REDLAND City Council will increase parking time limits from two hours to three hours in parts of Cleveland CBD under a six-month trial.
The in-principle decision, made at this morning’s City Services committee, will affect Doig and Middle streets but not Bloomfield Street, one of the city‘s main retail hubs.
Over the next six months, council officers will consult local businesses and other CBD stakeholders on the extra hour to determine whether the three-hour limits will remain.
The move was prompted after councillors asked for a report into parking problems in Cleveland in February.
Cr Craig Ogilvie, whose Division 2 covers Cleveland, called for a decision to be deferred until officers had conducted a “scientific analysis” of where relaxations should be applied.
He said the CBD and the economy had changed since 2003 when an external report recommended increasing time limits from two to four hours.
But an officer told the committee there was no money in the budget for an external report, tipped to cost upwards of $50,000.
Instead, the officer recommended the council’s Business and Tourism Support unit conduct a survey to determine the optimum parking time limits for the CBD.
The officer said instigating an immediate trial would cost the council about $5000 to make new signs, plus the added costs of installing and then removing them once the trial was over.
Mayor Karen Williams suggested running the trial while consulting businesses on the changes and compiling the findings by February before permanent decisions were made.
“People have been consulted to death,” Cr William said.
“If we go back and do another consultation we will only be told what we already know and, frankly, we need to show the local business community we are going to take some action – so we just need to do it.”
The mayor was happy to compromise and instead of implementing the trial in Bloomfield, confined the changes to Doig and Middle streets.
Division 7 councillor Murray Elliott, who voted against extending time limits, said the council should reduce the limits after a 2003 survey found the average parking time in Cleveland was 40 minutes.
Cr Murray said Stockland Shopping Centre had two-hour parking limits to ensure a higher turnover of customers.
“People who need more than two hours should park further away and walk in,” he said.
“Longer parking limits are not going to increase economic development in Cleveland they are only going to push shoppers out further.
“There are less people shopping in Cleveland and to change these restrictions is wasting public money and is not going to improve business,” Cr Murray said.
The Cleveland CBD has 2088 parking spaces, 1298 of which are off-street and 790 are on-street.
Of the off-street spaces, 696 are all-day parking, 448 are for three hours, 151 are for two hours and there are three for one hour.
Of the on-street parking, there are 318 all-day parks, 13 four-hour spots, 60 for three hours, 367 for two hours, 16 for 30minutes, 10 for 15minutes and six for 10minutes.
The matter will go before the full council on Wednesday, August 29, at 10am.
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