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Paid parking pitched as problem solver as altered Lords Place makeover back on public display

September 6, 2022

Ophir car park. Google Street View.

By David Fitzsimons

Motorists would have to pay to park in Orange’s Ophir car park as part of updated Future City plans that remove 23 parking spots from Lords Place.

The return of paid parking, at a proposed cost of $3 a day, is recommended under an altered Future City works plan for the CBD, which will go on public exhibition for 21 days.

The updated report also proposes the introduction of free 15-minute and 30-minute short-term parking places on Lords Place between Summer and Kite streets.

And it says Orange residents needed to get over a long-held tradition of expecting to park outside the front of the business they planned to attend.

Orange City Council voted on Tuesday night to support the public exhibition of the plan which contains new information about how concerns over parking shortages in the city would be addressed.

Ophir car park and the corner of Kite Street and Lords Place. Google Street View.

Under the Future City plan Lords Place south would become more pedestrian friendly with on-street dining decks, new street trees, a 40km/h speed limit and a narrowing of the roadways.

Council was told the loss of 23 spaces in Lords Place could be mitigated by modifying parking arrangements in the street and in neighbouring streets.

That includes a “future option” to allow parking in the centre of Lords Place between Kite and Moulder streets.

Ophir car park fees were removed as part of a Covid response.

A report to council said the return of paid parking was needed.

An artist's impression of the Lords Place makeover. Supplied.

“Unlimited parking doesn’t provide alternatives to source parking outside of [the] CBD area and within a walkable distance,” it said.

“Reintroduction of paid car parking will provide people with choice of parking limits, short and long term.”

The report said there was support for the Future City plan but parking was a major issue.

It also says business owners and staff should not park in Lords Place to leave space for shoppers.

Ophir car park. Google Earth.

And it says the days of wanting to be able to park out the front of where you want to attend were over.

“While the need to park out the front of your destination is seen as a common trait of Orange residents it has not been readily possible for some time in a growing regional city like Orange,” it said.

“In the Lords Place context, for example, a hospitality venue that seats 40 people could generate the need for 20 car spaces.

"In a street that currently has 67 spaces catering for approximately 50 businesses it is highly unlikely that those 20 car spaces are delivered within the Lords Place south frontage.”

The concept plan will be exhibited for community feedback from tomorrow (Wednesday September 7) to September 28.

The council’s Orange YourSay site will also be open for online engagement.

A community forum will also be held at 6pm on Wednesday September 14 in the Civic Centre.

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