Last Monday’s parking forum in Bendigo gave residents the chance to discuss the challenges of the parking structures in the city.

In attendance at The Engine Room were 30 community members, with keynote speaker Steven Burgess engaging the audience with his wisdoms as the former manager of Brisbane’s parking system.

The city’s senior strategic planner Philip DeAraugo said the main issue broached was all-day parking in the inner city residential areas of Bendigo.

“There needs to be a balance for people that come and go from those residences, trades people and visitors having somewhere to park,” Mr DeAraugo said.

New Zealand cities were used as templates for driving any potential change in Bendigo, but cities the size of Bendigo have done little by way of solving this issue.

One solution proposed by Mr DeAraugo was increasing the number of time limited bays in the inner city residential areas, to keep city workers out of those areas.

“Around the cathedral, hospital and train station are some of the main areas where there is a congestion,” Mr DeAraugo said.

The use of basic parking metres by the city means that their data analysis is not as pinpoint as they would like.

With technological advancements and the use of mobile apps, the city will start to collate improved  data about parking hot spots and cold spots.

In its April budget, the City of Greater Bendigo flagged new  parking technology as a by-product of increased parking fees.

The cost of parking was another issue discussed at the forum.

“Parking prices are used to balance the supply and demand,” Mr DeAraugo said.

“Looking out at Lyttleton Terrace today, the parking bays are only 30 per cent full. Areas like this we can look at where there is low demand and potentially lower the price of parking,” he said.

The core fundamentals of any parking and pricing structure Mr DeAraugo said was that the closer in you are to the CBD, the tighter the restrictions are going to be and the higher the cost of parking.

“Pricing and time limits manage the supply and demand. Those are our core fundamentals,” he said.

– NICHOLAS NAKOS