Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Councillors last night formally approved a project unveiled earlier this year to modernise the way parking is managed across the city.
The new technology will be rolled out from 1 July to 30 October this year and will include the introduction of in ground sensors, license plate recognition systems, a pay by phone trial and updated hand held devices for parking officers.
Database Consultants Australia was the successful tenderer and will deliver all elements of the project. The one off cost to City of Melbourne for the introduction of the new technology is $5.48 million, which will be spent in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 financial year budgets.
Details of the new technology and when it will be rolled out is below:
• In ground sensors - a device that records when a vehicle moves in and out of a parking bay. A five minute grace period will be built in and once a vehicle has overstayed the limit a signal will be sent to the nearest parking officer’s hand-held device. The in ground sensors will be progressively rolled out to 4,619 single marked bays across the CBD from 1 July to 30 October.
• Licence plate recognition systems – image processing technology used to identify a vehicle via its number plate in some residential areas. The system consists of a high speed digital camera, integrated GPS system and optical character recognition software. Two systems will be in operation in Flemington, Kensington, North Melbourne and Carlton. The license plate recognition technology will be on the road from 1 July.
• Pay by Phone trial – will allow motorists to pay for on street parking using a mobile telephone. The current coin option using existing machines and meters will remain in place. The trial will take place in a small section in the northern end of the city from 1 September.
• Updating hand held devices - will be used by Council officers to receive a message only when a vehicle has overstayed the time restrictions (plus the grace period). A person still issues the fine; the hand-held device only alerts them that a vehicle has overstayed. The new hand held devices will be in operation from 1 July.
There will be an impact on the parking and traffic branch in terms of the way it does business and staff and unions have been consulted about the changes over the last few months.
To coincide with the rollout of new technology, the City of Melbourne will engage in a community information campaign, including signs indicating where sensors operate, information for local traders and residents, and advertising across publications and websites.