Why is the Council proposing a parking space hierarchy?

30-40 percent of street space is dedicated to parking and there are many competing demands for this space from different vehicle users. This can result in conflicts and poor safety outcomes. 

As the city continues to grow and as we implement more integrated transport strategies it is expected that there will be increased pressure on our ability to provide on-street parking spaces. A parking space hierarchy will help us balance these demands and prioritise our street space towards the highest priority uses in different areas.

The hierarchy seeks to balance access to parking for those who really need it and other important things, such as improving safety, promoting walking, cycling, and public transport, and reducing carbon emissions.  Creating these parking space hierarchies for different parts of the city can help us improve decision-making when deciding what type of parking needs to go where.

How do you make sure there is enough parking in the right places?

There are a number of factors that affect where parking is most needed – for example location relative to key areas such as shops and services, price, convenience, time restriction, purpose of travel, who is travelling and distance from desired destination.

Demand for parking means more popular parking spaces will have lower availability as, at certain times of the day, they exceed 85 percent occupancy.

The Council aims to achieve the internationally recognised benchmark of 85 percent occupancy (15 percent vacancy) to reduce the congestion associated with searching for a free parking space and to get the best use of the available street space. The Council uses time limits and parking fees to manage demand and achieve this goal.

Doesn’t free parking support retail in the central area?

The provision of free parking, even if time limited, results in a lower turnover of vehicles  and means that fewer people can use the space each day. Low vacancy rates lead to localised congestion as cars have to drive around for longer searching for a free parking space.

How much money does the Council make from parking fees and/or infringements? What does the Council spend parking revenue on?

A metered on-street parking space typically generates an average of $40 per day.

The Council generates approximately $14 million after cost recovery per year from its parking services.

The revenue is spent on the provision of other Council services, such as road maintenance and helps to limit rates increases.

Will the Council be introducing charges for motorbikes?

No decisions have been made at this time. On-street parking, particularly in the central area, is valuable, limited and in high demand. The Council’s priority is for this street space to primarily support retail activity and provide access to services and facilities. Council also believes as parking primarily benefits the user most of the cost should be met by the user, whoever that is. 

Why doesn’t the Council provide more park and ride facilities?

Formal park and ride facilities are provided by Greater Wellington Regional Council in association with the railway network. Park and ride is an important and integral part of the Wellington region’s public transport system. By providing a way for people to access public transport, park and ride provides significant benefits to the wider transport network and contributes to a number of strategic transport and land use outcomes for the region. For more information please refer to https://www.metlink.org.nz/getting-around/park-and-ride-car-parks/

Wellington City Council has looked in to providing new park and ride facilities within the city for bus park and ride however the costs outweighed the potential benefits. 

Why don’t all mobility parking spaces meet the NZ design standard?

As there is no New Zealand Standard for on-street mobility parking spaces, design requirements for off-street spaces have been used. The Council follows the New Zealand Standard 4121:2001 Design for Access and Mobility – Buildings and Associated Facilities and the Australian standard AS 2890.5 – 1993 Parking facilities On-street Parking when considering the placement and design of new mobility parking spaces. In addition, the engineers need to consider road slope, road width and footpath width to ensure that the mobility parking space is safe for users and others.

Therefore, compromise is often necessary in terms of width or length of space when the location is low speed, low volume traffic and therefore low risk.  

Why aren’t there more mobility parking spaces?

The Council is also reviewing the Mobility Parking policy. This review includes the number, location and design of its mobility parking spaces. We recognise that the current on-street mobility parking spaces may not be located in the most suitable places; there may not be enough of them in the highest demand areas and the design may not be suitable for wheelchair users.

The Council is currently seeking feedback from current mobility permit holders about the provision and location of mobility parking spaces. 

Do Council employees get free parking?

The Council’s Civic Square and The Terrace off-street car parks have limited number of parking spaces that are allocated to Councillors, external tenants and Council vehicles. There are also a limited number of car parks reserved for external visitors. The Council’s vehicle fleet, used for work purposes only, includes:

·  cars

·  utility vehicles

·  trailers

·  trucks

·  heavy-duty machinery.

Council employees do not get free parking at paid on-street parking spaces or in the Council-managed off-street parking buildings.

Would the Council consider providing more off-street parking?

It is unlikely we would do this. The Council has decided to mostly focus on on-street parking in the central city and suburban town centres. As the population grows, we have to encourage as many commuters as possible to take public transport, walk or cycle instead of using their cars. 

Creating new off-street car parking is very costly and requires a large amount of space that is better used for other activities such as housing and recreational space. Parking buildings are best provided by commercial operators. 

What is the role of residents parking zones and how do they fit with this review?

Residents parking is usually only considered in residents areas where there is persistent pressure from non-residents for on-street parking and most of the residents do not have alternative off-street parking options.

The Council considers requests for areas designated as residential only, not suburban centre or central area, because in these areas, the highest priority is to provide access to business and services, not to provide on-street parking for residents. The current process for creating a new residents parking zone is that it is resident initiated, requires at least 75 percent of residents in the affected area to support the proposal and a minimum of 50 residents parking permits is required. Due to these requirements new residents parking zones have not often been created. 

As parking is interlinked with other road space use, considering resident parking zones also needs to take account of the wider parking and road space environment and cannot be considered in isolation.

One proposal is that as part of a new parking management policy, the Council would review how best to manage parking needs on an area by area basis. This type of area-based review has already started in Newtown. This allows the needs for residents parking to be balanced against the competing demands of commuters, workers, access to retail and business areas and other wider parking demands, alongside wider transport strategies.

The introduction of a new resident parking zone can be a significant change. There is an annual cost to residents, enforcement costs, and the potential for pushing parking into surrounding streets outside the boundary of a residents parking zone. 

Of course, we are interested in the views of Wellington residents on their parking experience so that it can be taken account of in this review.