Parking headache for adjacent schools
A cluster of schools and community representatives are working together to find an answer to a frustrating parking problem.
Mt Roskill Primary School, Mt Roskill Intermediate School, and Mt Roskill Grammar School all directly neighbour each other, putting parking in surrounding streets at a premium.
A supermarket car park on Frost Rd across from the primary school has become a popular spot for parents collecting or dropping off their children.
But in response to mums and dads using the area for pick-ups and drop-offs the land owner has hired an enforcement company to fine or wheel clamp non-shoppers.
Mt Roskill MP Phil Goff has called the move a ‘‘money-making racket’’ citing examples where parents have been fined $100, or clamped and charged $200, for parking for less than two minutes.
Some parents have received bills of up to $500 once administration fees were added for the fine not being paid on time.
Many of the parents have English as a second language and don’t realise they are doing anything wrong, he says.
‘‘I understand the concern of retailers who want the car park available for their customers. But this is not the answer.’’
Mr Goff has met with the schools’ principals, car park owner David Hay, and representatives from Auckland Transport and the Puketapapa Local Board to discuss the traffic issues that are the result of up to 6000 students, staff and parents leaving the schools each day.
‘‘That’s the size of Morrinsville. If you had to evacuate Morrinsville on a daily basis you would have some problems,’’ Mt Roskill Intermediate School principal Mike O’Reilly says.
He says the stories of wheel clamping and fines have brought to light the underlying traffic issue for the schools.
Suggested solutions include having ‘‘drop-off and kiss’’ short-term parking zones outside the schools; encouraging more children to walk to school; asking parents who drive their children to park further away and walk them to the gate; translating school travel plans into other languages to reach all parents; and having the clamping company include information about drop-off zones with its enforcement notices.
‘‘It’s not something you’re going to solve overnight, a whole lot of things have got to happen,’’ Mr O’Reilly says.
Traffic troubles: MP Phil Goff, Puketapapa Local Board chairman Richard Barter, Mt Roskill Intermediate School principal Mike O’Reilly, and Mt Roskill Primary School deputy principal Janet Moyle are working to relieve parking issues around the schools.