I would like to offer my congratulations to Brisbane City Council for actively discouraging both locals and tourists from spending money in the shops, cafes and restaurants around the city.
Nothing is more off putting to people who want to enjoy a meal or stroll around the shops than exorbitant parking fees and over-priced public transport. Nothing says you’re not welcome like expensive parking fines (or having your car towed!) for parking in a poorly signed street where the rules are not consistent from one parking bay to the next.
If you are thinking of flying into Brisbane please keep the following thoughts in mind:
- The train from the airport runs once every 30 minutes and will set you back around $17.00 for a fare for a 25 minute journey to the city centre. A taxi from the domestic airport to the city will cost about $20 for a 20 minute taxi ride.
- If you choose to drive be careful where you park your car in the streets. The rules can change from one minute to the next.
- Beware of signs that say ‘all day parking’. If you are in the inner city suburbs ‘all day parking’ can change at the drop of a hat to two hour parking or even 15 minute parking without much warning. The council parking vultures will be quick to issue a fine or even have your car towed.
- If you fancy a spot of shopping and a leisurely lunch in the CBD on the weekends have credit card handy to pay the exorbitant carpark fees. If you choose to park in the street there are different rules for almost every parking bay. Even the ones that are side by side in the same row. In the same row of parking spaces one or two bays will be free parking all day, the next few bays will be one hour metered parking and others only 15 minutes. The signs explaining the rules are designed to be as confusing as possible to locals and tourists alike.
- Look down before you park. No standing zones are not always signed. If you see solid yellow lines against the curb do not park there.
- You may also see dotted yellow lines along the side of the road which can indicate that the road is a clearway at certain times of the day. Good luck finding the sign that specifies the hours of the clearway. I know someone who had their car towed from a restaurant precinct at 8:00pm on a Sunday night for parking near a dotted yellow line.
My feeling is that if City Councils genuinely want visitors to spend their money in local shops and restaurants and explore the city they would less inclined to make it a punitive experience for all concerned.