Much has been written on the reaction to Ballarat's new parking plan, but how have these sorts of revamps worked in other cities?
In Ballarat, in the metered CBD zone, drivers get the first hour free after activating the CellOPark app or putting their licence plate number into a meter, then parking costs $3 an hour - the new system began at the beginning of February.
Disabled parking will remain the same as the current system, with blue permit holders getting unlimited parking and green permit holders getting double time for the amount they pay.
In Geelong, a number of new initiatives in its car parking system were introduced last December.
ARE YOU GETTING USED TO BALLARAT'S NEW PARKING SYSTEM? LET US KNOW BELOW
There are 250 meters in Geelong, and payment can be made with card or coin on each - there are also two different apps.
In two hour parks, drivers can park for the first half hour for free.
The city uses licence plate recognition and similar meters to Ballarat, where drivers can put in their number plate into any meter and find out how much time they have left.
Warrnambool has also had a similar system to Ballarat since 2018, when the main street was rebuilt.
While there are dozens of off-street parks across the city, the council recognised it would need a new parking system as the city grew.
It uses the CellOPark app, which is the same as Ballarat, but does not have the all-day parking option which was rolled out here.
Warrnambool mayor Tony Herbert told The Courier the most important part of any parking plan is making sure people don't abandon the central business district.
"Don't give a resident a reason not to come into the CBD," he said.
"We've had some resistance that the parking meters themselves are still difficult, and they are a little bit complicated, but we've had enormous take-up by the app."
Cr Herbert said the key was education - Warrnambool City Council sent officers out to community groups to explain the new system, and used information tents with sausage sizzles on the streets to make sure people knew how to use the new meters.
He confirmed each meter is identical, and accepts cards and coins.
In Ballarat, while all meters accept card, only a third of the meters accept coins - council says these meters have been placed strategically across town.
"The meters are the new thing, they are the thing I worry about, especially when I see old people," Cr Herbert said.
"All our meters are identical, they accept the app, coin, and card, and there's a consistency - you don't want to confuse people.
"We were very conscious that our traffic personnel, our parking meter personnel, that whenever they saw someone struggling, they'd try to help, that's really important."
He said the flexibility the new system offered was a benefit - he said he was sick of choosing between spending a dollar on five minutes of parking or risking a fine for stopping at the post office, for example, and the app was a huge help because it paid automatically by the minute until the user hit stop.
Warrnambool City Council also promoted the fact that about a third of revenue from parking meters and fines went straight back into parking infrastructure and footpaths.
The app provides real-time data for council on popular areas for parking in town, and information on where visitors were from, which could help to steer future tourism campaigns.
But, he said, the community education campaign on the new plan needed to be ongoing.
READ MORE: Parking meters destroyed in Ballarat CBD
"People have a pretty good understanding of the meters, but there's another wave of education after 18 months just to highlight some of the benefits," he said.
"With the review - because we've had a number of upgrades in the past couple of years, we've done a deal of work with V/Line, they've created 183 free parking places at the railway station, our hospital's growing exponentially, and the city is growing, so it's putting pressure on different areas of the CBD.
"We've had a number of discussions with residents about parking permits as well.
"Rather than an ad-hoc approach, we thought it would be a really good idea to have a look at the whole CBD, because obviously the main street has changed as well."
The City of Ballarat said last week the parking consultation was the largest ever undertaken by the council, but Cr Herbert said it was important to be on the ground and listen to feedback.
"Councillors didn't want just an online survey - we're having two community forums, one for the community and one for traders to provide feedback on the CBD," he said.
"We've still got a long way to go, and we're open to listening to the community."
According to the City of Ballarat, all parking meters will be installed and operating by February 15.
By Wednesday night, 4554 people had claimed a free hour of parking, 675 people had paid using the coin machines and 1854 had used the credit card facilities.
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