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Parking shortage bites

JESS LEE
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013
Residents
Jess Lee

MOVE ASIDE: Freemans Bay residents want a solution to their parking woes. From left: Andy Smith, Trevor Lund and Lynne Butler.

Cars
Jess Lee
PILED IN: Cars park bumper to bumper and overhanging the pavement in Freemans Bay.

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Frustrated residents ticked off with commuters using their street as a free car park are desperate for a solution.

Freemans Bay streets have long been used by city workers as a place to park on weekdays.

They're now completely clogged with cars, resident Lynne Butler says.

"It's a great concept to reduce cars in the city and for everyone to use public transport but at the moment public transport isn't up to where it needs to be to create that change."

The Ireland St resident has lived in the area for 10 years and says there has been a steady increase in the number of commuters parking in the street over the past 18 months.

Some roads in Freemans Bay have two-hour restricted parking sections while the rest is open to all-day parking.

"For one of the ladies down this road, if she goes off to the supermarket, when she comes back she can't get a park because the commuters are moving their cars every couple of hours," Ms Butler says.

Another resident in Hepburn St, who has one off-street space, parks her car on the street at night if she wants to make sure a visitor has somewhere to park in the morning.

"It's not really conducive to happy living," Ms Butler says.

"I totally agree that public roads are not sacrosanct to residents but most people in New Zealand would expect to be able to park pretty close to their home."

There is room for tolerance for commuters, especially those who work in Freemans Bay, Ms Butler says.

"They're here at 6am waiting for residents to go, to get our car parks.

"I feel for them, it must be a hassle having to move their cars every two hours. Think of the lost productivity."

Consultation with commuters and residents is paramount before any scheme is introduced, she says.

Ryle St resident Lindsay Foster would like to see two-hour parking restrictions put in place across the whole suburb and parking contained to one side of narrow streets.

The Waitemata Local Board has been advocating that Auckland Transport implement a similar scheme in Freemans Bay to the one being trialled in neighbouring St Marys Bay.

A residential parking zone has been created with a blanket two-hour time restriction during weekdays from 8am till 6pm.

Properties within the zone can purchase up to three resident permits.

The trial was introduced last year in response to residents' complaints and has been extended to July 2014.

An Auckland Transport spokesman says it has been successful in reducing the effects of all-day commuter parking on residents.

But Mr Foster says the trial has just pushed commuters out into other city-fringe suburbs.

Auckland Transport is considering introducing a similar scheme in Freemans Bay, the spokesman says.

A proposed residential parking policy for central Auckland was presented to Auckland Transport's board on Monday.

It will be amended before going out for consultation in the new year.

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- Auckland City Harbour News

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