Uni lacks 400 park spaces

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
The University of Otago's massive building programme has left it 400 parking spaces short and some staff are having to wait five years for a designated park.

The strain on parking has proved so great the university has contracted a consultant to review its parking arrangements.

It is considering a range of options to fix the problem, including raising prices, getting rid of personal parks and providing more parks.

Tertiary Education Union organiser Kris Smith said the university simply needed to install more parks.

It had become ``almost impossible'' to find a park in the campus area and raising the price of parking would unfairly disadvantage lower-paid workers, Ms Smith said.

She worked in the campus area and knew first hand the struggle to find a park each day.

``While all the campus development has been happening, for a whole year it has been almost impossible [finding a park].

``I waste a lot of work time looking for a park.''

The issue was addressed by the university last week in a submission at the Dunedin City Council's second-generation district plan (2GP) hearings and on its news site.

Under a council agreement the university was required to have 2201 parks for staff and students, but because of the building work going on it had a deficit of about 400.

While the university had always reached the target, it acknowledged on its internal news site it was now ``struggling'', which could lead to the council charging the university at least $7000 for each park below the total.

Property management manager Murray Gray said pressure on parking was so tight and the temptation of vacant designated parks so strong that many vehicles were being towed, with owners having to pay $120 to get their vehicles back.

It had also affected the amount of time people were waiting to be assigned designated parks, with a few people in busy areas having to wait five years.

People were also increasingly parking further away from campus, including behind Forsyth Barr Stadium, where a free minibus runs on a loop to and from the campus.

As part of the next step property services staff would assess the options, and put forward recommendations to the university's chief operating officer, Stephen Willis.

Mr Gray noted that some market rates were more than twice the staff price in high demand areas of Dunedin.

University planner and policy adviser Murray Brass said the parking deficit should be addressed by November.

A new car park containing 152 parks was being created on the university-owned former Wickliffe Press site and would likely be completed by about April.

In a 2GP submission, Mr Brass called for the university's parking requirement to be lowered to 2000 from the proposed 2200.

This would take into account international and national trends, which were moving away from the ``car is king'' mentality of the past.

Improvements to cycling infrastructure in the city, including on the one-way system, would inevitably relieve pressure on parks.



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Should have built a multi storey car park at the Stadium the Uni could use it during the week and parking for the events .

Get a bike!

"Improvements to cycling infrastructure in the city, including on the one-way system, would inevitably relieve pressure on parks."

Mr Brass obviously suffers from the delusional disease so characteristic of the planning profession.

Not really. Remove enough car parks and people will eventually get the message and stop driving into Uni. Besides, why SHOULD car parks be provided? No-one owes those of us who drive cars a place to store them for the day.

The failure of the University to build a proper car park is causing massive disruption to locals who can't park outside their own homes or local business. This causes loss of amenity for residents but more importantly, loss of business as visitors travel elsewhere to buy products.

All so DCC and the University can push their pathetic pro bike agendas.

Reducing the number of carparks is desirable on environmental grounds, including improving the campus environment. The $7,000 per carpark the council is proposing to charge the university would pay for considerable improvements to the bus service. Otago could also make it easier for staff to live closer to the university rather than assuming everyone owns a car and wants to live a long distance away.

Mature Students;
How mature are you? Can you HANDLE the canopied electric 4 wheeler with cabin? Looks like Del Boy's, only smaller. Footpath drive only. Up with The Lark, on campus by 10.

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