A fantastic, common-sense redesign of parking signs – and what do you know, the Minister for Roads (and against cyclists), Duncan Gay thinks its a good idea!

To park or not to park?

With sometimes complex directives and rangers on the prowl it can be an expensive question.

Now one Sydney council is turning to an idea out of New York as a bold, visual solution to problematic parking signs.

Operation simplify: signs can include up to five different parking schedules; the new signs would make it much simpler to establish which schedule affects you.

Mosman Council wants the state’s councils to lobby Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to adopt a “time block” model put forward by a Brooklyn designer that it says will cut down the visual clutter as well as unfair penalties.

“Parking signs are often complicated and difficult to understand with multiple instructions for different parts of the day or week,” the council’s proposal to the Local Government NSW conference said.

“It is understood that this proposal represents a major change to the status quo, however this is something that could be explored and introduced on a staged basis over time across NSW.”

<i>Illustration: Cathy Wilcox</i>Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

It has been a year since New York City cleaned up its parking signs, replacing what its transport commissioner called a “a cross between an Excel spreadsheet and a totem pole” with designs that cut down the colour range and the text in favour of more white space.

But the signs favoured by Mosman, developed by freelance designer Nikki Sylianteng, are simpler still. According to her website, Ms Sylianteng decided “it shouldn’t have to be this complicated” after being hit by one-too-many tickets after misinterpreting a sign.

The objective of that “To Park or Not to Park” redesign project dovetails with what Cr Abelson said was the council’s “war on signage”  that it has waged for the past two years.

“It’s much more elegant and it enhances visual amenity, it enhances driver understanding and it’s altogether more pleasant and a simpler design than the melange that we often have at present,” Cr Abelson said.

“The last thing we want is people complaining that they’ve been fined because of confusion.”

Mosman’s proposal is due to be debated by the conference on Tuesday, but it appears to have already won the support of Roads Minister Duncan Gay.

“I’m always willing to look at sensible suggestions to make signs clearer for motorists,” Mr Gay said.

“I like the design and I think it’s worth asking RMS to take a look at it.”