AA targets safer parking

PARKING PROBLEMS: The Automobile Association feels parking near Mitre 10 Mega is increasingly dicey.
PARKING PROBLEMS: The Automobile Association feels parking near Mitre 10 Mega is increasingly dicey.

The Automobile Association wants the nose parking at Mitre 10 Mega to change to angle parking to prevent future collisions.

In a submission to the Timaru District Council's draft annual plan, the AA's district manager, Kathryn Wells, said the car parks should be altered for visibility and safety.

"Visibility is very difficult due to the rise to the centre of the road, meaning motorists cannot see other traffic or parked cars until the very last minute," the submission said.

"Mitre 10 already has a comprehensive car park which is under-utilised, so changing the nose-in parking to angle would not create a major issue, even with the loss of a couple of timebound street parks."

Wells said the area was becoming an increasing hazard for motorists, with several near misses happening with reversing traffic hitting the through traffic on that side of the road.

The organisation said the raised platform to the car park also posed a few issues, as pedestrians treated it like a zebra crossing, despite the signs either side advising that motorists have the right of way.

However, Du Velle Properties co-director Geoff Taylor said he was unaware of any problems with the parking arrangements.

Du Velle Properties owns the Mitre 10 building and site. "I think if there are any problems, it's caused by motorists not obeying the rules or going too fast down that small street," Taylor said. "When we were planning for the building, we got some highly qualified traffic engineers to look at the parking arrangements. They concluded it wouldn't make much difference to safety whether it was nose or angle parking."

Taylor said this was not the first time the AA had raised the issue with the council. "But I think we need to actually get some proper research on this. It's no good suggesting something without looking at the facts. We can't be reactive about this."

Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said he would investigate the matter further. "AA's concerns are noted ... angle parking creates a reduced traffic speed environment and it has been successful in achieving this."

He said the raised platform was not a formal pedestrian crossing, and its purpose was to act as a speed hump.

"We believe this is effective and safe but will undertake a review as traffic patterns may have changed."

The Timaru Herald