100 new city centre parking spaces

CAR parking woes in the central business district are set to be temporarily alleviated with 100 new car parking spaces to be drawn up.
The car parks will be located on the fringe of the CBD but one city councillor believes parking in Raglan Parade median strips should be reconsidered.

Warrnambool City Council will spend $230,000 next financial year on CBD car parking and has planned to establish more off-street parking within the next 10 years.

Council chief executive Bruce Anson said extensive surveys revealed shopping precinct parking was the major issue ratepayers wanted to see addressed.

He said a new levy in this year's city budget would go directly into funding both on-street parking in the short term and the acquisition of land for off-street parking in the long term.

A half per cent of the total rate rise of 6.8 per cent will be directed towards city centre car parking.

"Improved car parking was identified by the community as a key priority during budget consultation earlier this year so council has decided to create a special parking fund by half a per cent," he said.

"The number of employees working in the CBD has grown in the past few years and so to has the demand for all-day parking.

"We're working in the short-term to have more on-street car parks and we have investigated a number of options.

"The city will need more off-street parking similar to Ozone or Youngers car parks in the longer term and those type of park a major investments for the council."

Cr Peter Hulin said a short-term solution to free-up car parking space would be to block the eastern end of Manifold Street but he added that far more parking would be needed in the next decade.

He said Raglan Parade median strips between Liebig and Fairy streets were the cheapest and most effective option of increasing parking close to the CBD.

"Cr Lowe and I went to Manifold Street and talked with residents as part of our Saturday morning walk," Cr Hulin said.

"I believe Manifold Street is a short-term option, it gives the CBD more parks which it really needs at the moment.

"Having said that there will be a need for a lot more parking in the next five to 10 years and that's why Raglan Parade median strip parking has to be reconsidered."

Cr Hulin said median strip parking could be achieved without wrecking the look of the city's tree-lined thoroughfare.

"By beautifying the area with shrubs and other vegetation, you can have a car park there without creating a bitumen eyesore," he said.

"There's three lanes of highway between Kepler and Liebig streets and from what I can see, the third lane closest to the median strip is hardly used." 
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