Paid parking - a necessary evil?

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

It's 1963, and Keith Holyoake is Prime Minister. Tauranga town has a population of 22,000 and parking meters have been installed in the CBD. A young man puts a penny in a shiny new meter; 54 years later, Cr Terry Molloy walks these streets again, clipboard in hand.

You could be forgiven for confusing the well-dressed, elder statesman of council for a ‘meter man', but he's doing what comes naturally to him. He's left the rarefied air of council and is talking with retailers. He's carrying a survey and asking what would make our CBD better. Unsurprisingly, parking is blamed for turning customers away.

By 1984 it cost 40c to park for two hours ($1.26 in today's dollars). Some 33 years later, the price has risen 74c in real terms to $2. Have people really changed where they shop for the sake of 74c over a generation?

Mall owners don't provide parking on expensive land for nothing, and the cost is rolled into the lease paid by retailers who then make it back through their customers.

In the CBD it is council who provides user-pays parking buildings. If we reduce prices, the cost goes on all ratepayers whether they shop in the CBD or not.

If parking meters have been around since 1963, what's changed? An extra 110,000 consumers are living here, incomes are higher, malls have cropped up to service the suburbs along with large retail outlets like The Warehouse, and council is building a third large parking building. It's 2017, and I'm asking you Terry's question: What will make our CBD better?

Email: steve.morris@tauranga.govt.nz or phone: 542 1602.

5 Comments

The Cash Cow

Posted on 13-11-2017 15:50 | By big ted

A few years back, a council in it's wisdom decided that new commecial buildings do not need to provide any parking for their inhabitants. That way council could make money! This has clearly backfired; those of us with choice don't go the CBD. My answer is to make parking free with a time restriction of say, 3 hours max.

If

Posted on 11-11-2017 20:12 | By Capt_Kaveman

parking is not 80% full then its to expensive

Stevie Wonder

Posted on 11-11-2017 14:45 | By Accountable

Are you taking the piss? Terry Molloys survey finished 2 weeks ago. Keep up with the play. Bayfair, 1800 parks and 100 shops. CBD, 2790 parks of which 999 are leased leaving 1790 for the public to support 280 shops and 379 servicing businesses. Bayfair has 18 parks per shop and the CBD has 6 parks per shop which are also shared with the service industry or in reality about 2 parks per shop. CBD has lost 1500 parks in the last 5 years all removed by Council. Bayfair has about 20,000 customers through its doors a day and the CBD has about 2500 a day past its foot traffic counter in Devonport road. Parking charges and fines should apply to all Council parking areas and not just the CBD. As Murray said level the playing fields although you being a Mountie can't see it that way.

Steve, you ask BUT will you listen? Have you asked yourself?

Posted on 10-11-2017 21:56 | By Murray.Guy

Steve, you ask BUT will you listen? Have you asked yourself? Firstly, the management of our parking must be the same city wide. I have NEVER had any answer from anyone (staff, consultant or public) that could validate with ANY integrity, why the CBD is singled out for, what is in effect, double dipping, revenue collecting. Just as at Greerton, Mount Mainstreet, outside most homes, there is NO cost to Council for the provision of 'on street curb side/ground level parking' as it has been paid for, and is uniform city wide. TCC chose (corruptly in my opinion) to remove the provision of parking from CBD developers - send it back to developers. Commercial rates could also have a CBD Mainstreet target rate. Steve, surveys have been done, the CBD wants fairness, parity with other commercial areas. You throw $millions at all manner of CBD focused white elephants!

None so blind...

Posted on 10-11-2017 17:51 | By backofthequeue

Councillor Morris is completely missing the point. It is not the cost of parking in so much as it has become the lack of parking. The Councillor states "In the CBD it is council who provides user-pays parking buildings." And it is also council who, in lieu of requiring new commercial buildings to be self sufficient in the provision of staff parking, have leased floor upon floor of these parking buildings to commercial interests. Add road/parking restrictions due to current construction projects (which for reasons above will only make things worse) and it is little wonder that people like me avoid the CBD - not because of cost but because of inconvenience!

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