“The politics of parking are so delicate,” Croeser said. “If you talk about changing parking, sometimes the chambers of commerce can really arc up. They have blocked a lot of changes in places like Sydney Road.”
The RACV and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry were unavailable for comment. The Property Council of Australia said the proposal would need to be carefully considered by property owners to determine its feasibility.
Cath Evans, the Property Council’s Victorian executive director, said transport and logistics access was already an issue for many businesses in the city, and the management of this was critical.
“It’s very important that the CBD remain accessible to all Victorians regardless of their chosen mode of transport,” she said.
“Those who have no other option than to use their vehicle need to have access to parking at an affordable price. Increasing the complexity of parking options and access would be a detrimental outcome for the many CBD businesses who have still not recovered fully from the pandemic.”
Converting the on-street car parking into greenery would deliver a third of the City of Melbourne’s ambitious target of 40 per cent tree canopy in the CBD by 2040, creating healthier ecosystems for native birds and bees.
Croeser said removing the car parks would involve ripping up…