The City of Melbourne is currently considering a proposed amendment to the residential parking requirements for new developments in some central Melbourne districts. Under the proposed amendments, new apartment buildings constructed in these areas will not be required to provide any minimum number of parking spaces per dwelling.
The Australian Financial Review reported on October 6 that builders have been increasing pressure on the council to reduce the number of parking spaces required in new developments. The proposed amendment to the Planning Scheme would allow a maximum of one car space per dwelling for projects four storeys or higher in Carlton, Southbank and parts of North, West and East Melbourne.
Of course, the intention of the plan is to “drive” more urban dwellers towards a greater use of public transport. However, opponents to the plan have pointed out that Melbourne’s public transport system would not be able to cope with higher demand. The more likely outcome would be that residents would keep their cars and increase congestion on Melbourne’s narrow inner-suburban streets, one opponent of the plan said.
In PCI’s opinion, the reduction of car parking requirements and usage is a good thing, if managed properly. Good planning via “cash in lieu” arrangements, together with the corresponding investment into the improvement of public transport, this is a step in the right direction for managing traffic and congestion in a growing urban area.