Column: Parking in Auckland’s Inner-city

June 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Rob Thomas HeadshotVerve magazine – June 2013 edition – By Rob Thomas – Candidate for Waitemata & Gulf Councillor:

Parking is the number one issue around Auckland’s Inner-City suburbs.

Every morning thousands of people from across the region, park on the surroundings streets of Parnell, Newmarket, Grafton, Eden Terrace and Ponsonby to make the most of free parking on their commute into the inner-city. To put the issue into perspective the surrounding streets of Freeman’s Bay have more free carparks than Aotea Centres’ Civic Carpark, that’s a lot of free carparking.

The Waitemata Local Board has been working closely with Auckland Transport to look at carpark occupancy rates throughout our business and residential areas. These results showed that during working hours the occupancy rates in some areas were between 90 to 100% and commuters are parking all day. The recent study undertaken in Parnell showed that some of the cars on residential streets were registered to inner-city apartments.

There are perverse consequences of unmonitored or unrestricted parking around the inner-city, having a direct negative effect on retailers, residents and adding to the costs of Auckland’s congestion.

St Mary's Bay Parking Zone from Auckland Transport Photo

St Mary’s Bay Parking Zone from Auckland Transport Photo

The issue is about prioritisation. In mainstream retail areas there should be easy access to carparking that encourages high turnover and availability. While on residential streets all day commuters should be encouraged to jump onto reliable public transport to free-up these streets for residents and visitors. A permitted resident only parking trial is currently being trailed in St Mary’s Bay that could be introduced to other parts of the inner-city. Feedback from residents involved in the trial has been overwhelmingly positive.

As your elected representative on the Eden Terrace Business Association Board, recently named UPTOWN, I am pleased to announce that a new parking scheme is being introduced in that area, that will balance out the needs of retailers and residents. The process showed that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work but the tools are available should residents, businesses, Auckland Transport and your elected representatives are prepared to work together to find a win-win solution.


2 Comments on "Column: Parking in Auckland’s Inner-city"

  1. Conrad Young on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 10:58 am 

    Hi Rob,

    Nice to read your recent blog about uptown transport solutions.
    We are residents is Parnell and have participated in many meetings with AT and your board about the subject.

    At last meeting I believe AT are seeking Auckland wide consultation before applying for a change in government policy from the AT committee.

    I am very surprised you have been able to implement a parking solution.

    Can you expand on the process you have been through and your understanding of the future solutions.

    Best regards

    Conrad Young

  2. Rob Thomas on Fri, 16th Aug 2013 12:49 pm 

    Hi Conrad,
    The solution in Eden Terrace was designed for that specific area which is very different to other local neighborhoods.
    I’m sure you are aware of the resident only parking scheme in St Mary’s Bay which has been a big success with local residents.
    At the heart of both schemes is to remove commuter parking out of local and commercial areas but encourage visitors etc.
    For three months I have been door knocking and herd this issue raised numerous times by local residents in Parnell, Newmarket, Grafton, Freeman’s Bay, St Mary’s Bay and parts of Ponsonby.
    These are the same issues that have been presented to the Waitemata Local Board – including your own presentation.
    I believe we can work with neighbors to implement a resident only parking scheme over the next three years to move commuter parking off local streets and encourage higher public transport usage.
    Happy to discuss further

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