DANDENONG’S retailers body has made a bold proposal to Greater Dandenong Council to fix one of its greatest bugbears – customer parking shortages in the CBD.
In its submission to the council’s parking review, the Dandenong Retail Traders Association argues CBD workers and retailers are parking en masse in what should be reserved as customer car spots.
The DRTA nominates short-term fixes such as increasing loading zones to stop vans double-parking, reducing clearway times, reviewing parking time limits and installing signs to direct customers into recommended parking areas.The DRTA based its submission on ideas generated from one-on-one interviews with 143 business owners in central Dandenong. About 70 per cent of the owners nominated lack of customer parking as a deterrent for shoppers.
Parking is one huge problem that Dandenong needs to resolve.
Increased density tends to require significant improvements to transport options, and the state government's initiative in this area (stretching back to the beginning of the project) has been poor. I'd rate the government a D- on this issue --- the saving graces are the shift to having bus stops at Langhorne Place rather than Thomas Street, the reworking of the station interchange along with the relocation of the Grenda depot, the creation of Settler's Square and Halpin Way, 10 minute train frequencies, and substantially more dedicated bike tracks. In addition, the Dandenong Rail Capacity project is at least planned, even if the Federal government may not help fund it. These are all positive improvements, giving the government a passing mark. But a significant reworking of bus timetables and bus routes in and around Dandenong is vital. I'm not suggesting that new routes be created and frequencies be increased immediately. But as far as I can tell, there is absolutely no plan for such changes in response to changes in patronage, catchment sizes and street activity. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be minor modes of transport for the foreseeable future and there is little chance of seeing trams trundle down Dandenong's streets (which I don't necessarily think a bad thing). For the time being, buses are the be all and end all of non-car transport in Dandenong.
Given the weakness of non-car transport here, and given the total lack of city centre dwellers, the decision by the old VicUrban to significantly decrease the amount of parking in central Dandenong is the most harmful kind of wishful thinking imaginable. Shopping centres with poor non-car transport options (e.g. Chadstone, Fountain Gate) provide mountains of free car-parking. Would it be wishful thinking on my part to believe we could do the same here? That is, until we fix the other modes of transport.