ON THE upside you won’t have to drink coffee with an unwanted shot of exhaust smoke any more.
On the other hand, getting out of your car space in Byron Bay might be a little more pulse-racing from next week.
Provided things run to schedule, Byron’s main streets will soon feature nose-to-kerb parking where rear-to-kerb parking currently exists.
The $50,000 change – funded from Byron’s paid parking system – will be most prominent on Jonson Street south of Bay Street, along the length of Fletcher Street, as well as along most of Lawson Street.
However, the northern side of Lawson Street, between Jonson and Fletcher streets, will go from rear-to-kerb parking to parallel parking.
The changes will not only make nose-to-kerb parking uniform within Byron Bay, but will bring Byron into line with towns like Ballina and Lismore, which already embrace the option.
Byron Shire Council officers have been quietly going about the preliminary work in the lead-up to the change, which is expected to start on Tuesday. The changes are the result of a council resolution passed in the middle of last year, which came after an exhaustive traffic study.
The hope is the switch will improve traffic flow and the town’s amenity.
If nothing else, the changes are designed to bring relief to unsuspecting visiting motorists.
Despite signs and other cars providing hints on how to park, Byron Visitors Centre manager Katharine Myres said she still had bewildered tourists coming to her office holding a fine after failing to negotiate Byron’s parking regime.
While she said it was mostly Queenslanders that struggled with the ‘foreign language’, it was also taxing on overseas visitors.
“For people from overseas it is almost impossible,” she said.
Ms Myres said the majority of visitors wanted to do the right thing, but ended up seeing her, baffled by their penalty.
Meanwhile, a Byron United spokeswoman welcomed the changes and said the group was hopeful it would result in improved traffic flow.
Residents and visitors alike will be given a two-week grace period after the first day of the changes, with parking inspectors refraining from handing out fines.
The grace period should leave some motorists plenty of money for that exhaust-free coffee.