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Park Smart in Manuka: five things you need to know

Amanda Whitley

I drive through Manuka, and I feel like I know every inch of it…so when a collection of large LED parking signs recently suddenly appeared I was all ‘um…where did they come from?’


That question was answered when information from the ACT Government landed in my inbox. It turns out that the five signs are part of the Manuka Smart Parking Trial, designed to ease traffic congestion and help guide drivers to available car parking spaces.

What’s it all about? We found out…

What exactly is ‘smart parking’?

Smart Parking is real time information on parking (collected by technology such as sensors in the ground, like in Manuka) that allows smart phone apps and traffic signs to guide road users to an available parking space, and enforcement officers to better identify parking ‘over stayers’ and monitor parking patterns.

So what’s happening in the Smart Parking Trial?

Manuka is trialing the use of in-ground sensors and WiFi to provide real time parking availability information via new LED signs and a parking app called ParkCBR, which will be officially launched this Friday 29 April.

The Smart Parking Trial in Manuka will test the performance of 460 parking bay sensors, five LED parking availability street signs, and the app.

The trial will run for 12 months and look at the benefits of the system, including its ability to decrease congestion and improve user experience.


How can I park smarter?

It’s easy.

  1. Download the new ParkCBR app (from Friday 29 April), which shows available parking spaces throughout Manuka, from Google Play or the Apple AppStore. It will show real time parking availability and direct users to mobile payment and ‘top up’ options, so there’s no need for paper tickets or trips to the parking machine.
  2. Check the LED signs indicating available parking spaces.
  3. Pay for your parking with the existing Parkmobile app.

But hang on…doesn’t that mean I have to use my mobile while I’m driving?

No. It’s important to remember that ACT road rules do not permit the use of a handheld mobile device while driving.

If you can’t get a passenger to use the app for you, you need to check the ParkCBR app before getting in  your car. It will show you available parking spaces across 460 parking bays in Manuka shopping precinct, listed by on street location, off street location, street name and parking category (e.g. disability permit, free parking, paid parking and time limit).


What streets will be included in the Smart Parking trial in Manuka?

There are both on-street and off-street bays included in the trial.

You can find on-street bays in Furneaux Street (between Canberra Avenue and Murray Crescent), Bougainville Street (between Furneaux Street and Flinders Way), Flinders Way (between Murray Crescent and Canberra Avenue), Franklin Street (between Captain Cook Crescent and Ducane Street), and Captain Cook Crescent (both sides, between Canberra Avenue and Murray Crescent/Stuart Street).

Or how about going straight to off-street parking? The new LED signs show the number of available car parking bays on the ground, level 1 and rooftop. The rooftop costs $8.50 for all day parking.

There are also off-street bays in the Furneaux Street Carpark at the corner of Furneaux and Bougainville Streets.

Find out more about the Smart Parking Trial at

Image of woman using smartphone to find parking from

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author