Bruns parking goalposts moved, says chamber

Senior Council staff have defended the way traffic data is analysed, after the Brunswick Heads chamber of commerce claimed the term ‘full capacity’ is defined as an occupancy of 90 per cent, not 100 per cent.

It comes as councillors will consider paid parking for the town at this Thursday’s meeting, with staff recommending deferring consideration until the October 2020 meeting ‘owing to the current impacts of the COVID-19 crisis’.

The chamber’s Kim Rosen says Council staff inexplicably dropped full capacity from 90 to 80 per cent.

‘So it’s much easier to reach capacity!’ she said of the report from Council consultants Traffic & Parking Consultants (TPS).

Practical capacity

When asked about Ms Rosen’s claims, staff replied that in traffic engineering terminology, 90 per cent  parking capacity is known as ‘practical capacity’.

Council’s Director Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway told Echonetdaily, ‘Many of these remaining spaces are often difficult to see, hard to manoeuvre into and provide some buffer for sudden short-term surges in demand. What this means is that the parking is “full” but there is a small amount of buffer that allows cars to circulate, wait and eventually find a park.

‘In order to stay ahead of congestion and manage the situation before reaching practical capacity, Council has recommended the town be monitored, and when parking returns to 80 per cent capacity or more (i.e. before the town reaches practical capacity and begins to see a return in poor driver behaviour) we begin to implement a sustainable system to better manage the Brunswick Heads parking scheme’.

Ms Rosen criticised another report by Council’s consultant EthosUrban, who assessed the business conditions in Bruns, describing it as ‘seriously flawed’. She said, ‘EthosUrban’s assessment was mostly a desk-top one, based on 2019 retail sales (commercial floor space x $5,230), and projections that there’ll be an extra two million people in SEQ by 2034.’

She added, ‘Consultation was minimal, and many opinions and erroneous assumptions were repeated.’

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