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Parking made simple with new high-tech signs

26 June 2006

Parking made simple with new high-tech signs

Drivers looking for short-term off-street parking in the CBD will have an easier time with Auckland City's launch of a new parking guidance system.

This week, in a first for the Auckland region, overhead electronic signs are being installed on six key arterial routes in Auckland's CBD, advising motorists of available spaces in parking buildings.

The signs will show the closest parking buildings in the vicinity, highlighting the number of available short-term spaces in each. When the buildings become full, the signs will update automatically.

Real-time information on the large road signs will be updated via radio link from the car park building every few minutes.

Councillor Richard Simpson, chair of the Transport and Urban Linkages Committee, says the signage system, which is used in the United Kingdom, has been proven to significantly reduce the number of motorists driving around looking for parking spaces.

"International experience tells us that this innovative technology really works to take cars off the road," says Mr Simpson.

"It'll mean a lot less stress for visitors looking for parking in the CBD."

He notes that the system is specifically designed for short-term visitors to the CBD.

"The new signs don't provide information for commuter car parking. We want to encourage people to use public transport when possible.

"It's all about giving people more transport choices, building on our work rolling out bus lanes city-wide, improving pedestrian and cyclist pathways and making it easier for people to get about the city."

The council invited all short-term parking providers in the CBD to participate in the project to give motorists the best possible parking information. The parking buildings are located; Downtown, Karangahape Road, Anzac Avenue, Victoria Street, Viaduct Harbour and at the Civic.

The parking guidance system, which cost around $300,000, is supported by the K'Rd Business Association and Heart of the City. Heart of the City chief executive and CBD board member Alex Swney says he is excited about the prospect of visitors getting better access to parking in the CBD.

"Optimising parking accessibility through this type of real-time signage is a proven international success that we are looking forward to seeing repeated here in Auckland," says Mr Swney.

The parking guidance signs link with the retail strategy Auckland City is developing to enhance and support the development of the CBD as a shopping destination.

Research about the CBD has shown that a number of impacting factors help create a world-class retail environment such as access into the area and parking. The signs will be installed on Quay, Wellesley, Fanshawe, Symonds, Nelson and Cook streets.

Auckland City is also investigating the possibility of hosting live parking information on the council website, allowing people to make informed choices about their short-term parking options before they visit the CBD.

The parking guidance signage is funded from the CBD targeted rate and is a key action from Auckland's CBD Into the future strategy, which aims to transform Auckland's CBD into one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

ENDS

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