BY ALEXANDER LEWIS
Central Sydney residents are set to lose free street parking permits under a draft policy on exhibition by the City of Sydney council.
Under the changes, residents of apartment blocks without onsite parking would no longer be eligible for a parking permit.
CBD resident and permit holder Stephen Taylor said those living in buildings such as The Astor, which was constructed on Macquarie Street in the 1920s sans garage, had not been offered an alternative.
“What are you supposed to do? Get rid of your car?” Mr Taylor said.
The draft policy stated that it was impractical for central Sydney streets to be used for the long term duration free parking of residents, particularly during business hours.
“It saddens me to find my rights as ratepayer are deemed impractical,” Mr Taylor wrote in a damning letter to the City of Sydney.
“There is no data on the current quantity of on-street parking spaces, quantity of vehicles in each category or the impacts, nor is there any modelling on the outcomes from cancelling CBD residential parking permits,” he wrote.
City of Sydney Liberal Councilor Edward Mandla said the City of Sydney needed to consider the needs of residents in older buildings, particularly elderly people who could not walk or cycle everywhere.
“When I challenge the Lord Mayor [Clover Moore] on this, she says people who don’t embrace her vision can move out and take their polluting vehicles with them,” Cr Mandla said.
“There’s a big difference between having a residential permit but not being able to find a park and a government telling you we’re cancelling your permit because you won’t find a park.”
A spokesperson for the Lord Mayor said there were around 90 on-road parking spaces in central Sydney for which people could use a residential parking permit.
“There is a growing demand for space on our roads. Work by the State Government including the rerouting of bus routes, increased vehicle capacity on many streets and roads, and the construction of the light rail on George Street will reduce the amount of on-road parking spaces available throughout the CBD,” the spokesperson said.
“The City’s draft Central Sydney On-street Parking Policy takes these changes and other community feedback into account.
“The delivery of goods, taxi ranks, emergency and essential services parking, coach pick-ups and set downs, and general set downs for hotels, are among the uses that have been given top priority.”
The proposed reforms will be considered by the council’s Local Pedestrian Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee.
Should the policy be adopted, residential permits will remain valid for four years or until the permit holder moves address or allows the permit to lapse.
Submissions in response to the proposed Central Sydney on-street parking policy open until August 14.