Parking restrictions a success

4P parking signThe 4 hour parking restrictions implemented by Kiama Council in December 2012 have resulted in a huge improvement to residential amenity for residents living in Wilson and Ocean Streets.

The 4P restriction has provided real turnover of parking spaces on the residential side of these streets, rather than each of those spaces being locked up for a week (or more) at a time.

This has been a boon for not only local residents, but also for casual visitors to the beach, and for visitors to the homes of residents.

Another unintended ‘bonus’ of the reduced parking density on one side of the street has been improved ‘passability’ for vehicles entering and leaving the Holiday Park. When cars are parked in the 4P spaces it is difficult for cars towing caravans to pass each other, or for vehicles delivering supplies to the Holiday Park to pass any other vehicles that are travelling in the opposite direction.

Posted in Parking

Holiday Park – Disability parking

A NSW Disability Parking permit provides the holder of the permit with unlimited parking in areas with a parking restriction of greater than 30 minutes.

A few vehicles took advantage of this provision during the holiday period, parking in the 4P zone in Ocean Street for several days.

These vehicles were parked at the lower end of Ocean Street, about 75 metres from the entrance to the Holiday Park, and 100 metres from the nearest accommodation within the Holiday Park, though much further away from most other accommodation. (The nearest holiday cabin with disability access is 200 metres away).

Vehicles with disability stickers

Sad, really, that people with an identified disability have to park so far away from their accommodation, as the BIG4 Easts Holiday Park does not provide ANY designated parking on site for people with a disability who may be visiting the Park.

Or anyone else!

Posted in BIG4, Easts Beach, Kiama, Kiama Council, Parking

With regulation comes policing

When Kiama Council decided to introduce parking restrictions in Wilson and Ocean Streets, there was an acknowledgement that the parking restrictions would not be effective without regular policing.

And policing costs money. Ratepayers money.

There appear to be some regular offenders who are continually flouting the parking restrictions.

The owner of the vehicle below, for example, seems to have a strange interpretation of parallel parking. Parallel to what?…

Noes-in parking

Not only is this vehicle parked illegally, it is also protruding onto the road causing a safety hazard.

The white 4WD vehicle below has been parked in this space for at least 24 hours, infringing the 4 hour parking restrictions, as well as being parked facing in the wrong direction. The car behind the 4WD soon followed the example.

wrong-way1

(Update – I actually saw the 4WD leaving the following day, having a horn-blasting incident when it nearly collided with an unsighted vehicle leaving the Holiday Park.)

The red vehicle below soon picked up on the idea and parked in the wrong direction overnight.

Wrong way 2

The owner of the vehicle below chose to avoid the hassle of on-road parking restrictions (and a walk down Ocean Street) and parked their vehicle for the day in a driveway – which also happens to be an entrance for emergency vehicle access to the headland.

Parked in Driveway

Some vehicle owners will continue to flout the parking regulations, because there is a good chance that there will be no penalty for doing so – and word will spread quickly amongst their friends.

Of course, the meetings of Council staff and the Traffic Committee to plan the parking restrictions, the sign-posting and marking of the parking zones, the policing of the parking restrictions, the issuing of warnings and infringement notices, the follow-up on unpaid parking fines and the cleaning up of the refuse left behind by BIG4 Easts Holiday Park patrons parked in Wilson and Ocean Streets, is all at the expense of Kiama Council, rather than the business that is generating a financial profit from these holiday makers.

If these vehicles belong to people visiting friends staying in the Holiday Park or, in the case of vehicles parked overnight, belong to Holiday Park patrons, they should be parked within the Holiday Park.

But a parking area costs money to construct and maintain – and the business has managed to move that cost to local ratepayers.

It is a great business model.

Posted in BIG4, Easts Beach, Kiama, Kiama Council, Parking | 9 Comments

Safety and congestion issues persist

Although the 4 hour parking restrictions in Ocean Street and Wilson Street during the summer holiday period have improved residential amenity considerably, the use of Wilson Street as a long-term car park by patrons of the BIG4 Easts Holiday Park continues to cause traffic and safety issues in this residential area.

Remember that while this is a public street, and people can park their vehicles in this street as they can in any other public street, these parked vehicles are not being accessed on foot as they would be in a ‘normal’ residential parking environment.

These vehicles are being used as storage areas and spare ‘day vehicles’, and are accessed by shuttle vehicles from the patrons of the Holiday Park.

This results in double-parking while these vehicles are being accessed, with drivers (and often passengers) walking on the main part of the road to move equipment between vehicles….

Double-parked

The photo below, published last week, shows how this 2nd vehicle access can cause traffic chaos, and associated safety issues, with pedestrians negotiating the paved area of the road in the traffic. (Notice that the southbound car towing the caravan is driving through the parking bay area – imagine how this might be impacted if there were cars parked in these bays, as there would have been in days prior to the 4 hour parking restrictions)….

Double parking traffic

Remember this photo of a young child exiting from the traffic-side of a double-parked vehicle while her parents accessed their ‘spare’ vehicle…

Child on road

How long to we have to wait before a serious accident occurs? (There have been a number of near-misses already in the 2012-13 holiday period.)

Of course, not only is Wilson Street a convenient place to park your second vehicle while on holidays, it has also become a convenient place to clean food left-overs out of your car….

Rubbish

The issue with all of this isn’t the parking itself – it is the issues associated with a residential area being used as a long-term overflow car park for a private business.

Surely, if there is a need for additional parking for BIG4 Easts Holiday Park patrons, the Holiday Park is obliged to provide that facility on site, rather than expect Kiama Council, and local residents, to pick up the bill (and the inconvenience) for their business activities?

Posted in Parking

New parking arrangements – a progress report!

Here we are into the first week of 2013, and the new parking arrangements in Wilson and Ocean Streets, while not completely solving the problem of long-term holiday parking in residential streets, seem to be a big step in the right direction.

There have not been any vehicles parked long-term on the residential side of the streets during the Christmas / New Year holiday period. With the parking turning over at least every 4 hours, the eastern end of Ocean Street has become accessible for beach visitors in the mornings and afternoons.

Visitors to residents’ homes in both Wilson and Ocean streets are now able to park outside, or close to, the home they are visiting.

Parking spaces that were blocked out for up to a week (or more) are now available every day. For the past few years the view below (ie – available parking space outside residents’ homes on a Sunday morning) was non-existant during January….

IF

Holiday Park overflow parking does not appear to have increased at the northern end of Wilson Street, or in Marsden street, although these areas were fully parked out on New Years’ day.

The western side of Wilson Street continues to be used for long-term parking by patrons of the BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park. Not as many as previously it seems – but still around 40 vehicles parked overnight, every night since Christmas 2012.

IF

These vehicles are visited by their owners, who double-park on Wilson Street while they transfer equipment and people between their vehicles. This results in congestion in the street, and is a risk to people (especially young children) as they walk on the road amongst traffic. (In the photos below, notice that the car towing the caravan is driving through marked car parking spaces – imagine the traffic chaos if there were cars parked in these spaces!)

double-park1-600-2

People continue to park across driveways to move equipment between vehicles parked across the road…

IF

And we still see those who don’t understand how to park correctly…

wron-way-round-450

And those who don’t understand the meaning of ‘parallel’…

non-parallel-450

And, of course, those who continue to treat the place where we live as a convenient rubbish dump, where they can clean out their cars…

rubbish-1-450

All these problems would be solved if the BIG4 Easts Holiday Park provided adequate on-site parking for all their patrons and their patron’s guests.

Posted in Parking

Parking Restrictions for Summer 2012

KMC - 4P - 2012Kiama Council have advised residents that a 4 hour parking restriction will be applied to the residential side of Ocean Street and Wilson Street (south of Marsden Street) during the 2012-2013 summer holiday period.

The Council hopes that this will encourage an increased turn-over of vehicles parked in residential streets, and discourage guests of Easts Big 4 Holiday Park from leaving their vehicles parked in these residential streets for extended periods – often weeks at a time.

Unfortunately, this measure is unlikely to solve the problem, but rather extend the problem further north in Wilson Street, and to nearby streets that don’t have parking restrictions.

The only long-term solution to prevent patrons of the Holiday Park parking their vehicles in residential streets is for the Holiday Park to provide adequate parking space within their site. In peak times there are up to 200 vehicles belonging to Holiday Park patrons parked in residential streets.

The 4 hour parking restrictions will come at a considerable expense for Kiama Council – policing of the parking restrictions will require constant monitoring by Council rangers, 24 hours a day.

A more simple approach might have been to adopt similar restrictions to Byron Shire, where parking in residential streets near tourist destinations is completely restricted from 1am – 5am. This makes policing considerably easier.

Byron parking restrictions

However, this is still only treating the symptom, rather than addressing the problem. The Byron parking issue is related to beaches and other natural attractions. The Ocean and Wilson Streets parking chaos in Kiama is caused by a private business.

If Easts Big 4 Holiday Park provided adequate parking for their patrons, local residents would not be inconvenienced by saturation parking, Park guests would be able to access their second vehicles safely, and Kiama Council would not have to go to the trouble (and expense) of installing and policing parking restrictions.

What will it take for Easts Big 4 Holiday Park to do the right thing?

Posted in Parking

Waverley Council – Resident Parking

Waverley residents have endured a similar problem to Kiama’s Wilson and Ocean Street residents, in that their streets are clogged with tourist parking. (An important difference though is that the Wilson and Ocean Street parking problem is being caused by a multi-million $$$$ local business, rather than a Council-controlled resource.)

How has Waverley Council addressed the parking issue? Click on the image below to find out….

Waverley Council

Posted in Parking