A car park minus the cars

A new Federally-funded car park in Fisher Street, Cabramatta, in Sydney’s West, is top of the range – with electronic parking displays, well-lit, polished and coloured interiors, landscaped gardens, native hardwood exterior panelling, and a 200-panel solar system feeding into the electricity grid.

However, according to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, it is operating at around 3% capacity (we have not carried out independent surveys to confirm this), with commuters apparently choosing to park on the surrounding streets for free, instead of paying the early bird fee of $5.

Fairfield Council and Rail Corp are planning an additional two car parks in the area. Meanwhile, the opposition candidate for the seat of Cabramatta has called on the council to immediately allow the Fisher Street car park to operate as a free commuter car park.

Evidently, car park planning needs to go beyond the “build it and they will come” approach, which must  incorporate public consultation so that commuters can understand the value of a safe and comfortable car park both for themselves and their vehicles.

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