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Those parking changes – will it mean 4 wheels good, 2 wheels better?

By Mike Jeffreys - 24 September 2014 13

parking-sign-stock

Motorbikes are fun.

Although if you find yourself unexpectedly airborne on one it’s a good idea to at least have your feet on the pegs when you come back to earth as my left knee reminds me if I don’t exercise it constantly.

Bicycles are great – from a design and engineering point of view, efficiency, the health benefits they provide and the exhilaration of being on one in the right conditions.
The right conditions in my opinion do not include a main thoroughfare in peak hour.

For my daily commute I prefer something with a wheel at each corner, a place inside where people can sit and at least an optional roof in case it rains, turns baking hot, is magpie season – whatever.

But this is already changing for many who used to drive a car to work in Canberra.

By now you know the basics of how it’s going to be quite different in the NCA areas which used to be no cost but will now set you back $12 a day.

There is a discount – not a very big one – if you choose the weekly option.

(In case you’ve been away or you’re new to Canberra, here’s a handy link to the NCA map which illustrates the affected zones http://bit.ly/Z4dijj )

When we last had discussion going on this topic following a piece I wrote for Riot Act there some who said I’m sick of this – we already have to pay to park in the city – why not in Acton, Barton, Parkes, Russell etc as well?

Apparently some worker bees weren’t paying – they were parking in the aforementioned and then going to their place of employment by other means.

Whether they’ll still do that – $14 a day in Civic vs. $12 in the aforementioned areas is a saving of $10 a week (approx) – but will it be worth the trouble?

One of the biggies which has brought about this change I’m told is that canny Canberrans were parking in spaces which should be available to Australian taxpayers who have driven to the National Capital to visit some of the National Institutions which have been built, staffed and stocked with their hard-earned tax dollars.

Can the NCA expect blowback along the lines of “Why should Canberrans be pushed out of parking spaces to accommodate the tourists?” I asked the relevant authority.
I don’t think it’s an argument which will play well with the rest of the country, but if that’s how you feel, by all means say so.

During a conversation Friday afternoon with Malcolm Snow, Chief Executive of the National Capital, I raised the issue of whether – given that Canberra has long been known as Car City – there should have been more car parks built before now.

Mr. Snow’s answer is “No – any city that hopes to be sustainable must look at other forms of transport”.

Seemed like a good time to bring up the possibility of light rail.

I said I thought the chances of that ever actually happening were remote.

In fact I said that during my time in Canberra I’d noticed that the Canberra Times on more than one Monday had the light rail story, illustrated with the traditional “artist’s impression” with what to my eye looked like carriages drawn rather too small so as not to interfere with the trees on Northbourne Avenue.
“Definitely not”, said Mr. Snow.

He is very much of the opinion that there is room for trams and trees.

He then went further and told me that Burley-Griffin was originally of the opinion that a cable car system similar to ones he’d seen in the US should be considered for Canberra, so the design would accommodate light rail.

I still believe that at the first sign of a lopped tree or a habitat issue (not the speckle backed toadlet again?) the activists will be out with their placards demanding the median be left in peace.

In the meantime though – between now and when those light rail tracks are laid – Mr Snow did tell me although it had not been the NCA’s intention to inject life in to the local economy with the new parking arrangements, sales of motorcycles and bicycles are booming in Canberra.

For cycle riders on some of the hotter days, will a shower facility in the office be the new work perk?
Of course if it becomes too popular I imagine shower time will be metered too.
In any event, the change is on and I don’t just mean to lycra for the ride home.

If you bought a house in the burbs thinking you could commute in air conditioned, four wheel privacy you may now have to consider the bus.
Or are you finally going to buy that Harley you wanted when you were nineteen?

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Those parking changes – will it mean 4 wheels good, 2 wheels better?
puggy 11:34 am 25 Sep 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

2 wheels is all fine and dandy until you get those regular afternoon thunderstorms full of gusty winds and hail stones, or the winter frosts that chill you to the bone. I’d pay $12 to not get home with wet clothes, wet shoes, wet lunch bag and a derelict umbrella.

Ahh, but you have to fully commit to it! With the right gear, nor frost nor rain should worry you. Riding a bicycle in the rain is fun anyway. You be surprised on how few occasions it is actually raining the exact time you’re on a bike. You get pretty good at looking at the BOM radar as well.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Oh, but I forgot that even public transport will cost me almost $5 a day anyway, so the pay parking is really only $7 a day more than the cost of inconvenience.

The latest increase in bus fares bugged me a bit, but here’s a study published late last year predicting how much it costs to run a car in the various capital cities compared to taking public transport. Whatever its validity, it’s still interesting to consider.

justsomeaussie 11:07 am 25 Sep 14

A hub and spoke model is much better and funnily enough much like Canberra. It’s where you drive your car to the edge of a major area and park in a large carpark for free (sometimes) then catch a bus the last 20% of your commute.

This type of parking is already being used in Fyshwick and no doubt other areas. With the amount of available land next to all major town centres Canberra is crazy not to make this practice the done thing.

magiccar9 9:56 pm 24 Sep 14

gooterz said :

Given that paid parking is coming to the triangle.. wouldn’t it have been perfect time to put a light rail though there..

Just saying.

That would be using logic… And we’ve all been living in Canberra long enough to know that’s not how the ACT government works!

Plus, that would get people from northbourne to the triangle, but what about the other half of Canberra who work there? Again we’re left high and dry with no other options but to drive.

sepi 9:54 pm 24 Sep 14

I think 12.00 is outrageous, coming form nothing – they should have started at 5.00 a day. The empty old parlt. triangle is not the same as civic, which is actually a destination people need to go to for shops and banks etc. I think the buses may be overloaded like crazy once this starts.

And the real scandal here is that the money all flows to federal coffers. If people in canberra are paying all this money it should stay here to be spent on our roads etc, not just go to fed govt who wont’ spend one cent on canberra.

aronde 9:04 pm 24 Sep 14

Don’t mind the e-bikes. However bicycles with petrol motors that make a lot of noise and easily exceed the speed limit for cars on the local suburban streets are another matter altogether. Those in the Weetangera area will likely know what I am talking about!

gooterz 8:50 pm 24 Sep 14

Given that paid parking is coming to the triangle.. wouldn’t it have been perfect time to put a light rail though there..

Just saying.

wildturkeycanoe 7:16 pm 24 Sep 14

2 wheels is all fine and dandy until you get those regular afternoon thunderstorms full of gusty winds and hail stones, or the winter frosts that chill you to the bone. I’d pay $12 to not get home with wet clothes, wet shoes, wet lunch bag and a derelict umbrella. Oh, but I forgot that even public transport will cost me almost $5 a day anyway, so the pay parking is really only $7 a day more than the cost of inconvenience.

John Moulis 4:57 pm 24 Sep 14

Mike, do you still live in Canberra? Are you commuting to and from Sydney this week to do the 2UE night shift or are you staying in Sydney the whole week?

dkNigs 4:57 pm 24 Sep 14

Postalgeek said :

Of course, there is the rising technology that falls in the middle of bicycles and motorbikes, namely e-bikes.

I can’t decide if they’re motorbikes for the poor, or pushbikes for the lazy. Either way, they’re not very appealing.

Personally I’m happy with my lifestyle choice of living in the city and having a motorbike, but I hope the rest of you can happily pay more to use your cars or spend an hour each way on the bus from the suburbs so prices my way aren’t driven up too much :).

Petrol prices through the roof had already convinced me I needed to make a change long before parking costs were considered.

Pork Hunt 4:52 pm 24 Sep 14

bigfeet said :

I wrote to the NCA to ask if they would be consistently applying the rules relating to parking and camping within the areas under their control.

They confirmed that they intended to apply the rules to some people, whilst allowing another group to breach those rules on a daily basis without any fear of prosecution.

So can one group park and camp in the other groups area to escape parking and camping fees?

switch 4:28 pm 24 Sep 14

Postalgeek said :

Of course, there is the rising technology that falls in the middle of bicycles and motorbikes, namely e-bikes.

I thought you were going to say Segways.

Postalgeek 3:50 pm 24 Sep 14

Of course, there is the rising technology that falls in the middle of bicycles and motorbikes, namely e-bikes.

bigfeet 2:42 pm 24 Sep 14

I wrote to the NCA to ask if they would be consistently applying the rules relating to parking and camping within the areas under their control.

They confirmed that they intended to apply the rules to some people, whilst allowing another group to breach those rules on a daily basis without any fear of prosecution.

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