Viaduct Parking Trial Continues


Auckland City has encouraged apartments in the CBD - some would say to the severe detriment of the landscape- but is still wrestling with the thorny issue of allowing residential parking for apartment dwellers or their visitors.
It’s a long-standing issue involving concerns over district plan regulations, historic buildings with limited ancillary parking and the increasing trend of apartment’s ancillary parking being sold separate to the apartment with the belief, often advertised by real estate agents, that the apartment comes with free on-street parking.
The council says these problems are complex and require detailed analysis and planning to resolve but its transport division has initiated a project to look at the wide issue of residential parking in the CBD.
This emerged during a council report on making the parking meter experiment at the Viaduct permanent.
That experiment involved pay and display parking there going beyond normal hours to cover from 6pm to 10pm ($2 an hour no time limit) and the introduction of graduated tariffs between 8am and 6pm (removing the 1 hour time restriction and allowing price to encourage vehicle turnover).
Council officers claim local opposition has softened with complaints isolated to a small number of residents who live in apartments which were built with off-street parking. The Residents Association remains opposed, not to the trial itself but more on the grounds of more strategic issues relating to the council’s policy toward CBD residents. Residents have complained that their visitors are also being inconvenienced by the changes.
Heart of the City does not object to the trial being made permanent, however they would like to see a coordinated strategy rather than incremental changes across the city.
The council found 90% of the meters were occupied during the extended time in the trial areas which are Lower Hobson Street (under the overpass); Customs Street West (from Lower Hobson Street to Market Place); Pakenham Street East (between Market Place and Sturdee Street) and Market Place (between Customs Street West and Pakenham Street East).
Graduated tariffs were introduced into the trial area between 8am and 6pm to provide more flexibility for people parking at the Viaduct. Three hours parking in the trial area is allowed but most only pay for one hour.
The council employed consultants McCormick Rankin Cagney, an Auckland transport consultancy,to do a report.
It recommended the trial changes are working so effectively that the council should consider extending the area of the trial and operating it until midnight and that “many international cities, such as Sydney, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Portland, and Toronto, have metered parking past 9pm.”
The council’s initial enthusiasm for the Viaduct experiment led to the council plotting wider implementation throughout the CBD but this was dropped because of a public outcry.
It will be interesting to see if Auckland Transport, which gets handed the issue in November, decide behind closed doors to decides wider adoption of metered parking ’til midnight throughout the whole CBD is the way to go.





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