Don’t over­stay your wel­come

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

‘‘Maybe we just have to walk a wee bit fur­ther than just park­ing at the front door.’’

Res­i­dents are di­vided on park­ing en­force­ment after the coun­cil last week started is­su­ing tick­ets to of­fend­ers.

The Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil is­sued the first tick­ets after a grace pe­riod fol­low­ing time limit signs be­ing erected sev­eral years ago and en­force­ment added to a park­ing by­law in 2015.

The coun­cil made the an­nounce­ment via its Face­book page say­ing ‘‘don’t over­stay your wel­come in a park’’ or you might find a ticket on your wind­screen.

Com­ments on the post were di­vided. One per­son said: ‘‘About time. [I] think this is a great idea.’’

An­other said: ‘‘No park­ing re­stric­tions is what made small town liv­ing so re­laxed. Dumb idea.’’ A third per­son said: ‘‘Some of the most ex­pen­sive rates in NZ and a town try­ing to at­tract tourists and you the coun­cil want to pun­ish the work­ers and em­ploy­ees!‘‘

Deputy Mayor and Cromwell res­i­dent Neil Gille­spie was staunch in his be­lief en­force­ment was needed.

‘‘We’re just try­ing to make sure peo­ple are park­ing in ac­cor­dance with the re­stric­tions. If you fol­low the re­stric­tions, what’s the prob­lem? It’s just like speed­ing.

‘‘If peo­ple parked in the right places and were rea­son­able about where they parked, then it might not be needed.’’

The coun­cil could build more parks, but peo­ple would still try to park as close as pos­si­ble to where they wanted to go, Gille­spie said.

‘‘Peo­ple of­ten think they need more park­ing. We could build park­ing build­ings or what­ever un­til the cows come home. Maybe we just have to walk a wee bit fur­ther than just park­ing at the front door.’’

In re­sponse to com­ments about en­force­ment be­ing rev­enue­gath­er­ing for the coun­cil, Gille­spie said that was ‘‘crap’’.

‘‘We have left it for a fair amount of time to al­low peo­ple to com­ply with these re­stric­tions.

Alexan­dra Clyde Busi­ness Group Com­mit­tee chair­man Barry Ham­ble­ton said mem­bers of the busi­ness group had walked Cen­ten­nial Ave ad­vis­ing busi­ness own­ers to ‘‘park your car some- where else’’ so there were spa­ces for oth­ers to park.

‘‘What I think has hap­pened is that the work­ers have parked their cars out­side busi­nesses for the whole day.

‘‘If peo­ple from out of town can’t get a park, then they will go on to some­where else.’’

Ham­ble­ton said it was sim­ple in that if you broke the law, ‘‘you’re go­ing to get fined’’.

Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil road­ing man­ager Mur­ray Hasler said a Cougar Se­cu­rity park­ing war­den would carry out en­force­ment in Cromwell and Alexan­dra from Mon­day to Fri­day be­tween 8am to 5pm.

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