Disabled parking concern
Lydia Jackson is keeping her fingers crossed that problems with disability parking in Porirua will be fixed after the city council announced a plan to redevelop parking in Cobham Court.
Under the new plan, 29 regular car parks will be removed from Cobham Court and four disabled car parks will be allotted on the eastern side.
There are at present eight disabled car parks under the council’s authority in central Porirua and that number will rise to 10 with the redevelopment plan.
But, Jackson is uncertain about whether that will solve the problem with disability parking.
She believes many of the car parks in the CBD that are designated for disabled users are not practical or sized correctly.
‘‘Most of the supermarkets are OK, but as a whole Porirua is way under- resourced for disability parking, considering it has an over representation of disabled people in its population,’’ Jackson said.
The Ranui resident and mother of a 5- year- old with global developmental delay said disabled parking seemed to be a widespread problem and that it would be great if the redevelopment fixed the issue.
‘‘If the new car parks are the correct size and more accessible, it will be great.’’
Her son is unable to walk independently and requires the use of a disabled car park.
She said a lot of disabled car parks hadn’t been properly assessed.
‘‘It’s not all about convenience; it’s about access. Some parks are terrible, like the one outside the council building.
‘‘There are several in the shopping centre that are next to poles and are just impractical.’’
Jackson said the extra car parks for disabled people would help, but wanted attention turned to others in the area.
The council’s disabled parking is operated by CCS Disability Action through a scheme called Operation Mobility.
Council officer Peter Bailey, who oversees the scheme, said that the council was open to discussing car parking and that there had been no previous problems.
‘‘We’ve talked to users of car parks and they’ve said they work. But if there aren’t enough [parking spaces] or people are unhappy, then they need to ask for more,’’ Bailey said.
North City Shopping Centre, the MegaCentre, New World, Countdown and Pak’nSave supermarkets provide parking for disabled customers.
Centre manager Holly Lynn said there were 16 disabled spaces in the centre car park.
‘‘We consider these parks, and all our car parks, an essential component of North City and continuously strive to ensure we are providing the best experience for our customers,’’ Lynn said. Kapi-Mana News readers seem to think there is a problem with disability parking in Porirua.
Amber-Pixie Rose said in response to our Facebook query that there were not enough of them.
‘‘It costs the individual who uses those mobility parks so by right they should have more accessible ones to park and move around safely,’’ she said.
‘‘I also see far too many people use those parks when they clearly shouldn’t be parking there in the first place.’’
Karewa Arthur said the disabled needed more car parks throughout the city centre and in the suburbs.
Lysha Solomon said Porirua did not cater for the needs of the disabled.
‘‘There aren’t enough car parks for them, especially when ablebodied people are using their parks,’’ Solomon said.
Lydia Jackson questions the parking in Porirua for disabled people.