Braddon is getting busier. Well duh, I hear you say. Of course it is. With a new cafe popping up what seems like every second week, new apartment complexes filling up with residents and another huge complex to be built where Lonsdale Street Traders once stood, the suburb is bustling more than ever. Not to mention the people brought in by the new Avenue Hotel backing onto Mort Street. And it’s near impossible to get a parking spot without driving around for an eternity.
I wrote about this issue in September last year, suggesting that the Haig Park car park (next to the Mandalay Bus) be built up into a multi-storey car park to ease some of the woes of visitors. An article in Fairfax media this week reveals that a group of citizens, collectively known as the Braddon Forum, have urged the government to consider a similar idea; an extension of the Haig Park car park half a storey above ground level and half a storey below ground level to tie in with the recently announced $1.5 million upgrade to the area which includes improved lighting in Haig Park (thank you, Andrew Barr!)
Planning Minister Mick Gentlemen welcomed discussion around the proposal, reaffirming Canberra’s commitment to build an integrated transport network alongside the newly released parking action plan.
My position on this issue remains unchanged from the sentiments I expressed in September. There does need to be some upgrades in the way of parking availability. There are several parking spots down the middle of Lonsdale Street, as well as a few bays for U-turns. Recently I’ve seen cars parking in the U-Turn bays which is presenting as a bit of a traffic hazard when their car isn’t taking up the whole bay. It would be quite easy to see the bay at night and to swing in without realising how much of the bay was being taken up by a car. I have no problem with these bays being turned into permanent car parks, but until this is done I think it’s not safe for people to be parking there.
I’m lucky to live about a five- to seven-minute walk away from the centre of Lonsdale Street, however, the punters who can’t get a park have started clogging up my street. Compared to when I moved in 12 months ago, the amount of cars on the street has probably quadrupled – especially in the afternoon and evening. I am fortunate to have undercover parking but many in my street don’t and are forced to park illegally, only to then have the parking inspectors called on them. We’re especially lucky to have a neighbour that takes it upon themselves to put rude notes on cars and then alert the inspectors.
It’s good to see local residents like the Braddon Forum taking their concerns to the Minister. Personally I’d like to see more businesses in Lonsdale Street come forward and have their say. As I referenced last year, Adam Ciaccia from AXIS Hairdressing raised the issue publically but I think it’s time for others to get on board and let their voices be heard not just privately but in public. If a community wants something, they need to fight for it.