Our say | Streets ahead with white line parking plan

HUMANS are generally wired to resist change.

Most of us become comfortable with what we know and are suspicious of moves to do things differently – at least, initially.

Often, though, once the controversy surrounding the change has died down and we’ve become used to a new way of doing things, we’re left wondering what the fuss was about in the first place.

And that’s proved to be the case with the angled white line makings that Bathurst Regional Council painted along one side of George Street back in November 2014.

At the time, there was plenty of opposition to the markings from drivers who either believed they would do little to improve parking in the area or were concerned they were all part of a plan to start fining people for parking incorrectly. But, time has shown, those doubters had it wrong.

Yes, the markings did improve parking along George Street and, no, they have not contributed to council revenue-raising.

So perhaps the most surprising thing about the traffic committee’s decision to now extend the angle markings rollout to a section of Keppel Street is that it has taken so long.

But also surprising is the choice of location for the next markings trial.

Lower Keppel Street is one of the city’s prime retail areas with parking at a premium for customers, but that’s not the area set to get the white lines.

Instead, the lines will be painted on both sides of the street between George and William streets, alongside Machattie Park and the Cathedral School.

The lines will maximise the parking along that block of the CBD, but for who?

Most of those parking spots are taken by 8.30am by CBD workers who can leave their car there all day without having to worry about the monitored time limits that are in place on other streets.

That’s no reason not to paint white lines along that block, but surely it suggests this is just the start of an extended trial rather than the end.

Traffic committee chairman Councillor Warren Aubin certainly wants to see the lines painted on every street within the CBD and given the success of the George Street trial, many local drivers might now be ready to back that proposal.

Not all change is bad.

Sometimes, though, it takes a while to appreciate just how good it can be.