CBD from the creek trail south of Meridian. April 6, 2015.

Regarding Dandenong

Our Kingdom for a Car Park

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Cr Matthew Kirwan has suggested that the lack of car parks is discouraging private companies from relocating offices to the Dandenong CBD. Aside from it being a little strange on the face of it for a Greens-aligned councillor to ask for more car parks (which suggests just how dire things are), I agree.

Recently, many office developments across Melbourne have shifted to campus-style buildings rather than tower-style buildings, often with copious amounts of carparking. The Docklands is obviously a strong example of this trend, but we can see something similar happening around Monash University (along Wellington, Blackburn, Ferntree Gully and Springvale Roads) and Dandenong South.

We can also see a similar trend in retail occurring, with shopping centres such as Chadstone and Fountain Gate, located close to freeways and highways and with enormous amounts of carparking, being very popular with shoppers. To get a sense of the importance these (commercially run) centres place on parking, we can look at some quick numbers. Fountain Gate has 440 shops and 6750 car parks — meaning an impressive 15 car parks for every shop. The allocation of car parks is even more generous at Chadstone — 510 shops and 9390 car parks implying 18 car parks for every shop. As far as I'm aware, all of this parking is free.

If we compare this to (say) Lonsdale Street, which has about 150 metered car parks and what I estimate to be about 100 shops (and medical centres, fitness centres, offices, educational centres, theatre, civic centre, etc.) — the 1.5 car parks for every shop seems a little insufficient by comparison. If every one in the south east could travel via public transport to Dandenong easily and quickly, this wouldn't be an issue. But that's clearly not true. While Dandenong has quite good public transport connections, surrounding areas do not.

One more thing: In the aforementioned article, Mr Kearsley mentions that, "The council, with the help of Places Victoria, had tracked down and would soon send out a prospectus to suitable companies interested in relocation." That sounds great, but shouldn't Places Victoria (and these days, council) already be doing this regularly?