St Kilda East parking rules allow campers, vans

Melbourne residents are furious about camper vans and trailers being parked on their streets.

Justin from St Kilda East and technology entrepreneur Danny Gorog appeared on the Today show in front of a wall of caravans on Tuesday morning.

They said that since the pandemic, people have realized they can park their trailers on the street.

“It wasn’t a problem for a while, but now there are so many of them here that they’re displacing the actual residents, so residents can’t find a place to park here anymore,” Justin said.

“We have so little public open space here and we would like the council to convert this extra space on this street into a park so that we have a place to walk our dogs and the community has a space available.”

The RVs, storage trailers, boats and apparently even the dog washing carts occupy parking spaces on Alexandra Street in St Kilda East, an eclectic but overall affluent area a few kilometres south of Melbourne’s main commercial strip.

Port Phillip City Council is doing what it can but is in a bind as the vehicles cannot be removed due to current time, length and weight restrictions.

“We don’t want to simply shift the problem. We want to solve it,” said Just.

“Behind you it looks like a trailer park,” said show host Sarah Abo.

Gorog, founder of problem reporting app Snap Send Solve, said illegally parked and potentially displaced people with nowhere else to go was a “huge problem.”

A council motion tabled by Deputy Mayor Louise Crawford sums up the essence of the messy situation.

Long-term storage of trailers and motor homes in the area has long been a problem, Crawford says in the application.

However, the council has “no mechanism” to remove a large proportion of the vehicles.

Vehicles longer than 7.5 metres or weighing more than one tonne may not be parked for longer than one hour and camping in the vehicles is not permitted.

However, most of the vehicles affected are smaller than the restriction guidelines and only a small percentage “are found to be out of service under the procedures of the Local Government Act”.

“Given the above, a large proportion of the vehicles impacting the local community are parked legally and there is no mechanism in place to address this issue,” Cr Crawford writes.

Thirteen residents have signed a letter calling for a four-hour parking ban on the street. City council staff will conduct a seven-day investigation to probe the situation.

Cr Crawford’s motion calls for council staff to examine and report on ways to reduce the impact of the vehicles on public transport. The motion is due to be discussed at a council meeting on Wednesday.

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