6 May 2020
Parking improvements to be rolled out in Alert Level 2
Council has been working on improvements to inner city parking during COVID-19 Alert Levels 4 and 3, these will be rolled out when we move to Alert Level 2.
Improvements have been made to the parking machine instructions, the car parking building, and the parking app, which is ready to launch.
There has been no enforcement of parking during Levels 4 and 3, other than responding to parking safety issues.
“The reason we manage parking is to ensure adequate supply through turnover, ensuring that shoppers have equal access to businesses as a way to support those businesses,” says Rotorua Lakes Council’s Operations Group Manager Jocelyn Mikaere.
When parking in the CBD, customers will need to start paying for parking again from Day 1 of Alert Level 2 (date to be confirmed by Government). Free P60 parks remain down most of Tutanekai Street and on the outskirts of the CBD.
Mrs Mikaere also said when Alert Level 3 was initially announced (prior to Level 4) Council continued with its enforcement of parking as per our Parking Policy. This resulted in a number of infringements being issued over 24/25 March.
“Now that we have more information and a better understanding about the impact of Alert Level 3, we have decided to waive, and where already paid, refund any infringements received.”
The Pukuatua Street Parking Building will also begin operating with its upgraded technology and layout approximately two weeks from Day 1 of Alert Level 2. To find out about the building’s new parking options visit http://www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html and read more about the upgrade below.
Customers that have outstanding parking infringements will be given two weeks from Day 1 of Alert Level 2 to pay these before they are escalated further. To pay or dispute an infringement visit http://www.i-park.co.nz/rotorua.html.
Amnesty period to improve user experience
In February, Council’s Operations and Monitoring Committee received a presentation on parking from Group Manager – Infrastructure, Stavros Michael. A number of initiatives were presented, aimed at improving the user experience.
One key initiative was an amnesty period for people who would otherwise have received a $40 non-payment fine, or who had received a fine of this type for the first time and were disputing it on the grounds of ambiguity.
“The amnesty period ran from 14 February 2020 through to 21 March 2020. During this time 1,310 warnings were issued to customers who had not paid for their parking. During this period a total of 1,915 tickets were issued, including to people who had already received a warning or previous ticket around having to pay for parking. Where a ticket has been issued, payment is expected.
“Now the amnesty period has ended, warnings will no longer be issued once enforcement resumes at Alert Level 2,” says Mrs Mikaere.
The following improvements have recently been made to the parking system.
Reduced parking rate in some existing all day parking areas
Some existing all day paid parking areas will change to $4 per day (down from $8 per day) to relieve pressure on CBD workers. These will become new ‘Pink Zones’. Council plans to have these new zones up and running as soon as possible during Alert Level 2.
Mrs Mikaere says, “Council recognises the need to provide all day parking for CBD workers while ensuring that visitors to the city are able to easily find parks to visit our attractions and shops. Council also recognises that the impact of Covid-19 is likely to lower the number of visitors to the city and we are unsure what parking demand will look like over the next six months. We will reassess parking across the city in line with our parking policy in approximately six month’s time.”
Parking machine screens
The layout of the parking machine instruction screens has been updated following feedback and as part of our continuous improvement approach. The new layout is more user friendly and the screens now provide more information about how to use the parking system and includes new reminder prompts.
An updated information brochure has been developed for users which includes general parking information. This brochure will be kept at Council’s customer centre and is also available online. Our Safe City Guardians will deliver copies to inner city businesses who can provide them to customers if required.
Mobile app ready to launch
The parking app will be ready to download through app stores by Alert Level 2.
Mrs Mikaere says, “We acknowledge that in the current environment, an additional, contactless payment option will be valued by users and we are working to make the app publicly available as soon as possible.”
Improvements to Pukuatua Street parking building
Council has continued working in partnership with i-Park to initiate a number of improvements to the Pukuatua Street parking building. These are now ready and will be operational approximately 2 weeks into Alert Level 2.
The improvements include:
- New lease and permit holder parking options (reduced rate for longer term commitment).
- Cameras that detect vehicles’ number plates for easy entry/exit have been installed.
- New floor layout so reserved car park users are on the lower level(s) and casual parkers are on the top floors.
- New payment facilities for casual parkers have been installed.
- Automatic entry/exit barrier arm. This eliminates tickets and swipe cards.
- Fresh internal paint, improved lighting and CCTV cameras are in progress.