I just noticed Katherine Feeney’s article from last week on the adverse impact the Council’s new paid parking policy is having on businesses in Brisbane CBD (Retailers keep up the fight against Brisbane’s paid parking charges). The extended paid parking hours appear to be having an impact on recreation in the CBD as well. Fewer people are coming into the City to set off for a jog or bike ride on Sunday mornings, judging by the many vacant car spaces on Alice St at 6.30am yesterday morning (see photo below). Usually Alice St has plenty of parked cars at this time.
Paid parking starts at 7am, even on a Sunday, and it’s obvious to me that it’s impacting recreational opportunities. This is a real cost to the community. Some people may run, walk or ride less. And, while some people might find other places in Brisbane to run, walk or ride, they may not enjoy it as much as they would in the City, with its excellent bike paths through the Botanic Gardens and along the river, and the possibility of crossing one of several bridges to get over to Southbank.
I’m not against paid parking, as it makes sense at times when car parks are scarce and in high demand (see this 2011 post: Paid parking and trading hours deregulation would solve carpark woes). But extending paid parking to non-peak times may not be sensible, as the costs it imposes on businesses and residents may be very high relative to the revenue gained. The Council should rethink its paid parking policy.
Update. Steve Austin interviewed me on 612 ABC Brisbane radio this morning regarding this issue: