From Monday, visitors to certain parts of the CBD will only be allowed to park for a maximum of three hours – but already there appears to be a loophole in the way the new rules will be enforced.
The new P180 time zones will be in parts of Elizabeth Street, Durham Street, Grey Street, Devonport Road, Spring Street and Willow Street.
The time restrictions mean a vehicle can be parked for a total of three hours on any one day in those streets. The parking meters will not accept payment for the same vehicle to be parked in the time restricted zone beyond three hours.
However, people can still pay for a second three hour block using the PayMyPark app or website.
Tauranga City Council bylaws and parking team leader Stuart Goodman admits people will be able to do this, but parking officers will be on the lookout for over-stayers.
“So even if you’ve paid for the extra time, you can still get a ticket if you’re parking for more than three hours in the same zone.”
However, a source within the council told SunLive parking officers would have to chalk every vehicle that parks in these streets in order to monitor the situation.
Stuart says elected members have been looking for a way to make sure parking spaces are readily available for people who drive into town for shorter visits (things like shopping or business appointments).
“They are hoping that a three-hour time restriction will discourage those who work in the city from parking in the core retail area.”
He says time restrictions are one aspect of a broader discussion elected members have been having about car parking in the city centre.
“Other options considered by elected members were changing parking fees in the core retail area so it becomes more expensive the longer you stay; and extending the weekday parking charging period for the entire city centre from the existing 9am-3pm to 8am-6pm.”
The cost of parking on the street will remain $2 an hour. People will be able to go away and come back to park in the CBD several times a day, so long as it is not for more than three hours at a time.