Christchurch City Council’s citywide cutback on street parking spaces as part of the retro-fitting of the cycleways in selected city streets could not have come at a worse time.
In St Albans, like many suburbs in Christchurch, the tendency is to build multiple housing units on one site but without allowing for sufficient space for all residents’ cars so many have to park out on the street.
Take a walk down St Albans streets on a lazy Sunday afternoon and you could be forgiven for thinking that the neighbours were all holding quiet, indoor parties. Occupants of these units in streets tagged for the cycleway may have to find a spot around the corner to leave their cars when not in use.
In the CBD, none of the parking buildings that used to cater for cars coming into town has been replaced and there are no public indications of CCC replacing them yet. There are however, several more privately-owned parking spaces (charging higher rates than the council would and often unsealed) planning to open up on recently demolished sites. New buildings under construction now will open for business next year bringing more people back to work and shop in the city centre and they will face even more limited parking spaces. Cycleways heading through the inner city will also reduce street parking there too as it seems there is not enough room for both car parking and cycle routes.
Will it become a requirement for developers in our streets to supply more off-street parking in future? Could it put an end to vehicles being parked half on the footpath and half on the road in narrow streets? Will we see a park and ride the buses (free) scheme, electric cars rentable by the hour or a priority parking scheme for residents’ cars? Or will it simply create more problems than it solves, particularly in the short term?