Parking laws flouted

The Gebe & Inner Western Weekly

Wednesday 14 January 1998

Path blocked...Ross Turner encounters a problem with a car parked on a footpath
AUTHORITIES are turning a blind eye to wide-spread flouting of footpath parking codes in Balmain, a pedestrian lobby group says.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA) claims hundreds of cars are daily parked illegally on footpaths in the suburb with immunity, creating an obstacle course for walkers.

It has vowed to launch a vigorous campaign to solve the problem, saying it will go as far as towing vehicles back on to roads.

The PCA says the situation has developed as a result of Balmain's rapid residential growth and lack of off-street parking space, with the problem to be exacerbated as new housing projects add 3,000 to 6,000 residents over coming years.

Chairman Harold Scruby said evidence of non-enforcement by council and police officers was "unequivocal". "If they are enforcing the laws then they are doing a very bad job of it," Mr Scruby said.

"I could take you around Balmain on any day and show you 200 cars parked illegally.
"If residents realise that they are required to park their vehicles legally, they will realise they do not have an inalienable right to park their vehicles outside their front doors."

Walker Corporation corporate development general manager Geoff Davey said the company's Balmain Cove development in Terry St would provide ample space for residents' cars, with a minimum of one space a unit.

A Leichhardt Council spokesman said responsibility for imposing footpath fines belonged to police and council rangers but agreed enforcement was made difficult by the lack of garaging in Balmain and the large number of vehicles.

However, he denied rangers were turning a blind eye to the issue. "It's impossible to get to every street in the municipality and we often have to rely on getting complaints," he said.