The Auckland Regional Council has today released a draft regional parking strategy calling on local councils to reduce the amount of all-day parking in business and shopping centres as public transport improves.
“To continually increase the amount of parking available to match the increase in commuter traffic is not sustainable,” says the ARC’s transport and urban development committee chairwoman, Councillor Christine Rose.
“Abundant parking encourages people to drive, usually alone. There’s little sense in continuing to increase the availability of cheap parking at the same time as investing in better public transport and walking and cycling facilities.”
The draft regional parking strategy proposes a consistent, region wide approach to parking for the first time.
Cr Rose says parking has previously been managed on a council by council basis with little regard to the ways it can work against the region’s overall transport, economic and environmental goals.
“The draft strategy recognises that every centre or area will have different requirements. The trigger for reducing the availability of long-term parking in individual centres would be improved public transport services to those areas.
“As public transport services improve, councils would be encouraged to give priority to short-term parking on streets and in publicly-owned parking buildings and lots.”
Short-term parking will still be needed to support the region’s businesses by making it easy for people to access shopping and business centres for short stays.
“It’s all about finding the right balance between so much parking that people continue to use their cars for every conceivable trip, and so little that people cannot get a park when they need one for short-stay shopping or business trips. That balance will be different for every centre,” Cr Rose says.
The draft strategy also proposes region-wide policies on parking on arterial roads, the provision of park and ride facilities and parking in high density developments.
The draft strategy can be found at www.arc.govt.nz/parking . Feedback is sought until Friday 4 July.
In a nut shell
What is the draft Regional Parking Strategy?
It is a policy document being developed to guide the ways local councils provide for and manage car parking in their city and town centres.
Why is it needed?
The amount and types of parking influences people’s driving habits. Parking management is a tool for reducing congestion and achieving a more sustainable transport system.
How will it affect me?
There will be no immediate affects. It proposes high-level policies for managing parking in the future. It does not affect the day-to-day management of parking spaces by parking wardens.
In the longer term:
o Developers may be required to reduce the amount of parking they provide in new developments.
o There might be less all-day parking available in town and city centres as public transport services to those areas improve.
o More of the existing on-street and off-street parking would become short-term only, so that people arriving to shop or for a business appointment can easily find a park.
o Councils may give priority in the parking facilities they own to people who carpool.
o The same rules would apply across the region to parking on arterial roads.
Who should make a submission?
The ARC welcomes all submissions, but it is keen to hear from businesses and developers in particular.
Where can I get more information?
The brochures are available at most council offices. The full draft strategy and background reports can be found at www.arc.govt.nz/parking
What is the process for considering submissions?
The ARC’s transport and urban development committee will consider what people have said and decide if any changes should be made to the draft strategy.