Melbourne parking sign baffles Canadian tourist: 'WTF Australia?'

Finding a parking space in Melbourne's CBD is no easy task.

A Canadian tourist has been left scratching his head after spotting one of Melbourne's more confusing parking signs, which proved equally puzzling to Aussie motorists.

"I will stop complaining about the parking signs in Montreal. I present you the Australian version. Enjoy," he tweeted alongside a photo of the sign.

The sign has no less than six sections, each listing instructions for parking on the adjacent stretch of Flinders St at different times and days, and includes a clearway, disabled-only parking and a bus zone.

Melbourne CBD traffic; parking sign
The complicated parking sign in Melbourne's CBD has been described as "very, very concerning". Source: Getty, Twitter

The sign was later shared on Reddit, where it sparked conflicting ideas amongst Aussies about how best to navigate it, which many agreed wouldn't be easy while driving. "It takes an hour to read the sign," one Reddit user commented, while another described it as "very, very concerning".


"I've seen some convoluted bulls**t on parking signs before but that one takes not only the cake, but the entire bloody dessert menu," added a perplexed motorist. "WTF Australia?" exclaimed someone else.

Others couldn't help but make light of the complicated sign. "By the time you've deciphered what it means, you've already been there longer than permitted," a Redditor joked, while another stated: "In 5,000 years, this will be the equivalent of trying to work out Egyptian hieroglyphics."

'Very easy'

However, some users said the sign is "very easy to figure out". "Eh it's not that hard. If you know what time it is, just zero in on that time. The rest is just noise," one wrote.

"Just read the sign, and based on the day and time you will know the conditions. You only need to read the signs with arrows going the direction you are parking," another user recommended.

Parking inspector at digital parking sign in Sydney
A trial of digital parking signs was recently held in Sydney. Source: NSW Government

Solution to confusing signage?

In November 2022, the NSW Government launched a trial of digital signs in an effort to find a solution to "confusing and complex" parking, clearway and bus zone signs.

Rather than constantly display parking rules for all times, the digital signs changed according to time of day, which Transport for NSW said would be "simpler and easier" to understand and would potentially reduce accidental non-compliance resulting in fines and towing incidents, and would improve traffic flow.

The trial was conducted in Sydney's Surry Hills and concluded in July, with the digital signs once again replaced with fixed parking signs. The findings of the trial are yet to be announced.

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