Dog owners adding to traffic and parking congestion at Palm Beach

The Palm Beach Protection Group notes that no traffic studies have been specifically conducted to assess the impact of additional traffic associated with the on-leash dog exercise or proposed off-leash trial at Station Beach.

In November 2018, Northern Beaches Council adopted the Move Northern Beaches Transport Strategy after several months of community consultation. The strategy aims to address congestion and notes the challenges of population growth, car dependence and visitors on parking and congestion along the Northern Beaches.

While the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) comments that the proposed off-leash trial times are likely to coincide with off-peak or lower demand times of other beach users, thereby having negligible impact on congestion, this is contrary to the prevailed reality at Station Beach, as dog walkers have ignored the permitted on-leash times for on-leash dog activity, accessing the Beach at all times of the day and at weekends.

The result has been, in general, heavier congestion during peak periods and increased demand for parking. The Palm Beach Protection Group notes that this has already caused tension with local residents and visitors alike.