TAMSâ€™s response to the parking woes at Cooleman Court seems to be the offering up of private parking at other venues to overcome the shortage of car parking at the Centre. TAMS commissioned a study in December 2009 after WCCC raised parking at Cooleman Court as a community concern. The study results were not surprising as it found what Weston Creek residents already knew – that the main car parks are â€˜operating at full capacityâ€™!
However, in an attempt to â€˜pretty upâ€™ the figures TAMS counted car parking at the Irish Club, the Canberra Church of Christ, the Uniting Church and the Weston Creek Childrenâ€™s Centre. The last time Council checked, these were all private venues with their own customers and requirements and not available for other users! The figures were also â€˜enhancedâ€™ by counting car spaces at the tennis courts opposite McDonalds and other car parks somewhat distant from the Centre (click for large map ).
And what is the TAMS response to the parking issue at Cooleman Court? We quote in full:
â€œRoads ACT also conducted parking survey at the Weston Creek Shopping Centre in December 2009 consecutively for three days commencing on Thursday and ending on Saturday. The survey showed that the parking lots near the shopping centre were operating at full capacity during peak demand (a copy of the survey is attached for your reference). However, noticeably there were more than 50% spare car parking spaces available down Parkinson Street and Liardet Street( southern end).â€
â€œI trust that I have answered all your concernsâ€.
Thatâ€™s it â€“ in essence, yes there is a problem but we donâ€™t intend to do anything about. Typical of the governmentâ€™s concern for the residents of Weston Creek. Once more overlooked or just forgotten.
And what of the future? If the car parks that service Cooleman Court are full now, what will happen when the developments at North Weston, Coombs and Wright go ahead later this year with workers [100 on the John Gorton Drive roadworks and pond alone] and the parents of Children attending the Islamic School begin to shop at Cooleman Court. Let alone what will happen when people start to move into housing in these areas where the residents wonâ€™t have any shopping centres in the early years of development and will be required to use Cooleman Court?
Cooleman Court parking is about to become a lot worse unless there is a change of opinion in ACT Roads.
Council has again written to ACT Roads making these points and making some suggestions.
Council will continue to keep people informed of any response.