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Park rage scratches surface

A vehicle "keyed" in a  Curtin street.

A vehicle "keyed" in a Curtin street.

Police will investigate acts of vandalism against cars in a Curtin street regularly used for parking by Commonwealth public servants.

As many as 12 cars in Haines Street, Curtin, and other nearby streets were deliberately scratched on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving owners with big bills for repairs.

The vandalism follows recent calls by local residents for increased parking restrictions in the area, which is popular with Health Department employees who park and walk to nearby offices.

In the latest apparent ''keying'' incident, each individual panel along one side of as many as eight vehicles was scratched.

An ACT Policing spokesman said owners had reported the damage and a patrol unit had visited the area.

Resident Ben Fairman said dozens of drivers parked in the street, making it difficult to reach driveways or to find on-street parking.

''It makes it really hard for me to get my car in and out with a trailer because they are here every day,'' he said.

''The public servants park all the way around the street and it can be pretty frustrating for people who live in the houses and want to turn around or park during the day.''

Mr Fairman said he sometimes was forced to park on the nature strip because of the congestion.

Another resident who asked not to be named said ACT government officials had visited the street after complaints of blocked driveways and difficult access conditions.

''The worksite further up the street has made it even worse, and all we really want is to be able to come and go during the day without having to navigate a car park outside our homes,'' the resident said.

''They said there was nothing they could do, but some of the streets further into Curtin have two-hour restrictions and that would be a good option for here.''

Similar street parking situations exist around the ACT, with residents in Dominion Circuit, Forrest, also calling for the introduction of two-hour restrictions.

The moves come as the federal government seeks to introduce 9000 paid parking places around the parliamentary triangle.

The plan would contribute $74 million into federal government consolidated revenue, an aspect opposed by ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

Liberal senator Gary Humphries, who also opposes the plan, predicted that parking rage could escalate.

''With the introduction of paid parking, we'll no doubt see more of this,'' he said.

''People will be looking to park further and further away from the parking meters and ultimately wind up parking in backstreets all across the inner suburbs.

''Will the response be putting parking meters in every single street in Canberra?''

103 comments

  • Time for Canberrans to use public transport and to put more than one in a car, as a visitor to Canberra I have found it impossible to get a park to show visitors around.

    Commenter
    ian
    Location
    atkinson06@bigpond.com
    Date and time
    May 30, 2013, 7:09AM
    • If the public transport here wasn't so useless I, and I'm sure many others, would. It takes longer to catch a bus than it does to ride my bicycle to work - 40 minutes vs over an hour (though riding is not something I'm keen on doing in the middle of Winter at 5am).

      There should be more of an incentive to car pool, plus there are a few areas that could do with some significant improvements relating to bike paths (though some places aren't too bad).

      Commenter
      JJ Potter
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 7:35AM
    • No - time for the NCA to be brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century and to develop a co-ordinated approach to parking with the ACT Govt that does not rely on fines and financial penalties to the Departments, Agencies and workers. (Some people call these things underground car parks).

      Is it true that the NCA will be exempt from paid working if and when it is introduced?

      Commenter
      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 7:43AM
    • I'm sure if public transport was more reliable, picked up from more suburbs, wasn't so expensive, etc. then more people would use it.

      Commenter
      Angus
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 8:25AM
    • I'm pretty sure I am not the only person sick of indignant lanyard set. Pay for parking or catch the public transport, however inferior it may be - just like the rest of the population.

      Commenter
      equality
      Location
      act
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 9:46AM
    • @Outraged - your proposed 'solution' of underground carparks is outrageous - carspaces work out to around $30-40000 EACH. Do you want the taxpayer (ie you) to pay for these? Do you think individuals will pay this cost?
      Better that a mild disincentive ($6 day in parking fees) is put in place to encourage some mode shift, add some parking restrictions in the local streets (ie permit parking - common in other cities) or time restrictions, and let parking demand plateau.

      Commenter
      Aenveigh
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 9:53AM
    • Ride a bus to work? I've tried that and ened up being warned for being late to work too many times when busses just don't come and I've got to wait for the next one. Go to work earlier I hear you say? I'm not happy to roll out of bed any earlier than 5am to accomodate Actions lack of service. Why would any of us want to use an irregular, poorly maintained and (in my opinion) over priced service when I can drive to work in half the time and not put up with people coughing and sneezing all over me in a cold bus.

      Additionally, Is Action going to transport me from Govenment building to Government building in a timely fashion across Canberra to attend meetings? I doubt it very much. Getting around for work makes busses unviable.

      Commenter
      RamRod - ACT
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 9:55AM
    • So where are you from? Also why should workers have to use PT just so there are carparks for you? Why aren't you catching the bus to show visitors around? In fact there is a FREE bus that does the tourist hotspots every 15 minutes or so, so no excuse really.

      Commenter
      Jimmy
      Location
      CBR
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 10:05AM
    • Keying cars is done by the lowest most cowardly of people.

      Commenter
      Blue
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 10:10AM
    • @Angus, you had me until you mentioned how expensive the bus is.

      Use a Myway card it costs a max of $2.65 to travel from one end of Canberra to the other on as many buses as it takes. So for the average worker with two journeys a day, 5 days a week that is $26.50 a week. That works out to be 40 trips a month, which just so happens to be the Myway cap for the month, so make more journeys and they are 100% free.

      Now yes there are plenty of issues with the buses, but frankly cost isn't one of them.

      Commenter
      Jimmy
      Location
      CBR
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 10:14AM

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