It is fun to joke with international visitors about the complexity of Australian parking signs and here is a less extreme example on Swanston Street that left us pondering the true meaning for quite some time.
Read from the top, stopping is prohibited at certain times from Monday to Sunday (to be specific!) on the right, and then equally prohibited at all other times, while stopping is simply prohibited to the left. It is the “authorised vehicles excepted” that pivots this into a bizarre tacitly permissive sign that allows only these authorised vehicles to stop here at times other than 07:30-09:30, 12:00-14:00 and 16:00-19:00, using only 3 time spans rather than the 4 of the posted sign. Clear as milk right?
No stopping areas have exceptions in Australian road rules only for emergency vehicles/actions and vehicle breakdown. As such authorised vehicles here will refer to the garbage truck that was operating along the section late at night, and likely delivery vehicles for the various commercial premises lining this central road of the business district. No doubt due to the difficulty of deciphering this instruction several blunt and targeted signs were also installed:
Which would of course explain the taxis constantly lining up and picking up passengers. Stay following for the next post travelling the full length of the Street taking in the street scape crowded with these dense signs.