Tuesday 15 September 2009

Plenty of parking prevents poachers and parasites

I'm no fan of parking in a parking building, supermarket car park, or anywhere there's a zillion cars and people - it's simply not a good recipe.

It's stressful, mixed with selfish folk, hell bent of getting to where they want to in the least possible time, and very claustrophobic.
However, the much baulked plan that enraged radio talkback and letter writers in an effort to reverse Cairns Central's management putting up barriers at their entrances and charge for those that want to use their land for free all day parking, seems to have worked a treat.
At midday yesterday, the first day of the new regime, there were parks all over the place empty, many right at the main door. They even had a raft of backpackers employed in bright parking vests to help you push the button on the ticket machines. How nice.
Despite some reports, the build up to the change over has had extremely good coverage. If you want to wander around a dam shopping centre for three hours, then a dollar is fine for parking. For that matter, $15 for all day parking for those that want to, isn't that bad either.
This debate should encourage alternate thinking to how we use our vehicle, like car pooling, you know, that thing we talked about back in the 80's when fuel went over $0.65 a litre.
There's also a serious case for a integrated light rail system in Cairns, as a long-term solution. We're extremely well-suited to this form of efficient and green-friendly transport. There's substantial infrastructure and land already available, and main truck rail lines from Gorndonvale to Kuranda hardly get used.
For those in city hall wanting a monster car parking building in the CBD to solve our woes, then think for a minute that a multi-story concrete building of that nature, would go half way to building a light rail system from Lake Street's City Place, all the way to the new Edmonton Town Centre. If you commute along that treacherous road, where many an accident and fatalities occur every month, then think what it would be like, travelling to work on a train, right to walking distance of your workplace.
A train could also accommodate cycles and have a car park at the southern pick up area for commuters.
Parking and vehicles will continue to cause our small town huge headaches, there's no doubt about that. This presents us all with a unique opportunity to be innovative and take cars out of the equation as much as possible.
For all the nutters that call John Mackenzie's 846 radio show and decry the introduction of dedicated bicycling lanes, and removing some of those inner city traffic lanes, then you're stuck in a way that will continue to support a city full of traffic.
If you've been to Adelaide, you will know you can cycle from the Oval to the coast on your bike, without hardly crossing a single road. Why, in the Far North, with our stunning climate, we haven't embraced some outdoor friendly integrated transport options, in stunning.
Anyone who has travelled through Europe will know that they are on the right track regarding motor vehicles and their integration into urban areas. They've completely upturned the traditional model of cities and cars. For instance, why on earth vehicles need to drive along the Esplanade strip, especially from Spence to Aplin or Florence Streets, is beyond me. An innovative Council should remove that silly yellow speed hump outside the Night Market entrance near Coffee Club, and put up bollards to create a pedestrian only zone, even if it's only from 5pm through to midnight.
Such zones allow people to reclaim the hub of the city and start walking. This is not a new idea, and works extremely successful in many famous cities around the world.


Unknown said...

The greatest think about being in a "backwards" place like Cairns ( and I mean that in the best possible way) is that we can look at more "advanced" places and learn from their mistakes.

I am therefore constantly amazed that the powers-that-be want to persevere with traffic and parking "solutions" that have been discredited in Europe more than 10 years ago.

Why can't we learn from their mistakes and pick and choose the best of their solutions ?

Martin Bedford said...

payment prevents purposful purchasing

Derek Ariss | Centre Manager | Cairns Central Shopping Centre said...

Thank you for your support of the managed car parking at Cairns Central.
The system launched yesterday and we are pleased with the positive response from the majority of customers and retailers.
We acknowledge that any change takes some getting used to, but are confident that once people familiarise themselves with the new system they will enjoy the multitude of benefits it offers.
We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us and hope you continue to do so in the future.

Ocksen Khart said...

While I would be a fan of light rail, trams, trains or what ever, it's not something that the powers will be embracing in a hurry. There is a small monologue on the topic here

KitchenSlut said...

Parking and the latest transport posts are related and have been worsening for years with no strategic approach from any level of government.

KS recently received a letter from Council that they would be starting work to reconfigure his street to include centre parking within a few days. No consultation with residents at all. However a complaint on that did get a reasonable condidered but flawed response from Val and Council.

The parking is in Abbott St outside the private hospital and Council have been PR spruiking this 'additional'car parking for the 'CBD'. This is bullshit. The number of car parks created exactly matches the number lost recently because someone decided the helipad is too close to Esplanade carpark at the hospital which has been that way for years now.

Today I took the lift to the top of the Council Lake St parking station where I have never been before. It seems only half this station is publicly available with the top half being occupied almost 100% and the lower reserved parking occupied only about 50%. As ratepayers I hope we are raking it in from those reserved spaces because the occupancy would indicate we are undercharging?