Car park backlash
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.
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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.
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.