Promise of a metropolitan parking policy a concern for older people and families

13 September 2010

Todays Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Sydney and the NSW Government revives the dormant threat of a Metropolitan Parking Policy. The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said such a policy was foreshadowed in the state governments draft City of Sydney Subregional Strategy, released in July 2008, but has never seen the light of day.

If this policy is implemented, it will deny many families and older people the chance to live in the City of Sydney, Mr Gadiel said.


The intention of the Metropolitan Parking Policy is to prevent newly built housing, workplaces and retail outlets from having adequate access to car parking.


While it was foreshadowed in the draft City of Sydney Subregional Strategy two years ago, no actual draft of the document has ever been publicly released.


Were concerned that todays Memorandum of Understanding commits both the City of Sydney and the State Government to its implementation, before the community has had a chance to scrutinise and debate its contents.


Mr Gadiel said that improved public transport was vital to the future of Sydney.


The development of new apartments in the City of Sydney will encourage greater walking and public transport use, he said.


Some people may even choose to do without a car altogether.


However, ownership of a private motorcar will continue to be a necessity for many people.


Families and older people generally need easy access to a car for their daily needs apartments without car parking spaces are useless for most home-buyers in this demographic.


Public transport is great for getting people to and from their jobs; but is much less useful for trips such as getting children to childcare and weekend sport or for social visits to family and friends and transporting shopping purchases home.


If car parking spaces are to be limited, as envisaged by the Metropolitan Car Parking Policy, within ten years the inner suburbs of Sydney will evolve into a monoculture of students and young singles.


Families and older persons, who need access to car parking, wont feel welcome as residents.


Mr Gadiel said City of Sydney was already proposing new planning rules preventing many new one and two bedroom apartments from having car parking and limiting many three bedroom homes to only one car parking space.


Rules like this will prevent new apartment developments from getting built, and therefore increase congestion as people have to travel longer distances to get to work, Mr Gadiel said.


For every two local residents, five people work in the City of Sydney every household that is forced into suburban Sydney congests our transport system by making more people travel further to work.


The City of Sydney should encourage apartment development, rather than erect new barriers that will make living in the City less attractive.


The implications for the social diversity in the City of Sydney will be profound.


City residences without good car parking will be short on families and older people.


Monocultures dont create vibrant sustainable communities.


Mr Gadiel said the benefits of compact pedestrian friendly communities, around public transport nodes is likely to be lower car usage, rather than reduced car ownership.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


Note: Government text explaining the intent of the Metropolitan Parking Policy is in the PDF below.


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