The parking challenges in Freo are sometimes overstated but clearly people are being caught out with hefty fines and there is some room for improvement. A Council working group was formed to develop strategies to make parking work better for residents and visitors alike. These initiatives are coming to this week’s SGS meeting for debate on Wednesday 10 October.
Night time parking fees
I’m pleased that one of my campaign suggestions was adopted – to make night time street parking a flat rate all night. If this gets approved, you will only need to pay a maximum of $4 to park on the street at night in Freo, regardless of how long you stay. You wont need to go back to your car to feed the meter.
More half-hour free parking in the east end
The half hour free parking bays on the street will be expanded to include more along the eastern end of High Street (from Queen Street to Parry Street) and Adelaide Street (between Queen Street and Parry Street). This is intended to support business, particularly in the east end and centre of town.
First hour free
The City owns or manages approximately 4,984 parking bays around the CBD; 1,034 on-street bays and 3,950 off-street bays. To encourage people to use the off street parking bays, we are proposing to make the first hour of parking in the Queensgate or Parry Street car parks free, then just $2 per hour for subsequent hour/s.
Note: You CAN NOT BE FINED in the Queensgate car park, since you pay for how long you stay as you leave. There are 830 car bays and at least 15% of them are empty even in peak periods. So if you want cheap, hassle free parking in Freo – this will be the way to do it!
There will also be signs that point to where the carparks are and how many bays are available as you enter town. The hope is that this will also reduce the amount of traffic in the CBD by directing people to access the car parks via the ‘ring roads’ of Parry, Norfolk and Beach Streets and Marine Tce.
There are a range of other issues and solutions raised in the full report, check out pages 11-22 of the SGS Agenda if you want to see more.
There are some small increases in the parking fees proposed (about 40c an hour at the most) to offset the lost income from parking (we don’t just want to slug locals through rates), but they are still less than Perth or the Town of Vincent and remember; if you are a Freo resident and get yourself a Free Parking Permit, it is free between 9am – 11am and 3pm – 1am Monday to Friday anyway.
Having said that, parking in urban centres costs money and so it should. If you are not a Freo resident and don’t want to pay for parking there are still plenty of ways to avoid it: ride a bike, catch the bus or train, or park on the city fringe and walk or jump on a CAT bus.
Any which way you choose, don’t let parking spoil your visit to Freo – it is entirely unnecessary.