The Proposed Parking Management Plan for Palmerston North recommends changes over the next three years intended to help make the city a better place to live.
The Council's senior transportation engineer, Glenn Connelly prepared the plan. He says: "Palmerston North City Council is committed to our vision to be recognised as a vibrant, caring, innovative, sustainable and prosperous city. The way we manage parking can help us to achieve that goal.
"Parking is about more than just getting a spot outside a shop. It is about putting people first and reducing the dominance of vehicles in our streets."
The changes recommended in the plan will help achieve this, he says.
The Council is already trialling two parking initiatives designed to make it easier and more appealing for people to spend longer in the CBD. Until the end of April, CBD parking on Saturday mornings is free until 11am. And time limits in metered spaces have been extended from two hours to three until the end of June.
Recommendations in the plan include introducing time limits to streets in the Pak 'n' Save, Plaza and IRD area, to prevent commuters from taking up all the parking spaces and leaving no on-street parking for local residents and their visitors.
The plan also proposes extending existing time limits in the wider hospital area to address heavy on-street parking demand.
Residents in these areas can apply for a permit to allow them to park on the street without having to comply with the time restrictions.
Mr Connelly says that in relation to off-street car parks and parking associated with retail activities, it is not productive to have excessive amounts of unused parking.
Council wants its car parks to be an effective use of the land and proposes to adjust the parking fees and time limits to increase use. For example, street parking fees could be reduced for meters along King, Linton, Walding and Cuba Streets.
"Reducing the parking fees in conjunction with removing time limits may help alleviate commuter overspill, retain residential amenity and better support local businesses."
The plan proposes trialling one hour's free parking in metered spaces within the King Street Car Park. It also recommends considering alternative uses for the off-street carparks in Ngata and Amesbury Streets. Other proposals include promoting leased parking and reviewing the number of mobility parks and loading zones.
Council is keen to find out what people think of the plan and the two parking trials. The final proposals will be brought before the full Council once feedback has been considered.
The Proposed Parking Management Plan for Palmerston North is available on the Council website at pncc.govt.nz/parking. Consultation is open until 19 April 2016.