Suggestions for the Parking Strategy

Streets Alive Yarra welcomes the adoption of the budget for 2023/24, including funding to review the parking strategy. We’re not sure what scope the review will have, so we offer the suggestions in the attached PDF, in the hope that the scope will be defined widely enough to be able to encompass them. Streets Alive Yarra would be pleased to meet to provide further detail or explanation of the themes raised in the attachment.

What do we want?

  • People can find a park when required
  • More space for trees, to add beauty and shade
  • More space for non-car modes, so everyone can get around safely
  • Discourage, or at least stop subsidising (pricing below the market), driving and parking, to decrease carbon pollution, air pollution, micro-plastic pollution (from tyres), and traffic congestion
  • Non-discriminatory access to on-street parking
  • Lower cost housing

What problems do we see?

  • Residents can’t find a park when they get home from work
  • Shoppers can’t find a park close to traders
  • Parking (and driving) is being encouraged by sub-market pricing and an excessive allocation of public space, while trees and active transport are being restrained by a lack of revenue and space
  • An entire cohort of residents (refer to the 10th December 2003 rule) is being denied access to public space
  • Housing is more expensive than it needs to be, owing to costly parking mandates

How can we solve it?

These issues can be solved by reforming how parking is managed, including how public space is allocated and priced. We suggest that 1/3 of existing on-street car parking bays should be reallocated to other uses, and that all on-street parking should require a permit, whether that be a sticker, paper, or digital permit.

Our proposal

  • Convert 8,000 bays into space for trees
  • Convert 4,000 bays into a network of protected bike lanes
  • Deliver a loading bay, disabled bay, corral (for shared micro-mobility) and hangar (for private bikes) within 150 metres of any property, i.e. 1,000 of each across Yarra
  • Revise the Car Share Strategy to remove limits on bays for car-share vehicles
  • Free parking for visitors for up to two hours, transitioning thereafter to escalating hourly pricing with a daily price cap of at least the Myki daily fare of $9.20
  • Charge residents & businesses at least $1 per day for permits
  • Eliminate parking minimums from the Yarra Planning Scheme

How to implement it

  • Change all parking signs to ‘Permit Zone / Pay by App’
  • Change all parking permits to digital pay-by-app
  • Define parking zones, e.g. shopping streets are a different zone to a neighbourhood
  • On shopping streets, charge by the hour using demand responsive pricing
  • On neighbourhood streets, issue permits with the first two hours free, then charge by the hour with escalating hourly pricing and a daily price cap. Also, define a daily cap on quantity of visitor permits that can be sold in that zone, e.g. 1/3 of the available bays, and then adjust the price so that sales don’t reach the daily quantity cap
  • Introduce a new higher-priced residential permit, for residents who are caught by the new all-day ‘Permit Zone’ signs and the 10th December 2003 rule
  • Enforce permits using number plate recognition

Expected outcomes

  • Permit holders can park as usual
  • Shoppers can can still park in Yarra for free (for 2 hours)
  • Commuters can’t ‘drive out, then back in’ to defeat in-ground parking sensors; instead they pay for all-day parking (linked to their vehicle’s number plate)
  • Residents are protected from large numbers of commuters via the daily cap on sales
  • Parking enforcement officers could double or triple the number of streets they could check each day
  • Ratepayers would benefit from increased revenue which could be reinvested for trees, wider footpaths, pedestrian crossings, pocket parks, and protected bike lanes

Expected revenue

  • $9.20 per day x 1/3 of 47,000 bays x 250 days per year = $36 million per year

Read our submission

Published 25th June 2023