Elimination of Street Parking
With a lane for parked cars, bicycle lane and a shared lane for trams and cars, the wide-set Glenferrie Road has a lot going on. But what if one of these three elements were removed? How would it change the environment, or how the street is used and accessed?
Since 2015, there has been discussion in Brunswick about removing on-street parking on Sydney Road. The Sydney Road shopping precinct stretches at least twice that of Glenferrie Road and is one of the busiest shopping strips in the inner North.
Cyclists have died on Glenferrie Road in 2010 and on Sydney Road in 2015, when car doors were opened and they were pushed under a truck. Following these unfortunate dooring incidents, Bicycle Network Victoria are lobbying for safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.
Bicycle Network Victoria and others believe that the removal of on-street parking would result in reduced traffic congestion and create a generally safer environment for everyone. Cyclists and pedestrians could have more room for walking or riding, while cars and trams would move quicker along the often busy streets.
Traders on these busy streets often argue that if on-street parking is removed, customers are less likely to shop along the street due to inability to find appropriate parking. If sales drop there would be less revenue, leading to unsustainable businesses, reduced employment opportunities and ultimately vacant shops.
The question remains then, how can road conditions change to include the best interest of traders, customers, pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transport users?
Street shopping in a place like Glenferrie Road depends on the availability of parking. Although parking restrictions are ever-present, many customers use the free on-street parking to pop in and out of shops.
If on-street parking were to be removed and footpaths widened to incorporate bicycle lanes to create a friendlier environment for pedestrians, cyclists and smoother sailing for trams and cars, would this drive away car-based customers? Improved off-street parking options could alleviate this issue.
On-street parking in Glenferrie is currently limited to 1 hour or less, and customers frequently receive parking tickets for overstaying. An increase in off-street parking and longer parking hours could allow customers who drive to stay longer in the area and do more of their shopping in Glenferrie. Perhaps creating a more accessible street to pedestrians and cyclists would, in fact, invite more foot traffic and shoppers and create a greater sense of community.