Glass half full?

A NEW car park in North Fremantle has earned Freo council plaudits for its commitment to recycling, but also criticism from a local property owner who says it’s poorly designed.

The car park outside the North Fremantle post office was recently resurfaced using a warm asphalt mix with 10 per crushed glass to replace the traditional granite chips.

It’s a technique common overseas, but the council’s engineering manager David Janssens says it’s not widely used in Australia.

“Extensive testing was undertaken by our supplier to ensure the material complied with our requirements and the glass would not come loose when cars drove over it,” Mr Janssens said.

“We also have to make sure the glass being used had no sharp edges so it was safe for people to walk on and wouldn’t damage car tyres.”

Mr Janssens said if the car park performed well, the council would look at using recycled glass in its roads, while its suppliers were also looking into recycled plastic and rubber alternatives.

But a local property owner says the council’s design has robbed the suburb of at least 10 parking bays.

Wade, who didn’t want his surname used, said if the council had created three lines of parking bays, rather than one line and a semi-circle, it could have fitted more cars in.

To prove his point, he took to the car park with a measuring tape.

“In my humble opinion, I could see where I can deliver 30 bays with a second cross-over,” Wade told the Herald.

He says a business in his building already has to employ a full-time security guard on Friday night and the weekend to ensure its customers have somewhere to park.

Wade also reckons there’s ample opportunity to create extra bays along Burns Street with a bit of creativity and says the council should do a review of neighbourhood parking.

But the council says the car park is as efficient as it can be while maintaining room for safety, and was designed to Australian Standards.

“The car park geometry was governed by the existing in-ground services, site boundaries and existing crossover locations,” a spokesperson said.

The council had looked at creating a car park on a long-vacant block over the road, but the Herald understand negotiations broke down over the owner of that block insisting the arrangement included permission to install a large electronic advertising screen.

by STEVE GRANT

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