Bondi View

Parking upgrade receives cool response

Bondi Beach's current carpark / Photo: Waverley Council

Bondi Beach's current carpark / Photo: Waverley Council

Waverley Council has commenced work to upgrade the Queen Elizabeth Drive car park at Bondi Beach to bring the facilities in line with the new parking systems being rolled out across the local government area. But some residents are angry at what they call a lack of community consultation and the prospect of a council employee losing their job.

The upgrade was due for completion by December 2, 2013 but installation of the new parking infrastructure was deferred until after the holiday period.

“Some delays were experienced in the configuration of the software for the smart meters,” a council spokesperson said.

“Timing for the installation was designed to have a minimal impact on motorists during the busy summer holiday period.”

But works taking place over the next few weeks will clash with Flickerfest and the Openair cinema. Waverley Council dismissed the prospect of major disruption. The spokesperson said the Bondi Beach event calendar had been taken into consideration when scheduling the works.

Convenor of the Bondi Beach Precinct Committee Lenore Kulakauskas said residents were upset because council had failed to sufficiently consult.

“We were very disappointed there was no consultation with the community about putting in the meters like there was with the Bronte Cutting upgrades,” she said.

“It’s a complete waste of money, installing parking sensors and meters – it’s not Westfield. There’s other infrastructure at the beach in need of more urgent upgrades.”

As part of the upgrades, council will install ‘smart meters’ which operate using new technology, which meets global standards for banking security, as well as parking sensors and directional signage. The 18 meters will replace the manned booth and boom gates at the car park.

Ms Kulakauskas expressed concern about the removal of the manned booth.

“Upgrading the attendant’s booth would be much easier than to install these expensive meters,” she said. “And we don’t know if this poor chap is going to lose his job.”

A council spokesperson said an additional 20 car spaces would be established at the southern end of the Queen Elizabeth Drive car park as well as two new areas for motorbike parking while costs for parking will decrease.

“Bondi Beach parking will cost motorists $6.60 per hour, which is a decrease in cost,” he said.

“The existing price for the first and second hours at Bondi Beach is $8 per hour.”

With the Bronte Cutting upgrades, council began consultation in 2011 with major discussions taking place throughout March and April 2013.

Bronte Beach Precinct co-convenor Virginia Milson confirmed there had been community consultation but said many locals have felt the upgrade has been unsatisfactory.

“The consultation was extensive but we were not happy with the outcome,” she said.

“We made a number of recommendations, many of which were not adhered to.”

The upgrade will provide an additional 10 motorcycle spaces along with the implementation of a 10km/h shared speed zone to improve safety for pedestrians but the manned booth and boom gates will be removed.

“We felt the booth should have been left there as it served as an important representative of council and as an information point for tourists,” Ms Milson said.

Related Posts