‘There’s plenty of parking in CBD’: Mayor Sellers
A NEW multi-level car park in Gladstone's city centre to alleviate "parking pressures" is looking less likely.
At the Jump Start the City Heart expo on Thursday, Mayor Gail Sellers said there wasn't a problem with parking; rather that people weren't prepared to walk.
Using an aerial photograph taken in 2015, on a randomly-selected weekday, mid-morning, the council counted the number of empty parking spaces from Tank St down to the waterfront.
There were 218 empty spaces owned by the council and another 400 on private property.
That parking assessment isn't the only research the council is using to form its position on parking, though.
A study commissioned in June is in its final stages and although the results haven't been released, Cr Sellers admitted there won't be much of an argument for a council-built car park.
"There's nothing wrong with parking in the city centre; there's plenty of parking," Cr Sellers said.
"If you go and have a look in the streets behind (Goondoon St)… have a look at the number of parks there and you will be amazed."
She said the council had already built a centralised car park at the entertainment centre, which is still being paid off, and she doubts there will be any plans for a new one.
Parking was the major issue raised by business owners on Goondoon St who this paper spoke to in June about how to revitalise the CBD.
But Michelle Wilson, the owner of Ginger Says and part owner of Shoe Luxe, agrees with the mayor and says there are enough spaces. She said people just hadn't moved away from the idea of parking directly in front of the shop they want to visit.
For Ms Wilson, the major issue for the CBD is the lack of atmosphere and a lack of a reason to visit the city centre.
"The retail end of the Goondoon St needs a makeover so it gets a bit of a Melbourne-style vibe to it," Ms Wilson said.
"We need the pavement redone, perhaps a little coffee cart to make it a destination."
In Ms Wilson's vision Goondoon St houses shops, owned by local people selling unique products, which doesn't put the precinct in competition with shopping centres such as Stockland.
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Did you know The car park opposite the Ridges Hotel back entrance on Oaka Lane is open to the public?