ARC looks to re­strict park­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Cy­cling and walk­ing ad­vo­cates are prais­ing plans to limit park­ing spa­ces in the city.

A new draft park­ing strat­egy by the Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil gives pri­or­ity to short-stay park­ing and closely man­ages park­ing avail­able in high-den­sity res­i­den­tial ar­eas and city cen­tres.

Re­gional coun­cil trans­port and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­woman Chris­tine Rose says it will be the first con­sis­tent, re­gion-wide approach to park­ing.

Un­til now, park­ing has been man­aged on a coun­cil-by-coun­cil ba­sis with lit­tle re­gard for the over­all trans­port, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal goals.

“It will fi­nally be a level play­ing field,” she says.

Ms Rose says con­tin­u­ing to in­crease the amount of park­ing to match the in­crease in com­muter traf­fic is not sus­tain­able.

“Abun­dant park­ing en­cour­ages peo­ple to drive, usu­ally alone.”

The park­ing strat­egy will work in con­junc­tion with de­vel­op­ing other trans­port choices, with pub­lic trans­port, walk­ing and cy­cling as pri­or­i­ties.

But Ms Rose says peo­ple should not feel threat­ened by the new strat­egy or ex­pect changes overnight.

“It is a long-term strat­egy so I doubt there will be im­me­di­ate changes.

“It’s all about find­ing the right bal­ance,” she says.

Walk Auck­land chair­man Andy Smith says he loves the idea.

“We to­tally sup­port ev­ery­thing they’re do­ing here.”

“It’s about time we re­alised roads are not carparks.”

Mr Smith says em­ploy­ees could be of­fered a yearly rail or bus pass in­stead of park­ing in their con­tract.

Cy­cle Ac­tion chair­man Be­van Wood­ward also sup­ports the pro­posal but says there are ar­eas that could be strength­ened.

He says in­stead of con­cen­trat­ing on pub­lic park­ing fa­cil­i­ties the plan should in­clude private com­pany-sup­plied park­ing, which is of­ten a ma­jor fac­tor in peo­ple choos­ing to drive to work.

Laura Bathurst who works in Pon­sonby says for her all-day park­ing on the street is an “ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity”.

Miss Bathurst trav­els from West Har­bour to work and says there are no di­rect buses into Pon­sonby and to trans­fer at Brit­o­mart would take “far too long”.

She says bus ser­vices to ar­eas such as Pon­sonby and New­mar­ket would need to be greatly im­proved be­fore park­ing is taken away.

“There are al­ready so many pay and dis­play parks that charge a for­tune.”

The pub­lic will be able to send in feed­back on the strat­egy un­til July 4, af­ter which Ms Rose says hear­ings will be held for those with in­ter­ests and con­cerns.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Park­ing plan: Be­van Wood­ward says re­duc­ing park­ing and get­ting peo­ple on their bikes is a great idea.

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