Parking Up The Wrong Tree in Devonport

Posted by on Jun 03, 2010 | 1 Comment

It was a beautiful winter’s day in Devonport’s Clarence St. The sun was out. The seductive aroma of Chiasso’s roasted coffee was in the air. A lunch of sushi from Asahi beckoned. I parked my car in the Glengarry’s car park, and was assailed by a man.  “You’re parking on private property” he said grimly.

There will be some readers out there who have had the pleasure of being door-stepped by Bob.  Bob is a guy on a mission. And he means business.

To be honest, I have some sympathy for Bob. He manages the land under the Glengarry / Asahi carpark in Devonport central. As probably the most convenient “quick in quick out” parking area in Devonport, a large part of its use does not relate to the tenants who pay for the parking spaces.

Devonport Issues

Liz Bliptoad shows off her clamp-proof park at Devonport wharf

Given his tenants pay him $30/week per space to provide car-parking slots for their customers, Bob’s mission is to ensure they get what they pay for. Again, I have some sympathy for his cause; those parks are paid for by those businesses and it is therefore reasonable to expect that they generally be used by people visiting those shops.

What’s more, Bob is not overly aggressive in his approach: I’ve now had two face to face discussions with him and a lengthy debate on the phone, and he has never sworn or become personally abusive. Bob has also left non-abusive messages on his business card tucked under my wipers, asking me to contact him, if he has suspicions I am parked for nefarious purposes. OK so far.

Now; I’m sure just about everybody in Devonport has at some point used one of those car parks for “nefarious purposes” that is, business other than in the shop for which it is marked.

But I bet nobody in Devonport knows  – as I recently found out – that the parks facing Wynyard St are NOT for use by Asahi or Glengarry customers. Despite the sign in the carpark clearly stating that the site can be used by Glengarry and Asahi customers, actually only half of those parks can be. The other parks are paid for by other businesses, who are quite within their rights to have you towed away.

These other businesses are those located between Glengarry and Firefly – Spooner Architectural Solutions, Urbanlogic and Congo Design, and they cannot be getting much value out of those car parks, given they are always full of cars parked in their spaces, unaware that they shouldn’t be there.

The car park with the DAFT area (Dangerour Area For Towing) marked in blood red.

The car park with the DAFT area (Dangerous Area For Towing) marked in blood red.

So there I was, collared by Bob,  looking to buy a sushi from Asahi – whose parking spaces were all full. After all, it was lunchtime, and the place was doing a brisk trade. I had learned from previous experience that reasoning with Bob was time-consuming and I was starving, so I turned on my heel and headed off for Asahi, with threats of wheel-clamping ringing in my ears.

It seems pretty clear to me that any enforcement of these allocations would have two immediate effects; 1) a significantly negative impact on Asahi and Glengarry, as they lose the business from people parking in the private slots at lunchtime, which if policed, would be unavailable and when other parking is at a premium; 2) a loss of revenues to other businesses in the immediate area, as these parks are frequently used by people not going to either Asahi or Glengarry. Most notably, Brumbies, The Stone Oven, the fruit and vege shop and Ike’s would be affected.

Three suggestions; 1: Bob, you’re going to have to clearly sign those spaces as NOT for Glengarry and Asahi customers, and change the signage that states the area is for customers of those shops; 2: Bob, you might want to consider a proposing a scheme that benefits all businesses that are paying for your services, rather than one that could actually undermine their operations. 3: Bob; could you confirm whether the Glengarry van in the photo is illegally parked? If so, do you seriously intend towing your own customers?

Shocking scenes in Devonport; a Glengarry van incorrectly parked

Shocking scenes in Devonport; a Glengarry van incorrectly parked

1 comment

  1. Jo says:

    At the risk of confusing the issue further, what happens if you need to go to Asahi AND Ikes? Do they just tow half of your car away? 🙂

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