Not even the saving the structural integrity of this hotel was enough to convince a regional NSW town to give nose-in parking a go.
Not even the saving the structural integrity of this hotel was enough to convince a regional NSW town to give nose-in parking a go.

HERESY: Crushing blow to Grafton parking mavericks

"TRADITION is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

When the late-great German composer Gustav Mahler uttered those words, there are few who would have doubted it was a thinly veiled reference to the scourge of nose-in parking. 

This week Clarence Valley Council endorsed a plan to paint parking lines on the road outside the Grafton Hotel, crushing another insidious attempt by the cult of nose-in parking to gain a foothold in the CBD battleground.

A number of people had been advocating for a change after cars continued to back into the foundations of the hotel, putting structural integrity of the veranda and second floor at risk.

In August, the mysterious Council Traffic Committee, said to be a powerful force for good made up of people from Council, Transport for NSW, Police and State Government, headed off a recommendation by staff to introduce the radical new scheme of nose-in parking.

The committee asked staff to assess more options in light of safety concerns for drivers and anyone walking under the hotel veranda.

The committee are known for their strict interpretation of the good book of Australian Standards 2890, and 60 degree-angled nose in parking does not meet recommended dimensions for space width or manoeuvring space.

However, in a more contemporary reading of Australian Standards 2890, 45 degree-angled parking was explored in the subsequent manuscript by Council's civil services manager Alex Dalrymple.

He said the site had manoeuvring space well beyond what is required in the minimum standards for high usage areas.

Rumours of heretics from faraway lands coming together to perform strange nose-in parking ceremonies (like the one in this photo) have circulated around regional NSW towns for years. Photo: David Clark
Rumours of heretics from faraway lands coming together to perform strange nose-in parking ceremonies (like the one in this photo) have circulated around regional NSW towns for years. Photo: David Clark

"When vehicles are required to reverse out of the space, small vehicles will be able to reverse out of the space without encroaching on the adjacent travel lane," he wrote in the manuscript.

"Larger vehicles will encroach, but the space provided gives ample reaction time for both the reversing driver and the oncoming driver to avoid a collision."

Pleading his case to the conclave, Mr Dalrymple brought attention to the fact that nose-in parking was already in use in other areas in the Clarence Valley and "appears to function well".

He also wrote it was the "most cost effective, least intrusive and lowest risk solution".

In the end, the recommendation to introduce 45 degree-angled nose-in parking was unanimously rejected by the keepers of the flame, who opted to "formalise existing reverse-in parking arrangements" by grabbing some paint from Bunnings and painting lines on the road.

The lines would align with the at-risk foundations, ensuring no driver would ever hit a load-bearing bollard again - so long as they followed the good path and stayed straight and true.



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