CHALK marks on tyres could be a thing of the past if Orange City Council agrees to trial new electronic parking sensors to tackle parking woes in the central business district.
The sensors would be embedded in the ground for each individual car space and are designed to send a signal to the council ranger when the car has overstayed the time limit.
Port Macquarie installed 615 sensors earlier this year to a mixed response from residents, with many business owners criticising the system for driving customers away.
But East Orange Newsagency owners Madeline and Greg Fisher believe it could be the answer to the parking woes that plague the 15-minute zone in front of their business.
“The parking inspectors come up here rarely,” she said.
“It’s a bit of a forgotten area.
“It’s a good deterrent, if people know they can only park for 15 minutes they will.”
A trial of 50 sensors would cost the council between $15,000 to $20,000 which could be partially offset by increased revenue and a reduction in staffing costs the system would bring, development services director David Waddell said.
According to the Office of State Revenue, the council received $414,464 from the 4129 parking infringements issued last financial year.
Mrs Fisher said she suggested the sensors to the council after hearing about the Port Macquarie system from a customer.
“The other day someone parked here for three hours,” she said. “After two hours I rang Orange City Council and they sent a ranger but because it was half an hour later the person had gone.
“It would be really good for the area .... at the moment it’s gridlocked.”
Mrs Fisher believes the system could also be effective in other parts of town where parking is a problem.
Recently a car parked so far out from the kerb, traffic on the highway was forced to divert into the right-hand lane to avoid the vehicle, Mrs Fisher said.
Councillors will decide at tomorrow’s meeting if they should move ahead with the idea and instruct staff to identify potential areas for the trial.