Banning camper vans from Queenstown’s CBD and freeing up 60 parking spaces in the Church St car park for the public are among the “bold moves” to be considered by councillors.
In a report to Thursday’s full council meeting, infrastructure head planner Tony Pickard proposes a raft of changes to address congestion and parking issues in the resort.
Pickard says there are several short-term measures which would have an instant impact and keep traffic moving in and around the town centre.
Congestion is, in part, caused by drivers circling looking for parking spaces and partly by inappropriate parking.
“To keep things moving it is necessary to remove the cause of some problems, which are large camper vans that are parking in unsuitable sized and positioned spaces, and increase the level of turnover in short-term car parking spaces.”
Pickard recommends reversible solutions be trialled over winter. If successful, they would be made permanent.
That includes prohibiting camper vans from parking in the CBD, with signage directing drivers to nominated and suitably provisioned parks, for example, in Boundary St.
“This will allow a specific provision for camper van parking (in close proximity to the town centre) which increases in the summer period.
“This scheme will include Boundary St and the spaces adjacent to the library.
“At night, the central space will be utilised for overnight bus and coach parking and the camper van bay against Gorge Rd will be made available for overnight parking of smaller buses.”
Parking in the CBD would be retained at the 2015 level, to compensate for the loss of 24 car parks over recent months and 60 spaces would be freed up in the council’s Church St car park – which also leases spaces commercially – for public use.
The additional 36 spaces would allow “further changes in the CBD to occur without an overall loss”.
“These spaces will be made by moving leased spaces to a private provider within the town centre. A review of charging levels for these spaces and all parking within the CBD will be commenced in June 2016.”
Pickard recommends “seasonal time limits” be introduced in some short-term parks within the CBD to cater for skiers dropping off equipment.
Increased levels of enforcement is needed to managed parking time slots, his report says.
“It is noted that a balance must be struck between being too heavy-handed by ruining the visitor’s experience in Queenstown and the wider aim of keeping traffic moving.
“Stricter adherence to the time limits enforced by greater numbers of staff will assist this, as staff can direct vehicles to these shorter-term parks.”
While other modes of transport are being encouraged by the council, Pickard says officers are in talks with the Queenstown Trails Trust to make this “more realistic”.
Work includes identifying locations for cycle shelters and facilities. However, more work would be done before the next summer season.
Otago Daily Times