Cricket fans are rejoicing after the ACT government opted to lift parking restrictions around Manuka Oval for February's Test match but community groups feel they've been left to stomach the consequences.
The ACT government will temporarily lift time-related parking restrictions between 7am and 11.59pm from February 1-5 in areas surrounding Manuka Oval to cater for the inevitable demand.
Kingston Barton Residents Group spokeswoman Rebecca Scouller fears it will impact safety of pedestrians and cyclists, tree compaction around Telopea Park, access to Manuka Pool, businesses, and compaction of Montgomery oval and school grounds.
Scouller joined surrounding residents groups, the Friends of Manuka Pool, and the Kingston Traders in signing a letter outlining their concerns to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr on May 25.
Barr replied on July 5, saying he acknowledged the concerns of the group and they were to be considered in the planning process through an internal working group, but fears about implications on businesses remain.
"The concerns we primarily have are parking on the verge, when often there is legal parking two or three blocks away, the compaction and damage that does to trees and the safety aspect for pedestrians and people crossing the road," Scouller said.
"Thats the main concern. Access to the swimming pool in the summer season is also a big issue. There will be five days where there will be limited access to get in.
"The loss and impact on business, were not sure how great that will be if there is five days of relaxed parking restrictions nearby. Five days in a row, thats when well see a compounded impact.
"Theres a lot of construction going on around Kingston at the moment so parking is already at a premium, so this will put extra pressure on top of that."
Community groups meet with Oval management at the start of every season and have noticed more proactive engagement when it comes to addressing parking concerns.
The government collected more than $17,000 in parking fines during a one-day international in 2013 when a team of six parking inspectors – four of whom were specifically deployed to Manuka Oval – blitzed the area.
Cricket fans were left fuming about the government's perceived "pure revenue raising" after the six-person squad left 183 infringement notices on cars parked on grassland and other non-parking areas in Kingston, Manuka, Griffith, and Barton.
The government shifted the goalposts when officials waived timed parking in streets around the oval on AFL game nights and other major sporting events last year to "assist with managing traffic and spectator demand".
"To help with traffic management, the ACT government will temporarily remove time-related parking restrictions between 7am and 11.59pm on 1-5 February 2019," a government spokeswoman said.
"It is important to know that paid parking will still be enforceable throughout the Test match and parking inspectors will be active, if you park illegally you will be fined.
"Were expecting large crowds and people coming to the test should keep this in mind and plan now for how they will get to and from the cricket."
There was no parking available on the senior school campus "due to the safety risks associated with having a large number of young children walking around" and the government leapt at the chance to ping fete-goers.
Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times
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