Parking price hike

Mark Jackson, Cape Town CBD

Apart from the huge, unjustified cost to motorists, this will also have a devastating effect on local businesses, as many shoppers will choose to rather go to the Waterfront, where parking is R10 an hour, as opposed to paying R8.80 for 16 minutes in Sea Point.

It is completely unacceptable to raise prices 57% overnight.

It is also unacceptable that Brett Herron (the City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development), has, for over a week, seemingly ignored letters from local business owners who are protesting the increase.

I believe the reason he gave for the increase, according to (ward) councillor (Shayne) Ramsay, is to force people to use buses instead.

It is unacceptable to force any ideology on Atlantic Seaboard citizens (who by the way, pay probably the highest rates in the city, and seemingly get very little in return).

What is happening, is that Mr Herron’s MyCiTi bus project is in trouble. This is because, I believe, in 2011
Mr Herron did a deal with taxi bosses, giving some of them shares in the bus management company, in return for “giving up some routes”.

I believe the taxis were, in return, supposed to stop driving down Main Road, by the Checkers, so that the buses could carry the passengers instead.

This hasn’t happened.

The taxis are out of control.

They go where they want.

DA-city cameras record many infringements, but the DA-provincial traffic seem unwilling and unable to follow up on these violations.

The taxi bosses, I believe, are scoring it both ways, and the buses are running with too few people.

It was a bad plan from the start. So to try make up the numbers, Mr Herron is now trying to force motorists onto his buses and is happy to endanger vital businesses on Sea Point Main Road, just to try to make amends for his disastrous deal with the taxis.

This is all wrong.

Parking prices must drop to what they were, or only increased by a reasonable 10%.

Traffic rules must be enforced.

And Mr Herron should be removed from office, or moved to another position.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, responds:

The tariff increases for the 2017/18 financial year for on-street parking are based on the City’s Parking Policy (which was adopted by Council on 24 April 2014).

The policy states that parking tariffs must support the City’s travel demand management strategy – thus, the tariffs should motivate residents to rather make use of public transport so that the dependency on private cars can be reduced.

The parking tariff for on-street parking should also encourage frequent parking bay turnover and at least 20% availability at any one time where there is a high demand for parking, such in the Cape Town central business district (CBD), inclusive of Sea Point.

This supports the local economy and retail activity since local businesses rely on some availability of on-street parking for trade.

Sea Point, like Tyger Valley and Claremont, was previously regarded as having lower on-street parking demands, but as commercial activity in these areas has changed and improved so demand for on-street parking has increased. These areas have the same demand profile as the city centre and the high demand parking tariff was implemented to ensure sustainable commercial activity.

Those visiting, working or living in the Cape Town CBD have access to a wide range of public transport services, including the MyCiTi service. We want to see more and more people making use of public transport instead of their private vehicles, or walking or cycling to their destinations where possible.

Thus, the proposed on-street parking tariff increases are intended to improve sustainable travel choices and support desirable parking behaviour in business districts:

To ensure a high turnover of on-street parking bays where there is a high demand for on-street parking;

To discourage private care use and reduce congestion;

To encourage the use of public transport services; and

To increase the City’s revenues to improve public transport services and mobility in general.

The tariff increases came into effect at the beginning of the new financial year – thus, July 1 2017, after a period of public consultation and as approved by full Council in May 2017.

The City’s draft budget for the current financial year was available for public comment – as such, the writer of this letter and the local business community have had the opportunity to voice their concerns.

It is unclear from the letter, however, whether the residents did in fact participate or make use of this opportunity.