Hamilton Central 1968 – Parking, Traffic, Pedestrians

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Car parking supply in Central Hamilton increased by more than 120% from 1968 to 2009, while the number of vehicles counted in the city centre increased by more than 40 percent, and the number of pedestrians counted along Victoria Street decreased by over three quarters. If increased parking supply really did attract more pedestrians, one would expect to find some evidence.

About 130 car parks were removed from central Hamilton in mid 1967. A year later, “the 1968 ‘Hamilton Transportation Study’ found a net excess of parking spaces in the C.B.D. as a whole of 1,317” (Anderson p22, explanation at end of this post). The 1968 Hamilton Transportation Study’s basic data report (Table 13, p48), counted 7,394 car spaces in the CBD and its fringe, while the 2009 ‘Access Hamilton Parking Management Action Plan’ counted 16,450 car parks in the CBD; 2,350 on-street (p5) and 14,100 off-street (p6). The total of 16,450 car parks in the CBD is an increase of 122% on 1968.

The 1968 study included a map of traffic counts in Hamilton Central. I can match most of these to Hamilton annual traffic count locations: (28, 66, 75, 76, 80, 109, 110, 112, 114, 116, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 206, 207, 208, 211, 212). In 1968 the count was 169,700 vehicles per day (vpd). In 2009 the count was 241,500 vpd; an increase of 42%.

In the 1973 report  Hamilton Central Area – A Planning Design Study by James A Anderson, Figure 14 (between pages 21 and 22) shows the Victoria Street pedestrian counts from 1965, 1967 and 1969. To this I have added pedestrian counts from 2009 (Sourced p27 of this link)

The pedestrian surveys must be kept in perspective; one to three years is too short a period to develop or hypothesise trend or change. It is up to you, the reader, to judge for yourself if you think the 1967 change to Garden Place was a success, and whether the 122% increase in total car parking supply over the sequent 40 years is evidence of car parking attracting more pedestrians.

The folowing information is from the June 1973 report  Hamilton Central Area – A Planning Design Study by James A Anderson, page 22

“The 1968 ‘Hamilton Transportation Study’ found a net excess of parking spaces in the C.B.D. as a whole of 1,317 … This was calculated by computing the effective supply of spaces by zone, reducing this by 20% as a ‘cushion’ factor to allow for occupancy changes at metered spaces, and a reserve supply for unusual demands, and relating it to demand. Demand was calculated from the number of vehicle trip destinations to each zone indicated by a home interview survey, adjusted by a ‘peak parking characteristic’ derived from the relationship between the largest number of vehicles parked at one type and the total number of vehicles parked during the day. The latter date was supplied by field surveys.”



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