The often annoying search for a parking space becomes ever more maddening when you come across another driver taking more than their fair share.
Yet the sight is becoming more common in Australia as the country is overrun with US-style SUVs and oversized utes, with drivers often being forced to park the larger vehicles over multiple spaces in public places.
The latest parking fail occurred over the weekend when a Melbourne driver decided to park their ute over three parking spaces at a shopping centre in the city’s inner north and unsurprisingly, folks got riled up.
An image of the blue Ford parked diagonally across the spaces at Coburg North Village made its way online and despite the poster acknowledging that it is a “tight car park”, the level of inconsiderateness wasn’t lost on them.
The act was branded “self-entitled” and “idiotic”, however, it is believed the offending driver may have been “protesting for change”.
Proposal for larger car parking spaces
According to Budget Direct, more than 50 per cent of cars sold in Australia were SUVs in 2021 and to keep up with the boom in large car purchases Standards Australia has proposed the length of a standard car park space be increased by 20 centimetres.
This would mean the required length of car park spaces in public car parks and streets would go up to 5.6 metres long, with the width remaining between 2.4 to 2.6 metres.
Although this would be a feasible solution to larger vehicles taking up multiple car park spaces, critics have pushed back on this proposal believing the rules should not be changed at the expense of safety – with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of smaller cars arguing they feel less safe on the roads with SUVs and the bigger utes looming large and taking up more space.
Calls for oversized cars to be penalised
An increased size to the standard parking space would mean fewer available spots. The debate has also thrown into question how Australian cities would manage to keep up.
Monash University lecturer Julian O’Shea told Yahoo News Australia in August an overhaul in infrastructure would be needed to accommodate these large vehicles and instead he advocates against them, suggesting a higher car tax should be given to those who choose to buy one.
"The question becomes, how do we use this space? If we want to make our car parks bigger, we get fewer of them, we lose space for bike lanes, we lose space for parks, we lose space for shops," he said. "Some ideas that different countries are using that we could look into are higher parking fees for these cars, which cause more damage to the road because they're so much heavier."
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