Car park back­lash

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA and JESS ETHERIDGE

Two of Auck­land’s largest busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions have hit out at more pro­posed car park­ing changes with one say­ing the moves could kill busi­nesses.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s in­ter­nal trans­port strat­egy staff have de­tailed in a new re­port their ‘‘con­cerns’’ re­gard­ing park­ing in in­ner-Auck­land, in re­sponse to Auck­land Trans­port’s draft Park­ing Dis­cus­sion Doc­u­ment.

Do­min­ion Rd busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Gary Holmes says the coun­cil re­port should not have been made un­til af­ter pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion closed on July 31.

‘‘What that says to me is they’ve got a pre­de­ter­mined view. If that’s the case they will get op­po­si­tion from the bulk of busi­nesses.’’

As part of the Do­min­ion Rd up­grade about 100 car parks are be­ing re­moved from the busy road, Holmes says.

‘‘We don’t sup­port any fur­ther re­moval of car parks other than what is planned and even then we’re not com­fort­able with the pro­posed num­ber.

‘‘I un­der­stand the need to re­move park­ing on ar­te­rial roads where you’ve got park­ing ad­join­ing in­dus­trial land or a res­i­den­tial area but when you’ve got shops along there, to re­move that park­ing them.’’

The coun­cil’s chief plan­ning of­fi­cer Dr Roger Blake­ley pref­aced the re­port by say­ing coun­cil staff sup­ported many of Auck­land Trans­port’s ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing stream­lin­ing poli­cies and phas­ing out on-street park­ing on ar­te­rial routes.

Evolv­ing trends, such as grow­ing pub­lic trans­port use and de­mand for road space, mean the pres­sure is on for the city to change tack, he says.

is go­ing to

kill

But coun­cil staff be­lieve a 10-minute grace pe­riod may in­crease peak time con­ges­tion and ‘‘his­tor­i­cal’’ park­ing deals dur­ing big events, such as the Santa Pa­rade, may con­fuse peo­ple.

Heart of the City chief ex­ec­u­tive Alex Swney says a 10-minute grace pe­riod will not add to peak time con­ges­tion.

In­stead it would en­able peo­ple to do quick pick-ups or con­trac­tors to drop off their tools.

‘‘If I’m calling in to pick up some­thing that was on lay-by or some al­ter­ations do you think I’m go­ing to be trav­el­ling at eight in the morn­ing?’’

Swney says more park­ing should be made avail­able be­fore the coun­cil puts short-term park­ing rates up.

For starters, Swney says, early bird and lease­hold park­ing prices should go up.

‘‘They’ve got 70 per cent of their car park build­ings in early bird or cor­po­rate-style leases. Why would you have early bird prices so cheap? The coun­cil’s not even mak­ing much money out of that $13.’’

Mak­ing com­muter park­ing prices higher will drive de­mand down, he says.

‘‘As it re­duces, you turn that into short-term park­ing stock. You’ll find within a year you’ll have another 1000 short-term car parks avail­able.’’

Swney says Heart of the City would sup­port car park charges dur­ing the Santa Pa­rade if free buses and trains into the city were pro­vided.

A coun­cil spokesman says the re­port ‘‘is not a sub­mis­sion’’ and is part of the role of staff.

‘‘They are adding to the views from a wider coun­cil per­spec­tive.

‘‘The staff are be­ing com­pletely trans­par­ent about this as they have been on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions in pro­vid­ing their feed­back on such trans­port is­sues,’’ he says.

Photo: CHRIS SKEL­TON

Busy road: Re­mov­ing park­ing on and around ar­te­rial routes like Do­min­ion Rd may af­fect busi­ness, Gary Holmes says.

Park­ing pre­cious: Do­min­ion Rd busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Gary Holmes.

In­crease prices: Heart of the City chief ex­ec­u­tive Alex Swney.

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