A Newcastle art gallery is calling on council to make parking free in the CBD.
Blackstone Gallery, which is run by Tim Moran and Marguerite Tierney, last week started a petition on Change.org calling on the City Of Newcastle to offer free, one-hour timed parking on Hunter Street.
And it seems the sentiment is gathering support, with the petition just shy of its 500 signature goal at the time of publishing.
“Hunter Street was shut down to build trams and killed local small business,” the petition read.
“They reopened Hunter Street with trams and less parking. New businesses are trying to thrive but the parking is so expensive for the owners and their customers. The tram is awesome! But its main intention is to the beach, university or train station.”
The petition goes on to argue that, anecdotally, the people that are hardest hit with parking fines are “small business owners trying to revitalise their city.”
“Honestly, put your policies and paper aside and think of the times we are in,” the petition continued.
“It’s not the time to be fining and charging people to visit the city. Not even in the good times, but we are in the worst. We are asking for timed free 1-hour parking.
“Please sign. Support small businesses and stop charging people parking tickets who wish to visit this area. Geeeeze.”
Sharing the petition on Facebook, the gallery owners doubled down on the sentiment.
“I know there is some ugly shit in the world at the moment and this might seem trivial,” the post read.
“But fining people over parks in a dying economy and pandemic might be the one little thing that pushes someone over the edge. This actually means a lot to us.”
Head here for more info and to sign the petition.