Parking's role in CBD

Posted On Friday, 29 June 2001 02:00 Published by
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Inner city parking problems are impacting hugely on commercial vacancy levels and retail patronage of SA's cities, but whether these problems are getting the attention they deserve, remains to be seen.

Inner city parking problems are impacting hugely on commercial vacancy levels and retail patronage of SA's cities, but whether these problems are getting the attention they deserve, remains to be seen.

Jon Heeger, technology director at First Park, says recent surveys show parking convenience has a much greater value than previously thought. He said in an interview with Parking SA the relationship is so strong that if travel time (to a parking bay) is doubled, patronage to surrounding retailers could be expected to drop by as much as eight times.

A city that takes this seriously, though, is Cape Town. Asked for comment, Cape Town Partnership CE Michael Farr says his organisation has researched the issue carefully and has included its findings in a business plan. 'If we implement our CBD business plan, it will give us 10 100 extra kerbside parking hours, provided motorists observe the 1-hour parking limit.'

He says Cape Town has spare parking capacity, but this could quickly be used up. He is pushing strongly to get the CBD in line with international 'best practices' of having a sizeable surplus of parking space.

'The CID area has over 30 000 bays available in lots and garages, with 1700 bays in spare capacity. But a further six parking garages are being developed or have been built already,' he says. They are parking garages in the Broadway building, Pepper Street, Adderley Park (700 bays), Buitengracht (2400 bays), the northern Foreshore (150 bays) and near Darling Street (180 bays).

He says the best approach to parking is one that complements the Partnership's proposed inner city transport system, with public parking areas situated on the periphery of the CID area, so that commuters may make further use of the new shuttle system. This will also service the surrounding residential areas of the City Bowl, Green Point, Mouille Point and the Waterfront area, and will hopefully take 1000 cars a day out of the city centre.

'This will make a big difference to traffic congestion, and also give as a 2700 spare parking bay capacity,' says Farr.

Central Johannesburg Partnership director Neil Fraser says on-street parking in Johannesburg isn't particularly difficult 'but many buildings suffer from the stupidity of planning back in the 60s and 70s when you were only allowed minimal parking in buildings. That does affect lettings, but I wouldn't say desperately. Many of our new tenants do not have a high car need.'

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