Free parking signs dot Australia — and they’re so well-hidden

Written by By Laura Rowley, CNN We know where to find free parking lots at the beach. We know where not to go when the weather turns inclement. We know when we should call…

Free parking signs dot Australia -- and they're so well-hidden

Written by By Laura Rowley, CNN

We know where to find free parking lots at the beach. We know where not to go when the weather turns inclement. We know when we should call when someone is jumping in our pool. But we still have a hard time spotting free parking signs on the open road.

Sawyers Bay, Australia: Rule No. 1: There’s always the lorry. Or the transit lorry. Or a caravan.

Up at Brisbane’s Teneriffe, one sign in particular stands out in the parking lot: it’s white and large and totally lightsabered. And it says that it can be “inadvertently copied from another road sign.” Meaning there are nearly 50 signs like it in Brisbane.

Bright green expanses on the Brisbane Harbour Bridge constitute a map of where drivers can park for free in southeast Queensland. Credit: Bruce Cox via AP

“‘Hey, did you see the sign?'” One was spotted by Anthony Roberts of the environmental group Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPACWS), who wrote about it in a piece for Mumbrella magazine. “I was genuinely shocked when I realized that it wasn’t the sign on the abandoned billboard on the foreshore we were frantically driving by.

“That was the exact sign that had been recorded on QPACWS’ Iris monitoring program. No, they weren’t looking for safe parking spots for birds; the real estate signs were supposed to redirect drivers to Queensland’s 850 free green spaces.”

The green parking signs are meant to direct drivers to public green spaces in Southeast Queensland. Credit: Bruce Cox via AP

Roberts blames the “business-as-usual behavior of ad agencies,” because these “freeway-style signs are just ubiquitous on Brisbane’s roads.” But perhaps they’re more effective at keeping away shoppers from a suburban mall parking lot.

Check the map below for signs at Green P lots in Southeast Queensland. Credit: QCPWS

He points out that the purpose of the signage “may have been to warn drivers to avoid parking close to freeways, but motorists now know that the word ‘inadvertently’ has huge implications.” But, he suggests, “perhaps they can be ditched too?”

Liam Kettle of the Wellington Street Market, the market located around the corner from the signage, was quick to clear up confusion after Collins Avenue was mistakenly chalked out to be a free parking lot.

“No, we’re not having a picnic; it’s an accounting error,” Kettle said. “With less than a month to go until opening, we wanted to avoid traffic tie-ups from people parking on the road and more than holding up traffic at the other end. We did the search and found the signs, it was just on a road off of Collins Avenue that we needed to re-locate.”

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