Exploring new ways to tackle parking issues

Published on 28 June 2022


Led by consultation facilitators DemocracyCo, the City of Unley's Transport team - Tanya Bacic, Jacob Avery and Michelle Proctor - worked with a diverse group of Unley residents, including business owners and staff, property owners and landlords, as well as regular and casual visitors to Unley, to examine critical areas of concern regarding parking on our roads. The group of keen participants can be seen in the photograph.

‘The idea was to communicate and collaborate with a unique assortment of individuals, to understand how Council might better manage parking throughout Unley,’ said Tanya.

‘From previous experiences in local government, engaging with the community on a sensitive topic like parking isn't always easy. However, our panel brought great ideas to the table and were extremely open-minded about the whole experience and generous with their views.’

‘These workshops were very different - instead of consulting on a particular idea or solution, we explained key parking issues for council and sought ideas on how we should - or shouldn’t - try to tackle them. This type of pre-emptive consultation is a first for me and I’m really happy with it so far.’

'While the panel members had varying views, the majority had relevant experience to share, and all now have a better understanding of the complexities in dealing with on-street parking. Many ideas put forward were very aspirational, which was exciting for Council's team. This showed us the group had a good understanding of the issues we currently face, and what could happen if action isn’t taken soon.'

A sample of participants' views included comments such as;

‘This is a great process, which has given me an insight into Council processes and decision-making.’

‘I’m impressed with how respectful everyone has been on a range of issues. A group of very different people worked together to come up with a big picture view, and not focussing on small, minor squabbles. I didn’t expect it to be this enjoyable.’

‘Kudos to Council for this initiative, it’s a bold move. It probably doesn’t usually work in your favour to engage the community, so well done. Everyone involved is very satisfied.’

The next stage of Shaping Unley’s examination of on-street parking will involve summarising what the panel has come up with, then seeking Council endorsement to undertake a poll to determine if the broader community supports the approach undertaken thus far.