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Free inner city parking receiving a positive response

News Release
Monday 9 December 2013

Free inner city parking receiving a positive response

Free parking for up to two hours in Rotorua’s inner city is now a reality, however some parkers still do not quite believe their luck.

The P120 zones in the Heart of the City are part of the Rotorua District Council’s (RDC) Park Rotorua programme. Longer-term metered and unlimited-time parking options are available on the city fringes and the carpark building on Pukuatua St.

The council’s Inner City Enterprises manager, Nick Dallimore, says the first week of the free P120 parking has gone well, with lots of positive feedback, although he says some parkers in the free parking zones still “don’t believe it’s real”.

“People still can’t quite comprehend that they no longer need to rummage for those spare coins floating around in the car in order to park in the inner city.

“We’ve watched some parkers still trying to feed the meters in the free P120 zone, despite the metal plates blocking the coin slot. It’s not a trick, it really is free – for a maximum of two hours anyway.”

Meters within the P120 zones have had bright orange-coloured metal plates fixed on the front and back, reminding people that they are in the free parking zone and how long they are able to park for free. RDC is currently working through those meters, removing their batteries and decommissioning them for the 18 month trial period.

Parking spaces in the city use innovative in-ground wireless sensors that detect when a space is occupied and for how long, sending alerts to parking wardens about overstayers. The free P120 zones will be firmly enforced so as to provide better and fair parking for all inner city users.

Mr Dallimore says the new free P120 zones do mean a change for some people, particularly those who were used to feeding a metre so they could park all day.

“Initiatives like free P120 parking are absolutely critical if we are to revitalise our heart of the city and bring shoppers back. If our inner city shops are busy with customers who are able to park outside for free for a reasonable period of time, then we will all benefit.

“There are still plenty of longer-term paid and unpaid parking options on the outskirts of the inner city, as well as the Pukuatua Street Parking Building.”

The Park Rotorua programme has been developed to help revitalise Rotorua’s Heart of the City and as a direct response from community feedback on the current Annual Plan.


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