JCA on Wellington City Council’s Traffic Resolutions – Parking and fee changes

Johnsonville Community Association has made a submission on Wellington City Council’s Annual Plan, focusing on car parking. JCA says to WCC:

  1. Don’t increase charges for public carpark spaces
  2. Require property developers to provide sufficient private parking for all units
  3. Return falsely-labelled “bus stops” to community use.

1. Parking charges

The Johnsonville Community Association generally opposes the parking changes proposed recently by Wellington City Council. 

Because most North Wellington residents live at least seven kilometres away, cycling and walking are simply not a reasonable option for most residents. So the most important alternative mode is public transport. 

The reasons for the JCA position are:

  • Unfair: More and more North Wellington residents are driving to work. This is because the public transport service is less reliable and more expensive. The parking charge increases unfairly take money from those who have no good alternative choice. WCC only recently increased Coupon Parking charges last year. Another increase is unfair.
  • Bad transport planning: Neither Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) nor Wellington City Council (WCC) have sufficiently invested in improving the public transport service. Indeed, the cheap option shift of Johnsonville Bus hub from an off-street location (in the Mall car park) to on-street location has resulted in reductions in safety and weather protection for waiting passengers.
  • Broken promises: In theory, each Annual Plan says how Council will ‘make it so’ this coming year for the Long Term Plan. WCC’s Long Term Plan proposed $3.2M for Bus Priority Planning. But this Annual Plan proposes to CUT this investment by three quarters! Clearly, revenue from proposed parking charge increases will not go towards improving public transport. The JCA has no faith that our PT service will be improved.

Also, JCA opposes the introduction of metered parking into Johnsonville because it is unfair. Council would be justified increasing parking fees (especially Coupon Parking and Hourly Rate charges) as part of a plan to cut car use, ONLY if it has already provided a better alternative public transport service.

 

2. Parking provision in housing developments

JCA is very concerned that WCC planners constantly disregard or fail to apply off-street parking requirements for new and in-fill developments.

The District Plan has clear requirements for housing developers to provide sufficient off-street parking.

Despite this, WCC officers approve most multi-unit developments in Johnsonville, without notification to neighbours, even though the developers have failed to provide the minimum off-street parking required under the District Plan.  As a result, central Johnsonville has lost most all day street parking because that’s where the new residents park. But everyone else from other parts of Johnsonville and the neighboring suburbs and local businesses suffer.

 

3. Return falsely-labelled “bus stop” to community use

In December 2018, JCA asked Wellington City Council to reverse the silly 2015 change where they marked off large bus stops on Johnsonville Road, but public transport buses have never used there as bus stops. They have used them for bus parks where the driver can stop the bus, go for a pee and maybe eat a pie. All other times, cars can’t legally park there. This situation is

  • Bad for local businesses (like the post office — no wonder it’s suffering a drop in walk-in traffic),
  • Unfair to local residents who want to park their car on the main street
  • On shaky legal ground — surely you can’t label something a “bus stop” when it is not actually  bus stop? Wouldn’t that be a lie?

 

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