Over the last month or so, those of us who park our cars in Power Street, Mawson and make our way to Woden have returned of an evening to find a letter left under our windscreen wipers signed “the residents of Power Street”. It is time for us to respond, in order to clarify a few things. We do apologise to those residents of Power Street who had nothing to do with this (we suspect these letter drops have been undertaken by a lone operator).
The letter reads:
We, the homeowners of Power Street, would like to ask for your consideration and help in NOT turning our street into a “park & ride “parking place.
Especially since there IS a PARK AND RIDE parking area two streets away from here, on the corner of Mawson Drive & Athlon Drive.
We would greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation in the matter.
Thank you in advance.
The residents of Power Street”
This might seem like a reasonable request on the surface of things. Images of congested tiny streets in Hughes or Curtin may spring to mind, but actually, Power Street is largely empty for most of the working week. Also, it is wide enough to have cars parked on both sides of the street with still enough room to drive each way down the road between them! If you feel so inclined, take a drive down there and see for yourself.
To the above letter, we respond:
“Dear Power Street Residents,
We, the motorists that park in Power Street, would like to respond to the delightful letter that we find on our windscreens of an evening (a copy is provided overleaf for your reference).
Firstly, we would like to bring your attention to the fact that Power St is a public street and is thus paid for by all rate payers – that’s right, it’s as much everybody’s as it is “yours”. Also, Power St lacks formal parking restrictions. Until such a time that formal parking restrictions are introduced, many of us respectfully decline your request that we not park in Power St as we are under no obligation to do so. If you would like formal parking restrictions to be introduced, you can lobby the ACT Government Territory and Municipal Services.
In your letter you refer to the “Park and Ride” arrangements on the corner of Mawson Drive and Athllon Drive. We would like to point out that “Park and Ride” requires that the motorist obtain a parking permit. To be eligible for a “Park and Ride” parking permit, the user must ensure that $90 per month ($40 for concessions) is loaded on to their MyWay card. For many, this is unnecessarily expensive, especially given we can park in Power St for free. Additionally, in your letter you profess that “Park and Ride” at Mawson is only two blocks away. We would like to correct you in that it is actually 1.5km away.
Also, many of us who park in Power St enjoy the thrill of a brisk walk, cycle or scoot to Woden of a crisp Canberra morn. Why would you deny us the opportunity for some moderate exercise and fresh air? You may be interested to know that 63.4% of Australians aged 18 and up are overweight or obese (ABS, 2012). We walkers, cyclists and scooters are just doing our best to avoid lifestyle diseases caused by a larger waist line.
Furthermore, we would like to highlight that Power St is unusual for a residential street in that it is vastly wide and houses stand on only one side. If you are experiencing difficulties in navigating your vehicle around our cars parked on the opposite side of this exceptionally wide street, please consider re-sitting your motor-vehicle licence test.
Lastly, we would like to say that we do our best in avoiding inconveniencing you, the residents. We do not park across or unnecessarily close to your driveways. Indeed, we rarely even park on your side of the road. This is why we were a little taken-aback by your request and felt the need to respond to your letter.
If you would like to reply to this letter, you will be able to find it on The Riot Act later on today.
Thanks very much for your understanding.
Power Street Parkers”