On-street parking meters will be switched off in North Hobart while improvements are made to the popular retail and dining precinct.
Council tonight unanimously endorsed a report outlining actions to be undertaken in response to a recent petition and the outcomes of the North Hobart Place Vision.
These includes the temporary hooding of meters in Elizabeth Street and development of a Precinct Plan in consultation with traders, residents and other stakeholders.
A program of minor improvement works to enhance the local amenity for residents and visitors will include landscaping, replacement of ageing signage, and the redevelopment of Swan Street Park.
The resolution allows the CEO to make amendments to parking times and signage as needed in key on-street parking zones. Opportunities to increase off-street parking supply will also be progressed, including the extension of the Lefroy Street carpark and work to establish agreements with private parking owners, and digital signage will provide information about parking availability.
In addition, the City will explore and implement options to encourage a range of transport modes, including trialling low-cost micromobility options.
CEO Kelly Grigbsy, who presented the report to Council, said while data showed parking activity had increased since the introduction of the parking meters, the City could not discount the experiences reported by traders.
“Traders have told us that visitor numbers are significantly down,” Ms Grigsby said. “It’s important that the City takes steps to alleviate this through parking and business support options, and it’s appropriate that the meters be switched off in the interim.
“We are committed to working alongside North Hobart traders to review parking arrangements going forward.”
Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said balancing the needs of the community in relation to parking was complex.
“We brought in parking meters to address complaints about food delivery vehicles filling up Elizabeth Street parking spots,” Cr Reynolds said. “We’ll continue working with residents and traders to find the best solutions to help the area thrive.”
Paid parking during peak times was introduced in May as part of a suite of parking changes that included reducing parking fees in off-street parking and making it free after 6pm, and increasing parking time limits in Elizabeth Street to 30 minutes (previously 15 minutes).
The City of Hobart will work with North Hobart traders to develop a marketing campaign to attract more people to the precinct.
“The campaign will be developed under our popular Hello Hobart initiative, to highlight all the great things about visiting North Hobart,” Cr Reynolds said.