Smarter ways to manage city parking

A photograph of a section of Wellington with a line of cars parked on the street.

Our city is changing

Over the next 30 years Wellington will be home to another 50,000-80,000 residents and many more workers will commute in from the wider region.

To accommodate this development, we need a more efficient transport system that makes better use of our limited road space all while helping to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.

This means moving more people using fewer vehicles; more public transport use, walking and cycling and fewer people driving and parking in busy areas. We need to review how we allocate road space for parking and manage parking differently to support this change.

How you can have your say

Everyone is affected by this policy from vehicle drivers, bus passengers, cyclists to pedestrians. It's important everyone has their opportunity to share their views.

The next opportunity to formally share your views will be the consultation on a new draft policy. This new draft policy has been discussed with Councillors and is now in the process of being ready to be shown and discussed with the public in mid March.

If you want to stay informed and be reminded when the consultation opens please subscribe below.

In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in our quick polls. There will be a new poll each week leading up to the consultation release.


Our city is changing

Over the next 30 years Wellington will be home to another 50,000-80,000 residents and many more workers will commute in from the wider region.

To accommodate this development, we need a more efficient transport system that makes better use of our limited road space all while helping to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.

This means moving more people using fewer vehicles; more public transport use, walking and cycling and fewer people driving and parking in busy areas. We need to review how we allocate road space for parking and manage parking differently to support this change.

How you can have your say

Everyone is affected by this policy from vehicle drivers, bus passengers, cyclists to pedestrians. It's important everyone has their opportunity to share their views.

The next opportunity to formally share your views will be the consultation on a new draft policy. This new draft policy has been discussed with Councillors and is now in the process of being ready to be shown and discussed with the public in mid March.

If you want to stay informed and be reminded when the consultation opens please subscribe below.

In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in our quick polls. There will be a new poll each week leading up to the consultation release.


  • The results are in . . . Would you give up your car for a car share scheme?

    about 9 hours ago
    1506570377194

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on considering selling your car and joining a car share scheme instead. We are glad we were able to get interesting feedback on this particular topic.

    At poll closure we received 117 votes, 51% said Yes to giving up their car for a car share scheme, and 49% said No.

    Among the feedback received on Facebook key themes were:

    • This would be a feasible option if there were more car share vehicles and car share parking spaces in the city fringe/suburban centres/outer suburbs

    • Car share options can/do save...

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on considering selling your car and joining a car share scheme instead. We are glad we were able to get interesting feedback on this particular topic.

    At poll closure we received 117 votes, 51% said Yes to giving up their car for a car share scheme, and 49% said No.

    Among the feedback received on Facebook key themes were:

    • This would be a feasible option if there were more car share vehicles and car share parking spaces in the city fringe/suburban centres/outer suburbs

    • Car share options can/do save major costs and extra car-owning responsibilities

    The cost data given to you came from estimates from the Automobile Association Dec 2018, and average scheme costs from the local car share companies. Car ownership costs vary due to many different factors (car size, fuel type, trip lengths, other personal situations, etc.), but we hope that the information provided was able to at least get you thinking about different driving options throughout and around the city.

    Please continue to vote on our quick polls! They are just one of the ways we will be seeking your feedback on how we manage parking. 16 March is when you will be able to have your say on our proposals through our formal public consultation.

    If you have registered here you will receive an email to tell you when the consultation is open.


  • Car Ownership Costs vs. Car Share Scheme Costs

    7 days ago
    103109 c1q4758 content

    There are many factors that impact car ownership costs:

    • Age of the vehicle

    • Maintenance and running costs

    • The purchase price

    • The size of a car

    • Kilometres travelled

    These annual estimates do not include extra costs such as driver license renewal, extended warranties, breakdown service subscriptions, diesel road user charges, and additional parking.

    Car ownership costs for a small car (based on estimates from the Automobile Association Dec 2018)

    • $33.30 per day (including fixed and flexible costs, ie insurance, WOF, licensing, parking permits, fuel, repairs, maintenance etc)

    • $12,295 per year (including residents permit)

    • ...

    There are many factors that impact car ownership costs:

    • Age of the vehicle

    • Maintenance and running costs

    • The purchase price

    • The size of a car

    • Kilometres travelled

    These annual estimates do not include extra costs such as driver license renewal, extended warranties, breakdown service subscriptions, diesel road user charges, and additional parking.

    Car ownership costs for a small car (based on estimates from the Automobile Association Dec 2018)

    • $33.30 per day (including fixed and flexible costs, ie insurance, WOF, licensing, parking permits, fuel, repairs, maintenance etc)

    • $12,295 per year (including residents permit)

    Car share costs for a small car (based on individual trips rather than a weekly membership plan from local car share schemes in operation)

    • $15 per hour

    • $85 per day (capped amount; includes fuel, insurance, registration, maintenance, repair, city parking)

    • $3,650 - $5,475 per year (Driving a 10k-at-a-time trip once per day every day of the year would be approximately this much, give or take your distance)

    Therefore, a person could hire a car share for approximately 2.5 days per week every week of the year for the same cost as owning a car, with the added bonus of no annual parking permit fee, driving a modern electric vehicle, no responsibilities that come with car ownership, and not having to worry about depreciating value.

    **all costs are educated estimates, prices may differentiate on each individual person's situation**

    After reading this information, please vote in our quick poll for us to find out your thoughts!

  • The results are in . . . Would you be willing to move into a home that is in or close to the central city, but wouldn't have any spaces for parking?

    7 days ago
    80516 0024

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on moving into a home that is in or close to the central city, but wouldn’t have any spaces for parking. It was great to hear your thoughts on this particular topic. This week, the results were quite close!

    At poll closure we received 174 votes, 52% said Yes to moving without parking, and 48% said No.


    Among the feedback received on Facebook key themes were:

    • People would be willing to give up parking at their home if they could rely on another way to get in to...

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on moving into a home that is in or close to the central city, but wouldn’t have any spaces for parking. It was great to hear your thoughts on this particular topic. This week, the results were quite close!

    At poll closure we received 174 votes, 52% said Yes to moving without parking, and 48% said No.


    Among the feedback received on Facebook key themes were:

    • People would be willing to give up parking at their home if they could rely on another way to get in to the city
    • If there were other affordable transportation options, residents would consider giving up their car for an ideal home location
    • It may not work in some cases because there are jobs that require people to have a car and there aren’t as many suburb to suburb connections.


    Please continue to vote on our quick polls. They are just one of the ways we will be seeking your feedback on how we manage parking. In March we will be setting up in a number of suburban centres and in the city centre to talk to people about the proposals, so keep an eye out for us. You will also be able to have your say on our proposals through our formal public consultation.

    If you have registered here you will receive an email to tell you when the consultation is open.


  • Speaker Series 2020

    10 days ago
    Speaker series image eventbrite

    We will be speaking at the upcoming Speaker Series, brought to the community by Planning for Growth. Featuring experts from here and overseas, this 2020 Speaker Series is a precursor to city wide engagement on where and how our city might grow. Hosted by Mayor Andy Foster, and MC Bryan Crump of RNZ nights, we hope to see you there.

    Dates are as follows:

    Check out the Planning for Growth website for more information, or jump right in and get registered now!


    We will be speaking at the upcoming Speaker Series, brought to the community by Planning for Growth. Featuring experts from here and overseas, this 2020 Speaker Series is a precursor to city wide engagement on where and how our city might grow. Hosted by Mayor Andy Foster, and MC Bryan Crump of RNZ nights, we hope to see you there.

    Dates are as follows:

    Check out the Planning for Growth website for more information, or jump right in and get registered now!


  • The results are in . . . Did you think we should charge for on-street motorbike parking in CBD?

    14 days ago
    92861 0729

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on motorcycle parking. It’s great to see such a high level of interest and discussion about the use of our city streets for parking.

    At poll closure as of 8 am on Feb 3 we received 1661 number of votes, 93% said No to charging for motorcycle parking and 7% said Yes.

    Among the feedback received on social media key themes were:
    • the ease of travel by motorcycle compared to other forms of transport

    • motorcycles take up less street space for parking than cars

    • switching from a car to a...

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on motorcycle parking. It’s great to see such a high level of interest and discussion about the use of our city streets for parking.

    At poll closure as of 8 am on Feb 3 we received 1661 number of votes, 93% said No to charging for motorcycle parking and 7% said Yes.

    Among the feedback received on social media key themes were:
    • the ease of travel by motorcycle compared to other forms of transport

    • motorcycles take up less street space for parking than cars

    • switching from a car to a motorcycle will reduce congestion

    • the central city needs more motorcycle parking

    The draft parking policy will not be proposing any specific changes to day-to-day parking management. The aim is to provide a new framework to influence Council parking management decisions for at least the next decade, so your views on our quick polls are important. There are many competing demands for street space and the demand is highest in the central city. If we want an attractive, clean, and safe environment in which to walk, shop, dine and spend time then as the city grows we will need to make more room for other uses such as more public spaces for pedestrians, buses, bicycles and other forms of low carbon transport. This is likely to impact on how we travel and use parking spaces.

    Please continue to vote on our quick polls. They are just one of the ways we will be seeking your feedback on how we manage parking. In March we will be setting up in a number of suburban centres and in the city centre to talk to people about the proposals, so keep an eye out for us. You will also be able to have your say on our proposals through our formal public consultation.

    If you have registered here you will receive an email to tell you when the consultation is open.


  • Future of Parking Management

    14 days ago
    92861 0718

    What does the new policy mean for the management of parking?

    The Parking Policy and the Mobility Parking Policy provide the guiding principles for the management and supply of on-street and Wellington City Council-controlled off-street parking in Wellington City.

    It’s critical that how we think and make decisions around parking and how we prioritise the use of our streets for parking, fits with the future city.

    This is why we are taking a fresh look at our parking policies.

    Over 330 people have already given us their views via an online questionnaire about parking that was open between 28 May...

    What does the new policy mean for the management of parking?

    The Parking Policy and the Mobility Parking Policy provide the guiding principles for the management and supply of on-street and Wellington City Council-controlled off-street parking in Wellington City.

    It’s critical that how we think and make decisions around parking and how we prioritise the use of our streets for parking, fits with the future city.

    This is why we are taking a fresh look at our parking policies.

    Over 330 people have already given us their views via an online questionnaire about parking that was open between 28 May and 2 September 2019. Below are the highlights. The full report is available on the City Council website here or from the Useful Documents section of our page. But there's still a chance to have your say...


  • What you told us about parking in the central city

    3 months ago
    City centre photo

    Your feedback on the priorities for the allocation of street space to parking types/uses for the central city told us:

    • 58 percent of respondents felt bike parking should be a high priority
    • 54 percent of respondents felt mobility parking should be a high priority
    • 51 percent felt urban amenity features (such as street trees, plantings, seats, public art) should be a high priority
    • 52 percent also supported commuter parking not being a priority for street space allocation at all
    • 25 percent of respondents ranked commuter parking as a low priority.


    We talked about a number of solutions for when parking demand exceeds supply in the central city:

    • 30 percent of respondents included making it easier to get to the central city in other ways (walking, cycling, public transport) as one of their preferred options

    • The second highest option selected was to increase parking charges (16 percent of respondents).


    Your feedback on the priorities for the allocation of street space to parking types/uses for the central city told us:

    • 58 percent of respondents felt bike parking should be a high priority
    • 54 percent of respondents felt mobility parking should be a high priority
    • 51 percent felt urban amenity features (such as street trees, plantings, seats, public art) should be a high priority
    • 52 percent also supported commuter parking not being a priority for street space allocation at all
    • 25 percent of respondents ranked commuter parking as a low priority.


    We talked about a number of solutions for when parking demand exceeds supply in the central city:

    • 30 percent of respondents included making it easier to get to the central city in other ways (walking, cycling, public transport) as one of their preferred options

    • The second highest option selected was to increase parking charges (16 percent of respondents).


  • What you told us about parking in suburban town centres

    3 months ago
    Surburban town centre photo

    Your feedback on the priorities for the allocation of street space to parking types/uses for the suburban town centres told us:
    • 88 percent thought mobility parking should be a high or medium priority

    • 77 percent of respondents felt loading zones should be a high or medium priority

    • 69 percent of respondents felt that urban amenity features (such as street trees, plantings, seats, public art) as a high or medium priority

    • 76 percent of respondents felt that commuter parking should be a low priority or not a priority at all

    • For other types,...

    Your feedback on the priorities for the allocation of street space to parking types/uses for the suburban town centres told us:
    • 88 percent thought mobility parking should be a high or medium priority

    • 77 percent of respondents felt loading zones should be a high or medium priority

    • 69 percent of respondents felt that urban amenity features (such as street trees, plantings, seats, public art) as a high or medium priority

    • 76 percent of respondents felt that commuter parking should be a low priority or not a priority at all

    • For other types, responses were spread across different priorities (high, medium, low, not a priority) and showed no consensus view


    We talked about a number of solutions for when parking demand exceeds supply in the suburban town centres. The top three options selected by respondents were:

    • Make it easier to get to suburban town centre in other ways (walking, cycling, public transport) (25 percent)
    • Introduce time limits (18 percent)
    • Introduce charges (13 percent)

  • What you told us about parking in residential areas

    3 months ago
    J009448 0511

    Your feedback on the priorities for the allocation of street space to parking types/uses for residential areas told us:
    • 74 percent thought residents parking should be a high or medium priority

    • 70 percent of respondents felt mobility parking should be a high or medium priority

    • 86 percent of respondents felt that commuter parking should be a low priority or not a priority at all

    • For other types, responses were spread across different priorities (high, medium, low, not a priority) and showed no consensus view.


    We talked about a number of solutions for when parking demand exceeds supply in...

    Your feedback on the priorities for the allocation of street space to parking types/uses for residential areas told us:
    • 74 percent thought residents parking should be a high or medium priority

    • 70 percent of respondents felt mobility parking should be a high or medium priority

    • 86 percent of respondents felt that commuter parking should be a low priority or not a priority at all

    • For other types, responses were spread across different priorities (high, medium, low, not a priority) and showed no consensus view.


    We talked about a number of solutions for when parking demand exceeds supply in the residential centres:

    • 30 percent of respondents included making it easier to get to the central city in other ways (walking, cycling, public transport) as one of their preferred options

    • The second highest option selected was to increase parking charges (16 percent of respondents).



  • Further background on parking management in Wellington City

    3 months ago
    Adelaide road  wellington


    Wellington City Council adopted its first Parking Policy in 2007 to manage scarce public road space in a fair and balanced way that would benefit the city. It set overall principles and location-specific policies to guide the direction of our management and influence over the parking system. With less parking available, how the Council manages its remaining parking supply is even more important.

    The 2007 Parking Policy established the intended main use for on-street parking for different areas. On-street parking in the central city and suburban centres firstly supports retail and entertainment facilities, and secondly allows...


    Wellington City Council adopted its first Parking Policy in 2007 to manage scarce public road space in a fair and balanced way that would benefit the city. It set overall principles and location-specific policies to guide the direction of our management and influence over the parking system. With less parking available, how the Council manages its remaining parking supply is even more important.

    The 2007 Parking Policy established the intended main use for on-street parking for different areas. On-street parking in the central city and suburban centres firstly supports retail and entertainment facilities, and secondly allows for servicing and deliveries to buildings. On-street parking in the inner and outer suburbs mainly supports people who live in these areas so residents’ parking is prioritised over commuter and short-term parking.

    The parking management tools (ways we manage parking) vary across the city in order to support the intended main use for different areas, as set out in the Parking Policy.

    The range of methods we use to manage on-street parking includes: clearways, time limits, meter charges, class (type of vehicle) restrictions, coupon parking zones, and residents parking zones. For metered spaces, parking fees range from $2.50 to $4.50 per hour and time limits range from 2 to 10 hours.

    The 2007 Parking Policy adopted the internationally accepted standard of 15 percent vacancy (85 percent occupancy) as a target for our on-street parking. At this level, people can expect to find a park easily and the use of valuable street space is maximised.


    What do we want to achieve with an updated parking policy?

    We are looking for an updated parking policy that:

    • Provides guiding principles for the management of on-street and other Council-controlled parking, including mobility parking that are aligned with the wider vision for the city.
    • Is responsive to increasing parking pressures, flexible enough to respond to changing transport behaviours and makes use of evolving technology where appropriate.
    • Enables a consistent approach to managing parking across the city that is clear and easy to understand.


    The hidden costs of parking

    The parking fee is set at a level that we think will encourage the internationally accepted ideal of 85 percent occupancy. That means if we’ve got it right, 15 percent of the parking spaces should be available at any time. That fee does not compensate the city for a number of other costs related to providing parking – such as increased use of cars which has an impact on traffic congestion, more emissions affecting the environment and loss of space that could be used for other public uses such as wider footpaths, cycling or bus lanes, or outdoor dining space.


    Demand for parking is exceeding supply

    Demand for parking is increasing due to population growth (both within the city and in region), urban development, increased car ownership and many Wellington residents, commuters and visitors still rely on driving to get around. There is a tension between parking supply, availability, the use of public space and parking affordability. At the same time the supply of parking has decreased because of space being used for other things, such as construction work; road space used for alternative transport modes; the impact of the earthquake on parking buildings; and the increasing need to provide space for car share and electric vehicle charging.

    There is also competition for on-street parking between the various users of the parking system, for example between residents, commuters, motorcyclists, people with disabilities, shoppers and delivery drivers. This varies from area to area, times of day and days of the week. There may be opportunities to make better use of the space set aside for parking to ensure no parking spaces are ‘wasted’ (left empty for prolonged periods of time).


    Different parking management approaches

    Many European and American cities are using a range of different strategies to manage parking. Zurich, Hamburg, Oslo and New York have capped their total parking supply and London, Copenhagen and Paris are actively reducing the number of parking spaces. Tokyo has no on-street parking. These actions were mainly driven by air quality requirements, to reduce congestion, to encourage use of public transport and to stop cars driving into historic centres. Other approached to managing parking include:


    Pricing changes

    Parking mainly benefits the person using it and fees could reflect that. This could mean parking prices reflected the real-time market demand for the space, the cost of providing the infrastructure and the opportunity cost of the loss of space for other uses.

    Another option is dynamic or variable, market-based pricing where prices go up or down depending on demand at a particular time and in a particular area. People would pay for the time they use the space. Dynamic pricing generally means street space is used more efficiently, congestion reduces and there are opportunities to repurpose parking space for other uses.

    For example, the Gold Coast varies the cost of parking at various times, depending on demand and puts 50 percent of the revenue from parking fees towards improving public transport. Perth uses the income from their parking fees to provide free city centre bus travel. Nottingham City Council is the first council to introduce a targeted rate on private business parking. The revenue has funded a new light rail system.


    Space use is prioritised and targeted

    The Council could prioritise its parking supply to ensure people who cannot easily use public transport or active transport (such as walking or cycling) can easily get to essential facilities and services and to maintain the economic viability of retail centres. This could mean any of the following:

    • an increase of mobility parking and other designated-user parking spaces in certain areas,
    • parking at Council sports, parks and recreation facilities is prioritised for people using the facility
    • short-stay parking is provided in the central city and suburban centres
    • long-stay/commuter parking is discouraged in certain areas and/or
    • residents without off-street parking are prioritised with residents parking zones.


    Making sure the current parking is properly used

    In order to maximise the use of a limited resource the Council could make sure each space is used for the maximum amount of time, and that everyone has fair access to the spaces. This would mean continuing to enforce overstaying, permit parking and illegally parked vehicles. Where practical some parking spaces could be used for other things at different times, depending on demand. Applying an area-based approach when making decisions about changing parking management could help to manage overspill effects.


    Improve information and use technology

    New ways to pay, digital signage, real-time data and other technological innovations could help the Council to deliver its parking service more transparently and efficiently and could improve the user experience. Providing more information to the public about where, when and how long they can park will reduce congestion and should help people decide how to travel.


    What options are there for different ways to charge for parking?

    One option is dynamic pricing. This is a system that can react to demand for parking. Under this system charges are based on historical averages and how much current activity is varying from those averages. Based on the exact time and day, if the current parking space occupancy is lower than expected, discount prices can be put out. If the parking space occupancy is higher than expected, higher rates can be set. This method seeks to balance the supply and demand and improve the parking experience for customers. In Los Angeles, prices for parking are lower with dynamic pricing in 60 percent of parking spaces and higher in only 27 percent of spaces. San Francisco also has this system in place.

    However, the Council must follow set consultation and notification procedures and timeframes before making significant changes to fees. Therefore, even if the Council had the technology in place, under the current legislation and bylaw, it is not possible to have dynamic pricing.

    Another option is demand responsive pricing. This is similar to dynamic pricing and works by splitting the city into ‘parking areas’ with rates varying to reflect the demand for parking in each area and at peak and off peak times. At regular intervals, the prices are readjusted based on the occupancy levels observed in the previous quarter. The aim is to achieve 85 percent occupancy. Auckland City has demand responsive pricing in some parts of the city.