Recently, The Glenferrie Times conducted an informal survey of a range of shopping strips in terms of their parking options and cost.
Within our own City of Boroondara, each shopping strip has a different mixture of parking and fees depending on the unique circumstances within each shopping precinct.These fees are a means of revenue for councils, but are also used to deter parking in certain areas and encourage parking in longer parks further away from the shopping strip centres, in order to reduce congestion.
In 2016-17 the City of Boroondara made almost $2m from parking fees, contrasted with City of Yarra who made $7.1m in the same year, Moreland who took $93,000, and Stonnington, who took $4m.
Council has stated that the fee in Glenferrie Road is less than other areas to “avoid discouraging shoppers and centre visitors but is still sufficient to deter students, traders and employees from overstaying and occupying premium spaces which should be available for shoppers”.
The 2018-19 City of Boroondara budget has parking fees set to rise by 10¢, making the per-hour rate $2.90 and the daily rate $6.30. However, the City of Boroondara has stated that they do “not intend to introduce ticket parking for Glenferrie Road at this time.”
Ticketed parking is generally brought in along shopping strips to avoid drivers overstaying parking and encourage higher turnover, but the council does not see that either of these issues are prevalent enough in Glenferrie Road to justify a change to the current parking.
On top of the ticketing fee, the time limit on parks can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the spaces. Free, non-ticketed parks with short time limits favours shoppers that are coming to pick something up - those who want a quick coffee or a bag of groceries, but discourages shoppers from wandering and browsing after they’ve done what they come to do.
However, according to the City of Boroondara, the majority of shoppers spend less than an hour on Glenferrie Road. According to their studies, up to two thirds of shoppers and visitors in the area stayed for less than 45 minutes and three quarters of them stayed for up to an hour.
In limiting the time spent in these spaces, the Council says they have tried to find an appropriate middle ground, and that the limits on the road are “designed to achieve a balance between maximising visitor access to premium spaces and allowance of sufficient time for shoppers.”
To avoid parking fees and the hassle of finding a car park the alternative is to use public transport, walk or ride to shopping precincts. However, these options are not always viable and if we continue to rely on driving our own cars, finding a car park and the associated fees are a fact of life.