Category Archives: News

Hamilton Central 1968 vs early 1980s: Parking & Pedestrians

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The 1968 Transportation Study counted 7,394 car parks in Hamilton Central. In 1982, the ‘Parking in the Central Business Area report’ counted 10,204 car parks, a 38% increase. So if increased parking supply really did attract more pedestrians, one would expect to find some evidence.

There were a number of noteworthy events in the 1970s, including the 1973 international oil crisis, Locally, Chartwell Square was built in 1974, the Government Life building was added to the city skyline, and there was no pedestrian counts till the end of the decade, when Council restarted them.

The following quote is from the Annual Pedestrian Survey Hamilton, Central Business District – 1981, conducted by the Corporate Planning Department. “This Survey was done in response to a discontinuation – after 1970 – of pedestrian surveys conducted by the NZ Institute of Valuers. Prior to this study a pilot study was conducted with a limited number of counts along Victoria Street to test the methodology of the survey. The 1981 survey was done after the completion of the Government Life building” (p8). The image below shows the 1968 study results for Victoria Street, to which I have added the 1980s & 2010 counts and below that, I done the same to 1981 fig 3.

It is very easy to say that Chartwell Square had an effect on the attractiveness of Hamilton Central. The comments in the pedestrian survey say nothing about Chartwell Square, or effect on Hamilton Central, but the report writer does say that because the “survey techniques adopted by the [1968 survey] are not consistent with those adopted by this Department, care must be taken in comparing data and drawing subsequent conclusions relating to changes or trends in pedestrian traffic”.

Through the 1970s, the Hamilton Central parking supply increased by 38%, the population of Hamilton increased by over 20%, and in 1974 the Chartwell Square shopping mall opened. As a comparison, in the Dutch City of Groningen, the Paddepoel shopping centre opened in 1969; in 1976 the Dukenburg shopping centre opened near Nijmegen; and in 1978 the Kronenburg shopping centre opened near Arnhem. The 1970s was a popular decade for the creation of suburban shopping malls.

Category: News

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.”



Category: News