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Auckland Transport pursuing powers to remove parking spaces without consulting local residents

Auckland Transport is pursuing the idea of removing parking spaces off the road without consulting residents – a plan called “bloody arrogant” by mayor Phil Goff.

AT has today released a Parking in Auckland discussion document that outlines possible changes to parking in Auckland.

It contains a radical proposal to grant AT the power to remove parking spaces for other uses such as bus and bike lanes without any consultation with local residents or local boards.

In a survey seeking public feedback on the discussion document, one of the questions asks for thoughts “on delivering projects more quickly and cheaply by automatically removing kerbside parking spaces on the Strategic Road Network rather than widening the road?”

In a rare public outburst last month, Goff told senior AT officers at a planning committee it will look “bloody arrogant” to tell a member of the public they are losing their parking space and won’t have a say about it.

“Democracy is about governing with the consent of the people and I’m a little worried we will piss people off enough that they will simply revolt against this,” said Goff.

The mayor also pointed out the Government is moving legislation under urgency to lift the requirement for parking on multiple housing developments at the same time AT was saying you cannot park on the road.

That is creating an impossible situation for people, said Goff, saying it is already the case in places like Flat Bush where there is no provision for the number of cars and poor public transport.

It is going to look like a range of government agencies making life damn hard for people and will be utterly unsustainable, said Goff.

Updating the parking strategy is a response to policy changes by the Government and the council to address climate change.

AT chair Adrienne Young-Cooper said the challenges being faced across the city with rising greenhouse gas emissions and the pressures associated with growth, safety and access are only going to become more significant.

“We also need to factor in changes to government policy, like the new National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which has removed minimum parking requirements,” she said.

“We could very easily see parts of our transport network being overwhelmed by simply using public roads for long-term parking of private vehicles, exactly at the time we need to take a hard look at the precious space in our road corridors and ensure that it is shared between all transport modes.”

Young-Cooper said the amount of parking space on roads affects how much is allocated for traffic, as well as bus and high-occupancy vehicle lanes which have the potential to substantially improve the efficiency of roads.

AT chief executive Shane Ellison said research showed cars are parked 95 per cent of the time and only driven 5 per cent of the time, which requires an enormous amount of land for parking.

As a result, cities require an enormous amount of land for parking, which isn’t the most efficient use of space, he said.

Feedback on the discussion document will be used to help develop a draft Parking Strategy, which will be publicly consulted on next year.

AT says any changes in the new parking strategy would be made over the next decade, saying the strategy will not cover private parking at people’s homes, workplaces, shopping centres, or private car parks.

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