I love a local quirk but some take a little explaining
Here are my thoughts on a few local parking quirks – from a ‘yet to be local’ perspective.
Like most small country towns here, through traffic travels directly up the middle of town which is also the main shopping and food outlet area. So, it is essential that drivers beware of pedestrians especially given not all will use the two designated pedestrian ‘zebra’ crossings. One of these black and white striped crossings is outside the IGA supermarket and the other about 300 metres further up the road.
The township has a 40 km an hour speed limit that feels a little slow after zooming up the mountain at 80 km/hr. However, don’t be disgruntled, think of this extra time as a sight-seeing opportunity but don’t get too distracted as you will need to consider the safety of the school children and other pedestrians.
Going slow also allows you time to observe the rather peculiar reverse angle parking set up in the main road, Maple Street. The street has through lanes in both directions and parking on both sides of the road. However, don’t drive too close to the car in front as cars may suddenly stop to be able to park in an empty bay and will need space to reverse in.
Hopefully they will indicate and ease left to start positioning themselves. But, resist the urge to pass them on their right, be patient and wait. Once they ease up past the empty bay (to the point of the rear axle being level with the left parking bay line) they will then reverse with the front of their car pivoting out into the remaining lane space. As they slowly reverse into the bay, they will be using the bay lines, especially the left side, and the neighbouring vehicles to get neatly into the bay. However, sometimes it is impossible to park neatly if someone else has parked a little wonky this can send off the whole row. My advice is go with it!
This manoeuvre is unusual but simple enough. When you are reverse angle parking yourself, be careful not to go over the centre line for safety and watch for any impatient drivers who try to sneak around your right whilst you pivot. There are wheel blocks in the parking bays to stop you reversing too far however it is still wise to beware of the shop veranda poles if present. I have included a very handy YouTube for those of us who are visual learners.
And for those who find that all a little too anxiety provoking, park behind IGA or on a side street instead!
Whilst parking is free in Maleny, always check the time limit on parking as this may vary depending on the location, and overstaying is not free. And on that note, driving across on-coming traffic to park ‘nose in’ on the other side of the road is an absolute ‘no no’ and not just because you may be fined, but trying to reverse out into traffic and crossing both lanes to join the correct facing traffic is exceptionally risky.
So, you’ve parked your car successfully and patted yourself on the back for a job well done, the next job is to get to the footpath (aka sidewalk) safely. So, once you get out of your car, walk towards the rear of your car. Take care to avoid tripping over the bright yellow, concrete wheel stops if these are sticking out beyond the side of your car or the neighbouring car.
If you are parking for the day, it is best to park in the side street behind the Maleny Community Centre where the school is being held i.e. Bicentennial Lane or further up on Coral Street. The shaded alleyway beside the centre allows easy access up to the entrance on Maple Street.
Another option is to park at the Maleny Showgrounds and take the 800m stroll down the tree covered ‘Obi Obi Boardwalk’ to Coral Street and cross the road into Bicentennial Lane and then use the same shaded alleyway up to Maple Street. See the link below for more details and the images below provide a quick visual reference.
Coral Street entrance to the Obi Obi Boardwalk.
The Maleny Showgrounds entrance to the Obi Obi Boardwalk.
And lastly, if you are staying in town or within an easy walking distance, consider walking to the centre during the day to avoid the parking altogether. Parking is much easier at night so it should not be a problem to park in the main street or behind the centre on Bicentennial Lane. Maleny is considered safe in the day and night however always keep your wits about you and carry a travel torch (it is very dark here at night with street lights only on the main roads).