Media Statement: Parking Market Street
Issued George Municipality, 6 August 2021
Following media queries and an article placed in the George Herald this week (5 August 2021), George Municipality would like to clarify the status of parking with regard to the Market Street upgrade.
Section 1 (York Street to Meade Street), Section 2 (Meade Street to Cradock Street) and Section 3 (Cradock Street to Mitchell Street)
Three sections of Market Street are currently under construction. A Public Participation Consultant was appointed by the Municipality to consult with all property owners and businesses prior to the commencement of construction to ensure that directly affected parties were fully informed of the works to be carried out.
The previous on-street municipal public parking in Market Street and on-street parking after construction is as follows:
Number of On-street Parking Bays before re-construction Number of On-street Parking Bays after re-construction
Section 1 (York to Meade) 37 21
Section 2 (Meade to Cradock) 28 13
Section 3 (Cradock to Mitchell) 17 15
No private parking is impacted and provision has been made for the same number of loading bays.
During the consideration of the public onstreet parking in Market Street, the availability of alternate parking was also investigated. During the parking evaluation it was found that the municipal off-street parking in the vicinity of Market street is currently underutilised. The available public parking in two such parking areas, behind the Old Town Hall and Donneraile Square, makes provision for more than those reduced within Market Street. The Municipality will provide improvements to these two parking areas during the upgrading of Market Street. The first improvement will be the realignment of the parking area behind the Old Town Hall followed by improved access to Donneraile Square. This work will also include the resealing of the existing parking area behind the Old Town Hall.
Section 4 (Mitchell Street to Merriman Street) and Section 5 (Merriman Street to Hope Street)
The contracts for these two sections of Market Street have not yet been awarded. Similar to the first three phases, no private parking will be affected, and only municipal public parking may be rationalised to enhance the public transport system and the provision of adequate and compliant pedestrian facilities.
Further Comment on Complaints and Matters Raised
The Municipality takes note of the concern expressed by property and business owners regarding the impact of construction works on their businesses. Pedestrian access to all businesses is maintained, and where special arrangements need to be made this will be done in consultation with the affected business.
Businesses are required to provide onsite parking, alternately to buy out on-street parking where this is permissible. Only municipal public parking has been rationalised in the planned upgrades in the interest of the public transport system as this area of the CBD is a Public Transport 1 (PT1) zone.
Market Street is not only being upgraded to rebuild the structure of the road but to improve pedestrian access and movement and replace aging and or inadequate infrastructure where necessary. Infrastructure upgrades include the replacement of old asbestos cement water pipelines and an upgrading of the stormwater network. The central business district is one of the oldest areas in George, certain infrastructure is old, and the infrastructure was not always installed to accommodate current growth and development and changes in legislative requirements.
Universal Accessibility (UA) is one of the legislative requirements that was not a consideration when the initial road reserve infrastructure was installed, and when the focus was on vehicular movement. George Municipality is committed to ensuring equitable access and focuses on ensuring that sidewalks meet the UA requirements. This will see a significant upgrade to sidewalks in Market Street and allow for improved pedestrian access and mobility.
The upgrades will also eliminate the past practise of illegal parking in pedestrian zones that impeded pedestrian movement and safety.