Residential parking policy for inner city Auckland

St mary bay parkingI gave an update on the work Auckland Transport has underway on a residential parking policy in my September board report

Parking – Residential parking in St Marys Bay

The St Marys Association has recently raised, in a letter drop, concerns about possible changes to the residents parking scheme that has been successfully trialled for the last year (and recently extended for another year). They do not want to see any moves to encourage commuter parking on residential streets and have not been reassured by the responses received from Auckland Transport..

At our monthly catch up in August Auckland Transport confirmed that a parking strategy is going to the Auckland Transport Board in September which will include residential parking principles. They then intend to consult on a residential parking policy.

My understanding is that the policy is still very much under development and that there are a number of issues the policy needs to cover such as:

  • The appropriate level of on-street parking capacity for each specific zone or suburb: The St Marys Bay trial has been such a success the average capacity is now at 50%.  The consultation needs to give residents an opportunity to respond as to what they think is appropriate in their community.  The Association has made it clear that 50% is about right for St Marys Bay. In areas closer to the city centre or with more mixed use (such as Parnell) there is likely to be greater tolerance for higher  levels of on street parking  (in the city centre the aim is to have capacity at about 75-80% which always guarantee car parking).  In areas with narrow streets and heritage homes a lower level of capacity may be more appropriate.
  • How the scheme prioritises users: The residential policy should seek to prioritise residents but there needs to be consultation on who else the on-street parking can be made available for. For example Freemans Bay and Ponsonby residents may be more receptive to local workers and business owners using the available on street capacity because there are a higher proportion of home based businesses.
  • The appropriate tools to manage the additional capacity through pricing: My understanding is that the parking team are investigating a range of options. A coupon scheme has been given as one example by AT which was strongly rejected by the Association. Through any scheme it is possible to prioritise residents and discourage commuters – it is just a matter of getting the pricing tools right.

I have also been reassured that AT is not working on a policy that seeks to apply a one size fits all scheme to distinct suburbs. There needs to be flexibility about how a residential scheme is applied. For example in Parnell there is a greater need for late night restrictions because of the visitors coming to the bars and restaurants.  Pricing may also need to vary depending on the desirable level of on street parking.

My understanding is that all these issues are going to be covered in the AT policy and it will be consulted on.  It is through the policy development that we need to ensure that St Marys Bay ends up with an appropriate scheme based on the successful trial. I also want to ensure the policy is not delayed as there is a need for effective residential parking schemes in the other central suburbs particularly Freemans Bay.

Parking issues should be reported to Auckland Transport by calling 3553553