11 Jul 2016

Miramar residents face continued parking woes

8:03 pm on 11 July 2016

Residents in the Wellington suburb of Miramar will have to continue using home-grown techniques to protect their grassy verges, with a permanent airport parking solution still months away.

no caption

Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

Every day airport users, baulking at the parking fees, leave their cars in the quiet suburban streets surrounding the airport; but locals say it is getting worse and the council is too slow to act.

Kath Boult lives on Kauri Street, a couple of minutes from the airport.

It was once lined with grassy verges, but now residents have resorted to guarding their treasured turf with painted rocks, cones, rope and stakes in the ground.

They do not want it to resemble the other side of the road where an old schoolyard sits, lined with diagonally parked cars that frequently get bogged down in the mud.

Mrs Boult said some of the cars had been parked opposite her house for months and it was time for the council to get to work.

"It's mainly not being able to park outside your residence, or else if you have visitors and they've got to walk miles and, yeah, it's just inconvenient," she said.

You could not invite anyone over for a cup of tea, she said.

Down the road Anastasia Haidakis said she did not care who parked there or for how long, but it still needed to be sorted.

"I have a problem with the council, that they're not doing anything about it to make it safe, because there's so much they could do," she said. "They could get rid of all that grass area, make it proper parking and I don't care who parks here for as long as they want."

no caption

Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

This week, the council will start talking with residents about introducing marker posts and planting as a temporary fix; and it might make the old school site on Kauri Street a parking area.

Council transport chair Andy Foster said while a permanent solution would not be ready for consultation until after the local body elections in October, it would be broader.

"Are things like residents parking schemes part of the answer, are time limits in some areas part of the answer, is just marking the roadway out better -- so that the parking is a lot tidier than it is at the moment -- is part of the answer," he said. "[There's] a whole lot of different things that we can talk about and then ultimately come to a solution."

Around the corner on Hobart Street, an airport luggage trolley had been left behind and while there were no grassy verges, there was no parking either.

In front of one house, workmen have tried putting out cones to reserve their spaces, but they had been moved and the park was filled by airport users.

Alan Mark had a quick job to do on a drain under the footpath, and had to park his van three houses away.

"It's pretty bad, cos we're going to have to park on that driveway now to do the job," he said, pointing to his colleague's much larger truck.

But one plane passenger who had just returned from Timaru, Maeve Ryan, said she would continue to park in the streets near the airport to avoid the fees.

"I drive and I park around the field close to the airport just cos it's free and it's the best place to park," she said. "[Airport parking] is so expensive, it's ridiculous."

"Last time I parked and I went over the 10 minute threshold I think it was like $6."

The airport said where appropriate, it would support the council's engagement plans later this year.

no caption

Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp