Tools for flattening peak traffic and parking demand

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Below are two images showing the percentage of people who can work or study without travelling by car. 1 in 3 people living within a 15-minute walk of the centre of Hamilton do not need a car to get work, and 2 in 3 people do not need to use a car to get to their place of study. Near the university, 4 in 5 people do not need a car to get to campus. For about 1 in 5 people in Hamilton, the car is not an indispensable feature of everyday life.

There are four ways the city can reduce the use private vehicles at peak times of the day: encourage (and make safe) walking, cycling, taking the bus and working/studying from home. During the May 2020 Covid-19 level 3 situation, even though people could go to work, many still worked from home. From mid-May and during level 2, schools partly reopened. Total retail card spending was down 6% compared to May 2019, spending on fuel was down 35%, but spending on groceries and liquor (consumables) was up 12%.

Stats NZ – Card spending partially rebounds from April

Let’s say the 35% drop in spending on fuel means a third less driving and the 12% increase in consumables shows that driving less means that people spend more locally. Sadly food and beverage service, part of hospitality was down by 35%*, which is a big hit. However, this post’s focus is on people who work or study without needing to travel by car, and what May 2020 shows is that driving less increases local spending, while those who need to drive can still do so when they have to. It also shows that car parking is not an economic benefit. Using minimum parking requirements to force all new business to have an above-average car parking supply is a liability, not a benefit.

*Stats NZ releases Electronic card transactions May 2020

Level 4 – Stats NZ releases Electronic card transactions Apirl 2020

Category: News

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