Those coming into town at night for some shopping, theatres, footy or to sample our great restaurants are in for a rude shock this month, as Doyle rolls out the $4 night rate fee. This is to pay for the Doyle St redevelopment, ahem, Swanston St redevelopment amongst other things.
What it should pay for is an upgrade to our parking meters city wide. It's about time that all our parking meters accepted other forms of payments besides coins. Credit cards and eftpos is a good start, and eventually myki payment should be added if that thing ever starts working properly on trams and buses.
Let's not stop there though, parking meters should be a lot smarter. Technology is available for parking meters to send reminders to our mobile phones before they are about to expire. Shouldn't this be also installed? Or are council's addicted to parking fines, as I suspect they are.
Another area that the City of Melbourne is lacking in is published information on all the different parking zones within the CBD. Is it possible for maps to label where 2 hour parking zones, 4 hour parking zones and 1/2 parking zones are? Can this information be brought together in an iphone or web application?
The City of Melbourne has a lot of work to do to justify it's new parking levy. Adding smart parking features, might bring them back some kudos. Some food for thought.