This ABC post has many reader comments, and adamant that easy car-parking is essential.
Moving on-road car-parking to off-street (shift payment from taxpayer to customers) would leave space for good cycling infrastructure on arterial and main roads (physically separated from vehicles by more than a painted line).

Future of parking: Should we ditch car parks to free up land in our cities?
By Dorina Pojani, Iderlina Mateo-Babiano, Jonathan Corcoran and Neil Sipe
Originally published in The Conversation
Reposted by ABC News on 30-Oct-2017

Dorina Pojani is a lecturer in urban planning at The University of Queensland.
Iderlina Mateo-Babiano is a senior lecturer in urban planning at the University of Melbourne.
Jonathan Corcoran is a professor at The University of Queensland's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Neil Sipe is a professor of urban and regional planning at The University of Queensland.

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I saw that article a few days ago, but didn't read all of it I think. Some interesting thoughts. I actually made that comment this morning, about ACC. Replacing all their parking (U-PArk) with (affordable) housing could alleviate some of the housing issues, as well as congestion. Did some research to find out ACC has about 6000 car parks (U-Park), triple that in private car parks (Wilson etc.), and another 18k on street (for a total of 44k car parks in ACC, that's 2 for each person that lives here!!!!!).

I had typed it's also where lots of money comes in, but actually looking up the ACC budget, IT'S APPALLING. Council budget ( shows their off street parking is worth $27.2M, on street is worth another $11.3M ($38.5M out of a total revenue of $210.5M, 18.3%). $27.2M for 6000 off street car parks works out to a measly $87.19 revenue per week for each car park.

Comments about easy parking are obvious; I did some work along those lines in QLD and the process was interesting to say the least.

This year an informed person verified that ACC supports car-parking because businesses and ACC fear that making parking less attractive will negatively affect business.

Business in Sydney, and larger international cities, survive with less car-parking and higher charges.

I wish suburban shopping centres had the courage to directly charge for car-parking. One study indicated that people then do organised shopping, rather than frequent shopping for a few items, and thus decrease vehicle use, congestion and pollution. In the meantime, people who choose Active Transport pay indirectly for car-parking through increased prices. (Landlord passes car-park costs onto shops via rents.)

"I did some work along those lines in QLD and the process was interesting to say the least."... I'm also an informed person, although not of ACC.

It's the same everywhere, politicians will always back the businesses asking for more parking. But read the British report I just posted in another thread

bike lanes increase retail sales by a quarter...

I'm a bit suspicious of the claim that bike lanes necessarily increase retail sales. They do in certain environments, but it's not as simple as removing parking and putting in a bike lane.

The 2015 Frome Street bikeway evaluation said 8 out of 9 businesses said the bikeway had no impact on their business either way, and 1 said it had a negative impact ( , p.62). So generally no negative impact, but no indication of the increase in business which is sometimes touted.

Some overseas studies state that good cycling infrastructure increased business. Fewer noisy polluting vehicles would improve the ambience, especially for outdoor cafes.

An ACC study found that half of shoppers in Frome Street and Rundle Mall used Active Transport rather than cars.

Peter, it was an attention grabbing headline in the report, but I agree that there is probably more to it than the basics of the headline.

Further in the report more detail is provided... "The economic downturn has hit town centres hard. Nationally, two in every 15 shops are standing vacant, with some regions and cities suffering much more1 . For example, in Swansea nearly one in four shops is vacant. While providing more car parking is often touted as the solution, encouraging sustainable transport plays to the strengths of the local high street. Retailers over-estimate the contribution of drivers and many studies find users of sustainable modes spend more per month. Providing for cycling can be good for local business. Examples from North America show high-quality bicycle infrastructure does not harm business districts, and can have a positive impact on local shops. The NYCDoT (2014) study found streets where protected cycle lanes were installed saw an increase in retail sales up to 24% greater than comparator sites without protected lanes. One reason for this could be that the cycle lanes improved pedestrian environments, with shorter crossing distances. Cycling can help create the kinds of places people want to shop, as in Amsterdam’s Utrechtsestraat, where thriving independent businesses happily coexist with streams of parents carrying children on cargo bicycles. At a city-level, after the Hague implemented its Circulation Plan, reallocating space from through motor traffic to walking and cycling, changes in local economic indicators beat comparator cities. By contrast higher levels of motor traffic have been associated with higher shop vacancy rates. Impact goes beyond retail: a national US study found that for each $1 million, cycling infrastructure projects created 11.4 local (state) jobs compared to 7.8 jobs for road-only projects7 . Just looking at cycling-related purchases and services, UK cyclists each contribute £230 yearly to the economy."

There's a few things in there... First of, is that retailers often overestimate the contribution of car drivers, and usually underestimate other transport modes (unless blatant obvious). Case in point; I owned a supermarket some time ago, with parking, but I couldn't tell you how much that contributed to my weekly sales (it was in a walkable area of a major city so it was low, but I couldn't put a $ on it). I've also worked for government in an economic development role, working on a main street rejuvenation on such issues, including a survey about parking... "the process was interesting to say the least", as I've said before. A point the report makes is that cycling may increase safety for other modes of transport i.e. pedestrians, and if you look at cities in Europe where cycling is a major transport mode, both mingle quite well and make it safer for both, safety in numbers. As for Frome St, both my arguments are relevant; business owners don't really know how their customers are coming to their business (there is a vocal minority that will complain and will end up being the majority of the perception). Also, I note in the report you referenced 89% indicate "no adverse impact", which to me is different to "no impact either way". As a business operator, I can also appreciate that even 33% of businesses claiming a decrease in regular customers, can be a significant impact on turnover or gross profit (not the same and both need not be impacted by the same cause). Regular customers are usually the vocal ones, they will come up to the business owner and tell they're not coming back due to the more difficult parking. On the other hand there is a silent majority who may leave but never speak. To me the 89% "no adverse impact" is more relevant. I note other interesting stats in the report... first, n is extremely low at just 9 businesses (I'm not familiar with Frome St, only using it between Nth Terrace & Nth Adelaide), but there must be more than 9 shops on Frome St. Second, several claim a reduction in regular customers & customers overall (some also claim new customers), yet sales per customer and total revenue have not declined.... I'd be a happy business owner! Finally, I'm not sure after what period Council went in to do the survey, it may be too short to get a good review, either way good or bad. As for Frome St, Adelaide & Australia in general, I think the impact of cycling will be a long way of before it is anywhere similar to the impact it has in Europe or other countries around the world, just because of the lack of safety or strength in numbers. Even putting 100 more cyclist on the streets of Adelaide, versus the 10's of thousands of cars won't make a dent anytime soon.

ACC previously had a Lord Mayor who was very supportive of active transport, Stephen Yarwood a qualified town planner. There had been limited short-term cyclist loyalty schemes in the ACC area. Show your bike helmet at cafes during a cycling event to get a discount.

I suggested that ACC facilitated extending the loyalty scheme to all participating businesses and year round. Then customer examples would educate owners re cycling for goods and services. Might even have encouraged some to pedal to Adelaide and North Adelaide. For whatever reason, my suggestion was not implemented.

Whilst agreeing that bike facilities don't necessarily increase business, a useful contrast would be the Coastal Path, which has undoubtedly improved business where it is present.


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