By Casey Neill
A fearful plea for parking relief could soon spark change in Dandenong.
The Journal previously reported that Greater Dandenong Council accepted a letter from CatholicCare Family Services signed by 41 people at its Monday 11 September meeting.
The letter asked the council to review restricting parking for businesses around Princes Highway and for all-day paid parking to support employees, clients and local businesses.
The Monday 9 October council meeting heard that two-hour parking spaces could become four-hour spots by the end of the year.
Engineering services director Julie Reid said the suggested change was subject to consultation with all businesses located in the service road between Clow and Robinson streets.
The 50 or so spaces in that area would be affected if the proposal received the green light, excluding any loading zones and accessible parking spaces.
Ms Reid said the current parking supply in the area was underutilised.
“It is anticipated that this proposed change would better serve the needs of local businesses in the precinct,” she said.
“If the proposed change is supported, it will likely be implemented in late 2017.”
Support service CatholicCare said it had limited on-site parking, and most workers and clients were forced to park hundreds of metres away.
The letter said it was not safe for staff and clients to walk to isolated parking areas late at night.
“In the last couple of months, we have had incidents in the evening that have required police involvement,” it said.
“On those occasions and following, staff and distressed clients were required to be accompanied to their cars.
“Had there been parking close by, our staff and clients would have felt safe and empowered to go their cars without the fear of looming danger.”
The letter said that given the nature of CatholicCare’s work – including counselling, family mediation and group work – staff found it difficult to move their cars every two hours.