More parking on the CBD fringe and a change of culture is needed to improve city congestion, a Warrnambool councillor says.
Peter Hulin says there isn’t enough parking and wants indent parking to be installed on central nature strips, including the highway median strip, to create free parking for the city’s workers.
This would free up CBD parking for shoppers, who could also choose to park for free and walk into the city’s shops. He said the city renewal works gave community members what they wanted, “a safe area to manoeuvre around our city”.
His comments come after police pleaded with drivers to be patient over the summer when there was an additional 15,000 people in the city. Cr Hulin said the new crossings were a win for all pedestrians, especially children, the elderly and people with a disability.
“The unfortunate part for me as a councillor is I don’t believe we have adequately equipped people with parking,” he said. “That is the one thing that is fundamental to get it to work. You have to get the parking right in the city. That has led to the frustration of the people today.
“What cities are trying to attract today is an environment that allows people to walk around the city in safety.
“They are not encouraging more cars to congest the centre part of their cities. What they are trying to do is to get people to park on the outsides and actually walk in to shop.
“We’re not inventing the wheel, this thing works in many cities around Australia and certainly overseas.”
He said the former “outdated” street design was introduced when Warrnambool was a “small country town” with a population of 15,000.
“People have to realise we’ve doubled in size to when we first set out those road systems with the roundabouts. You’ve got to change it to make it work. Once you get this walking culture you get vibrancy on the streets from the community.”
Comments on The Standard Facebook page following Sunday’s story about congestion was varied. Sue Meade said: “People shouldn’t have to be any more patient than anyone would normally expect because of the biggest stuff up that I have ever seen in the 50 years I have been in Warrnambool and the surrounding area...”
Peter Fraser said “the whole idea of roundabouts is to improve traffic flow (but) in this case (it) is a big fail”.
Others raised concerns about parking access close to shops for elderly customers, emergency service vehicle access if roundabouts were gridlocked, pedestrian safety with drivers not stopping and people crossing without looking, while others said respondents needed to chill out and consider driving in Melbourne traffic.
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