Manly Council (in Sydney’s Northern Beaches) announced last week plans to build a two storey car park underneath Manly Oval, as part of a plan to reduce the number of cars in the village area.
The 800-space underground car park will allow Council to demolish two other at grade car parks with a combined capacity of 760 spaces in the central business district, thus making the heart of Manly more welcoming for pedestrians. Council’s objectives are to replace cars with bicycles, build a new pedestrian plaza, banish cars from lanes, and even install light rail (a tram on a three kilometre loop to encourage locals to shop without cars).
Plans for the ‘Manly 2015’ scheme have been published on the Council website and are now subject to community consultation. The local newspaper, The Manly Daily, published an interesting opinion piece written by Manly resident David Harris.
We publish excerpts from his letter:
“The current proposal is to build a car park under Manly oval to reduce the traffic moving around the Manly CBD. If we’re going in for such a big infrastructure project for that purpose, why not go a step further and reduce pressure on Spit Bridge by massively reducing the number of cars going into the city each day.
“My proposal is to add a further level to the proposed underground car park as part of a park-and-ride scheme to encourage commuters north of Manly to park under Manly Oval each week day and travel to the city by fast ferry (or regular ferry). In addition to extra parking space being provided, the scheme would require some form of very regular and speedy transport from the car park to the wharf.
“If we are to do it properly, we’d build an underground light rail tunnel between the parking station and the wharf and re-build the wharf so that the light rail could set down on the wharf itself, or directly in front, and then loop back to the parking station. And we’d put the bus interchange, currently at the wharf, right there in the underground car park, thus eliminating the need for buses to go to wharf at all.
“Yes, it would cost a bit, but nowhere near as much as current suggested plans to re-build or widen the Spit Bridge or build a tunnel under Mosman and Cremorne.
“If we’re going to re-vamp Manly, let’s do it properly.”
Great food for thought, Mr. Harris – we would certainly be happy to get involved in a feasibility study!