RIPPING out the nature strip and removing bike lanes along Fitzmaurice Street to make way for angle parking is a solution to the ongoing parking problem, a local businessman believes.
Duke of Kent Hotel owner Jack Egan is calling for 45-degree-angled parking from the Crampton Street intersection to at least Sturt Street, which would increase parking by 40 per cent to create five parks for every three parallel parks.
Mr Egan said the current one-hour parking arrangement lost him business and the broader parking problem in Wagga was driving people out of the city.
“There’s a quick, easy fix (that could happen) tomorrow with a stroke of a pen,” he said. “There’s no encouragement to stay in Wagga to do anything, there’s a lot of empty shops.
“I get a lot of negative impact from people passing through Wagga on the availability of parking.”
Mr Egan said parking in Wagga was well behind that offered in other similar-sized regional towns.
“Albury-Wodonga is bursting, I’ve never seen a parking inspector,” Mr Egan said. “Here, they watch it like the changing of the guards.
“To me, it’s a cheap fix. It’s something that will work and give people some satisfaction.”
Mr Egan believes maintaining the nature strip is a “waste of money” and the bike lanes aren’t warranted.
He also argues angle parking increases traffic flow.
But a council spokesman said it wasn’t possible because a width of 11.3 metres is required for angle parking - including the travelling lane – and Fitzmaurice Street ranges from 7.5 metres and seven metres wide.
Council remains committed to solving the parking issue, with submissions to its one-in-20-year integrated transport strategy (ITS), launched in May, closing on Wednesday.
Council has completed $135,000 worth of works on on-street parking as marked parking bays since 2008 under the Stepfair/Samsa report.
Since that report, $12,000 has also been spent to improve existing accessible parking along Baylis Street and $17,000 on accessible parking space on long blocks of angle parking close to shops and offices.
The ITS findings are expected to be presented to council by July next year.
“Council will consider all options that are presented to the consultants who undertake the ITS,” council spokesman said.
“Council would have a preference to locate any future multi deck on land or a car park which is currently in council ownership (rather than purchase more land for car parking).”
Mr Egan offered to drive the bobcat if council went ahead with his proposal to help cut costs.
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