Hi all, after the tsunami of community backlash the Sunshine Coast Council has agreed to review parking management practices and are holding a workshop on the issue early in the New Year and with Christmas just around the corner (meaning lots of kids playing around our homes and streets) I thought it might be worth teasing out some of the issues before the workshop happens.
For my part, I am sunny coast resident and home owner, a father and grandfather and spent over 15 years in the Fire Brigade, eight years as Captain. These are the foundations of my thoughts on the matter. I also chaired a local District Emergency Management Committee tasked with evaluating emergency vehicle access needs (not here on the Sunny Coast).
It seems to me the main arguments for and against Council actions in this area; being to penalise anyone they see parked on the so-called “Council strip” or verge, or even with just a single wheel or bumper overlapping, run like this:
Council: “There is a risk to children of cars parked on the verge because a child might run out from behind a car and not be seen by drivers on the road” and “Council are obliged to enforce State Government law in this area and penalise vehicle owners who are parked on or partially on the verge”.
The Community: “It is morally improper for an organisation to expect residents to exert funds and effort to maintain a piece of land owned by the organisation yet to then refuse said residents reasonable vehicle access to the land” and “It is improper for Council to enforce regulations that by Councils own development approval standards are not achievable” (insufficient room to properly park on the roadside or within a private driveway etc).
It’s worth noting these are majority opinions and by no means cover all areas of concern. But they are a starting point.
Taking these a point at a time (I have an additional point that I will leave for the end).
1. The risk requiring mitigation of a child being struck by a car is this – a child may be hidden by a parked car meaning the driver of a moving car has insufficient reaction time to avoid the child. These are tragic and horrific circumstances so let’s think through the reality. Driving down a typical coast road we often travel a metre or less away from cars parked on the side of the road. Conversely we are usually two, three or more metres away from a car parked on the verge. It is clear that in most cases we have a greater reaction time for a child appearing behind a car parked on the verge than we do a car parked on the side of the road, for the simple reason we are further away from the car parked on the verge and have more time to react. Council’s assessment of risk in this area clearly requires some clarification and I expect our emergency services and other emergency workers will offer opinion on this point.
2. Local Government exists to promote the interests of the locality for which it is formed. If State Government laws are at odds with local conditions and circumstances it is incumbent on Council to lobby for change. The obligations on Council to enforce State legislation are no greater than Councils obligation to support and lobby for local needs and requirements. Council works for us, not for the State. This point can seem lost in deliberations.
3. Community concerns are legitimised when we consider that any study of morals and ethics teaches the base requirement of equity. There is no equity in Council expecting residents to maintain Council land yet then refusing vehicular access to said land and worse, applying a penalty for non-compliance. It fails the ethics test. We must give something back if we expect someone to freely maintain our property. There are also questions as to where monies being raised by these penalties are spent. More consultation would be beneficial.
4. Roads are primarily constructed for the purpose of vehicle movement. If a requirement exists for parking on both sides of a road due to housing approvals then any development approval should factor this need into road construction. In my view it is improper for Council to approve a road that is not fit for purpose. In this area community concerns also seem legitimised.
The additional point I wish to raise is this:
When tragedy strikes and you need a response from fire, police or ambulance our roads must be capable of allowing access. I would argue this is the most important factor to consider. We cannot expect a 17 ton Fire Appliance to navigate a 4.5 metre wide suburban street with two 1.8 metre wide cars parked on each side of the road. I have been in this scenario numerous times and the mathematics simply doesn’t work. In these scenarios residents must be allowed to park on the verge when need dictates. The alternative is to accept that then when our homes are on fire or our family members are injured, that help will not be able to get to us. Council is quite remiss in not factoring this consideration.
Apologies for the length of this post and my thanks if you have read this far. I certainly accept there are many views on this topic and many legitimate reasons why residents may not want cars parked on the verge. I think the sensible approach is to exercise due diligence and make allowances as and when required. Perhaps a suitable scenario would be to allow parking on the verge on any street less than 6 metres wide. Another might be to allow parking on the verge for resident’s and trade workers vehicles only. It does seem wrong for a Council that allegedly promotes business enterprise to target tradies vehicles parked on a workplace the way they have been doing.
Happy Christmas all.
It just occurred to me that the Gold Coast have the beautiful helpful bling bling ‘Meter Maids’
And we have the camera ready, hip slinging ticket printing ‘Sunshine Coast Council Cowboys n cowgirls’
Got fined whilst moving into a new house! Had car on grass while unloading truck in driveway as there were no road spots available due to renovations occurring across the street! Explained situation to parking officer and no leniency extended just a fine a week before christmas!
Continue reading “Got fined whilst moving into a new house!”
Good work. I’m still getting over the ridiculous fine my wife had to pay after parking safely and unobtrusively in an unmarked space at the Fishermans Road sports complex. It was netball finals day and the place was absolutely packed. Council decided that would be an opportune time to head on down and book dozens and dozens of people essentially because their own facility doesn’t provide enough spaces for well-attended events. Disgraceful.
Further to the extremely high interest in parking fines across the region, I wanted to do a couple of things and let you know that:
1) I fully support you and have been raising this issue for many months. I have even gone on the record on the front page of the Sunshine Coast Daily dated October 11 asking for residents to back me in seeking changes to nature strip parking.
2) That there is currently a petition being circulated seeking for council to address parking fines and use common sense in regulating parking. Please see the petition below:
Feeling Nervous 😐
Kids are washing two cars so I have had to park low low low on the drive 😆…. keeping my 👀 out for you know who’s to give me you know what’s!!!!!
This is a classic example of council’s warped sense of so called safety issue. Notice the tradie getting gear from his Ute whilst parked in the council enforced manner. And note how the Ute and trailer on a still not developed footpath provides a lot more sanctuary for him whilst at the trailer from the many delivery trucks coming and going……go figure Mr. Council.
Workshop to focus on best practice car parking approach
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson today called for a workshop on Council’s approach to managing parking infringements.
“The Councillors and I acknowledge there is significant community commentary occurring regarding council’s approach to parking infringements and fines,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Continue reading “Sunshine Coast Council Media Release-December 21, 2017”
Sunshine Coast Daily Article https://m.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/council-to-review-parking-laws-after-5000-strong-p/3295991/
Felt good this morning cleaning all the Red Backs out of my steel caps and hitting the building sites collecting signatures on our petition to get the council to to negotiate parking issues. Very happy to get 100 tradies to sign today with only a portion of the estate covered. A big day coming up tomorrow.
Read the Media Release here http://parkingpoliticsgonemadprotest.com/sunshine-coast-council-media-release-december-21-2017/
“we’d better ensure that there’s some representation from the industrial estates that have been heavily targeted this year! The parking officers were coming after delivery drivers who parked momentarily on the 7m wide “road reserve”, which looks like part of the carpark and has no footpath…”
Continue reading “Responses to Sunshine Coast Council Media Release-December 21, 2017”
Posted by Sandy Smith on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Should have put some George Cloony make up on before this……lol….Sun cancers are a bitch.
Posted by Colin Manderson on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Hi gang, just got home from a meeting with council with Sandy. This meeting went well in regards to having them listen to our plight. I’ll let Sandy fill you in with the progress as this is her baby and I am just helping her. Everybody should be so proud of this beautiful sole for her tenacity and dedication to our cause.
I must give thanks to Trish and Sheryl from council for meeting with us today. Although we started a bit shaky, it finished with a positive outcome and with all in agreence that discussion with council , state government, developers is needed to resolve this, what is going to be an ongoing problem as these high density estates and high rise developments become more the norm. Thank you everyone for your ongoing support and let’s all stick together. The door is open to negotiations in the new year so please keep drumming up support. People Power will prevail as long as we are all sensible about it. So please, absolutely no foul language or unnecessary uninformed rants. Also we don’t want or need any staged photos as this will only undermine the credibility that Sandy has fought so hard to build up. The council are Not silly people, they would be monitoring us on FB, I certainly hope they are because we’ll to show them we are Not a bunch of rat bags….rather a very concerned bunch of residents/voters.
Posted by Sandy Smith on Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Posted by Colin Manderson on Wednesday, 20 December 2017
A group of disgruntled residents have taken a stand against the current parking issues, meeting at Cotton Tree at the weekend to take action.www.7News.com.au#7News
Posted by 7 News Sunshine Coast on Monday, 18 December 2017