TACKLING the tricky issue of parking within Wagga’s CBD will be the key item on the agenda at a forum to be convened next month by the Wagga Business Chamber.
The forum, to be held at the Wagga RSL Club on August 11, will look at a range of issues relating to parking in the city centre, ranging from the controversial topic of introducing paid parking to how to better utilise existing car parks, such as the one at Wagga Beach, which are often left near-empty.
The amount of all-day parking in the CBD for workers to use and whether the city needs a multi-storey car park will also be looked at.
“The business chamber thought it would be a good thing for us to take on, along with council, to get a forum together to canvass some of the issues and listen to some of the people who are directly affected by it and see what they want,” chamber president Tim Rose said.
“I’d be very surprised if we can’t get some interesting solutions from the people who are most affected by it.”
Mr Rose believes one of the most pressing issues facing businesses at the moment is the lack of long-term, or all-day, parking in the CBD.
Workers at many businesses are often left scrambling to move their cars in the middle of shifts to ensure they don’t cop a fine, with the majority of parking spaces available around Baylis and Fitzmaurice streets timed at one hour.
“It’s something business particularly wants to see addressed,” Mr Rose said.
“We have a lot of shops where people sort of leave their workplace every hour to move their car so they dont get pinged for that. There are some businesses, like restaurants, where an hour’s worth of parking isn’t sufficient.”
Mr Rose said he would like to see a mixture of parking time zones introduced in the CBD, particularly around Fitzmaurice Street.
Wagga mayor Rod Kendall identified the underuse of the Wagga Beach car park as a major parking issue that needed looking into around the CBD.
While on-street parking may be hard to come by and other car parks are full, the beach car park is often left with numerous empty spots.
“It’s been suggested it’s underutilised because people just don’t think of it – it’s out of sight, out of mind,” Cr Kendall said.
“Another issue has been the fact is whether or not it’s potentially a perceived security issue, particularly in winter when people leave work and it’s pretty much dark already.”
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