1.4 Parking Spaces Per 10 Beds: Residential Parking to Change in July
By Xanthe Murrell
On 8 March 2023, ANU released a statement regarding residential parking. The email outlined new plans for students on campus, which will reduce the number of resident parking spots from 3 July 2023.
According to the email, there are several issues plaguing the current residential parking system. Firstly, residents are leaving vehicles in parking spaces for “long periods of time”. Residents’ visitors are also parking in permit zones, meaning other residential students are often unable to find a park.
ANU has therefore proposed a new system to allocate campus parking “more efficiently”, in order to “re-zone surface parking and ensure parking on campus is fair and equitable for all users.”
In the spirit of this fairness, ANU is standardising the number of parking spaces allotted to each hall of residence. From July, the number of parking spaces given to each hall will be decided by the “Australian Standard” of 1.4 parking spaces for every 10 beds. From whom or which organisation this “Australian Standard” has been devised is not clear from this communication. Observer is awaiting clarification from ANU Media.
The University asserts in the email that the allocation of resident parking spaces currently “exceeds the Australian Standard”, and so this reshuffle will result in fewer car parks for each hall.
ANU provided a table to explain the current numbers of parking spaces per hall, and the changes they plan to make (attached as Figure 1).
Figure 1. Parking data provided by ANU Parking
From the numbers given, it is clear that parking spaces are not being evenly allocated at present.
Johns College, for example, has a current ratio of 2.4 parking spaces per 10 beds. Wright Hall, Bruce Hall and Packard Wing (grouped together because they share parking spaces) currently sit at 2.1 spaces per 10 beds, while Burgmann College tops the list at 2.5 spaces per 10 beds.
On the lower end of the spectrum, Ursula Hall (Ursies) sits at 1.8 spaces per 10 beds, and Burton and Garran Hall (B&G) at 1.7 per 10 beds.
Under the new plan, each of these ratios will be reduced to 1.4 parking spaces per 10 beds. As a result, Burgmann will lose 40 of its parking spaces, leaving 53 spots for its 378 residents. Wright, Bruce and Packard’s residents will lose 59 parking spaces collectively, leaving the colleges with 123 spaces for their combined 878 residents. Johns will be left with 44 parking spaces for its 315 residents, after losing 32 spaces.
For B&G and Ursies the losses will be smaller, with their residents losing 17 and 15 parking spaces respectively.
The University has not provided any statistics that indicate how Yukeembruk Village or Wamburun Hall’s parking will be affected by these changes (despite being allocated surface parking at present). Fenner Hall, Unilodge, Toad Hall and Graduate House were also not referenced in this email. Students at these last four residences are currently able to park in the Kingsley parking structure, while also retaining some surface parking. There has been no indication as to whether these colleges will also need to conform to the 1.4/10 ratio come July.
Current B&G resident Leo van Brunschot is one of the residents who is disappointed by the parking changes. Speaking to Observer, van Brunschot cited financial and accessibility concerns, as well as a frustration with the decision-making process.
“The current issues with ANU residential parking outlined in the proposal are vague and solving them will unnecessarily burden the student body.
“The new proposal for residential parking at ANU is an attack on student accessibility. I feel that this is a complete oversight from the powers that be, who are attempting to address a problem by creating a larger problem.
“With a majority of ANU residents coming from interstate and often working off-campus, having an easily accessible car near their college is non-negotiable.”
In addition to these reductions, the new plan will relocate most of the residential parking to the Dickson Parking Structure. The multi-storey car park is located on College Lane between Burgmann, Johns and Ursies. Residents at B&G, Bruce, Packard and Wright currently use the surface car parks close to their halls. This measure will therefore move these residents’ cars further from their colleges.
To account for any security concerns that may arise from this move, the University has assured residents that ANU Security will be on call to escort them from Dickson Parking Station back to their residences.
Responding to this devised relocation, B&G resident van Brunschot stated that moving resident parking “will make residential living, at best, less convenient and less safe.”
From 3 July, permits will be allocated on “a first come, first served basis”. This marks another change from current policy, as returning permit holders will no longer be given priority or a parking guarantee (where before they were prioritised over first-time applicants). After all resident permits are allocated, students will be able to sign up to an electronic waiting list.
Through these changes, the University predicts to free up 214 more surface parks for non-residential use. This move comes amid concerns about a lack of parking spaces for students living off campus. Since the academic year began, Observer has received multiple reports from off-campus students who have been repeatedly unable to find a parking spot (even when a permit has been purchased).
Fifth-year honours student Sophie Krygier says she routinely searches for up to an hour in order to find a parking space. She says she faces this parking shortage despite having paid $366.60 for a permit that lasts for the academic year.
While the changes are projected to create 214 new surface parks, the numbers provided in the email only account for the redistribution of 76 surface parking spaces to non-residents (as can be calculated from the table above). Observer is waiting on a comment from the parking office to explain this numerical disparity.
ANU Media did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
Graphics by Will Novak
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