New digital parking signs spotted in Sydney: ‘But why?'

They are barely a week into operation but the NSW Government’s trial of digital parking signs has been criticised by Sydney drivers as a “waste of resources".

As part of the $695-million Smart Technology Corridors Program, the state has rolled out a pilot of “cutting-edge signage” in a bid to make it easier for motorists to decipher road rules.

By doing away with parking, clearway and bus zone signs the government admits are “confusing and complex”, simple, solar-powered digital signs have already been installed in locations across Surry Hills.

The technology, planted along Chalmers Street between Cleveland Street and Devonshire Street, will be trialled for up to 18 months. But it’s already not sitting well with locals.

The photo from the Reddit post of the digital parking sign.
While the Reddit poster claimed 'what a time to be alive' not all Sydney drivers were happy with the new parking signs. Source: Reddit

People question why digital signs are needed

A photo of one of the new digital signs has gone viral on reddit, sparking plenty of angry remarks.

“A solution for the problem that didn’t need solving,” one person wrote online.

“Why solve a problem simply when you can come up with expensive and complicated solutions to treat a symptom instead” added another.

“But why?!” someone else asked. “A sign works just fine. It’s easy and cheap to replace, does not need the little security camera, nor a constant stream of electricity to stay on, and no worry of it going out during a blackout. What a clown idea this is!”

Another critic doubted the signs would be efficient in the long run. “They are going to have to maintain and replace these things for decades, plus all of the software and hardware infrastructure that goes along with it,” they wrote. “Printing out a new sign every few years and paying a bloke to screw it to a pole would be more cost efficient.”

A maintenance worker and a digital parking sign.
The Smart Signage will replace confusing parking, clearway and bus zone signs with one simple, digital sign that is updated and monitored remotely. Source: NSW Government

Others were worried about relying on technology. “Hackers will chuck porn on it in no time,” one person wrote. “I wonder how long before it gets smashed,” someone added.

Some people in favour of new signs

However, some people could see the advantages. “Sydney has more parking signs than I’ve ever seen before,” one user said. “It really feels like overkill a lot of the time.”

“There are some places where the amount of panels with details on what/when/where you can park is ridiculous and becomes a hazard when people spend five minutes trying to make it make sense,” another wrote.

“As someone who moved here from overseas, some of the parking signs can be absolute riddles and this will help them be easier to understand by only showing the relevant rules for that time of day,” someone else said.

The digital signs will also be trialled along Elizabeth Street between Park Street and Liverpool Street.

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