Parking headaches for retirement home

The parking lot outside the Riverside Manor Retirement Home is located on council land, but gets used by many of the workers at the surrounding businesses, often leaving little to no parking for visitors at the home.

Residents of the Riverside Manor Retirement Home in Pinelands are frustrated with the limited number of parking available to them outside the home.

The parking lot, on council land, has about 10 bays open to the public and three of them have a two-hour time limit.

However, the residents say these rules do not seem to apply to the employees from surrounding businesses who park their cars for the day in the lot to avoid peak-hour traffic.

Dennis Addison, from the home’s residents’ committee, said people were “selfish” to park in front of the home.”People park there all day; they arrive in the morning and leave their cars in the parking until they are done working. That leaves little to no parking for visitors coming to the home,” he said.

The residents’ visitors, many of them elderly and infirm, had to park further up the road and walk to the home, he complained.

Mr Addison said he had battled for the past 10 months to get the authorities to address the issue, to no avail. “We have been asking the council to erect signage around the parking. We have also reported the matter to the traffic authorities and, on certain occasions, they arrive and issue tickets to certain cars.”

But still the problem persists.

The home is next to a shopping centre, office blocks and the Pinelands library, all of which attract a high volume of vehicles.

Ward councillor Brian Watkyns said Pinelands had a problem with people parking illegally either for convenience’s sake or to avoid paying for parking, but the authorities already had their hands full trying to stop people parking on street verges, on yellow lines, in loading zones or at bus stops, and he had explained to Mr Addison that “we simply do not have the resources to dedicate an officer to enforce the two-hour parking limit in the three bays”.

Mr Watkins said some of the home’s on-site parking had been blocked by building work happening there, which had ratcheted up the residents’ frustrations over parking. They also hadn’t been happy about that work blocking the home’s dedicated ambulance bay.

He said both the City’s traffic and roads departments had inspected the parking bays, but there should be “no current problem for visitors” to the home, as the building work had been completed and access to the on-site visitors’ parking and ambulance bays should be open once again.

“The owners of a property are required to provide on-site parking for residents and visitors as stipulated in the zoning scheme. Council is not able to provide dedicated parking bays on City-owned land exclusively for use of a privately-owned property unless the owner leases or purchases the land,” he said.

Mr Watkyns said he would ask the City’s land use inspectors to check whether the owners were complying with the required number of accessible, on-site visitors’ and residents’ parking bays/garages.

The residents, he said, could note the registration numbers of the cars exceeding the parking bay time limits and the City would ask the owners to stop using the bays for all-day parking.

Illegal parking can be reported to Mr Watkyns’ office at 021 444 9798.