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Geraldton needs to think long and hard about its carparking future, according to City consultant Larry Schneider.
SUPPLIED Geraldton needs to think long and hard about its carparking future, according to City consultant Larry Schneider.

A city consultant has suggested a carrot and stick approach to revolutionise Geraldton’s CBD car parking.

The Luxmoore Group’s Larry Schneider has called for a major shift in thinking on the subject, in a bid to free up parking for shoppers and visitors.

“The days of parking outside the shop in Geraldton are fast coming to an end,” he said.

“The city is growing and the volume of cars is growing — you’re no longer a small country town.”

In a report to the City of Greater Geraldton, Mr Schneider calls for:

- Paid parking in high demand areas (as of 2012).

- Parking surveys and reviews of parking fees every two years

- More rangers

- More machines for convenient payment of parking (on and off street).

- New parking signage

- Allocated bays for motorcycles/scooters

- More bicycle parking

- Improved street lighting and security to encourage use of longstay parking

- Private car parking facilities to be made available at night and on weekends

Mr Schneider said Geraldton could continue providing more and more parking — and become a city “within a carpark” — or better manage and target its parking.

This would result in a more vibrant city centre, with more people visiting businesses in the CBD.

Income from paid parking could be used to continually upgrade access to and within the city.

Mr Schneider said parking signage in Geraldton was haphazard, compliance was poor, while the ticketing technology was inconvenient and outdated.

City infrastructure planning and design manager Mark Atkinson said a “significant number” of carparks were always vacant, which showed there was a need for better management rather than more car parks.

“The greatest demand for longterm parking comes from city centre workers and we need to encourage these workers to use the all-day parking facilities on the fringe of the CBD,” he said.

The City has opened the report to public comment, with submissions closing August 29.

It will also hold a public information session this Wednesday, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, at the Queen Elizabeth II Seniors and Community Centre.

Elections for the council will be held in October, with the new council expected to vote on parking strategy in November.