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Residents shoulder CBD parking load while workers stick to cars

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Residents living off Maroochydore’s busy Maud Street are fed up with CBD workers using their streets as a free car park.

Parked cars line Allambie, Bungama and Dalby streets, and smaller streets such as Mavarra, throughout the working week.

Residents say they cannot park outside their own homes or have visitors, and the crowded streets are becoming dangerous.

The Sunshine Coast Council says it is reassessing parking provisions in the area to cater for diverse needs.

“Recognising the increasing density in the city centre, we’re mindful of potential overflow into residential areas,” a council spokesperson said.

“As part of our strategy to enhance parking availability within the Maroochydore CBD, we’re exploring long-term solutions, including promoting alternative transport modes for commuting.”

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Jeff Allan, who has lived in the area for 10 years, said parking had become a problem since the CBD opened up.

“It’s absolutely disgusting. It’s ridiculous,” he said, standing outside his home.

“This is usually chock-a-block, and the other side is (too).

“These people are working over the back but they won’t stay in the car parks.”

The only solution Mr Allan could see would be the introduction of resident parking permits.

Sandy, who asked that her surname not be used, has children of driving age and said it was a juggling act trying to shift and park cars with no space in the street.

She and her husband also have difficulty getting their caravan in and out because of cars parked both sides of the street and close to their driveway.

“We have to time our holidays around the cars. How sad is that?” she said.

Another woman said she and her husband were fortunate to have a double driveway space to accommodate visitors who would never get a park in the street.

Daniel Kerr, who led a neighbourhood revolt against Dalby Street being used as a bus route, said cars lined the street by 8am every day.

“It’s got out of control there as soon as they opened up that new council chambers,” he said.

He said he used to see council fleet vehicles parked in the street but now it was just private vehicles.

Residents in streets near the Maroochydore CBD struggle to park because of workers’ vehicles.

Two workers returning to their cars after 5pm said they preferred to park in the streets because it was free and they enjoyed the 10-minute walk to their cars after working inside all day.

One said he could afford to pay $6 a day to use the council car park or $12 in the CBD’s multi-storey car park “but I’d rather use the money for something else”.

A parking plan adopted by the council in 2017 explained that residential streets off Maud Street were expected to cop parking spillover from the CBD because the city centre only has half the usual number of parking spaces.

“The Maroochydore City Centre Development Scheme identifies the adoption of a parking rate approaching half of the usual parking requirement (under the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme) in anticipation of a long-term shift away from travel by car into the PDA (Priority Development Area),” it says.

“The introduction of paid parking in the PDA may result in some spill of employee all-day parking into the residential area to the east.”

The council spokesperson said workers were encouraged to park in the city centre but were able to park in the streets as long as they followed signs and road markings.

The spokesperson said there had been 10 complaints about parking in Bungama, Allambie, Dalby and Mavarra streets since mid-2023, and two cautions and tickets had been issued.

The Maroochydore parking plan suggests consideration be given to resident permits within five to 10 years, which would have been 2022 to 2027.

The council spokesperson said the residential parking permit scheme was designed for areas where parking was time-limited to allow residents to park without restrictions but it did not guarantee a parking space outside a resident’s property.

Currently, there is a small area of two-hour parking in Bungama Street, with no other timed parking restrictions in place in Allambie, Dalby and Mavarra streets.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.auYou must include your name and suburb.

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