Relaxed parking limits to encourage CBD trade

CAR parking time limits in Wodonga could be removed or eased under plans to make more effective use of spaces in the city’s central business district.

It has been proposed that two-hour restrictions be removed from the parking bays in Hume Street, between Stanley and Lawrence streets.

One-hour restrictions on 12 spaces on Stanley Street — between Hume and High streets — would be extended to two hours.

The proposals are among a host of short and medium to long-term proposals Wodonga Council will consider at a meeting tonight.

The council is mindful of the future need for more car parking spaces in the centre of the city, especially with the development of the Mann’s precinct and Junction Place sites.

These matters are discussed in a central business district car parking strategy, which was prepared by consultants Cardno Victoria.

A lengthy discussion paper dealing with the strategy will go before the council tonight for discussion and possible adoption.

The council made the decision in March last year to have the strategy developed, in conjunction with Places Victoria.

Some of the main findings of the study were that the existing car parking supply in the Wodonga central business district was 4192 spaces, comprising 2220 on-street and 2692 off-street parking bays.

“It must, however, be noted that when the proposed parking precinct plan is developed, its boundaries would be considerably smaller than the area described in the study,” a report to councillors says.

“Consequently, the number of on-street car parking spaces would reduce significantly.”

Some of the possibilities the council might need to consider include the building of a car park within the Junction Place site.

It is anticipated that extra spaces will become available through more than 1000 spaces in the Mann’s development.

Another 175 on-street parking spaces would become available in Junction Place, spread among existing, realigned, extended and proposed roads.

The Junction Place site would also allow for additional off-street parking, shared between staff and customers.

The report strongly opposed the introduction of paid parking, such as parking meters, especially within the context of it being “easy to find” public parking in the Wodonga CBD.

Cardno recommended against paid parking fees, arguing these could make shoppers decide to park somewhere else such as the Centro centre on Elgin Bouldevard.

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