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Champagne Socialist
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http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Tax-slug-to-fight-city-gridlock/2005/04/22/1114152324023.html

Tax slug to fight city gridlock
By DAN SILKSTONE and NASSIM KHADEM
April 23, 2005



Commuters driving to work will pay dearly from year, and even more the following year.
Photo: Nic Kocher

Motorists will pay hundreds of dollars more each year for parking as the State Government tries to ease the city's traffic congestion.

The Government says a levy on parking spaces will be used to improve public transport, taking pressure off roads.

The levy of $400 per parking space will begin next January and double the following year.

Parking meter fees will rise at the same time, but some car parks will be exempt so that short-term shoppers will not be driven out of the city.

Stopping short of a London-style congestion tax, the levy has brought praise from environment groups but been criticised by retailers and property investors.

Car park operators say they will have to pass the cost on to customers.

The levy is expected to generate $57.5 million over the next three years.

Car spaces in Southbank and St Kilda Road will also attract the tax.

The levy will apply to about 48,000 off-street car parking spaces but motorists will also have to pay more for metered parking spaces. The cost of about 11,300 metered parking bays will rise from $2.40 to $3 an hour.

Two weeks ago The Age revealed that Melbourne City Council was looking at a levy as part of a long-range transport strategy. But as recently as last week, Lord Mayor John So said such a new tax was only a possibility requiring extensive consultation with the Government.

On Wednesday Premier Steve Bracks said from London that he was "leaving open" the idea of a levy. Barely 24 hours later it was reality and the majority of the revenue was headed not to the council but to the Government.

The council will receive $5 million each year. Cr So said it would fund a free shuttle bus, likely to run down Swanston Street between between Southbank and Melbourne University.

Acting Premier John Thwaites said the Government's share of the revenue would pay for improvements to public transport, expected to be announced in the May budget.

Treasurer John Brumby said the Government did not have figures that showed how the plan would ease congestion, but said the aim was to reduce traffic in peak periods, and not to punish casual visitors and shoppers.

Ten thousand short-term spaces will be exempt, as will 10,000 parking spaces owned by hospitals, universities, libraries and museums.

Critics of the decision said the introduction of similar charges in Perth and Sydney had not eased traffic congestion or

improved public transport. "It inevitably ends up as just another tax," said Leon Parker, president of the Parking Association of Australia. "It goes into the melting pot and the whole connection between the money and the benefit to the community is lost." His comments were echoed by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and by Jennifer Cunich from the Property Council of Australia, who labelled the levy "a cynical grab for cash".

Critics predict that the levy will rise over time. In Sydney a $200 levy was introduced in 1992 but was doubled in 1996 and again in 2000. It now stands at $860. The Sydney levy, originally limited to the city, has been extended to centres such as Parramatta and Chatswood.

Environment Victoria is already calling for the charge to be extended to congestion spots outside the central business district. "We would welcome the levy being extended to other shopping centres, such as Chadstone," said Environment Victoria managing director Marcus Godinho.

State Opposition Leader Robert Doyle said the levy was just another burden on taxpayers. "This is not about reducing congestion in the city. This is what the Labor Party are telling you, in order to raise more money, in order to get more dollars for their budget," he said.

The announcement won support from the Business Council of Australia, which last month argued that the Government should examine a London-style congestion tax to combat the economic cost of congestion.

The levy will apply to parking spaces for government offices but MPs will not be charged for parking at Parliament.

While the Government estimates that motorists will pay an extra $3 a day when the levy is passed on, the city's second largest parking operator scoffed at that claim. "If you look at Sydney, the cost of early-bird parking is as high as $50 per day. In Melbourne the highest is $16," said Stephen Smith from S & K Parking. "There are other factors at work such as property values, but you are at least going to double the cost." he said.

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:rock:

next: close the grid off to all non-essential vehicle traffic all together mahuahu :guns1:

but honestly, who gives a flying frak bout a free shuttle bus down Swanston Street when there's a tram every 90-120 seconds? If the aim is to get as many people on PT - then surely those same people will have tickets to get on said tram service :doh:
 

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but the same levies exist in Sydney and apply to Sydney, North Sydney, Chatswood, Bondi Junction, Parramatta, Hurstville and even Blacktown (and some others no doubt I've forgotten). They do about zip to stop cars entering the CBD. But I'm sure they're a good way to replace Victoria's lost mortgage stamp duties and whatever else Costello is making the states get rid of.
 

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Particularly since it's likely that a large chunk of the revenue will get wasted on road spending. Another chunk is expected to go into John So's obsession with free public transport up Swanston St so people who drive into town don't have to pay to ride the trams.
 

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PTnut
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The money in NSW goes mainly to minor public transport projects. Eg. Upgrades of bus interchanges and train stations, to provide disabled access, better security, etc.
 

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The other factor is that many of the people parking all day will have the parking paid for by their employer. The cost increase will not change their behaviour as the boss will pick up the tab.

Isn't the response of the parking operators predictable? You can see that they are already planning to use this tax to increase their profits.

52 weeks per year x 5 working days per week = 260 days
Less 10 public holidays = 250 days
Assume 80% usage = 200 days
Tax per day for each spot used = $2 per day this year/$4 next year
Required parking cost increase per full working day = $2/$4

Note that I am assuming they only get usage during working hours, have 20% of their spaces vacant and receive no weekend revenue. If these assumptions are incorrect then the required increase will be smaller. Extra administrative costs associated with tax would be minimal.
 

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I'll still be driving into the CBD, so it wont deter me. On top of that I like cities with congestion, like NYC for example or Rome, its beautiful to be within the buzz of a hustling and bustling city. If I wanted empty streets and footpaths devoid of people I would move to the country. A city should buzz, remove the cars, and the people from the streets and put them on trams and it looks dead, a ghost town.
 

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Champagne Socialist
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
:hilarious

aren't you doing architecture / urban planning or something?
 

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mic said:
I'll still be driving into the CBD, so it wont deter me. On top of that I like cities with congestion, like NYC for example or Rome, its beautiful to be within the buzz of a hustling and bustling city. If I wanted empty streets and footpaths devoid of people I would move to the country. A city should buzz, remove the cars, and the people from the streets and put them on trams and it looks dead, a ghost town.
Enjoy driving while there's still oil left. Lets just use it up a bit faster shall we?
 

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You laugh at me like I am an idiot, it is true, a city should be bustling. I went to Rome, then returned to Melbourne, we are a country town. On top of that Sydney is even far more city like than Melbourne. Melbourne was more like Adelaide in terms of congestion. It takes me 30 mins to travel from the CBD or even Crown on the other side of the CBD to Thomastown, 19km north. I traverse the CBD go along Hoddle Street ( the apparently over loaded roadway) and make it home in 30- 35 mins. WOW OMG stop all traffic in the CBD... what a joke, I crave for the day Melbourne looks and feels like a real city.

Currently studying Bachelor of Planning and Design (Architecture) at Melbourne Uni. 3rd year.
 

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mic said:
You laugh at me like I am an idiot, it is true, a city should be bustling. I went to Rome, then returned to Melbourne, we are a country town. On top of that Sydney is even far more city like than Melbourne. Melbourne was more like Adelaide in terms of congestion. It takes me 30 mins to travel from the CBD or even Crown on the other side of the CBD to Thomastown, 19km north. I traverse the CBD go along Hoddle Street ( the apparently over loaded roadway) and make it home in 30- 35 mins. WOW OMG stop all traffic in the CBD... what a joke, I crave for the day Melbourne looks and feels like a real city.

Currently studying Bachelor of Planning and Design (Architecture) at Melbourne Uni. 3rd year.
Haven't you ever been down Swanston Street Walk before? There's barely any cars along that road. Look dead to you? A bustling city is one that is packed with people and pedestrians and businesses, not packed with cars. The possibility with attitudes like yours to the way we currently use our cars is that we might not be able to use cars within 50 years, or at least be paying a heap more.
 

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I urge people to travel to NYC or Rome thats a city, not Melbourne. Yes Swanston street is busy pedestrian wise, but it also has no towers along it, causing it to feel like Adelaide, and giving the impression to people that we are smaller than Sydney or cities that are comparable to our size.

Melbournians congratulate themsevles all too much on how good our city is, instead of looking at our faults and what could be improved to give Melbourne a more international appeal. We had cousins from Italy arrive in Melbourne and their impression was that it was a city of 1 million. But when exiting from Town Hall station in Sydney the first thing they mentioned was that Sydney had many tall buildings. When we explained to them that we had taken them to the tallest building in Australia, this being the Rialto they didnt believe us and insisted that Sydney had many more tall buildings, pointing towards HSBC. I attribute there impression on Sydney being a world city and considerably larger than Melbourne to the street congestion, the larger mass of people on the streets and the density.

On top of that, please admit that Swanston street, allbeit full of pedestrians, is full of low brow shops, giving it a very cheap feel, I might even go as far as to say it looks rundown. So yes public transport is the corner stone of a good city, but at the same time I like to see the hustle and bustle of a city, a living breathing city full of people rushing around doing their own thing and people in cars driving. It is what gives and leaves good impressions of a place. So a balance of both is what I would aim for, whereas it seems as though many people want to see everyone on public transport. Why??
 

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mic said:
I urge people to travel to NYC or Rome thats a city, not Melbourne. Yes Swanston street is busy pedestrian wise, but it also has no towers along it, causing it to feel like Adelaide, and giving the impression to people that we are smaller than Sydney or cities that are comparable to our size.

Melbournians congratulate themsevles all too much on how good our city is, instead of looking at our faults and what could be improved to give Melbourne a more international appeal. We had cousins from Italy arrive in Melbourne and their impression was that it was a city of 1 million. But when exiting from Town Hall station in Sydney the first thing they mentioned was that Sydney had many tall buildings. When we explained to them that we had taken them to the tallest building in Australia, this being the Rialto they didnt believe us and insisted that Sydney had many more tall buildings, pointing towards HSBC. I attribute there impression on Sydney being a world city and considerably larger than Melbourne to the street congestion, the larger mass of people on the streets and the density.

On top of that, please admit that Swanston street, allbeit full of pedestrians, is full of low brow shops, giving it a very cheap feel, I might even go as far as to say it looks rundown. So yes public transport is the corner stone of a good city, but at the same time I like to see the hustle and bustle of a city, a living breathing city full of people rushing around doing their own thing and people in cars driving. It is what gives and leaves good impressions of a place. So a balance of both is what I would aim for, whereas it seems as though many people want to see everyone on public transport. Why??
So a "real" city is very dense and packed with skyscrapers. So your saying that Rome is a city yet it isn't? The "real" cities of Paris and London are predominantly low-rise. Traffic congestion is usually the result of a poorly planned city, not a well planned one. Take a look at some of the American cities that have shite-all public transport (eg. Detroit) and look at how lively their downtowns are. Then compare to Asian cities like Tokyo where there's a ton of public transport. Of course some peole will always need cars, because not every possible route would be covered by public transport.

You must give credit for a lot of the recent contruction and boom action that has taken place in Melbourne in the past decade. Has Sydney added a major complex like Federation Square? Or redevelop an entire area almost the size of some CBDs like the Docklands and Southbank?
 

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PTnut
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We've got Darling Harbour. :D

But traffic congestion in the CBD itself can be considered a good thing. It can largely be a result of a lack off street parking or lack of road supply, which is great because cbd streets acts as a valve for traffic. IMO, American CBDs are dead because there is too much road supply and all the cars are tucked away in multistorey car parks.
 

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AG said:
So a "real" city is very dense and packed with skyscrapers. So your saying that Rome is a city yet it isn't? The "real" cities of Paris and London are predominantly low-rise. Traffic congestion is usually the result of a poorly planned city, not a well planned one. Take a look at some of the American cities that have shite-all public transport (eg. Detroit) and look at how lively their downtowns are. Then compare to Asian cities like Tokyo where there's a ton of public transport. Of course some peole will always need cars, because not every possible route would be covered by public transport.

You must give credit for a lot of the recent contruction and boom action that has taken place in Melbourne in the past decade. Has Sydney added a major complex like Federation Square? Or redevelop an entire area almost the size of some CBDs like the Docklands and Southbank?
Well Rome is highly dense allbeit without skyscrapers, whereas Melbourne's inner city is really not all that dense with wide streets, set backs, and 2 or 3 storey terraces.

I agree you need people and mass transit, but you have to admit that cars on roads do add to the feel of a city, a balance between the both would be optimal.
 

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Champagne Socialist
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·


where are all the people, cars and density? I want to be just like Detroit!

not.
 
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