Letter to the Editor - Monday, October 14: Park it in reverse
IT'S been interesting reading on the parking debate. Prince St and surrounds have always been reverse parking. Since the year dot. Reverse angle parking is part of every driving test. If you can't do it, you don't get your licence. Easy.
Cr Simmons, you claim nose-in parking is easier for those who are getting older because they don't have to turn their neck so much. And pray tell, how do you plan on getting out of said nose-in parking? Chuck the car in reverse, plant your foot and just hope for the best? Really? You don't think you will have to turn your head to check for oncoming traffic? You expect that they will just wait for you? You're the one in reverse, the onus is on you to exercise due care. And the degree of turning required for your neck would be exactly the same as required to angle park in reverse. Except you have to be about halfway out of the parking spot before you can see the oncoming traffic. Even further if you are parked beside a four-wheel drive or van.
I have VERY limited movement in my neck as a result of a car accident when I was 18 (hit by a drunk-driver) and I can still manage to successfully park my car in reverse, at the correct angle. Providing the cars on either side are also at the same angle. In many cases that angle has to vary to allow for the not-so-45-degree parking of others, in order to avoid a fender scrape if the other car were to leave whilst I am gone.
Statistically we have an ever-aging population in the valley. So we are supposed to change the parking just to cater to the elderly drivers who find reverse parking difficult? At an enormous cost? And what happens when drivers who find it too difficult go to other centres where reverse angle parking is required? Do they just throw their arms up in the air and refuse to do it? It's everywhere. Get used to it. Just as when any other driver travels to other centres and has to face parallel parking or nose-in parking. It's part of driving. If you can't do it, you should not be driving.
Interestingly just this morning I saw a whole new take on reverse parking. A driver travelling east in Fitzroy St simply crossed over to the wrong side of the road and reverse parked, against the flow of traffic, just outside the Imaging Centre.
As for the argument about cars encroaching over the footpath - do you really think nose-in parking is going to change anything? You would be deluded to think that cars won't drive far enough forward to have their bumper bars, driving lights, bull bars and fishing rod holders hanging over the footpath. And you still get the occasional driver who will put their car into the wrong gear and plough into shopfronts.
Can we really afford to spend the suggested $400,000 odd just to change a small section of Prince St? Where will it stop? Will it be right throughout the CBD? Or just Prince St? If only in selected areas, how much confusion do you think that will cause? Is council going to employ a parking ranger to enforce the parking. Every day. Every week.
Seriously, if it's not broke, don't fix it. The only thing that appears to need adjusting is the driving habits of those who find it too hard. If you think there is nothing wrong with your driving habits, but you just can't angle park, I suggest you book yourself in for a driving test to get a professional opinion on your competency.