Parking across driveways

Issue: Residents driveways being illegally blocked by other vehicles

no-parking-across-drivewayWith the growing infill development and corresponding increased population, and a lack of adequate parking around shopping centres in the Willoughby Community and a lack of respect for others, residents across the Willoughby LGA are reporting issues of being parked in to their houses by cars and trucks blocking their driveways.

In some cases parents have been late or unable to pick up their young children, which has placed them in danger, many residents have been inconvenienced and unable to leave their properties to go to their own planned events, one resident reported being parked in for the whole Easter holiday, and another reported that the bus driver of a bus for the local Ex-Serviceman’s club parked his car across their driveway to go off to drive the bus, and they just caught him as he was driving off.

Residents have few rights and limited courses of action when this occurs:

  • Currently residents would have to pay for a car to be towed and would be liable for any damage caused in the process of doing so.
  • Police and rangers can fine the offending drivers if they are there in time and have the inclination to do so.

On the flip side of this, another resident reported being fined for parking across his own driveway when there were no other spots available.

This issue is widespread and likely to increase as the local urban infill development continues to increase. It needs a co-ordinated action by Council and legislative changes from the State Government to address this issue.

On a recent local social media forum similar issues have been reported for residents living in Chatswood, Willoughby (near High St Shops), Naremburn, and Northbridge.

 Recommendations

  1. Request that Willoughby Council:
  • develops a fact sheet in consultation with Chatswood Police and local Progress Associations providing residents with information about their rights and available courses of action if they are parked in. This should be distributed to local residents, particularly those living in close proximity to retail and transport hubs, and also be available on Council’s website.
  • Monitors where the problem areas are and have regular ranger patrols at the times identified as when the main problems occur.
  • Facilitates a web and app based reporting system where residents who have been parked in can send photos, to enable rangers to rapid response where possible, and to enable ongoing monitoring of the issues in particular areas.
  • Advocates to the State Government to have the law changed so that Councils and the police can arrange for any offending vehicles to be towed away, including those reported by residents sending photos, and that to recover the vehicles, the driver must pay a fine and the towing fee.
  • Enables residents in areas where there are ongoing issues to request white lines be painted on the road outside their residences to mark driveways.
  1. Request that the State Government changes legislation such that :
  • that those who are affected by being parked in are able to report to Councils or the police via sending photos via the internet or a specialist app, and that Councils and Police will have the power to immediately act on reports in this manner, rather than being required to undertake a site visit first (with protections against false and/or vexatious reports);that police and council officers can organise immediately they are notified for vehicles that are illegally parked across a resident or business driveway to be towed,
  • that towing is at the registered vehicle owner’s cost,
  • that any such vehicle is impounded until fines and towing cost are paid; and
  • the driver is automatically fined; and
  • providing an exemption to enable residents to park across their own driveways.

 

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