RUSSELL ISLAND GROWTH CAUSING PARKING CRISIS AND CHAOS The Southern Bay Islands and Russell Island in particular is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. Never before has there been such a demand for island property. The result is a building boom like no other. Throw in a number of Redland City Council projects such as the Island Road ‘Green’ Sealing program, then you have a crisis when it comes to parking and housing of equipment. On Russell Island it has been pronounced. Parking, particularly for heavy equipment, is virtually non-existent, but vital none-the-less. Island businessman and principal and owner of Bay Island Property, Chris McGregor, says the problem needs to be addressed ‘sooner rather than later’. He told The Friendly Bay Islander: “There have been circumstances of late where large trucks and heavy equipment have required to be ‘parked’ in and around the CBD on a continuing basis. “With so much work going on the islands at the present time, it is virtually impossible for this equipment to be taken back and forth to the mainland on a regular basis. “Traffic on our barges has grown to such an extent that all spaces to and from the islands, and Russell Island in particular, are in premium demand.” As a result, heavy trucks are being parked on CBD footpaths in an illegal manner, according to Chris McGregor. One of the streets in particular is Cambridge Street, which runs parallel to High Street on Russell Island. “Trucks have been parking mostly on the grass verge, which is the designated walking pathway in the street. “This is illegal and in contravention of parking regulations and the heavy vehicle owners should probably be fined,” he said. The Friendly Bay Islander has discovered that such parking is ‘illegal’. Ironically, the trucks can legally park in almost the same position without intruding on the grass verge. It is easily understood why truck drivers are parking in this manner, so not as to intrude onto the roadway, further hampering traffic movement. However, this is illegal and parking on the roadway is the right way to go about it, even though the large trucks take up much of the width of Cambridge Street. The answer, Chris McGregor believes, is 1/2 acre (20000m2) of land owned by Redland City Council bounded on either side by High and Cambridge Streets. It is an area that has been identified for future community use in the future (shared community use). “It is a temporary situation that could be utilised at a critical time in our island development. “The illegal parking could be avoided by making use of these blocks for heavy equipment and trucks owned by council and council contractors,” Chris McGregor said. Ironically, when the Friendly Bay Islander went to get a picture in Cambridge Street, one of the blocks concerned had been ‘cleared’ and a large truck was parked in the area. “I hope it is a sign of things to come,’ Chris McGregor said. “Making use of this block to resolve a difficult parking issue on a temporary basis, is the way to go”. There are two types of fines that can be handed out on our islands for parking issues. Both the police and council parking officers are at liberty to ‘police’ all parking areas and can issue fines. The cost of fines from both, are similar. Chris McGregor says there should be no ‘double standards’ when it comes to these matters.
• Chris McGregor and the council block that could help resolve a parking crisis on Russell Island.