New parking system hits the street on Monday

By Peter Tiffany

Look for these new parking zone signs in Hamilton CBD. Photo / Peter Tiffany
Look for these new parking zone signs in Hamilton CBD. Photo / Peter Tiffany

Drivers, be prepared for Hamilton City's new street parking system when you come into town from Monday.

Only the first two hours parking is free - even if you move your vehicle to another spot.

After that it is $6 an hour but you can get a refund if you don't use all the time - if you pay through the council's new parking phone app.

The hi-tech parking scheme will allow drivers in the CBD to park for free for the first two hours at on-street metered parking or pay and display parks from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday. The $6 an hour fee will apply for every hour after the first two hours are up.

The two hours can be in one park or in a combination of parking spots. How will the traffic wardens know if you move from one spot to another?

The system will record your car details and share that information with traffic wardens across the city.

Members of the Hamilton Civic Choir will acting as on-street ambassadors and assisting the city's parking wardens to tell people about the change.The choir has been selected to perform at New York's Carnegie Hall and Sally Rosenberg, the choir's chair, says members are delighted to be involved in the parking promotion.

"We are incredibly proud to be representing Hamilton in New York, and helping spread the word about two hours free parking in the CBD is not only helping the city, it's a great way for us to let people know about the choir. Keep an eye out for choir members in our 'two hour free' tee-shirts and wish us luck in New York," Ms Rosenberg said.

Sensors already installed in more than 1000 metered parking bays across the city will notify wardens when a vehicle has parked.

A warden will go to that parking spot and scan your vehicle's registration plate. The system logs when that car was parked and shares that information with all the traffic wardens.

"The sensors detect when a vehicle parks on them," a council staffer told Hamilton News. "At that stage, you don't know which vehicle it is you just know a vehicle is there," he said.

"The wardens then go round and their hand-held devices scan the registration of those cars. Every parking bay has a number, so the warden will go into the street and it will register the vehicle in that park.

"They will be able to know how long a vehicle has been in that park for. Once the vehicle is logged into the system it logs that vehicle has been in the CBD for this period of time."

If a vehicle moves to another parking bay, the time from their previous park will still be logged for that day.

If they have free parking time left then this will be transferred to the new park. You will have to pay the $6 an hour fee when the free two hours is up The council is encouraging drivers to install the PayMyPark app which allows them to pay for parking from their phones.

If you finish your park early you will receive a refund via the app. Using the app you can receive an alert when your paid parking is about to expire and extend your time remotely. The app is available through Apple App Store or Google Play.

The trial will be reviewed before the end of June 2018.

A review of parking was one of the elements of the Central City Transformation Plan, a long-term approach to enhance the central city. The CCTP has a number of key outcomes and goals:

- It will attract more people to work and live in the central city

- An economically prosperous commercial core is essential for any city

- The central city is an attractive destination for everyone to use and enjoy

- An activated riverfront promotes enjoyment of the river and benefits the community.

- Hamilton News

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