Rollout of hated paid parking spreads

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One of the aims of paid parking, says the City of Johannesburg, is to increase the turnover of parking. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee

Johannesburg - A total of R9.50! That’s how much you’re likely to pay for an hour of parking in eight suburbs across the city.

On-street paid parking is to be rolled out to Greenside, Norwood, Rosebank, Fordsburg and Mayfair, and will continue in Parkhurst – despite heated objections from businesses and residents.

And from 1 July 1 parking goes up to R9.50 an hour, which is more expensive than at most shopping centres. That is an increase of R2.

But it could have been worse: the City of Johannesburg’s transport department recently completed a study of 25 business districts where paid parking was proposed, but decided to implement the system in only six.

The study was done after there was an outcry by motorists and residents in Parkhurst; it was released in February and has been approved by the mayoral committee.

Among the recommendations are:

The provision for paid parking in the evenings.

Long-term parking for employees away from the major arterial roads with a shuttle service.

15 minutes of free parking.

A ban on on-street paid parking on side roads.

The removal of on-street parking in some areas to allow for wider pavements and cycle lanes.

Stricter law enforcement around illegal parking.

However, to accommodate these recommendations, the by-laws will have to be amended.

In 2011 the Johannesburg metro police department awarded a contract to Ace Parking to roll out paid parking in 22 areas that historically had parking meters.

Pilot projects were launched in Braamfontein and some parts of the inner city and have generally been successful.

Parkhurst was then chosen as the first suburban area in which to start the rollout, but it was met with huge opposition from residents and businesses, who threatened legal action, and which resulted in the study.

Lisa Seftel, executive director of the city’s transport department, said: “Between the study and the experience of the JMPD, a number of lessons have been learnt, which have led to the development of an integrated approach between various city departments.”

ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO USE ALTERNATIVES

The aim of paid parking, she said, was to increase the turnover of parking for customer convenience and to encourage long-term parking away from business areas.

“It is also to encourage people to use alternatives such as public transport, walking and cycling, thus reducing congestion, accidents, energy consumption, pollution and also to generate revenue for the city which can be used to improve traffic management,” Seftel said.

The paid parking system forms part of the city’s plans for “complete streets”, which will cater for all modes of transport.

A cycling strategy is being rolled out in certain areas of the city.

Parkhurst ward councillor Tim Truluck, who spearheaded the anti-paid-parking campaign in other areas as well, says it could take a while before the by-laws are amended. He feels Parkhurst paid parking should, in the meantime, be suspended.

However, Truluck has welcomed paid parking for Rosebank.

“The by-laws should be made to be flexible as things change as developments take place,” he said.

NEW PAID PARKING AREAS

Greenside: Paid parking will be introduced along Gleneagles Road, with 15 minutes free, and there will be an investigation into whether Pirates club can be used for long-term parking.

Parkhurst: Paid evening parking will be introduced from 3pm to 9pm, with 15 minutes of free parking.

Rosebank: Paid parking in Bath and Baker streets and Cradock and Biermann avenues. In the long term, there is a plan for a parking area in the south-west quadrant of Rosebank.

Norwood: Paid parking along Grant Avenue, with possible long-term parking at Paterson Park, with a shuttle service.

Fordsburg: Paid parking along Mint and Main roads. On-street parking will be removed and parking banned on Lillian Road, Barney Simon Street, Dolly Rathebe and Commercial roads.

Mayfair: Paid parking along Central Avenue and Church Street between Queens Road and Railway Street, and no parking in 8th Avenue.

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