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Parking: The Real Issue

Posted Thursday 30 April 2015

In consultations and surveys over the past year our community has strongly expressed the view that parking is a major problem and that Council should do something about this.

However, as is often the case there is much less agreement about the solution than about the problem.

Exhortations to drivers to walk or cycle have little practical effect.

Nor are there are any immediate built car park solutions. As you would be aware from recent consultations and Council resolutions, Council is exploring potential car parking options on the Civic Centre site and the Raglan Street West car park site. But these options remain to be determined.

The community is also strongly opposed to parking meters in commercial and residential areas.

Thus, there is only one practical solution in the short run, namely parking management to encourage turnover. This maximises community use of scarce public resources, is efficient and fair, and facilitates local commercial activity.

Accordingly Council proposes to further investigate and consult on a structured time management parking system ranging from half an hour in busy commercial streets, to one hour in adjacent areas, and to two hours in other heavily car parked streets along with residential parking permits.

Council also proposes to introduce technology which provides data on parking occupancy, space turnover and length of stay. This is critical to informed decision making and will enable efficient and fair use of car parking spaces.

The real issue is how to determine the parking time management system that best meets the needs of the community. It is not whether to adopt an efficient data process.