I have lived on Majura Avenue for over 30 years. Many Majura Avenue dwellers are now being hounded by the traffic authorities to stop parking on their own nature strips.
This is a long standing problem which has now been exacerbated by: the increasing and inappropriate use of Majura Avenue as an arterial road; the development of single-bedroom units with inadequate provision for parking for guests, delivery vehicles, etc; and a lack of flexibility in the rules for the use of nature strips.
To set the scene, the nature strips along Majura Avenue are between six and eight metres wide. Although there are signs prohibiting stopping northbound along Majura Avenue between Wakefield Avenue and the first bus stop, there are none prohibiting parking between that bus stop and Cowper Street. Residents are therefore quite entitled to park on the roadway, restricting Majura Avenue to one-lane northbound – I would imagine that the evening peak hour traffic would be backed up along Limestone Avenue to the Australian War Memorial!
In 2004, when I was warned against leaving my car on the nature strip outside my house, I responded in writing, asking what the difference is between my getting approval to construct a semi-permanent garden on my nature strip and my (or others) occasionally parking there? I also asked whether the ACT Road Transport Authority, as it then was, would prefer me to park on the roadway? I also pointed out that eliminating residents’ current right to park on the roadway should also involve a reduction in our rates to reflect the loss of a current amenity.
The result was a vacuous letter from the traffic authorities about creating gardens on nature strips, and the complete cessation of further action to implement any ban on parking on nature strips along Majura Avenue.
There was a subsequent attempt a couple of years ago to warn me about parking outside my home; when I contacted the traffic authorities to ask if the policy had changed, I was assured that my notice was a mistake and that they had been targetting the next door house. (Hardly good policy implementation but good enough for my personal purposes!)
Now, with the building of units along Majura Avenue, it has all started again. Not only residents but their guests, delivery vehicles and tradespeople are presumably required to park on the roadway.
One hopes we can line up one of the Opposition MLAs so that if the traffic authorities attempt to gazette a parking ban and erect No Parking signs, a motion of disallowance of the legislative instrument can be lodged immediately, to allow time for yet another inquiry into the chaos that passes for urban planning in North Canberra.