Mayor undertakes city parking manoeuvre

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 02/03/2014

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Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is calling on private developers to be open about their plans for the parking in the central city because she wants to work in tandem with them.

The council was due to make a decision on the level of public parking it would provide in the central city at its meeting on Thursday but Dalziel put the decision off for a week, citing concerns the council did not have enough information to make the right call.

She wants to bring interested parties together early next week so all the cards can be laid on the table and the council can get a better steer on what private parking developments are being planned.

"I want to know what other private sector proposals are on the table," Dalziel said.

The lack of clarity over what public parking will be provided in the CBD has been a source of frustration for developers and has sparked accusations the council is stalling the rebuild.

In December the council responded to that criticism by reaffirming its commitment to providing at least pre-earthquake levels of off-street parking on the Lichfield and Crossing sites.

But Dalziel told The Press that when the council made that commitment it had not fully considered how the transport changes proposed in Accessible City, the transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan that was only publicly released in November, would affect parking.

"One of the factors I don't think I even turned my head to was that Lichfield St is no longer a one-way street and the major thoroughfare from the east to the west across the city. It may no longer be the logical place for people to enter and exit the city," Dalziel said.

The council did not want to hold up the rebuild but it was important it looked at how the city as a whole was going to operate. "I can understand the drivers that sit behind the retail precinct and the last message we want to give them is that we want to stand in their way. We absolutely support them, but we have to make the right decision for the city," Dalziel said.

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- The Press

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