Queenstown CBD Parking Changes
As part of the Queenstown Town Centre Transport Strategy QLDC has been making a number of changes to parking in Queenstown’s CBD, aimed at reducing congestion and freeing up parks for locals and visitors alike.
Signs have been erected indicating a ‘no return within one hour’ restriction across the CBD. This divides the CBD into ten zones and means that drivers will be prohibited from parking within the same zone for one hour after their first parking period has expired.
This change is being made to address the practice of people who swap parks throughout the day, effectively meaning that they park in the CBD all day in parks designated for short term parking. Council is aware some people need to come into town on multiple occasions throughout the day, and this is why the exclusion period has been set at one hour.
All loading zones are being changed to dual purpose Loading Zone/Taxi Stands. The signage will be changed from blue to red so drivers, particularly visitors, don’t mistake them for short term parking.
Buses parking in lower Beach St and beyond Steamer Wharf on Lake Esplanade will be allowed a longer stay of 60 minutes between 6pm and 10pm, with a 15 minute restriction during the day. Parking for smaller buses will now be allowed in lower Beach St in what was a Loading Zone beside Earnslaw Park. Like the loading zones around the Town Centre, these locations will be designated as No Parking except for these buses.
Further to these changes, over the next month or so, 33 spaces are to be provided for campervans at the Boundary Street car park along with road signage. It is hoped that this, along with increased road signage will reduce the number of campervans taking up space in the CBD.
QLDC is also freeing up 60 car parks in its underground Church Street carpark by shifting leased parks to the privately owned Man Street carpark on October 7th, and making those spaces available to the public.
A new winter 15 minute parking restriction is being trialed in the CBD between the hours of 3 – 6pm to help ensure there are parks free for people picking up and dropping off their ski gear at the end of the day. This will revert back to the current 30 minute parking by 31 October.
Finally, QLDC is also extending the evening parking enforcement hours in CBD from 6pm to 9pm, commencing 3 October 2016. This is a twelve month trial to help understand the impact on parking availability.
Council’s decision to Extend the parking enforcement hours to 9pm in the Queenstown CBD is part of a multi-pronged approach aimed at freeing up parks and reducing congestion across the town centre.
A significant amount of the congestion in the CBD is caused by a lack of available parking, which causes cars to circle the town centre looking for parks. While this problem does reduce somewhat after the afternoon rush, it doesn’t disappear completely, and as such we are trialling extended enforcement hours to see if it increases the turnover of parks. We have consulted with local businesses, including Downtown QT.
The issue isn’t necessarily due to the amount of parking spaces on the whole, but more to do with how they are being used. One of the aims of this trial is to keep the turnover of vehicles higher, so that more people can share the available parking.
People have a number of different requirements in relation to parking in the CBD and as such there are a number of options available, from the 240 minutes allowed in Athol Street and the 120 minutes on Camp Street / Earle Street / Marine Parade – down to catering for those people who just need a quicker visit in other zones.
It is important to remember that all of this is part of a trial, and as such if the measures aren’t successful in achieving the improvements we’re looking for, they can be reversed. The issue of parking isn’t an easy problem to solve, but we’re taking steps to address it, both in the short and longer term.