WHILE taking a break on the Bellarine Peninsula on the south coast of Victoria, The Adviser observed a vibrant and what appeared to be very successful shopping strip along The Terrace, Ocean Grove’s main shopping street.
With so much debate surrounding Shepparton’s CBD and in particular the Maude Street Mall, we did a little bit of homework on the shopping strip.
The Terrace shopping area is 270 metres long and eight metres wide.
There are 28 businesses on the south side and 23 businesses on the north side.
There are a total of three vacant shops, which is a good indication of a successful strip.
There are a total of 51 car parks (a mix of parallel and angled), a taxi rank, and street seating.
Parking is free, something which is critical to helping make shopping more attractive and more pleasurable.
The turnover of vehicles was regular, allowing for constant traffic flow with a half hour limit.
There is one way traffic with traffic lights at the eastern end.
The speed limit is 20 kmph.
There are two designated walkways.
The Adviserobserved that there was nothing beautiful about the street, there are what appeared to be Norfolk Pine trees lining both sides of the street, however the strip appears to be a great success with a mix of shoppers, traders and diners enjoying a casual shopping strip, something Shepparton could be.
Imagine the Maude Street Mall lined with beautiful trees, excellent seating, lots of parking, something, which the Shepparton CBD desperately needs.
Perhaps next time you’re out and about in a regional area outside of Greater Shepparton, take the time to observe your surrounds and ask yourself a few simple questions. Is it busy? Is the parking convenient and easily accessible? Is it paid or free and what time allocations are there? Does the parking make the shopping precinct more inviting for customers? Is parking in fact the answer to improving our own CBD?
Community voice continues to be heard
THE Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry asked community members prior to Christmas about their thoughts on the current parking conditions in Shepparton’s CBD. Here’s more of what you had to say:
#HaveYourSay: We want to know how the current PARKING conditions affect the way you visit, shop, eat and do business in Shepparton’s CBD. Are you happy with the parking options available to you? What would you like to see change?
“I (and almost all I know) avoid areas that demand payment for parking. If council wants to improve the CBD, remove all paid parking. People will return and the shops will thrive.”
“I don’t pay for parking if I can help it. Shop owners pay enough on council rates to allow customers to have free parking. It’s all about council revenue unfortunately. Soon there won’t be any shops left in the CBD if Council refuses to understand the need for free timed parking.”
“I avoid paid parking at all costs. For instance I was in a store the other day and we had issues so I was in there for a good hour when I intended to only be in the store for 15 minutes if I had of been in town I would of got a stupid fine for going over my parking time. Luckily I was at the marketplace so didn’t have to stress about racing back to my car in limited time.”
“I don’t mind paying for parking but there is hardly any ‘all day parking’ available in town. When you work, you don’t have the luxury of returning to your car every 2 hours for another ticket or to move your car.
Majority of workers in Welsford St park at Aquamoves (all day parking) and walk the distance, which leaves the customers of Aquamoves with nowhere to park. It’s a joke! We need more all day parking!!!”
“Shepparton homeowners pay the highest rates in the country! Where does it all go? Are plastic cows really so expensive that we need to gouge some coin out of peoples pockets for parking? I would like to see the revenue figures for parking meters. Do they cover their costs?”
“There’s plenty of free parking in shepparton CBD. You just have to find it.”
“I think the policy of paid parking has been a brilliant way to endorse decentralisation for Shepparton.”
“It should all be free like in other smaller towns around Shepparton, Even South Yarra has free parking with 2 hour parking limit. The CBD is dying and so is Shepparton. Businesses are struggling and people avoid parking where they have to pay.”
“Parking in Shepparton is bad in general, I have sympathy for those that work in the CBD and can’t find parking near work. What if they are working late, where is the safety of walking back to their car in the dark. We have the same issues at the hospital!”
“I park only at the Multideck as it’s only $1 per hour, or $3.50 all day when you sign up as a business member.”
“I park where there are no meters and walk, always free, never take a chance of being booked parking charges are waste of my money. CBD for shopping choice now is terrible most have shut their doors. I prefer Shopping Centres.”
“I only go if I absolutely have to. I resent paying a $1.50 per hour on top of what I’m already going to spend. At Christmas time it’s always a risk going to pick up lay-bys, lining up in the bank or a shop in case you go over your parking and cop a lovely fine just before Christmas. I’ll shop on weekends if I can, which means if your shop isn’t open then I won’t be spending money in your store.”
“I think the Council should just withdraw from controlling the parking in the CBD. Just let it clog up with the vehicles of the business owners and their employees then see how long it takes for people to snivel about not getting a park.”
Vito John Prinzi
“I think the council should have a 12 month trial of free parking in Shepparton. They need to work out their revenue losses for that 12 months. They should then look at the positives of what it did for shopping in the town.”
“I avoid the CBD as much as possible due to the paid parking. I have also at times left items I intended to purchase at the register or randomly due to the parking meter that needed feeding. (and no I do not go back to purchase those items). You are killing your own city.”
“I also avoid areas I have to pay. I normally don’t have change on me anyway. I would usually park in the Kmart carpark and walk or shop at the marketplace. I sometimes park at the CBD on a Saturday when it’s free or use the multideck on an odd occasion.”
“There was a trial at Xmas about two years ago and Council offered free parking, and as a result our business became much busier.”
“It should be all free parking in the CBD!! I always park in the free parking which is a further distance from anywhere that I am going.”
“If I need to visit the CBD shops I just find a park and do it. If I’m up for a bit of a wander I’ll park near Rebel or K-mart. If I’m just after a specific shop I will pay, park and go. I don’t usually shop for recreation.”