Council considers ‘pop-up’ parking near popular northern beaches

SPORTING fields, parks and reserves near northern beaches could become “pop-up parking” this summer as Wollongong City Council grapples with the growing problem of traffic congestion around Austinmer, Thirroul and Bulli.

A surge in visitors to prime foreshore locations, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on international travel, has made parking almost impossible around the more popular northern suburbs beaches in recent months.

Cr Tania Brown successfully submitted a motion to the Council on Monday calling for advise on whether pop-up parking opportunities are available near more congested beaches to alleviate pressures on the foreshore precincts of the city over 2020/21 summer, noting the particularly high traffic volume areas of Austinmer, Bulli, Thirroul, Stanwell Park, Port Kembla and the city precinct.

Wollongong City Council has been working on a foreshore parking strategy that is due to be completed by the end of this financial year, however Cr Brown said she believes ‘pop-up parking’ would provide a short-term solution to the problem.

Under the motion, the Council will also investigate the ability to quarantine a small number of parking spaces for Surf Life Saving volunteers and better promote the Gong Shuttle as a way to avoid parking congestion to city beaches.

Councillors voted to support the possibility of ‘pop-up parking’, with the exception of Ward One Cr Mithra Cox.

Cr Cox said allowing cars to park on parks and reserves, well-used by picnickers and other recreational uses, would be “a tragedy”.

“Anything that would put cars on those well used grassed areas would be a problem,” she said.

Cr Brown said any ‘pop-up parking’ opportunities would be carefully considered for appropriate areas, and properly managed.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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