Chatting to people around Hobart, there is a clear sentiment that parking is difficult for many people. The implementation of parking meters that are not user friendly and a parking app that makes Gen Y users shudder, contributes to the sense that people don’t want to battle traffic in and out of the CBD only to find parking as yet another hurdle on their journey to spend money with our retailers, cafes and restaurants.
I support all forms of transport, and believe that moving around the city should be easy, no matter what option you chose. We must make cycling safe, which will also encourage more people into privately owned micro mobility (like e-scooters and e-bikes), we must enhance our footpaths to encourage more people to walk, and for those that choose to drive, we must work to achieve efficient routes, with suitable parking at the end of the route. We also must remember that sometimes you just have to take the car - I have a toddler so I completely understand!
There are many ways to enhance the ease of CBD parking. I believe Hobart City Council should:
Implement universal free 15 minute parking across the city that precedes the metered time. This allows consumers to pull in and pick up a coffee, lunch or click and collect items. If they intend on staying beyond 15 minutes they will need to pay for that period on arrival with the first 15 minutes provided free.
Scrap metered parking that is 30 minutes or less.
Review access and egress from multistorey council car parks. Argyle street car park is a great example of terrible design. The exit needs to be traffic light controlled with a pedestrian crossing. There are also systems used elsewhere that use licence plate recognition to enable automatic exit gates. This means no stopping to put a ticket in a machine, which just holds everyone up at peak times. One resident reported waiting multiple hours over Christmas just to get out of the car park - that is totally unacceptable.
Review proposals to enhance Condell Place car park in North Hobart in concert with implementing on-street parking reform on Elizabeth Street. I support the idea of a multistorey carpark in Condell Place. I believe it should be sensitively designed, involving excavation to achieve an extra level and limiting height to ensure amenity is preserved for surrounding residents. Condell Place is easily accessed from the Brooker highway, and the provision of a limited park and ride facility on weekdays may help to decrease city congestion.
These are good starting points to address parking in the city. As always, I would consult and engage with experts and expert staff at Hobart City Council to identify and rectify parking problems within the CBD. We all know there is an issue, so let’s get on and fix it.