Council's parking essay must make us all tremble
Central Coast Council's latest essay into the planning field - the Woy Woy parking proposals - must make us all tremble in our shoes (Peninsula News, 1 June 2020 - Parking meters and carpark with shuttle bus proposed).
It would be kind to describe this scheme as half-baked: it is no more than quarter-baked at best.
Is there a vision for the best long-term solution to Woy Woy's parking needs?
No, this is patch-up and make-do, with no overall objective and no sense of integration with all the elements that should be included in the Woy Woy centre.
Has there been a systematic analysis of the type of future development aimed at in Woy Woy (assuming the Council has any aim) and an identification of the parking requirements that will be generated.
No, the best that the report can say is that "it is assumed ... increased development and associated economic activity ... (will result) in increased demand for parking".
As an unhelpful statement of the blindingly obvious, this would be hard to beat.
The population of the Woy Woy precinct is expected to increase from 12,775 to 13,619 (idiotically spurious suggestion here of mathematical accuracy that is entirely imaginary), which is less than 1000 people over the whole timeframe of the plan.
It should, therefore, not be beyond our competence to come up with a plan that meets the parking convenience demands of a small centre such as Woy Woy, given the minuscule scale of the problem.
However, the best that can be suggested is a shuttle service to remote parking garages and metered street parking "to protect customer parking" (how does the metering of parking protect customers?), with the parking revenue being used to fund "other schemes" (an ominous note, given the likelihood that other Council pet projects are likely to get the benefit, rather than Woy Woy ratepayers).
There is optimistic mention of the chimerical $5million promised for parking at the last election, but, when a Council roundabout costs more than this, it doesn't seem like a sum that will go very far, if we ever see it in the current financial climate.
Then, there is the pious hope that train timetables might be changed, although there is no indication of why or how they should be changed, even ignoring the fact that the Council has no leverage over the state transport system and zero expertise in the formulation of train schedules.
There is a tip of the hat to the far-distant Woy Woy Master Plan, but why wait for a plan when you can just as easily make parking decisions on no basis at all?
Finally, there are the dearly beloved possibilities, suggestions and investigations without which no Council report would be complete, implying that a veneer of thought overlies the recommendations without any specific evidence that this is the case.
The Mayor assures us that "this strategy will address commuter parking, drop-off zones, access (to?) and movement around transportable (sic) hubs to support and increase use of public transport".
How? Who writes this stuff?
Email, 2 June 2020
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy