Grafton CBD faces parking crisis
GRAFTON'S CBD is facing a parking crisis, with some office workers running the risk of steep parking fines just to park their car at their workplace.
Monicka Baird is one of those workers who was fined $108 for parking out the front of her Victoria St office after the allocated parking had been filled.
The solicitor, who has recently moved to Grafton, said she accepted that she had overstayed the signposted allocated parking time, but was still shocked by the fine.
"It doesn't seem fair that when you're contributing to the local economy and working you can get fined like this," she said.
"When the designated parking fills up quickly it doesn't leave me with much choice.
"There are no signs up around the city pointing to where to park, and you end up with people parking in really strange places and it creates a lot of conflict.
"There's a high demand for parking for workers and there's confusion as to where you can park for a long time during work hours. Everyone has got to park somewhere."
Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and community director Des Schroder acknowledged parking had become an issue in Grafton as a result of the infrastructure boom and employment growth bringing more work into the CBD, increasing demand on parking resources.
"These are obviously great for the economy, but there is no doubt they have some adverse impacts on the community as well," he said.
"One of those is on parking.
"Council will review its community strategic plan early next year and will seek people's views about the things that are important to them.
"There are no current plans for a study into parking solutions, but if people see that as a priority the development of a new community plan will provide a perfect venue for them to put their case."
Ms Baird said a simple pay and display or tag system in designated areas could help city workers find a park.
"We're not asking for a five-storey car park, but there should be allocated areas where you can buy a tag and park without fear of being booked," she said.
"There would be a lot of positive impacts for council if they resolve the problem and I don't think it's a hard problem to resolve. It would raise revenue for council, so I don't know why they haven't done it."