Another item on the agenda for Tuesday night is car sharing. As expected, the Akehurst report is another ‘do nothing’ recommendation. We quote:
“Overall, the sharing of cars may be most viable where the availability of car spaces is lowest and the cost of provision highest, such as in the inner city. A significant number of developments have been approved in both City of Melbourne and Port Phillip comprising dwellings with no car spaces. To the extent that this phenomenon appears in Glen Eira, the viability of car sharing may increase.”
However, what irks us even more is the (deliberate?) distortion of the facts and an unholy game of semantics. Akehurst claims: “Only Melbourne and Port Phillip City Councils have policies adopted by council”. Not true, incorrect, and pure bunkum!
After only half an hour of investigation, we have discovered that NUMEROUS OTHER COUNCILS INCLUDE CAR SHARING SCHEMES in their respective Transport Policies. Others such as Stonnington have already run year long trials. Please note – all of these are policies which have gone through the normal channels – ie. public consultation and accepted by full council meetings and subsequent formal resolutions. So, either Akehurst has not done his homework adequately enough, or the claims in this report are far from “clerical errors”!
Here is our evidence taken directly from the respective policies. We have even uploaded the full Moreland policy where car sharing is given major prominence. Below are some extracts from other councils -
Car sharing is one way of limiting car ownership for people with very occasional car use. Such schemes are generally used by people who would not be able to make the journey by public transport, cycling or walking or who don’t use a car frequently enough to merit owning one. Council is supportive of car share schemes as they can reduce the need for numerous car parking spaces and unnecessary car ownership. Council currently provides parking spots and signage to car share companies and in addition encourages support through promotion at Council events and in the Yarra News. (Yarra City – Strategic Transport Statement – 2006)
“Policy 26: Council will support the expansion of car sharing in Maribyrnong
Issues and Justification
The popularity of car sharing schemes across Melbourne has increased significantly in recent years. Car sharing allows registered members to book and rent a ‘pool’ car for, generally, short term usage, typically ranging from a few hours to a day or two. Car sharing is most effective in mixed-use areas with good public transport, cycling and pedestrian networks, which make it possible for residents and workers to undertake most of their daily activities without a car, while offering the flexibility of car usage for special occasions. Car sharing can also be effective as an alternative to owning a second car…….
Action 26.1: Support the provision of at least one car sharing space to be installed on-street adjacent to all new high density residential and commercial developments.
Action 26.2: Exempt car sharing vehicles from parking fees in all Council-controlled off-street carparks.
Action 26.3: Explore mechanisms to extend parking privileges to car sharing vehicles (similar to vehicles displaying Resident Parking Scheme permits) – in selected areas throughout the municipality in support of short-term parking access while avoiding unintended consequences such as long-term commuter parking.
Action 26.4: Explore mechanisms to provide car share parking spaces (in addition to car share ‘pods’) in highly sought after locations as an incentive to car share users. These parking spaces would not be associated with a particular parking management policy – council resolvedvehicle or car share company, but could only be used by car share vehicles. (page 84)