The is PART 2 of a 3 PART series:
In PART 1 I discussed the issue of illegal parking on Wai-atarua Plaza, at The Victoria Park Markets and at The Victoria Skatepark. In this article I will be focusing on Wynyard Quarter, The Viaduct and Quay Street.
Hats off to Waterfront Auckland for creating an amazing waterfront destination. Not much can be faulted but like always improvements can be made. I would also like to thank them for taking the necessary precautions to prevent illegal parking across the pedestrian crossings after I brought it to their attention in this article. . The bollards are extremely effective and promise to do more damage to vehicles than the other way around. Unfortunately though there are still some people totally “oblivious” to the parking restrictions and as to why bollards are there.
This was the situation a few weeks ago. Vehicles parked in bays that are used for the sole purpose of pedestrians to cross over from one side of the road to the other. Waterfront Auckland applied “no parking” signs on the surface of the road but that didn’t deter anybody from parking there.
In the interim, Waterfront Auckland have installed bollards that can’t be missed. They are bold and in no uncertain terms state that you can’t park here. This is an area for the sole use of pedestrians only.
You would think that this would deter even the hardest illegal parker. Think again. This clever Alec decided to park across the pedestrian crossing and in the road (not even to the side of the road).
He or she was not the only one, there have been numerous such exhibitions of stupidity.
I spoke to one of the security guards at Wynyard Quarter and asked him to do something about these brazen people. He told me that he has no jurisdiction over illegal parkers and that there isn’t much that he can do. Hands in the air and shaking his head. Well here’ s a thought for Waterfront Auckland. Your contracted security guards patrol the area on bicycles and such. They are the eyes and ears of Wynyard Quarter. Why not provide them with the jurisdiction to contact a towing company and get rid of these illegally parked cars. Now that is being proactive.
Most of us are aware that it has taken years for Waterfront Auckland to prepare a Masterplan for the area. Some times I wonder if they rushed through it. Many issues are unresolved or haven’t been considered. Take bus shelters for example or how about a taxi rank ? Well prepare yourself for what is considered to be the taxi rank at Wynyard Quarter. Not only do the taxis block the tram line, they also block other road users and they block the pedestrian crossings.
The following cases are examples of how certain vehicle users and hospitality owners (Marvel Grill to be exact) consider a public space to be their very own private parking space. This behaviour creates a case of monkey see, monkey do and it becomes a parking space for everybody. The solution is simple, security phones tow truck and car is gone.
I would also like to show how blatantly ignorant and care-free some people are. The following photograph shows a father pull up onto the pavement and take his child for a run around the play ground while mum sits and watches from the car. Proof enough that illegal parking is treated too lightly. Treble the fine for illegal parking and watch things change dramatically.
As for The New Zealand Herald’s little crusade against parking fines, let them please explain to the visually impaired and the handicapped as to why their concerns aren’t addressed. While they are at it they can please explain to the parents that lost their son or daughter, tragically killed on the pavement by a callous illegal parker, as to why we should be more lenient against transgressors. Touch wood that it never happens but I would like to see them try and justify it.
The intersection at Quay Street, Viaduct Basin, Prince’s Wharf and Lower Hobson Street is an example of the World’s most diabolical piece of city planning, or should I say the lack thereof. From an explosion of sandwich boards to crazy traffic light cycles to roads coming at you from every direction. Most absurdly, parking on the pavement. Who in their right mind would allow a car park on the pavement of one of the most prominent tourist strips in the city ? Auckland Council please raise your hand.
Ever since arriving on these shores 8 years ago I have been amazed at how little consideration is given to the people who use this city. Vehicles are pride of place and totally over power Auckland. A fantastic example is the corner of Lower Hobson Street and the road that feeds endless amounts of traffic into Te Wero Island on the Viaduct. Here cars are allowed to park on the pavement, obstructing all forms of pedestrian movement. The cars are also allowed to enter and exit this parking space at the traffic lights where people cross the street. I can’t get my head around how crazy this is.
These cruise ship tourists were totally dumbstruck when they crossed the road and walked into a car park on the sidewalk where it is supposed to be free of cars. Needless to say that they had to wander into the street, one of the most dangerous streets in Auckland. I have nearly been hit by a car here on numerous occasions. The mother crossing with her toddler almost died of fright when a car drove up behind her.
Apart from the fact that Auckland Council is allowing hawkers to set up their shanty towns on Kingslow Landing, blocking access to the waters edge and spoiling one of the best views in the city centre, they are now allowing delivery trucks to use our pavements as loading zones. Don’t forget that Quay Street is the main drag for tourists and for residents connecting between the Waterfront and key transportation hubs. The following photographs will show how delivery vans have decided to use the area in front of The Ferry Building as a shared space with no consideration for people using the area (Please not that this isn’t a once off, I have many photographs of similar situations).
On this particular day there was 4 cruise ships docked at the wharves. Hundreds of people were trying to move between Queen’s Wharf and Prince’s Wharf with bags in hand. I witnessed some people walking into the street with their bags because there simply wasn’t any room for movement.
Car users are also under the impression that this part of town qualifies as a shared space. Some go so far as to think that it’s a pick-up zone for the ferry terminal. To hell with pedestrians.
PART 3 will feature Queen Street and Shared Spaces. A link has been emailed to Randhir Karma (Traffic Operations Manager ), Mike Lee, Shale Chambers, Christopher Dempsey, Christine Fletcher, Waterfront Auckland, Nazla Carmine, Ludo Campbell-Reid and Len Brown. If there is anybody that can find a solution to this problem, the afore-mentioned people can.