Parking evidence – retail spending 2019

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This is an update on my post from 2018.

There has never before been more car parking and it has never been cheaper to park in central Hamilton. However, the outcome is that Hamilton’s total electronic spending from 2018 to 2019 has increased from $1,865k to $1,891k (1.4%), while over the same period Hamilton central spending decreased from $659k to $648 (-1.6%). On average Hamilton central has been losing 1% of market share per year for the past decade. In 1968, *49.1% of Hamilton’s retail spending was in the central city. *Hamilton Central Area: A planning design study, by James A. Anderson. June 1973, p. 43

Meanwhile, in Christchurch, the Central City Business Association (CCBA) chairwoman Annabel Turley ​told The Press “There was a perception free parking brought in a lot of people” and “Parking always seems to be a barrier for people, whether it’s a true barrier or a perceived one”. In Hamilton the call for more car parking has been relentless for over half a century. This decade has resulted in having two thirds of Hamilton central city land area available for the storage of unused cars. In 1968 ‘A total of 7,394 legal parking spaces were available in the C.B.A. Of these, 3320 were in the Inner City and 4074 were located in fringe’. (Hamilton Transportation Study, Basic data report: p. 47). The 2010 Access Hamilton Parking Management Action Plan (PP) counted 16,450 parking spaces, ‘There are approximately 2,350 on-street car parking spaces in the CBD … In the CBD there are approximately 14,100’ (p8). These thousands of new car parking spaces need a lot of land.

The above image shows that close to two thirds of Hamilton central land is used for parking cars. To achieve this some businesses have been removed and from the 1990s to 2012 new businesses needed to comply with district plan minimum parking requirements. With each car parking space provided costing $20,000 to $40,000 (PP, p. 10), the city centre was not a place for entry-level businesses. Change is happening. But we do need to ask: when is there too much car parking?

Economic Development Committee – 10 March 2020 – Spending p219
Category: News

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