A shroud of secrecy has been...
No Parking set to come to part of Bowen Mountain after residents ‘raised concerns’
The Mountain, as locals call it, has up until now escaped parking restrictions but because ‘concerns were raised by residents’ at the National Park end of Lt Bowen Drive, No Stopping signs are set to go in soon with fines to be handed out to anyone parking in the large cul-de-sac.
The move will end walks in the surrounding National Park for those who regularly drive, park and walk there, unless they want to park in front of residents’ properties, which is unlikely to be popular, aside from there being little room.
Somewhat curiously, it seems the complaints have been raised by residents on behalf of bus and pump-out truck companies.
It’s not clear why residents themselves are impacted by anyone parking in the cul-de-sac, and the Council certainly don’t say.
In a letter to 11 residents earlier this month, Hawkesbury Council said it was looking at imposing the restrictions because, “representations have been received from residents of Lt Bowen Drive, raising concerns over the impacts of vehicles parking in the ’bowl’ of the cul-de-sac and the impact this behaviour has on the safe turning movements of large vehicles”.
The Council seem to have carried out zero traffic observation at the spot – or if they have they’re not telling anyone what the results were.
Today – Saturday 12.30pm. No parked vehicles and room to turn a bus…
Bowen Mountain has an extremely infrequent bus service – locals often complain about that – it stops at around 6.30pm in the week – and the pump-out truck may need to turn there once a day at most, but probably much less because each resident gets a pump-out every two weeks – but we don’t know for sure because Council does not offer any information on vehicle movements.
School buses would use the cul-de-sac to turn twice a day during term.
There has been at least one social media post by a resident with a picture showing several vehicles parked tail or nose into the curve of the bowl – so sticking out quite a bit into the actual cul-de-sac, which would mean a three-point turn for a large truck.
That nose or tail park is extremely rare though, with vehicles generally pulled off the tarmac, side on to the bowl and on the dirt (see pic below). On a sunny weekend there can be as many as five vehicles parked on the curve of the bowl at any one time, rarely more because there isn’t room, and they are not double-parked. During the day, in the week – when buses and the pump-out truck are most active – it’s rare for there to be more than one or two cars there tops, and usually there are none.
Thursday 9.30am – only the Post photographer’s car there, parked off the tarmac, as most do
But Council says, “as there are currently no parking restrictions on the cul-de-sac, and the full width of road is required for service vehicles and buses to safely turn around in, a review was undertaken, and it is proposed to provide a ‘No Parking’ zone along the full circumference of the cul-de-sac bowl.”
They say, “further options for light vehicle parking will be undertaken as resourcing permits”.
Anyone who knows anything about Council’s workload at the moment understands resourcing isn’t going to permit anything any time soon.
Council adds, “the 11 residents of Lieutenant Bowen Drive were notified about the proposal in writing on 5 April 2022 and were given until 27 April 2022 to provide feedback. The proposal will be discussed at the Local Traffic Committee in May 2022”.
We’re not sure where they get the number 11 from, many more residents live in Lt Bowen Drive than that, so presumably it’s just the 11 closest to the cul-de-sac.
It is a shame Council didn’t canvass those who use the National Park for much needed recreation, especially during a time when we are all being encouraged to get out for some fresh air and exercise.
If there are so many people parking there so often – though there is not a single vehicle parked there on Council’s satellite image of the cul-de-sac, nor one at midday today – you might question why they couldn’t have turned up anytime and done maybe an hour’s worth of canvassing.
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