ACT News


Woden town centre set for high-rise, high-tech parking overhaul

A new multi-level parking structure proposed for Woden Town Centre workers will feature licence-plate recognition to streamline peak-hour traffic.

Developer Tony DeMarco bought the car park earlier this year, agreeing to replace 229 spaces with 850 as part of a two-stage redevelopment.

Plans provide for an additional 120 spaces to accompany two levels of commercial buildings between Melrose Drive and Launceston Street, near Aviation House and the Tradies Club. Above the commercial levels will be six levels of car parking.

Architect Peter Russell said licence-plate recognition technology, which activates a boom gate and is used elsewhere in Australia and overseas, had several advantages.

''The basic client is a public servant parking there every day, so it has to be easy and safe to use,'' he said.

''They can have different forms of payment, be charged different rates depending on what level they are parking.


''You can reward people who park early by giving them a lower rate. There's a whole lot of different things it can do by improving car park efficiency.''

Other technology such as CCTV would make the parking levels safer than Woden's at-grade parking, where there have been assaults on women. Temporary car parking will include a new gravel car park east of the town centre along Easty Street, existing under-utilised car parks near Phillip Oval, and the reallocation of some short-stay parking along Irving Street to multi-stay parking.

Work is due to be completed by April 2015, clearing the way for other car-park developments, including the second stage of the DeMarco development, which could either be offices, a hotel, or residential units.

When completed, cars will continue accessing the precinct off Melrose Drive from Worgan Street, which will have traffic lights.

Access to the multi-level parking will be from Worgan Street. From there people will use lifts down to the Furzer Street side.

Parking has been at capacity for several years, while traffic improvements have been awaiting redeveloment of the town centre.

But proposed high-rise apartment towers have been shelved or scaled back amid community concerns of overshadowing and overscaling.

Next door to the DeMarco project the Tradies Group proposes a 24-storey residential tower for 185 apartments, separate 10-storey commercial block, three levels of car parking and street-level retail space.

Developments are expected to generate more pedestrians and cars on the north-east corner of the town centre, which is also being prepared for a new road, laneway and realigning Corinna Street and creating three more development blocks.

Woden Valley Community Council wants the ACT government to withdraw the Corinna Street realignment and subdivision plans.

Community Council chairwoman Jenny Stewart said given the controversy caused by the original ''Woden 9'' proposal, lack of consultation on the latest proposal was puzzling.

Dr Stewart said the subdivision made little sense, with an unnecessary realignment of Corinna Street. The proposed east-west laneway was too big and the park too small.


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