Ivanhoe traders and residents are furious over slashed parking in the main shopping precinct as the Ivanhoe library undergoes renewal.
The council has blocked off 80 two and three hour parking spaces for construction of the new Ivanhoe library, about a quarter of the spaces available, and only half of those will be reinstated once the development has been completed late next year.
Ricardo Ferro trader Joe Giardina said the removal of parking would be “detrimental” to the precinct as there were not enough longer term parking spots for customers near the centre.
“Ultimately it will just choke the centre, people will go and what you will end up with is a whole stack of restaurants and coffee shops that mainly do their business at night, and for retailers like me it becomes difficult,” he said.
“By taking away parking, it’s not going to help, it’s just going to make matters worse.”
Ivanhoe resident Paul Shortal said the local side streets posed a “risk” for drivers as the lack of parking in the main centre had pushed parked cars into residential areas and had hindered the flow of traffic.
“Cars are parked right up to the corner, you try and turn quickly, there’s two parked cars, headlights coming at you and there’s nowhere for you to go,” he said.
“The congestion is increasing all the way down from the shopping strip.”
Banyule councillor Peter Castaldo said while convenient parking may be “harder” to find in the area, the council’s investment and interest in environmentally sustainable transport options, such as the improvement of walking routes and the potential of automated public transport, would reduce the need for parking over time.
“Rather than spending the money on parking, we should be spending the money on the access routes for people to walk and have a good walkway experience from their home to the shops,” he said.
“And enabling predetermined minibuses from the local area into the Ivanhoe Activity Centre will totally change our relationship with the activity centre in my view,
“We have had the first autonomous trial at La Trobe University and they will be the first to be rolled out on pre-determined routes.”
Mr Giardina said there would still be a need for longer term parking to cater for young families and the elderly as the “great inconvenience” caused by reduced parking would push these customers towards big shopping centres.
Mr Giardina presented a petition to Banyule Council supported by all 102 Ivanhoe shopping centre traders last September, which opposed the conversion of one hour parking to 15 minute parking in the main Ivanhoe precinct as indicated in the Ivanhoe Parking Plan.
The Ivanhoe Traders Association declined to comment.