AREAS to nab a free parking space in Mt Lawley are diminishing after Stirling councillors voted to introduce payments at three public carparks.
Drivers will have to pay $2 per hour, with a first hour free option, to use car parks on Field Street and at 679 and 680 Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley, north of Walcott Street.
The changes form part of the City of Stirling’s Public Parking Management Strategy, which has resulted in 111 parking meters being installed to service 1520 parking bays across the City.
A City report presented at the March 6 council meeting acknowledged paid parking was “not generally embraced by motorists” but it was an “important and effective method” of changing people’s dependency on cars.
“Given financial and space limitations as well as increasing traffic congestion the City cannot keep providing more parking spaces in busy locations to continually meet user demands,” it said.
The report said paid parking generated more than $600,000 in revenue and about $104,000 in expenses from July to December 2017, excluding employee, enforcement and internal costs and GST.
The City is working on a change to ticket machine programming to prevent people from avoiding costs by drawing consecutive ‘first hour free’ tickets and removing tyre chalk marks, and will also seek to establish pay by phone payment options.
Cr Elizabeth Re tried to implement a clause that paid parking only apply during business hours and the working week because it would discourage people from visiting the area at night and on weekends.
“I think it’s going to cause a lot of issues if we do it for all hours, every day,” she said.
She failed to get council support as Cr Karen Caddy believed City officers could determine timeframes while Cr Bianca Sandri said excluding after hours would not benefit the City because that was when the area was busy.
Cr David Boothman said the City provided the carparks and “a couple of dollars an hour will only be a minor outlay for what they’re spending in the bars and restaurants”.
Council also voted not to proceed with a plan for paid parking at the Main Street plaza precinct in Osborne Park because of current high tenant vacancy rates.