Aireys Inlet Commercial Area Parking Issues
AIDA has for some years had significant concerns about parking issues in the top and bottom shops area, which have been compounded by applications for retail development within the bottom shops, which sought and were granted parking waivers. Parking will also be an issue in the top shops area when the apartments/offices planned for behind the general store are built, when the land to the left of the general store is developed, and when potentially the empty commercial land beside the post office is developed. From a meeting with council officers, it would appear that there can be no real planning as to possible acquisition of land for parking or even payment for waivers of retail parking spaces until a traffic management plan is undertaken by council. Following several submissions and meetings with council, we understand that a proposal for allocation of funds for such a plan has been put down for the next budget. So, in an effort to get some accurate figures on the number of parked cars, AIDA has undertaken traffic counts of all car parks in Aireys Inlet on a Thursday and following Saturday between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm at regular intervals over a period of twelve months. These figures will be helpful to us to use in consideration of any future commercial applications, and indeed show that all parking areas are under stress at certain times, that parking is occurring outside designated areas, and that both top and bottom shop areas can be full, not necessarily only in peak periods. And this is before the wine bar opens, before any possible reapplication from the supermarket, and before the aforementioned development at the top shops. We have forwarded our results to council and will continue to lobby for a well-thought-out approach to a problem that will only worsen over time.
Update April 2013: Cletus Kweifio-Okai, Senior Strategic Planner of the Surf Coast Shire has recently informed AIDA that the Shire’s own parking surveys are forecast for completion in August 2013, and a parking management plan should be released in January 2014.