Bangalow parking – proposed changes to be discussed
Better parking management in Bangalow is up for discussion in April.
Concerns over parking capacity and turnover in the Bangalow town centre have resulted in the Bangalow Parking Management Strategy being completed; it considers parking solutions for the popular hinterland town.
The parking strategy included a parking survey of the town centre, including the weekend. Results found that the average parking time was 54 minutes, with little difference between a weekday and weekend.
Byron Shire Council’s team leader of infrastructure planning, Evan Elford, said well designed and managed parking is an important part of amenity, pleasant streetscapes and a positive town experience.
“The Bangalow Parking Management Strategy aims to achieve better management of existing on-street parking spaces and Council managed car parks, as well as facilitate the provision of improved parking infrastructure.
“Key suggestions included changing the mix of parking time limits with more one hour parking available in the main street.
“The parking survey found that a one hour parking limit would satisfy 75 per cent of the parking demand,” he said.
Part of the community consultation will also include the proposal to include pay parking for the one and two hour car parking areas within the Bangalow town centre.
The proposed scheme would run as per the existing pay parking program in Byron Bay and exemption e-permit holders would simply park and walk away. The time limits would still apply.
If you are an existing pay parking exemption e-permit holder, you would not need to apply for an additional exemption. The e-permit is applicable throughout Byron Shire.
There are currently about 790 Bangalow residents who already have a pay parking e-permit, of which 165 are pensioners.
Mr Elford said if introduced, the introduction of pay parking metering and time restrictions would increase revenue generated from visitors and share the burden of providing quality infrastructure across the full range of users, not just ratepayers.
“The Bangalow pay parking scheme is expected to generate an estimated $700,000 net income each year and would go towards infrastructure maintenance and improvement in the Bangalow town centre and elsewhere within the Shire.
“Pay parking revenue could be a very useful funding source for the many projects that are likely to emerge from the Bangalow Town Centre Masterplan.
“It’s a significant revenue source and the majority would be coming from visitors and not locals.
“Getting more revenue from visitors was a key community request from consultation completed on recent the special rate variation proposal and Council would like to explore this further with residents through the proposed pay parking scheme for Bangalow,” he said.
Mr Elford also noted that the introduction of pay parking in Byron Bay has not seen a reduction in the number of vehicles entering town and residents have reported that they are finding it easier to get a park due to turnover and parking dispersal.
Comments and suggestions from key stakeholder groups and community members will be collated, analysed and reported to Council. When finalised, the report will be publicly available; it is anticipated this will happen mid-year.
While the decision by the Council to commission a parking study in Bangalow was undertaken long before a Bangalow Master Plan was contemplated, the recently formed Bangalow Masterplan guidance group will also be asked to look closely at the issues of access, movement, traffic and parking through the development of the new masterplan. Council believes that the parking study undertaken by the Council will be complementary to this process rather than detrimental.
Where to make feedback and chat to Byron Shire Council staff, will be available on Council website towards the end of March and community consultation will start in April. Look out for more information at www.byron.nsw.gov.au