HORSHAM Mayor David Grimble believes a parking block in the Horsham central business district has merit but finding a suitable location is the key.
His comments come in response to the RACV’s Regional Growing Pains project, which found parking, public transport and road maintenance were Horsham residents’ major traffic concerns.
RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones hosted a consultation session in the city on Wednesday.
Cr Grimble said deciding where to place a new parking lot would be challenging.
“You don’t want parking to occupy main-street frontage; that should be available for the development of retail or business,” he said.
Cr Grimble said two blocks on Firebrace Street, where the majority of the city’s financial, legal and postal institutions were, had the highest parking demand.
“At certain times of the day parking can be available – other times, it is not,” he said.
However Cr Grimble said having a busy, prosperous city was a positive thing.
“I’d hate to walk down the main street and have ample parking,” he said.
Cr Grimble said clearer signs or a colour scheme highlighting where all-day parking areas were would also improve the city’s traffic management.
He said making it obvious where all-day parking was would direct people who needed long-term parking to suitable areas.
But Cr Grimble said these might not be right outside the business the driver was intending to visit.
“In an ideal world, we’d pull up outside the business, do our shopping and move on, but Horsham continues to get busier and it’s always going to be a matter of how you manage your traffic,” he said.
“There is no single solution.
“Parking in Horsham is something that is probably always going to be a problem in the mindset of the community.
“Council is certainly looking to have a colour scheme – it would be quite useful.”
Cr Grimble said he was confident that if Horsham had more car parking, people would use it.
“But by that same token, the Forty Winks carpark probably doesn’t get utilised as often as it could,” he said.
Horsham Rural City Council’s investigations into the city’s traffic management are ongoing.
The RACV’s Regional Growing Pains project survey is available to complete online at racv.com.au/regionalsurvey until tomorrow.
The RACV will compile a report on the city’s transport needs for the next 20 years.
Cr Grimble welcomed the project and said council was looking forward to the report.
“I think sometimes we know what the demand is, but it’s also good to know what the expectations of the community are as well,” he said.
“People living in country, regional areas shouldn’t be disadvantaged from having good access from their regional centre into other areas for health and education.”