Try other transport, drivers told

Terri Woods says she will have to come into work earlier to find a park when the St Andrew St car park closes temporarily. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Terri Woods says she will have to come into work earlier to find a park when the St Andrew St car park closes temporarily. Photo: Christine O'Connor
The temporary loss of an all-day car park with space for about 300 vehicles in Dunedin will cause disruption for commuters, but there are no plans to make alternative arrangements, the Dunedin City Council says.

Instead, motorists have been advised to ''take the chance'' with other transport options, council transport group manager Richard Saunders said yesterday.

The Otago Daily Times reported earlier this week the St Andrew St gravel car park would be unavailable for about two months when work began on the latest link in the city's cycle network.

Work on the cycleway extension - connecting the central city to the West Harbour shared path - was expected to start within the next two months and take up to eight weeks to complete, at a cost of about $700,000.

The car park would be closed for the duration as it also needed to be reconfigured to accommodate the cycle lane, Mr Saunders said at the time.

The announcement came days after the council also confirmed it had stopped taking bookings for its leased car parks, after reports the waiting list for some had blown out beyond a year.

The St Andrew St car park was a popular spot for all-day commuter parking, although Mr Saunders had said this week he could not say exactly how many parks were affected because they were not marked.

The council had previously said it had a capacity of about 200 vehicles, but the ODT counted about 240 vehicles parked there during a visit at 2pm yesterday, even though the car park was only about three-quarters full.

There appeared to be space for about another 40 or 50 vehicles, which would usually be taken if not for school holidays.

Commuters spoken to late yesterday were not impressed by the temporary closure plan.

Terri Woods said she parked there every day because it was close to Dunedin Hospital, where she worked, and ''because it's cheap and I'm a Scotsperson''.

She was resigned to having to come to work earlier each morning to find somewhere else to park.

''But then everyone else will be doing the same thing. It's not going to be too easy,'' she said.

She hoped the site could be redeveloped in time, suggesting it would be an ideal site for a parking ''high-rise'' for commuters.

But, in the meantime, she accepted the council had no options available to it.

''How do you magic up a car park facility? I can see why that would be difficult, and maybe not even realistic.''

Natasha Taukamo, a masters student on work placement, said she only used the car about once a week, but felt the temporary closure was ''not great''.

''There aren't many parking options available that are affordable or actually close to the city centre,'' Ms Taukamo said

''It's not going to directly affect me, but it's definitely going to affect everyone else who uses it daily.

''I think it's something that should be addressed, because parking options aren't great.''

Mr Saunders said yesterday the council accepted the temporary closure would cause disruption and there were no easy alternatives in the area around the railway station and harbourside.

Parks in the area were already ''very well used'' and there were no plans to provide alternative parking options or other measures to offset the temporary disruption, he said.

Instead, motorists should ''seek alternate parking or take the chance to try other transport arrangements during the disruption'', he said.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

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The Dunedin ratepayer owns this council. Yet we are seen as simply pawns in their game to force every resident onto a bike or bus.

Good luck to those struggling home with 10+ bags of groceries on their bike. Good luck to those who purchase a couple of large items and are refused entry onto a bus. And good luck to Dunedin businesses who not only face the internet as competition, but also a City Council hell bent on their demise.

So, no parking for the Saturday Farmers Market neither.
Not much point in going then.

When will the employers in Dunedin start supporting their employees and lobbying the Council to implement more parking?

I realise the wide streets around the harbour area just on the other side of the rwy line are needed by trucks and such, but surely some of those could be made into right-angle parking, as was done in Manor Pl? Also if you're serious about saving money, you don't waste your dosh on running a motor vehicle, scotswoman! Driving is only cheap when you look at petrol and ignore all the faff that comes with car ownership.

Two months Rubbish does that include the re work that the DCC or NZTA are known for.

What an Arrogant answer Saunders, Reading from a far it appears Saunders is like King Midas but at the other end of the scale way in the negatives. Every thing he touches turns to ............. People need to start to protest and park there cars around the Octagon and disrupt traffic block the DCC Management in and attract unwanted attention from national and international media. Saunders and others has obvious forgotten he works for these same people, he is a public servant he serves the people. Maybe start off with complaining to the DCC in writing. and overload
phones emails asking for answers. Who is Saunders boss, it is about time you tighten the leash, complain to the ORC as well.

People saying that council cant just magic up an alternative Car Park are mistaken and are letting them off the hook. 'They have a ready made solution in the old Cadbury's warehouse. Have a yarn to the government and grab the keys, open the gate and voila covered parking for hundreds of cars. But will they do it? No show. They will just continue to thumb their nose at the very people they are supposed to be serving. Total arrogant attitude from someone I have no doubt whatsoever hasn't seen the inside of a bus or any other type of public transport ever.

It seems saunders is above his station, a reminder of who pays his wages is in order.

I bet Mr Richard Saunders won't have any parking issues. His response is hardly helpful. 300 parks is significant. How about take the opportunity Mr Saunders, to promote one particular rideshare app to encourage critical mass? How about trialling a commuter train from Mosgiel, Waitati or Port Chalmers to our very central station? You're exposing yourself as pretty inept at your job Mr Saunders, and don't forget who you work for.
Ratepayers.
I suggest we ALL ring Mr Saunders asking for alternatives, or our local Councillors, asking then about their opinion on Mr Saunders ability to do his job!

Richard Saunders has crushed the guts out of the DCC and is off for a promotion to crush the ORC staff...good luck to them, this guy is marginal at best

So nurses etc to help keep is going get screwed over again.
Easy for the council troughers who have supplied vehicles and parks, but Bugger the ratepayers aye.
Saunders should be fired, from a rocket, into the sun

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