Paid parking backlash in Lismore CBD
BUSINESSES in Molesworth Street are calling on Lismore Council to reverse their decision to put in paid parking in the Kirkland Riviera car park.
Owner/manager of the Bank Cafe, David Copeland started a petition last Thursday and has so far collected more than 300 signatures.
Paid parking of $2 per two hours was introduced to the car park on August 30 and Mr Copeland said it has killed pedestrian traffic along Molesworth Street.
"It's changed the dynamic of the CBD. I've never seen so little foot traffic.... People are now parking to the north or the south and this part of Molesworth Street is missing out."
Mr Copeland said he has been taking photos of the car park to show how little it is being used, with only a dozen or so cars there on a weekday morning when once it was would be full at that time.
Lismore Council adopted the paid parking measure as a revenue raising initiative as part of its most recent budget.
But word has already flowed through to councillors that people are avoiding it and it is having an affect on nearby businesses.
Cr Greg Bennett put up a notice of motion at last week's council meeting to keep the car park free, but a technicality meant it had to be deferred until October. Under the NSW Local Government Act, council cannot make changes to its budget within three months of it being implemented.
That time period will have expired by the next council meeting so Cr Bennett's motion, and the petition are likely to be discussed.
"There is already an imbalance in Lismore. We have two shopping precincts, the Square and the CBD and we have paid parking here (CBD) but not there. It's nothing against the Square, it's just the way it is," Mr Copeland said.
He also commented that the move to paid parking seemed to contradict a recent initiative by Lismore Council to make them more small business friendly.