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Boom gates to keep workers out of church car parks

Vacant parking spaces are a premium in Canberra's southern suburbs.

Vacant parking spaces are a premium in Canberra's southern suburbs. Photo: Pat Scala

Community and church services in and around a proposed Parliamentary Triangle paid parking scheme are concerned the plan could lead to further encroachment on already tight space for their own patrons should it go ahead.

Wesley Uniting Church on National Circuit in Forrest had already discussed putting in boom gates to protect its parking lot, and said they expected the number of parking enquiries to grow if the National Capital Authority's parking plan went ahead.

The church property manager, who asked not to be named, said she spends some mornings out patrolling the car park, and often has to ask people to leave.

“We don't have to wait for a new budget announcement, it's impacting on us every day now as it is,” she said.

The church offers 70 spaces through a paid-permit system below the commercial rate, and said it is already full with a 12 month wait list for new spaces to open up. The rest of the car park is supposed to be kept strictly for use by people attending church activities, such as funerals.

But the permit system and signs in the car park don't stop commuters and people who need to use nearby services trying to park in the reserved spaces.

“We're trying to run a church, this was never meant to be as big as it's got. But we're trying to help the community by offering car parking,” she said.

“We've got a sign up at our gate which says private property, which it is, which says authorised parking only … but human beings don't read signs, that's a fact.

“People are desperate to park, they have to get to work by a particular time, they are mindful that they are late and might be a bit stressed, they can't find a car park, and they think they might give Wesley a go and see if they can get away with it.”

In Russell, Clare Holland House, which is owned by ACT Health and run by Calvary Health Care, is concerned the plan could cause encroachment of parking into the hospice parking lot.

“We have had early conversations with the National Capital Authority, and we will continue to discuss our concerns and also intend to make a submission to the public consultation process,” ACT Health said in a statement.

“All parties are committed to ensuring the needs of patients, family and visitors, volunteers and the Clare Holland House staff are considered and treated appropriately.”

A community organisation within walking distance of Woden, which asked not to be identified for fear of people discovering their parking lot, said the issues have been visible in the area for some time, as workers look to avoid paying for parking.

A spokesman for the organisation, which provides health support, said there had been at least two occasions in recent memory when their car parks became full and clients couldn't easily access parking.

He predicted organisations' car parks around the Parliamentary Triangle would be impacted in a similar manner if paid parking was introduced.

He said the organisation had taken the issue up with the Community Services Directorate, and would monitor the situation closely. Timed parking would be the next step, but the spokesman said it would only be feasible if it could be policed.

21 comments

  • Give us somewhere to park and we won't park in your churches!

    Commenter
    BB
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    May 21, 2013, 1:37PM
    • The moment you are given somewhere to park, you'll be whining about how expensive it is and looking for somewhere that's free, without caring whether it is somebody else's property (and then you'll be chucking away $4.50 on a precious take away coffee on the way to the office....)

      Commenter
      Mike Micanopy
      Location
      Gnilabura
      Date and time
      May 21, 2013, 2:31PM
  • What is it with Canberran's and having to find somewhere to park for free? It is appalling that people park in residential streets, on nature strips, and churches to save the cost of a cup of coffee. The ACT Government parking inspectors should book them and then we will see if their prepared to pay a few dollars a day to park legally.

    Commenter
    M
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    May 21, 2013, 2:55PM
    • A cup of coffee starts at $3. All day parking goes as high as $11. Bit of a difference there.

      Commenter
      Nigel
      Date and time
      May 21, 2013, 3:42PM
    • Have you seen how many trips public servants make to get a cup of coffee? Just as bad as smokers really :-)

      Commenter
      Adzz
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      May 22, 2013, 6:37AM
    • Start towing cars away to a pound where people are required to pay big money to get them back - that will soon sort them out, but oh no not in Canberra that would be too draconian. Amazing isn't it, the Canberra pockets are stuffed with taxpayers dollars and they too bloody tight to pay for parking!!!

      Commenter
      Ivan
      Location
      atkinson06@bigpond.com
      Date and time
      May 22, 2013, 8:20AM
  • Let's get creative at the churches and health care facilities. Have a large sign stating 'private parking only for users of this facility. Illegal parkers will be booted!' Then when parkers who can't read (yeah right) park illegally, boot the cars and charge them less than the ACT government would for illegal parking. Great money spinner for the institiution involved. I will do this task for them for 1/3 of the take!

    Commenter
    money spinner!
    Date and time
    May 21, 2013, 4:02PM
    • Drivers already pay rego including road taxes...why stinge out on parking now... there IS enough space for everyone to park for free? why charge? why? It all started when one area charged for parking now the rest have followed. Good on them for parking wherever they want - I find it very creative where people think to park for free. I've experience bad parking before and Ive spent 20 mins walking to work because Yes I would much rather spend my money on a raspberry and white chocolate muffin and my flat white, $8 well spent... You dont put $11 into a parking meter and quote "my that was delicious"

      Commenter
      Ren-ay
      Date and time
      May 21, 2013, 4:29PM
      • Why is it that people working in one of the most highly post codes in Australia are complaining about having to pay for parking. When I worked on Kent Street in Sydney I paid $38,000 a year for my park. That is expensive, I hope that the infrastructure improves and that the institutions benefit too. Oh and the tourists will not complain because they are not Canberran's.

        Commenter
        New to Canberra
        Location
        Forrest
        Date and time
        May 21, 2013, 4:36PM
        • Really ? You paid $152 a day for parking ? Of your own actual money ? Or were you running some kind of scam ?

          Commenter
          enno
          Location
          sydney
          Date and time
          May 22, 2013, 8:56AM

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