Parking for disabled students group's priority

Providing affordable parking for disabled students and their parents is key for a students' group, which has been seeking the opinions of people who flat and park in the University of Otago area.

About 18 students attended a forum at the university on Wednesday on the Dunedin City Council's tertiary precinct development plan.

Under the plan 185 free parking spaces in parts of Clyde St, Union St East, Harbour Tce, Forth St and Albany St will be changed to metered parking.

The Student Voice Otago group said it would be putting together a submission reflecting student concerns.

Raised at the forum were prioritising parking for disabled students and their parents, along with having more residents' parking, and looking at alternative parking options for long-term storage.

"We firmly support the first option [prioritising parking for disabled students and their parents], and have not decided on the specifics of how we want to advocate for residents' parking," a spokesman said.

"We want a solution to consider environmental and traffic congestion impacts without majorly inconveniencing residents.

"We expect many students ... to submit, especially residents."

Otago University Students' Association president James Heath said the OUSA was "definitely" submitting on the tertiary parking plan, as part of the association's push to be more involved in local government.

"We are interested in exploring how this will affect students and, going forward, what options are best for the community."

Union St resident and university student John Whiting (21) said he was against the parking meter idea, and he doubted it would make any money for the council.

Already it was difficult for him and his flatmates to find a park outside their flat, and they sometimes parked at Cerebos Greggs, in nearby Forth St, and had to walk up to the university or back home.

"It's quite an expense to students, and I'm not sure how much the city would gain," he said.

It was not like the centre of town, where people were coming and going all the time, he said.

Comment has been sought from the University of Otago.


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