Free park­ing slammed

Hamilton Press - - WARRIORS HIT TOWN - LIBBY WILSON

Hamil­to­ni­ans have had their say on a cen­tral city park­ing plan and the an­swer is no.

An in­creased rates bill seems to have put most res­i­dents off the plan. They were un­will­ing to pay an aver­age $26 an­nual fee for two free hours a day in the city cen­tre.

And most who shared their view on the Hamil­ton City Coun­cil pro­posal were un­con­vinced it would bol­ster the CBD.

The idea was to pull the me­ters out of the CBD and give park­ers a two-hour daily max­i­mum, but that would slice $1.45m off park­ing rev­enue each year.

Coun­cil pro­posed tar­geted rates on home­own­ers to cover 90 per cent and cen­tral city busi­nesses would pick up the other 10 per cent.

Al­most 450 Hamil­to­ni­ans had their say through sub­mis­sions to coun­cil’s 2017/2018 An­nual Plan and 82 per cent of them said no.

About 170 of the op­pos­ing sub­mis­sions came through a Gen- er­a­tion Zero sur­vey, but even ex­clud­ing those, the dis­ap­proval rate was still 74 per cent.

Eq­uity was a com­mon theme in sub­mis­sions - one writ­ten sub­mit­ter said he hadn’t been to the CBD for a decade or more. Oth­ers said the pro­posal would cost those who didn’t use a car.

Al­most half of the 102 cen­tral city busi­nesses polled by Hamil­ton Cen­tral Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion agreed with the plan, but nearly 40 per cent said no.

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