Parking time restrictions going for good
Palmerston North’s trial of pay-and-stay-all-day car parking is likely to become permanent.
Time limits on metered parking spaces were completely removed in July 2016 after an earlier experiment extending P120 restrictions to allow parking for three hours, enjoyed a positive response from motorists.
At the same time, the council decided to make the first hour of parking at the off-street park in King St free of charge.
By introducing more convenient and flexible parking rules, the council’s intention was to encourage people to stay longer in town.
Senior transportation engineer Glenn Connelly said during the trial the amount of money people put in the meters had increased while fewer people had ended up with parking tickets.
The average length of stay had increased, but only slightly, and there was still a good turnover of spaces.
‘‘Availability of all-day parking is convenient and intuitive from a user’s perspective,’’ he said.
Connelly said retail spending in Palmerston North had grown 2.4 per cent during the trial.
However, there was no way of knowing whether the changed parking regime had influenced that.
People had stayed in parks for longer, but the average length of stay had only increased by 10 per cent generally, and 15 per cent along Broadway.
Short-stay parking had
‘‘Availability of allday parking is convenient and intuitive from a user's perspective’’
Glenn Connelly, PNCC
Parking revenue from the meters was up 6 per cent, from $447,000 in the three months to September 2015, and $505,000 in the quarter ending in June 2017.
Money from fines had dropped by about 25 per cent.
It reduced from $415,000 in the three months to September 2015, to $295,000 in the quarter ending in June 2017.
Connelly said that could be explained in part by a drop in the number of tickets issued since time limits were no longer there to be enforced.
‘‘This is a positive outcome as it suggests an increased level of compliance.’’
At its meeting on September 4, the city council’s planning and strategy committee is expected to recommend that the new parking regime continues.
That will include the one hour free in the King St car park
All day parking around and near The Square in Palmerston North.