Parking vultures swoop
Tension is growing between commuters and residents as more cars appear to clog the streets of inner-city suburbs. Reporter Jess Lee speaks to some of the people caught up in the parking drama.
Commuters are sitting in their cars, working or napping in the early hours of the morning just to secure a free parking spot on the street in Freemans Bay.
Franklin Rd mother-of-two Amy Calway has had enough.
"It makes me quite angry. Commuters are circling like vultures in the morning waiting for residents to leave to take their park and then putting on their running shoes to run to work," she says.
Ms Calway has lived and worked from home in her 120-year-old villa for nine years and has no off-street parking.
The single mother is often forced to park quite a distance from her house after grocery shopping and cross the busy street with her two young children.
Pensioner Cynthia Beeby, who holds a mobility parking permit, has lived in her Ireland St home since 1982 and pays $155 a year to park there.
"But it doesn't guarantee me a park in my own street. I try not to go out in my car because it's too stressful - when I get home where am I going to park?," she says.
"Monday to Friday is a nightmare. It's really getting to me."
She sees people rubbing off the chalk from their tyres and moving their cars to escape a parking ticket.
"This guy who parked here from 7am to 6pm got a parking fine of $12. Where in Auckland do you get $12 parking all day?
"It really is because public transport is so bad. It's just not there for people, so what are they meant to do? They're forced to bring cars."
Franklin Rd business owner Jonathan Hughes says tradespeople working on housing renovations are also partly to blame for the parking shortage.
"It's a mixture of gentrification of the area, as well as commuters," he says.
"There is obviously a problem and something needs to be done but in the meantime people need to exhibit some patience."
The Westmere resident walks or cycles to work and encourages his staff to do the same when they can.
England St resident Grey Seagar says sufficient parking should be a requirement for all new developments.
"It's totally unsatisfactory. Developers are getting a free ride under the unitary plan - businesses are off-loading the costs of parking onto residents."
Hepburn St resident Valerie Leech has off-street parking and has been approached by neighbouring businesses asking if they can lease the space.
An Auckland Transport spokesman says there is nothing stopping residents leasing their own off-street parking spaces to commuters.
A proposed residential parking policy for central Auckland was presented to Auckland Transport's board in December.
An AT spokesman says he is not in a position to talk about the policy just yet.
- Auckland City Harbour News
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