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Monday, February 4, 2013

Parking in Burnside Council Area

In April of last year (2012) I wrote to our local Burnside council in Adelaide, South Australia complaining about the sudden decision to impose fines on people parking on the verge in our narrow suburban street. The letter is reproduced below. The council never responded. Last week I recieved our council rates statement in the mail and included was a kind of response in a rather bureaucratic and patronising brochure "Parking in Burnside" I don't think they actually considered my letter! So here is my version....

Letter to Burnside Council - Sunday 22/4/2012

Dear Sir / Madam,

I noticed that a number of residents' cars parked in McKenna St, Kensington Park today received $80 parking fines for having their left wheels on the nature strip.

Personally, I think this is grossly unfair to them and a disservice both to we local residents and motorists using our street. I believe my neighbors agree and I think ...the fines should be withdrawn.

By parking in this way, these cars are less of an obstruction than if parked in the gutter. Ours is a narrow street and if two cars, and worse still two vans are parked opposite each other, this makes navigation more difficult and the likelihood of damage to vehicles greater. Further, I doubt whether a rubbish collection vehicle could access our street, safely if at all. Recently we have had a large number of builders' vans in our part of the street and I don't believe the street would be usable if they did not park partially off the road.

As well as being narrow, our street is busy on school day mornings as parents, often in a hurry driving large 4 wheel drive vehicles take their children to near by schools. We live near the corner of Beulah Road and do not wish to make our cars more vulnerable to damage by restricting road space within out street.

A number of our houses have more cars than can fit in our drive-ways and I believe it is fair to expect to be able to park them in the street in such away that they are close to our house (ie outside our house) and providing minimal obstruction to traffic.

Interestingly, today a car parked directly opposite my driveway, but fully on the road surface did not receive a fine even though he was obstructing my ability to safely and smoothly reverse from my property more than any car partially on the nature strip.

I also object to the imposition of these fines without any discussion with the local residents whose cars were affected. I know there was a warning in a recent council publication, but I think that issuing the fines late on a Sunday afternoon without any personal warning was disgusting. None of these cars were actually parked completely on the verge, nor were they obstructing their neighbors' cars, nor pedestrian traffic.

In short, I think the law is wrong and not in the best interests of the community. Further, its implementation was high handed and un-neighborly. It appeared like a nasty little money-grab by the council. I think as rate payers we deserve better.
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