Chivalry Or Chauvinism?
“Female-friendly” parking bays with better lighting and beefed-up closed circuit TV coverage are being trialled in Perth’s CBD.
The bays, which are marked by pink signs, walls and poles, are being rolled out for three months in the Western Australian City of Perth’s Pier Street car park from next week.
The bays will not be policed and men will not be fined if they park in them. They are closer to entrances and exits, have better lighting and additional CCTV cameras have been installed to boost safety.
Of the carpark’s 700-plus bays 28 of them will be marked female-friendly.
Women-only parking bays exist in many other countries, including Germany, Austria and China. However, the trial is believed to be a WA first.
Some countries have experimented with making women-only parking bays wider than regular bays, prompting criticism for suggesting women cannot park as well as men.
The bays used in the Perth trial are the same size as regular bays.
Perth’s acting chief executive Martin Mileham said the aim of the trial was to offer more parking options to improve service and customer experience.
“This has been done overseas and the city is conducting this trial to determine if there’s a demand for this type of service,” he said.
Mr Mileham said while the city would not be policing the bays it would encourage men to support the concept.
Diversity Network director Kristie Young said she was concerned the bays risked putting both men and women offside.
“Perhaps the bays would be better, being termed safe park bays for those individuals who are concerned for their security when utilising parking bays,” she said.
“A gender neutral colour could be used, such as orange. We cannot assume that women are the ones requiring such parking bays.
“There would likely be a myriad of individuals who would not feel safe using parking bays at certain times of the day, due to a number of different reasons.”
(P.S. It should be noted that women have a strong presence on the Perth City Council and in fact the Lord Mayor is a woman (Signora Capo). Aussies have a good sense of humour and I can see them having a bit of fun with this and of course, an expanded colour coding system.) [What about me?])