Where did 2010 go? As we once again reach the end of another year, we take a few minutes to look back on the main events of the year that was.
In 2010 we started recovering from the GFC, with the industry as a whole innovating and searching for new ways to deliver a more efficient service. In Australia, the Government announced a number of parking-related plans; the release of the NSW ‘Transport Blueprint’ and subsequent independent reports (including the ‘Christie Report’ and other research commissioned by the Sydney Morning Herald); the announcement of an airport parking costs review following the ACCC’s report into airport activity; the introduction of on-street car sharing spaces and reduction in the minimum parking requirements in residential buildings offset by car sharing; as well as introduction of bicycle lanes and planning in capital cities and budgets.
Demand for infrastructure continues to increase, with the Opposition calling for the introduction of congestion charging in Sydney; demand for parking in Melbourne growing exponentially; construction costs for parking lots in Australia comparative to many large cities globally; and rates for parking in Sydney and across Australia amongst the most expensive in the world. As we receive reports from China of huge problems in traffic and congestion due to rocketing car ownership, Sydney was rated as the worst Australian city to drive in; with Perth the best. A staggeringly record price for a parking space was paid in Bondi this year, reaching over $240,000.
The International Parking Institute launched a PR program called ‘Parking Matters’ aimed at educating and raising the profile and the importance of parking as an industry.
Digital technology had a significant impact on the industry in the year with the release of a significant number of phone and web applications for parking, the roll out of parking guidance systems and on-street monitoring systems being introduced in Port Macquaire; and most notably San Francisco, where the SFPark program is set to adjust parking prices on a real time basis depending on demand and report via internet to drivers searching for vacant spots.
We reported on a number of green industry causes during the year, including the introduction of car sharing programs in Sydney, Melbourne and around the world, introduction of electric car infrastructure in Canberra, Adelaide and Sydney and bicycle sharing programs in Melbourne, London, New York and Holland. Last week we reported on an exciting development in the return of carbon credits to bicycle sharing scheme users in New York, which may revolutionise and incentivise the industry significantly.
Parking enforcement officers are facing increasing levels of harassment and abuse on the job, with one council in Adelaide equipping their officers with video cameras for additional security. New Zealand saw two credit card data scams hit, in both Auckland and Queenstown, highlighting the importance of data security in the industry. 2010 saw the blog report on three separate incidents of cars being driven through the walls of parking lots with their owners needing to be rescued. And from an aesthetic perspective, we are pleased to see architects and urban artists turning their attention to car parks as an opportunity for innovation and a canvas for creativity.