal Government employment, and every time there is a cut in jobs small business do it hard. We don’t have endless bank accounts to pay our staff like government does, so at the moment when government employees are losing their jobs, which I might add must be bloody tough to go through and I genuinely sympathize with them, the money dries up in ACT, take away the element of convenience to visit and it compounds the problem. Small business collects the GST for the government to spend/waste on things they think we need. As I mentioned I’ve been in Braddon 12 months today, never have any member of the ACT government come to talk to me or any other business owner regarding our concerns; we need more parking in Braddon, Dickson, Manuka, and many other areas. These issues are real, and they are serious and I thank Alex for raising it in this forum, and I hope we can have some constructive debate about how to solve this and many other issues in the Braddon area.

Maya123 11:05 pm 09 Sep 14

Alexandra Craig said :

carnardly said :

I’m more blown away by the ‘and at an average visit of $250…’

who in God’s name gets hair services done to the value of $250 at a time – unless its say for a wedding party.

That’s what I spend on haircuts in a year… blimey Charlie.

So I had to google. a haircut is starting *FROM* $105 for a haircut with the big cheese. Seriously???

Is that what people charge (and other suckers pay) for a haircut these days? Then there’s another $80 to $90 or so for colouring up.

What is the difference between a $200 cut and colour (chokes on own lungs at the mere thought…) vs a suburban hairdresser at half that cost. Please someone who goes there, enlighten me…

I go to Axis and my hair probably costs between $200-$250 each time. I also have very long hair. This isn’t any kind of shocking amount. I’ve paid more at other salons that have nowhere near the expertise level of Axis.

I’m happy to $250 to Adam at Axis and go in on time rather than have the salon run late like many other salons do, sit down and be offered a wine/juice/coffee, have a good chat with the cutter and the colourist before they get to work, rather than go in and be rushed and have no chat, no beverage etc.

It’s the whole experience you’re paying for. It’s worth every dollar in my opinion.

Wow, an expensive waste of money I can do without. I get a family member to cut my hair for nothing. I haven’t been to a hairdresser in over twenty years, and at those prices I’m not planning to change that soon. I prefer to spend my money on overseas holidays and investments.

tuco 9:44 pm 09 Sep 14

So the suggestion is to make Haig Park into Haig Car Park? Seriously? Let’s work out if those car park options (sans trees and a park) are X metres closer to Axis than the bazillion carparks in the city. Because that X is how much value we are putting on the greenspace.

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