Parking woes after 380 more staff arrive
A cluster of residential Hamilton streets are being clogged by parked cars due to hundreds of IRD staff moving into a new office nearby.
During office hours, driveways are blocked, cars are bumper-to-bumper or sometimes parked along yellow lines, St Andrews resident Tracy George says.
IRD is aware of residents’ concerns, but says the problem stems from the way staff are parking, not a lack of parking.
The move happened in October, when 380 Hamilton staff shifted to a new building in Te Rapa Home Straight.
That’s when the problem started, George, who lives with her three-year-old daughter Talia Bornman, said.
She’s worried it’s only a matter of time before a child or animals get hurt.
The influx of staff has turned Cotton Street – which leads right up to the new building – into a one-way street, she said.
‘‘We feel like we’re being held to seige, really,’’ she said.
Curb-side parking ends up so full that recycling trucks have to park in the middle of the road, she said.
‘‘We were having to drive with one wheel on the island to actually get down our street. I [drive] down slowly because I’m just waiting for an accident to happen.
‘‘We feel like our nice quiet area has just been ruined.’’
IRD deputy commissioner Tony Morris said IRD is aware of residents’ concerns. Free parking isn’t available at the Hamilton office, he said.
‘‘There isn’t a lack of parking in the area – the issue is how people are parking. We are addressing that.’’
Staff have been talked to about responsible parking, Morris said.
Staff have been told to include parking six metres away from intersections and one metre away from driveways. They’ve also been asked to not park on grass berms, footpaths, ‘no stopping’ areas or in restricted areas all day.
‘‘We’ve also, just today, reinforced those messages with some advice from the Hamilton City Council.’’
IRD will meet with Council early next year to discuss alternatives to driving cars to work, such as a new bus service.
Council’s parking enforcement team has received 13 requests to investigate parking in the area since August. Those complaints were about drivers parking on verges, partially blocking driveways, no on street parking for residents and compromising safety, city transportation unit manager Robyn Denton said.
Hamilton City Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher said he’s been contacted by worried residents. He understood some residents’ driveways had been partially blocked by parked cars.
It’s a ‘‘potentially dangerous’’ problem has crept up over time, he said, but might have been exacerbated by the recent IRD office move.
‘‘I do, personally, totally empathise with residents out there. There are a cluster of streets there who are having their streets clogged up all day with people who work in the Te Rapa area.
‘‘I acknowledge there may not be an immediate quick fix ... We do need to urgently review it, in my view.’’
Councillor Mark Bunting, who runs Access Hamilton and Parking taskforces, said it’s part of a wider issue for commercial zones.
‘‘Growth was this issue of this term. Congestion is going to be the issue of the next couple of terms, I reckon. If [people] are not trying to park across a street, they’re trying to squish across our bridges.
‘‘We have to do something radically different. We can’t keep doing the same thing.’’
Resident Tracy George, with her three-year-old daughter Talia Bornman, said Cotton Street has turned into a one-way street since new IRD staff moved to Te Rapa.
IRD says it is aware of residents’ concerns and has advised staff of how to park responsibly.