Streets Alive Yarra is calling on the City of Yarra to allocate $10m per year for capital expenditure on active transport and local area place making, an order of magnitude higher than what we are spending now. Revenue to to support this expenditure is readily available.

Revenue from streets should be returned to streets

Yarra earns $30m each year from our streets via parking permits, parking meters and parking fines. At the moment, only $20m is returned to streets, via $10m on maintenance (such as re-sheeting) and $10m on Council Officer salaries (transport, traffic & parking teams). If residents and ratepayers feel that driving & parking is their only real transport option, because other modes aren’t safe or convenient, then they may feel that parking fees are a form of extortion. To counteract this, all revenue from streets should be returned to streets, with the remaining $10m allocated to new infrastructure for active transport and local area place making.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Parking benefit districts

The concept of returning revenue from parking fees to local areas was developed by Donald Shoup and called Parking Benefit Districts.

Image credit: Access Magazine

$10m extra revenue from streets is also possible

If Council refuses to return the revenue from streets back to our streets, because it would mean cuts to other services, then several options exist to raise $10m per year for active transport and local area place making, including:

  • Auction a new class of parking permit
  • Convert free time-limited parking to metered parking
  • Apply the state government parking levy
  • Increase the charge for parking permits

Auction 1,000 parking permits

The City of Moreland recently created a new class of parking permit that is not subsidised, and available to be purchased by anyone, called a ‘Flexible permit’. Yarra can do this too. A limited number of permits, e.g. 1,000, could be auctioned each year. The permit would be linked to a vehicle registration number so it couldn’t be transferred. Likely customers would include wealthy commuters or businesses who wished to be able to park around Yarra. If Yarra auctioned 1,000 permits for $10,000 each then Yarra would raise an extra $10m per year.

Image credit: City of Moreland Parking Management Plan

Convert free time-limited parking to metered parking

Yarra offers thousands of free parking bays around the municipality. Some have 4-hour, 2-hour or 1-hour time limits, while others are completely unlimited. If Yarra converted 5,000 time-limited parking bays to metered bays which generated $10 per day for 200 days per year then Yarra would raise an extra $10m per year.

We can monetise this asset. Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra.

Apply the state government parking levy

The Victorian state government charges a parking levy in the inner city, and shares the revenue with Councils. The levy applies to all car parking bays that are available for use by the public. Some parts of Yarra are already within the blue levy area, and car park owners have to pay $1,020 per year. If Council asked the state government to extend the blue car parking levy area to include all of the City of Yarra, and shared the revenue with Council, then Yarra could (maybe) raise an extra $10m per year.

Increase the charge for parking permits

Yarra sells approximately 30,000 parking permits each year, of various types. The price for a first permit is $40 which is 11 cents per day. If the price was increased from 11 cents per day to $1 per day ($365 per year) then Yarra would raise an extra $10m per year.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra

Conclusion

Revenue from streets should be returned to streets. Our annual $30m of revenue from parking permits, parking meters and parking fines can easily cover $10m for maintenance, $10m for LAPMs and $10m for salaries. If extra revenue is required, the options described above can easily raise $10m per year.