Hamilton central 1980 vs 1990: Parking & Pedestrians

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[Words in square brackets are references to sources; e.g. yearbook and page]

The 1980s looked to be a good decade; a lot was happening in Hamilton Central:

1981 – completion of the Government Life building [1981 p7],

1985 – new Railway Shopping Centre (Centreplace) opened [1986 p5],

1986 – completion and occupation of the State Insurance Building [1986 p3]. Closure of Alexandra Street at Garden Place for Civic car-park construction [1986 p5 & p8],

1987 – Civic Car-park completed (246 public car-parks) [1987 p11 (1990 p22)] and new Farmers complex (627 public car-parks) [1988 p8 & 1990 p3 (1990 p22)],

1988Chase Development planned [1988 p5], 10-floor Council building  and 7-floor Bryant Trust building completed [1988 p8, 1990 p22].

The above image of Hamilton Central is dated 08/02/1991 and is from the Local Government Geospatial Alliance (LGGA) website, which has a large collection of aerial historical photos available.

The 1989 annual pedestrian survey (Library ref 711.74099334 ANN) page 5 reads like a CBD utopia: ”Whilst the pedestrian counts are down for Victoria Street, it is still the prime “corridor” in Hamilton as regards pedestrians … A second corridor has now emerged … Centre Place and Farmers have emerged as the nodes at each end. It is also noted this corridor coincides with the C.B.D.’s three parking buildings”

At the beginning of the 1980s, over 10,200 car parks were reported to exist in Hamilton Central. In the 1990s the ‘Parking in the Central Business District’ study counted 12,899 car parks, a 25% increase. So if increased parking supply really did attract more pedestrians, one would expect to find some evidence.

However, the 1991 annual pedestrian survey, Introduction, page 1, states:

“Results since 1981 – Some of the changes over this period are: general pattern of increasing pedestrian movement until 1985 but since then a decline in numbers” Note: It was from 1985 that the three car-parking buildings were opened.

Category: News

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