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Review of parking in Lower Hutt moves into second gear

Review of parking in Lower Hutt moves into second gear

Hutt City Council’s Policy and Regulatory Committee this week gave the green light to continue work on a city-wide parking policy, which is part of a wider review of parking in Lower Hutt.

Parking policies are recognised internationally as doing much more than efficiently and safely managing parking and traffic flow in the mid-term.

Council Divisional Manager Strategy and Planning Wendy Moore says: “done well, it can add to the local economy and make the city a healthier and more pleasant place to live, and these are key and clear objectives we’re working towards.”
She says an important consideration will be reducing the number of private cars on the road in favour of public transport, cycling and walking.

“While this might not be a popular topic for many drivers, the reality of the not-so-distant future is likely to include the need to face up to our carbon emissions and cut down on our use of cars.

“And high traffic volumes don’t fit well with idea of creating a liveable and vibrant city. There are other options and this is what we are exploring now.”
The policy is being designed to support Council’s plans for shaping and rejuvenating the city in a rapidly changing world. It will need to be flexible enough to take into account emerging technologies like driverless cars and the growing fleet of electric cars. It also needs to consider projected fluctuating and higher energy prices, climate change constraints and population growth and an aging population.

Cities like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have already grasped the importance of parking policies in shaping their cities.

The committee has agreed to the first stage of the policy, which covers its objectives and the ways different tools to manage parking, like pricing and time restrictions, can be used to manage parking availability and traffic flows. It also looks at the types of parking users, such as drivers with disabilities, local residents, commuters and cyclists.

Stage two will consider how the ways to control parking can be used in specific situations and parts of the city and what kind of users may get priority access to parking.

Like the first stage, work on the second will include wide public consultation including workshops and public meetings.

A proposed policy will be available for public consultation by the end of the year.

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