Queenstown motorists might soon be paying for carparks up to 10pm.
At its meeting tomorrow the local council is considering a year-long trial of extended parking hours.
In June, council staffers were asked to investigate the implications of extending the restricted parking hours from 6pm to 10pm nightly, requiring extra enforcement.
Infrastructure principal planner Tony Pickard says in his report to councillors the main issue in the resort’s CBD was the lack of available parking between 6pm and 10pm for “short-time users”, for example diners, resulting from people parking for long periods.
No parking wardens patrol after 6pm.
Advice was sought from the police on the chance of increased risk to council staff, but it was believed there would be “minimal health and safety concerns”.
Business lobby group DowntownQT was also consulted. It highlighted the main motivation for businesses would be to release car parks taken up by evening workers, freeing them up for diners.
“However, there was a preference for a mix of parking times, with 120 minutes being a suitable length of parking period for diners, rather than the existing time-restricted parking.”
The report says existing parks available, ranging from 10 minutes to two hours, were considered “an appropriate mix” and if more specific 120-minute parks were introduced it could be “confusing” for customers to have the change of rules after 6pm.
“It is recommended to extend the current rules and times for a longer period, i.e. 10pm.
“The extended period would also align with the intention of the current trials to increase the availability of parking spaces.”
Pickard says the trial would require increased patrols, as well as involving an extra work load for administration staff.
He says two staff should be employed for the duration of the trial. That would cost about $82,000, taking into account staff time, ticket machines and body cameras.
If accepted by the council, the trial would start at the beginning of October and require 19 parking meters around the CBD to be set to charge for the extra hours.
Otago Daily Times