On Friday, Auckland Transport announced consultation for a paid parking scheme in Albany.

Auckland Transport (AT) is looking at a paid parking zone for the Albany town centre meaning more parking for short-term visits.

The proposal includes a charge of $1.00 an hour, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, with no time limit on how long you can park. A 10-minute grace period would be allowed for pick-ups and drop offs. Existing loading zones and mobility parking won’t be affected.

The proposal applies to all on-street parking in the town centre area, bounded by Oteha Valley Road, Albany Expressway and the Auckland-Waiwera Motorway. It excludes privately owned parking (such as staff and Westfield mall parking, Albany Park and Ride, and Hooton Reserve parking).

With the amount of development planned for Albany over the next few years, parking in this area needs urgent management, says AT Parking Services manager, John Strawbridge.

Here’s a map of the area covered.

AT have been rolling out improved parking schemes to a number of locations for some time after starting with the CBD back in 2012. Most recently, that I’m aware of, was in Takapuna. The only difference with this Albany scheme appears to be that there is no change in price over the day.

What I thought interesting about this announcement though was that AT have excluded the Albany Park & Ride. It has 1,100 carparks and is I understand overflows on a daily basis – likely one of the factors in AT deciding to introduce this scheme. Introducing some form of pricing on the P&R would be a good to help manage the demand for it.

AT also say that this is needed to help address illegal and poor parking – although it’s not clear why they can’t just enforce the terrible parking that already occurs, including using walking and cycling paths for parking or as driveways and turning grass into a muddy mess, as can be seen below.

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67 comments

  1. Can we just bowl the entire area and start again? It’s a horrific mess to try and navigate by road, and terrible for pedestrians. Was up there on Saturday and felt so defeated by the layout. A grid structure would surely facilitate less wasted space and allow walking direct to the park and ride…

      1. I know Manukau fairly well, and as someone who tries not to drive I got around it easily enough. Least with Manukau you can go direct to where you need. Say I got off the bus (outside the mall opposite McD’s), it’s just a walk down Ronwood ave to Harvey Norman, etc. Or I know I can cut past the cobb & co and across the field, cross the Pack and Save carpark and I’m on Cavendish. In a car it’s generally easier.

        Albany… you have to go the long way around these massive loops to get anywhere on foot. Access through the mall is not always an option as the entrance can be obscured. Access via car is painful, tried going from the mall to Noel Leeming on Saturday and had to go all the way back to the Expressway, to make the correct turn to get in. Even then ended entering via McDonalds drive through and then under the warehouse as the markings are a mess.

      1. This one is reminiscent of my comments about education on the recent thread. I studied civil engineering in the early 1980s and can still recall being taught to design roads and parking just like this back then. The first discussion I heard of traffic calming was not until the late 1980s.

    1. Funny when they put the Albany “Centre” on the far side of everything. Perhaps they should have looked up centre in the dictionary.

    1. It doesn’t happen very often but I fully agree with Sailor Boy on this one, I would add that the street parking would then be short term and enforced to prevent P&R parkers to use the streets. I think Patrick has bought this up in the past that P&R facilities are not the best way to spend limited money, there are exceptions in outer stations without good feeder links.
      In all the times I’ve been to Albany (it is not often as I come from the south) I have never parked on road side parking and to be honest didn’t think there was much.

  2. map is misleading as the area in blue (proposed paid parking zone) actually covers the privately (and public, ie the park and ride and most of the reserves) owned land that is NOT on the road.

    A better map would have had an outline feature showing the ‘paid parking zone’, with the roads (on which parking will be managed) coloured blue (or whatever).

    IN fact a map of parking inside the zone that would NOT be managed would probably be more enlightening!

    I also heard that there are concerns that roading (ie SoV) levels of service within and around the town centre are forecast to decline/already an issue and that they are looking at solutions to further increase road lanes and vehicle priority. FFS, i dont even…

  3. That cycling path area practically lays out a welcome mat for illegal parking because it’s so carelessly designed.
    Given that there’s no need for ad-hoc vehicle access (ambulances etc) it would be sensible to erect bollards, with a single unlockable bollard for Council mowers in the centre of the cycle path.

    1. Several of them already have it, and people simply drive around them. Across the mud. Only thing that would help if AT is too cowardly to enforce is to encircle the whole bloody reserve in bollards.

      Also, arent you basically saying that “the cycleway designers are at fault that these people park illegally”? Yes, yes you are.

      1. “Also, arent you basically saying that “the cycleway designers are at fault that these people park illegally”? Yes, yes you are.”

        Yes, that is exactly what is being said, and it’s exactly correct. We know motorists are appalling at following the law and designers have a duty of care to their vulnerable road users who die from unlawful behavoir of motorists and to council budgets which pay for enforcement of unlawful behavoir to design transport infrastructure to prevent this law breaking.

  4. Can’t stop laughing that they are leaving out the park and ride. Those AT people can see a problem and solve something else.

  5. So you propose to actively discourage people from taking the NEX by imposing parking charges on the park n ride???
    Yes in an ideal world people would take buses from their local area to connect with the NEX however in reality this doesn’t happen for several reasons.
    1) Albany PNR catchment includes many rural areas that aren’t serviced by PT.
    2) Albany PNR is located beyond easy walking distance from most housing (Torbay, Browns Bay etc)
    3) Many people using the NEX are doing so outside of the hours of other PT offerings (in other words catch the NEX back late on a Friday night and you are dumped in Albany with no way of getting home except for a taxi/uber), similarly many people catch the first buses out of there before other PT offerings have started up.
    4) Most people will just suck it up and pay, however there are a large amount who will just quit PT simply because even though it would still work out cheaper for most if they did the numbers they only see the up front cost rather than including the ongoing running costs of a car.

    What could perhaps be done is build a parking building in the upper part of the PNR and charge people to use that (nice undercover, close carpark) so the charge would pay for that increased capacity which would then allow them to enforce the parking rules on other roads without discouraging PT usage.

    Charging for parking at a PNR like Albany (is different from somewhere like a central suburb) is quite simply cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    Perhaps one day when PT services are running more frequently and to more places for longer hours then there might be a case to do this, in the mean time doing so would be silly.

    1. Charging for parking wouldn’t necessarily reduce demand, it would be still possible to have a full carpark. The only difference would be a change from first in first served to those who are willing to pay to use the carpark.

      It could even increase PT usage as it would be more appealing to people who may want to go into town for 3-4 hours in the morning, meaning a space is available for someone else to do the same thing in the afternoon.

    2. “So you propose to actively discourage people from taking the NEX by imposing parking charges on the park n ride???”

      No, pricing would increase ridership by making shorter term parking much more attractive than long term parking which will allow more people to use the car park.

        1. Yes, we could use a system like that which is really costly to enforce, or we could just go straight to best practice for parking management and charge the highest cost the market will bear.

    3. Albany Park and Ride is full by 7.30am, there is no risk to usage levels from a couple of bucks. In fact usage would go up as you’d have less all day users taking up a space for 9 or 10 hours, and more shorter term turn over.

      Charging would at least allow some access to it after dawn.

      To be honest even if all the albany park and ride users quit and stopped taking PT, we would hardly notice. There are 1,100 carparks out of a busway system that moves 25,000 return trips a day. So less than 5%.

      Busway is growing at 10-20% per annum FYI, so we could pull out all the park and ride and we’d still be carrying more people by the end of the year.

      1. A lot of people carpool to the PnR. There are a lot of people that also don’t use it all day and in fact you see a lot of people arriving there late afternoon to take it into town. You are also forgetting all the cars parked nearby and the many kiss n ride drop offs that happen. I would say you could easily double the 1100 figure you gave so not insignificant. A lot of these people also support the patronage levels on bus services outside of the main peaks (i.e. Before 7am and before 5pm/after 7pm). I can say that because as has been pointed out the PnR is full before 7am.

        1. Actually that’s one of the things that I find odd about the park-and-ride there is no obvious drop-off zone so that you can easily drop people off (I may have missed it though!)

          1. Pricing all day parking wouldn’t affect drop offs, so not sure your point.

            The row of parking closest to the station is five minute for kiss and ride. But no, not intuitive.

          2. Not related at all to the pricing, just an observation. I have looked for, but did not manage to find the five-minute parks and they were certainly always full every time I’ve been looking. Will look again next time I go…

          3. At Albany the drop off is on Elliot Rose Avenue and is really good. For constellation it’s 200m away up the hill on Sunset Road for some ridiculous reason.

          4. Thanks – was looking inside the park-and-ride. I can now see what you are referring to on Google Maps.

        2. Go and see how full the T2 car parks are at about 830 and it will prove that only about 10 people are car pooling to the station.

        3. “A lot of people carpool to the PnR.”

          Charging for parking would encourage car pooling as it would mean the cost can be split. There is not much incentive to car pool when parking is free. There really is no reason to have free parking here when it all gets taken so early and a charge would not reduce PT use.

      1. Why? Why not make the bus free and charge to drive? Right now we subsidise the thing that causes the problem (driving) and charge for the solution (the Transit service). Isn’t that backwards?

        1. Yes it is backwards. We are supposed to put subsidies on things with positive externalities like riding the bus. Instead they have subsidised the parking. Originally the parking areas were designed for paid parking but the busway planners lost their nerve and worried nobody would use the busway which would make them look stupid so they made parking free.

        2. That would be wonderful but that has never been raised. The only thing that has been raised is the possibility of charging for parking.
          You can’t make PT completely free either in general because then you have anti-social types (of one sort or another) either using it as a bedroom or as there on personal drawing board, or just to hang out on doing drugs etc. Fares in Auckland could easily be halved however and that would encourage a huge uptake in PT.

          1. My point is not to argue for free PT, but to show the strong case for charging for parking. Parking for free at pnrs clearly exhibits all the signs of being a classic ‘under-priced good’, which generate perverse incentives.

  6. I once was a contractor at ASB’s C-drive where ASB’s off road car park is for permanent staff, if they are lucky, and Corinthian Drive was really the ASB contractor/overflow carpark. That was several years ago and with all the new office build I hate to think what that road is like now.

    Being a Public Transport fan I occasionally struggled up from home in Devonport but going point to point on by bus on the Shore is challenging to say the least. I applaud discouraging car use by making parking a harder option but AT need to get their finger out improving the Shores bus services to compensate.

    1. Not sure how long it is since you worked there, but ASB also bought land adjacent to build a second car park – and that is also full. My friends tell me you have to be at work by 0815 at the latest to get a car park (assuming you’re a permie and can use the car park of course).

  7. I really wish that AT would charge for car parking at the Park & Ride stations and use the revenue to fund free local feeder buses. This would free up car parking spaces and reduce traffic.

    And whilst I’m dreaming… these feeder buses would be demand-responsive transit meaning they drop-off/pick-up people from their homes and are routed using smart technology. I’ve seen these systems in Northern Europe and England.

    1. That sounds like a separate bus system. We already have a system with a number of free feeder buses, we just need to have more buses heading towards these stations.

    2. agree with Bevan’s intentions.

      The reality is that with integrated fares many people’s bus fares would be included in the journey to the city.

  8. I think in this particular situation it’s more a question of what do we expect people to do? Say you turn up at 7am at that park&ride and it’s full. Then what? Drive back home and catch a bus back to the station (which will take who knows how long)? Or go home and tell their employer they cannot make it to work due to unforeseen circumstances ? Or bend the law a little and leave your car on a verge? I can only guess which of those 3 is a viable option for most people.

    That entire stupid situation is of course easily avoided by charging a few dollars for parking on the park&ride so it doesn’t fill up so early. I don’t get what part of that is too complicated.

    1. Because it’s a New Zealanders birthright to drive and park anywhere at any time. If you price parking even a little bit, you are an immigrant loving barbecue hating non-kiwi who should go live in Hong Kong. Apparently.

        1. Where would you do it anyway? Usually with those new housing developments, you don’t have room to squeeze a barbecue between your house and your fence.

  9. Why not just start with a small parcel of parking land and build a mixed used multi-storeys building.
    It will have multiple levels of car park for public and residences, have some retail / service and hospitality on the ground floor, the the higher up will be apartments and offices.

    The profit by the sale of apartments and office will fund the extra car parks. Some nicer covered car park can be charged to promote casual parking and pay off maintenance.

    Once the first building is up and carparks are released, the next parcel of land will be chosen and built the same way.

    Capital are always recycled by the sale of apartments and offices, so this process can be repeated on different parcels of land. No extra money is required once it is started.

    The whole complex can be master planned to form a well designed fully integrated place for living, working and entertainment – similar to New Lynn.

    1. I have a better idea:

      Build the exact same building but instead of five levels of car parks build five levels of apartments or office space, recycle the capital from that and then call Albany a metropolitan centre.

  10. The general consensus from people who live in Torbay is they would rather drive into town than take the bus if they have to pay $85 a week for parking. Many people complaining that the new bus network will make it even harder to get to the bus station, although my understanding was it would improve travel to the bus station and make travel within the suburbs worse. For many people it’s much faster to get to the bus station by car so makes sense people would do that. And cycling down Oteha Valley Road not very safe either.

    1. The people of Torbay are indeed skillful if they can find weekly city parking for only $85 per week. Early bird parking generally is from about $25 per day. And that is why people bus from Albany where the cost is $4.85 times two. There is still plenty of margin for the park n ride to be charged at say $2 or $3 per day.

    2. It’s faster to go to the bus station by car, but not once you add in 10 minutes to find a car park and 10 minutes to walk back to the bus station from there. It’s a false economy.

      1. To be fair you also have to subtract the time spent walking to the bus stop and waiting for the feeder bus. If you have an unreliable bus showing up every 30 minutes or every hour that’s a lot of time.

        More likely the fastest way during rush hour will be riding a bicycle, but that’s probably not viable over there.

        1. I used to driving, cycling, bus, and walking on alternately from Glenvar Road. Cycling around there is terrifying. All of the feeder buses are now at least half hourly in peak periods. So ten minutes walk, ten minutes wait, ten minutes ride. The same as driving.

  11. “With the amount of development planned for Albany over the next few years, parking in this area needs urgent management, says AT Parking Services manager, John Strawbridge.”
    What he means is that AT is bringing the same amount of urgency that they bought to fixing March madness i.e. none.
    What he doesn’t say it that every AT staffer employed in the Corinthian Drive office could have looked out their front window every day for at least the last six months and seen cars parked all over the berms, reserve areas etc.
    Miraculously this issue could have been fixed by some of the people that AT employ, called parking wardens.
    Patrick, what can you do to move AT out of first gear and provide a transport system Aucklanders might reasonably be proud of?

  12. You can charge for PNR parking without discourage user from using NEX. You put a gate in front of the PNR car park and driver can get it with parking ticket or using AT hop card. If the driver enter with AT hop card and get on a bus within 1 hour, the charge of the car park will be refunded.

    1. Or we could just increase the charge to use the park and ride until about 10% of the car parks are unoccupied all of the time and know that we have achieved the optimal use of the car park.

      1. How does this work (since AT are talking about using this concept for street parks too). If there are 100 spaces the first 90 cars get to park for (say) $2 an hour, but car 91 is within the 10% occupancy threshold so has to pay $4 an hour because he or she has hit ‘peak demand’?
        But what about car 92? He or she should also pay $4 an hour but luckily three other vehicles just moved out a minute before he/she arrived so she/he only has to pay $2 because we’re back below (above?) the 10% threshold.
        Poor Ol’ car 91, paying twice what everyone else does.

        1. You set the price at $2 an hour. You measure average occupancy over a period of time, a week, two weeks, a month. At the end of that period if the average occupancy was greater than 90% you increase the hourly price, if it was below 90% you reduce it. Repeat.

          You can see from this explanation of demand-responsive pricing in San Francisco that the hourly cost will not change more often than once per month: http://sfpark.org/how-it-works/pricing/

          The point is not to ensure that the carpark is never more than 90% full, just to ensure that on average there will be parking spaces available.

  13. the PnR is also widely used by workers from the mall who were told by mall management that they cannot use the carpark. It’s also widely used by commuters from further north

    The whole area is FUBAR. It’s a major retail hub – that encourages cars – a designated office park and has very poor public transport options except for the Busway.

    The local commercial businesses see parking as the major issue for the area and it’s only going to get worse as the greenfields are developed

    Really need the Rosedale station now but please AT revert to the original plan of a kiss n ride or you’ll simply duplicate the issues already obvious not only at Albany but also Constellation

  14. I attended the consultation evening tonight with AT as I work on Corinthian Drive, and when lucky I also park there. This is what I raised;
    I support paid parking, because I want public transport to be a no-brainer, currently my commute from Big Manly is 30/40mins vs PT – 1hr/1.30. The bus will get stuck in exactly the same traffic and cost more than my petrol. Why would I ever use public transport in this scenario? being charged close to $10 a day (which seems absorbitant (Wilsons a commercial company is charging $3 for 12hrs).

    What really frustrates me is Albany is so car centric. i.e. it’s easier to drive between shops (e.g. Westfield to mitre) than it is to walk. Crossing four lanes of traffic which are traveling at speed is not pedestrian friendly. Where is the cohesion and planning that we so desperately need? this is after all the north shore “Super City”.
    Neither AT nor the Upper Harbour Local Board Member Margaret Miles (good on her for attending) could advise me on an actual design plan for the aforementioned north shore super city. (let me know if there is one). It’s not all bad though, I love the Lake, this is a real asset which I hope they build on. There is currently a cycle lane (..to nowhere..) that could be continued.

    I also gave AT a slap on the wrist. The public were advised on the 28th, three business days later they hold there one and only face to face consultation. I was also dismayed at the lack of physical signs where the illegal cars are parking. The majority of roadside notifications were on roads with yellow lines (Don McKinnon) or outside the Westfield, I spotted one opposite the bus-shelter (but not in it?).

    Over all, I’m in support. This will give me the push I need to organise some carpooling to work. Which is the intended result for AT. I would like to see more effort made in making Albany centre less car centric and more user friendly.

    On a side note, I really enjoy Greater Auckland’s blog posts. I appreciate how all the posts are backed by hard stats and logical reasoning and isn’t a one sided personal rant. Unfortunately the inclusion of twitter videos have tainted my opinion of Greater Auckland’s blog. I’d prefer Greater Auckland didn’t use (IMO sensationalist) tweets to help back there argument.

    1. If only buses along Whangaparaoa Road and Hibiscus Coast Highway could get some priority measures, that would create a much better PT outcome.

  15. I agree that parking shouldn’t be free, but before this is implemented there needs to be better feeder buses to the Albany station, with bus priority lanes on key arterial routes (e.g. East Coast Rd, Oteha Valley Rd) so feeder buses don’t get caught up in traffic heading to the motorway. As a personal example, I live near East Coast Rd. It would take me 5 mins to drive plus another couple to walk from the carpark to the station vs half an hour to get a feeder bus or to walk.
    Decent feeder buses should have been in place when the station was first built, and especially now that the busway is proving to be so popular.

  16. You want people to use buses but when they do you moan about them parking on the grass? Whats worse? These people clogging up the motorway or actually making an effort to catch public transport??

    1. Yes we moan about self entitled motorists thinking they can leave there cars parked on a reserve all day. Quite frankly I couldn’t care less about these people, 95% of people catching public transport on the north shore just catch the bus. If these 5% think they have to drive to catch a bus then that is their problem. If they want to line up for the motorway then all the best to them.

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