3 Jun 2016

Chch council eyes suburban parking meters

7:09 pm on 3 June 2016

Parking meters and residents-only zones are being considered by Christchurch City Council to ease suburban parking pressure.

Parking meter (file pic).

Parking meter. Photo: 123RF

Christchurch residents frustrated with parked cars blocking driveways and taking every vacant space on their suburban streets, are hoping a council plan to address the problems may offer some help.

Since the earthquakes left most of the central city wiped out, many businesses and shops have headed to the suburbs - and brought their parking problems with them.

Christchurch City Council is looking at whether options like introducing parking meters or resident-only parking in the suburbs could help ease some of those pressures.

They have highlighted problems in Shirley, Merivale, near the University of Canterbury, across a large area of Riccarton, Papanui, Addington, Sydenham, Barrington and near the Airport Business Park and the Canterbury Technology Park in the north of Christchurch.

Over the past few years, the Christchurch suburb of Addington has transformed from a fringe central city area with a few shops along the main road, to a hub with large office blocks, a rugby stadium and numerous bars and restaurants.

The change has come with more cars - and parking woes.

Addington Neighbourhood Association chair Sarah McKenzie said parking had been causing headaches for a few years now.

"People parking right up to the driveways, people couldn't see when they are coming out, there was a couple of issues with car accidents, not being able to see across the road.

"So I think its really frustrating for the residents, and it kind of goes both ways, 'cause I guess its really frustrating for the employees as well, not having suitable parking."

Ms McKenzie said adding to the problem was the council efforts to slow traffic and narrow the roads.

"They changed all of the roads. They did a beautification already on those areas. So the roads have already been made a lot narrower, and then you've got parking on both sides which causes traffic issues and two cars can't really fit down the road."

Ms McKenzie said she thought a new car parking building could help the issue.

Providing some form of off-street parking is one of the options the council is considering, along with discouraging parking through time limits, or metered parks.

The council is currently looking at a range of options to improve suburban parking, with the aim of creating a framework to guide future decisions by the community boards.

Merivale Precinct Society chair Chris Aynsley said the bus lanes along Papanui Road, which restrict parking during the morning and evening rush hours, are adding to problems in his area.

He said they were pushing people to park in the quiet suburban streets, rather than on the main thoroughfare.

"People are popping into the side streets and parking there all day, and people are prepared to walk 10 -15 minutes to get to work, which means the whole of Merivale is quite choked."

Mr Aynsley said it was good to hear the council was looking at the problem, and believed residents-only permits could help - particularly in the streets closest to Merivale Mall.

He said metered parking could also help to ensure people didn't stay in one spot all day.

The proposal will go out to residents associations and businesses for consultation in about a month, and for wider public consultation next year.

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