Not enough parks

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

As it was rain­ing, I parked my car at Su­per Cheap Auto’s park­ing lot for 21⁄ hours while I went to the li­brary for quiet read­ing.

The park­ing lot is lo­cated next to the li­brary and has an ac­cess way to it also. I pre­vi­ously have never en­coun­tered any trou­ble park­ing there for a few hours while I do re­search or read­ing. I de­cided to park there.

How­ever, this time I got a park­ing ticket. Yes, there are signs that say no park­ing for more than two hours but there are only five to six free all-day parks closely lo­cated to the li­brary. All other park­ing near the li­brary has lim­ited time park­ing re­stric­tion.

Porirua City is very well known. The ma­jor­ity of the li­brary users come to the li­brary by car to study, read, re­search, dine and see ex­hibits. Two hours is some­times not enough for some peo­ple and fam­i­lies to com­plete their task at the li­brary.

In the mean­time, li­brary staff have their own free park­ing area but ratepay­ers only get five or six spaces.

Porirua City is not clearly think­ing about the li­brary users. They are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to come to the li­brary to read, be ex­posed to art and mu­sic but they are clearly not help­ing.

Peo­ple, if you drive to the li­brary, keep your eyes on your watch. Other­wise you will get a park­ing ticket, like me.

KIMI­AKI ITA­MURA, As­cot Park. has been in­suf­fi­cient re­cent qual­ity re­search to jus­tify spend­ing a large amount of coun­cil funds on de­mol­ish­ing ex­ist­ing build­ings and streets.

Pru­dent and re­spon­si­ble busi­ness prac­tice de­mands that this pro­ject should be­gin be­fore new re­tail­ers and ac­com­mo­da­tion en­trepreneurs are con­firmed.

In Jan­uary 2011 Mayor Leggett made re­as­sur­ing com­ments about the coun­cil in­ves­ti­gat­ing pos­si­ble re­sponses from busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments be­fore em­bark­ing on ma­jor de­mo­li­tion and re­build­ing.

This mea­sured ap­proach by the mayor and coun­cil was a wel­come new step in the process of deal­ing with a high-risk fi­nan­cial ven­ture.

How­ever, a re­cent ar­ti­cle ( Do­min­ion Post, May 14) raises some doubts about the mayor’s ear­lier state­ment. His com­ments in the ar­ti­cle sug­gest ac­tion is ei­ther al­ready un­der way or about to be­gin.

Men­tion is made of re­mov­ing the canopies and other com­ments im­ply that the scheme is go­ing ahead, no mat­ter what in­ves­tiga­tive out­comes are. Has the mayor dis­carded the sen­si­ble and cau­tious process which he out­lined in Jan­uary?

The ar­ti­cle goes on to claim ‘‘stud­ies’’ had found that in 25 years Porirua would need 50 per cent more of­fice space and 50 per cent less re­tail space.

There is no sup­port­ing ev­i­dence for this claim but if the amount of less re­tail space is cor­rect, why are we be­ing told by pro­po­nents of the scheme that we need more re­tail space?

The Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce and Canopy Con­nec­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives make their pre­dictable dis­parag­ing re­marks about the canopies. The im­mi­nent re­moval of the canopies ap­pears to be the cur­rent goal of the busi­ness lobby.

Dur­ing the past year, busi­ness in­ter­ests have claimed there are al­ready stud­ies which show re­vi­tal­is­ing the busi­ness cen­tre is the way to go. How re­cent are these stud­ies? Who car­ried them out? Some of them have been, ap­par­ently, paid for by busi­ness or­gan­i­sa­tions.

It shouldn’t be nec­es­sary to re­mind our­selves that the coun­try and Porirua City have been part of a global fi­nan­cial re­ces­sion which makes ir­rel­e­vant any study con­clu­sions reached more than two years ago.

ROSS PIPER, Ti­tahi Bay. Porirua mayor Nick Leggett re­sponds: Mr Piper has cho­sen to in­ter­pret my com­ments to the Kapi-Mana News in Jan­uary as say­ing the coun­cil will ‘‘do noth­ing’’ and ‘‘spend noth­ing’’ on the city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion.

That has never been my po­si­tion as most peo­ple will know. What I said then, and stand by still, is the need for this long-term pro­ject to be pri­mar­ily funded by the pri­vate sec­tor.

If the needs of busi­ness are not met in this ex­er­cise, all Porirua will end up with is a nice new street and some pavers, be­cause those are the only things that the coun­cil can de­liver by it­self.

My mo­ti­va­tion as mayor is for the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the num­ber of jobs in the city cen­tre and to im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing it for all Porirua res­i­dents.

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