WARRAGUL // BAW Baw Shire received just seven responses to its draft Warragul Parking Study report.
First published in the 28 August 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy today for FREE from retailers across Baw Baw.
The final report was adopted by councillors on Wednesday with no changes from the draft. A summary of community responses was included in a separate report to councillors.
Responses centred around what people said were inadequate disabled parking spaces, limited provision of all-day parking spaces, and limited short term parking spaces.
Requests for a multi-storey car park in Warragul’s CBD were also made through the feedback process.
Feedback was submitted through the council’s online Have Your Say forum.
Authors of the report found the community feedback was “generally in line with the proposed recommendations of the report and hence no changes have been made in finalising it.”
The key findings of the study were:
- “During peak [times] vehicle parking within the principal CBD area is above effective capacity with little or no free available space.
- “In general, the parking supply within the entire Warragul research area is at times nearing the limit of an effective parking regime.
- “By mid-2016 it is expected the research area overall will start to experience inefficiencies during peak times caused by overall occupancy rates being greater than the effective parking supply (85 per cent of total parking volume).
- “Unless corrective actions are taken, by 2027 all parking within the study area on average will be inefficient (average value greater than 85 per cent [with] peaks of 100% occupancy).
- “There is a need to undertake investigation into the feasibility of multi-storey parking at potential off street development sites and implement an amendment to the planning scheme to introduce potential ‘cash in lieu parking scheme.’
- “Council [should] investigate short term means of increasing parking supply, efficiency and accessibility, reduce parking demand and increasing enforcement areas, for example time restriction changes.”
The research area of the study consisted of 2,847 defined parking spaces, excluding additional informal pricate parking areas such as gravel and private parking spaces. The study was conducted over four days in October last year with information collected every two hours over the study area, and collected every 30 minutes in a smaller centralised area.
While Monday 6 October, Wednesday 8 October and Friday 10 October averaged 66 per cent occupancy, Saturday 11 October recorded a much more comfortable 36 per cent occupancy.
Peak occupancy rates were recorded at approximately 12:30, when the central CBD area was at 85 per cent capacity and outer CBD areas were at 70 per cent.
Warragul ward councillor Mikaela Power said a multi-storey car park could fix capacity problems into the future.
“Having worked in Traralgon for a portion of my life and seeing the impact of the milti-storey there, it did actually ease the stress of the commuters and those needing longer to shop,” Cr Power said.
Warragul ward councillor Joe Gauci and Mount Worth ward’s Peter Kostos both spoke in favour of private investment in a multi-storey car park.
“This is a great opportunity for a private operator to come in and investigate,” Cr Kostos said.
“I think in Traralgon it’s free to park at bottom, and a fee on top.”
Cr Gauci said while it may sometimes be difficult to find spaces in the middle of Warragul, “if you walk two minutes you will generally find a space not too far away.”
Cr Kostos also advised parkers to be aware of parking limit changes.
“People need to understand that we may be going from 2 hour to 1 hour to assist with traffic in CBD.”
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