Why is the Council proposing a parking space hierarchy?

    30-40 percent of street space is dedicated to parking. 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 we implement more integrated transport strategies it is likely that our ability to provide on-street parking spaces will decrease. A parking space hierarchy will help us balance 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, providing road space for 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 close 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 - like driving around the block several times waiting for a space to become available. 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?

    Free parking, even with a time limit, 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.

    How much will this feedback influence the policy?

    All submissions received will be read, reviewed and summarised. The submissions we receive will not agree on what needs to be changed or on how to improve the policy. Submissions may also include suggestions on topics outside of the scope of the draft policy. Therefore, Officers consider all feedback and provide Councillors with advice on what aspect of the draft policy could be changed or improved. A summary of the submissions is provided to each Councillor to support them to make the final decision.

    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, whatever type of vehicle 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 draft parking policy is proposing to improve mobility parking spaces, in some locations, this may mean providing new 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 but some employees can use parking permits for work-related parking.

    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 residential areas where there is a lot of demand from non-residents for on-street parking and where most of the residents do not have alternative off-street parking options.

    The Council considers requests for areas to be 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.

    As parking is interlinked with other road space use, resident parking zones also needs to take account of the wider parking and road space environment, active and public transport options 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 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. 

    The draft policy proposal recommends a number of changes to the design of residents parking schemes and we are keen for your views.

    Will we be getting rid of coupon parking?

    The draft parking policy proposes a number of changes to how road space is allocated for different types of parking. In city fringe/inner city suburb areas, the proposal is to prioritise residents parking and short-stay parking and for long-stay parking to be a lower priority. Coupon parking may still be required in other parts of the city, where residents are able to park off-street, such as near public transport hubs.

    Will the policy look at the actual layout of parking?

    The proposed parking policy is intended to inform specific parking decision-making such as exact location of parking bays, designated parking, time restrictions, design of the bay.

    How will changing fees be best communicated?

    If the Council moved to a demand-responsive type of pricing approach for parking, it would require a change in technology and appropriate support software to ensure that people were advised of the price for parking, ideally before they started the journey, not at the point of parking the vehicle. This system is in place in many cities overseas so the technology options are tried and tested. The Council would want to ensure that any new system was accessible to all parking space users. Implementation of any new policy will gradual and over at least a ten year period.

    Why do I have to register online in order to make a submission?

    For all consultations, the Council has to ensure that a submission has been made by a genuine person and seeks to reduce the potential for spamming or multiple submissions made by the same person. Therefore, all submitters must provide at least their name and contact details. For submissions made online, we capture that information through the registration process. For postal submissions, people provide the same details on the submission form.

    Does the Council enforce parking on footpaths?

    Yes, it is an offence to park a vehicle on a footpath under the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004. However, the Land Transport Act 1998 provides parking officer to apply some level of discretion when enforcing the road user rules. Therefore, the Council’s current practice provides an allowance for narrow streets where vehicles park partly on the footpath to ease traffic flow. If the vehicle is leaving more than one metre clear footpath for pedestrian access then the officer makes a judgement call whether or not they issue a warning notice.   If the vehicle is leaving less than one metre clear then full enforcement applies and the officer makes a judgement as to whether the vehicle should be towed. In the central city and suburban centres, there is zero tolerance for vehicles parked on the footpath. 

    While we do not have the resources to everywhere across the city at all times, the public are welcome to contact the Council through our Contact Centre on 499 4444 and lodge a complaint and we will endeavour to having a parking officer attend as soon as resources allow.

    How will the achievement of the proposed objectives be measured?

    The Council sets performance measures annually and reports on them through the Annual Plan. In addition to the performance measures long-term outcome indicators are tracked by teams within the Council to monitor the success of projects and new initiatives. Page 17 of the 2019/20 Parking Policy Review – Discussion Document proposes a number of potential indicators that could be used to measure the success of a new parking policy.

    New performance measures and outcome indicators would be decided after a new parking policy is adopted.

    What are ‘trade-offs’?

    A trade-off describes a compromise between two different but incompatible outcomes. For one to increase, another must decrease. For example, for public transport to improve, become more reliable and effective, the amount of parking spaces on the street has to decrease.

    What are urban design features?

    Urban design features include street trees and planting, footpath buildouts, sculptures, seating and similar features that enhance public spaces. A glossary of terms has been provided at the front of the Statement of Proposal and the discussion document.