Cape Town proposes big extension of regulated parking
The City of Cape Town wants to introduce more than 3 300 new paid parking bays across Cape Town, with after-hours tariffs for parts of the CBD, Claremont, Observatory, Camps Bay and Strand.
This is part of the city's new parking plan, the tender for which goes out for public participation at the beginning of next month.
The city said it hoped the extra bays would boost economic activity in those areas and encourage more people to use public transport.
According to the city, the main reason for the paid system is that some motorists park in bays for hours, hurting business at nearby retailers. The new system would ensure that bays were more easily available.
The after-hours system aims to regulate parking at night and will address safety concerns raised by businesses which had approached the city to come up with a formal after-hours parking system.
The argument is that paid parking means a higher turnover of bays and more space for potential customers for retailers.
Apart from advertising the contract for new service providers, the new parking tender includes a proposal for at least 3 320 bays to add to the existing 4 990.
At the moment, motorists have to fork out for parking in bays in the city centre, Bellville, Claremont, Gordon's Bay, Sea Point, Somerset West and Strand.
With the new system, motorists would also be able to pay for parking with the city's electronic travel payment card.
Service providers would have hand-held meters to print detailed receipts. Currently motorists are given hand-written receipts.
The rates in the Cape Town CBD are R2.50 for 15 minutes, R5 for 30 minutes and R10 for an hour.
In Bellville and Claremont it costs R1.50 for 15 minutes, R3 for 30 minutes and R3 for every 30 minutes thereafter.
In Gordon's Bay, Somerset West and Strand it costs R2.50 for 15 minutes, R5 an hour and R2.50 for every 15 minutes thereafter.
In Sea Point motorists pay R2 for 15 minutes, R3.50 for 30 minutes and R3.50 for every 30 minutes thereafter.
Bellville has 550 bays, the Cape Town CBD 2 000, Claremont 240, Gordon's Bay 570, Sea Point 400 and Somerset West 260.
Strand has 500 bays and an additional 470 from December to April.
The new bays will be set up in the Athlone CBD (250), Bellville (970), Camps Bay (200), Green Point including Gallows Hill (200), Fish Hoek (470), the Kalk Bay harbour (200), Kloof Street near Gardens (200), Muizenberg (150), Newlands (100), Observatory (75), Parow (280), Rondebosch, including the library, (75) and Simon's Town (150).
Proposed suburbs and areas for paid-for after-hours parking: Camps Bay, Long Street, Greenmarket Square and surrounds, Cavendish Square and surrounds, the Jetty parking area in Strand, and Lower Main and Station roads in Observatory.
The current tenders expire at the end of June.
There are three service providers currently handling kerbside parking. The rates are set by the council.
In 2009, the city awarded Street Parking Solutions the tender for central Cape Town.
In Bellville, Claremont and Sea Point, Numque handles the system.
Ace operates in Gordons Bay, Somerset West and Strand.
Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater, said the new tender would probably be awarded early next year.
This depended on public participation, which would run from March 1 to 31.
Herron said the current contracts would be extended until the new agreements were finalised.
He explained that the after-hours tariff could apply between 5pm and midnight.
It was to "support busy restaurant areas".
"In most instances, business owners have made the requests, based on complaints they receive from customers.
"Weekend parking is alongside amenity areas where parking space is often utilised for the whole day, with no turnover of the parking space for other motorists.
"This can be very seasonal," said Herron.
The report from the city's transport department on the new tender was tabled at the Good Hope sub-council meeting on Monday.
Dave Bryant, ward councillor in the city centre, said the cost of parking was "quite problematic".
"It has escalated along with basic inflation, but it started off quite high."
Bryant's ward also includes the Foreshore, Gardens and Oranjezicht.
He told the sub-council it was especially difficult for motorists spending short periods in different parts of the city.
"If you're running errands from one side of the city to the other, you'll end up spending a lot of cash."
Bryant said sub-council chairman Taki Amira had earlier suggested a grace period where parking would be free for up to 20 minutes.
Bryant then suggested the city either postpone immediate tariff increases or reduce the cost by 25 percent.
Speaking to the Cape Argus, he said that in parts of the city centre, ad hoc car guards manned bays after hours.
With no set rates, motorists ended up paying as much as, or even more than, the daytime rate.
In some cases motorists hadbeen intimidated. And cars had also been vandalised.
"The parking marshals are our eyes and ears for security. They are linked to the CID (Central Improvement District)."
Marc Truss, the chief executive of the Oranjekloof and Green Point Central Improvement District, was at Monday's sub-council meeting to lend support to the after-hours tariff.
After the meeting Truss said the CID had noted an "influx" of car guards after hours.
"They can earn money, they have a captive audience. It's not formalised. If you monitor parking after hours, you have no more damage to motor vehicles or theft," said Truss.
He said this did not mean motorists would have to fork out much more. There could be a flat rate - R10 for instance.
"This is not to make money, but to provide a service at a nominal rate," said Truss.
Tasso Evangelinos, the chief operations officer of the Central City Improvement District, agreed that the evening parking operation would have to be very different from the current one.
The biggest benefits from implementing it would be standardising parking after hours, and job creation, while motorists would have peace of mind.
"There will be a person, in uniform, linked to either us or Cyclops (cameras). It will regulate the space."
After-hours parking has been proposed for the area around Cavendish Square, and Ian Iversen, the ward councillor, supported the plan.
He said that over weekends, stores were negatively affected when motorists parked in bays for the entire day.
The new system would also be an incentive for motorists to leave their cars at home.
"The bottom line is people need to start using public transport."
In the Athlone central business district, 250 bays have been suggested. Suzette Little, the ward councillor for the area, said there were very few parking bays in Athlone and the bulk were not in the CBD.
"Athlone CBD is one of the areas of development," said Little.