A paper to the Waitemata Local Board meeting today raises serious concerns that Auckland Transport continue to undermine every strategy the city has in order to prioritise car parking.

The site in question is 2 Pompallier Terrace in Ponsonby, an AT owned 1330m2 site which currently has 41 carparks and public toilets. The site had been identified as part of the council’s policy of targeting land it owns that is underperforming and aims to use it to “to improve levels of service to the community, while delivering on strategic outcomes such as urban regeneration without impacting on rates“. In the case of AT land, they are also hoping to use the net proceeds to reinvest in transport priorities.

The owner of the surrounding sites (Urban Collective) is looking to build a mixed-use development on their land and as part of that they want to use that carpark create a public plaza that is incorporated with their development. The sites in question are shown below with the AT owned carpark in blue and the Urban Collective land in red.

The report says that Eke Panuku Development Auckland have been working with the developer “to enable value from the site to be unlocked, while still maintaining ownership of the existing facilities and achieving better urban design outcomes for the community“.

A plaza catching the evening sun and with hospitality spilling out on to it sounds like great addition and would help in achieving that. They also say the plaza will include publicly accessible pedestrian connection to Pompallier Terrace, Ponsonby Road and Cowen Street, and that the developer has agreed to “register a covenant on the title to ensure that the plaza remains physically open to the public into the future“.

That all sounds great but the thing that stands out to me is that it appears that AT will only let the site be turned into a plaza if they get at least 43 underground carparks as part of the deal, slightly more than they currently have.

AT requires that any transfer and development of 2 Pompallier Terrace be subject to the following conditions:

i) A minimum of 43 public car carks must be delivered to Auckland Transport’s requirements as part of any future development of the Property;

ii) The Public Car Parks must remain in Auckland Council ownership and under Auckland Transport’s management pursuant to the Auckland Council’s Off-Street Parking Delegations – June 2015;

iii) The Public Car Parks must be easily accessible and identifiable as public parking; and

iv) Auckland Transport’s car park designation is to be altered or retained to protect the Public Car Parks.

It does seem the developer is willing to meet those conditions though I would also hope there was something included in the requirements so that the street frontage of the plaza isn’t just taken up by a large carpark entrance.

The proposed Development

To be clear, my concern is not that the developer wants to provide parking as part of their development but that AT have required it. That land is incredibly valuable and those underground carparks won’t be cheap to build. It makes me wonder what else could have been achieved if the value of that work, potentially $millions worth, was invested in other public realm upgrades in the area? By putting such a requirement in place we lose the opportunity to have that discussion.

This all sounds very similar to what AT did at Takapuna where they required Eke Panuku to build them a multi-story carpark (Toka Puia) in order for Eke Panuku to be able to develop the Anzac St carpark site. Also notable about Toka Puia is that despite being completed, AT still haven’t closed the Anzac St site and are pricing it undercut other nearby carparks.

This carpark is like Toka Puia in another way too, it has really poor financial performance. The paper notes:

AT has confirmed that a basement car park will increase OPEX costs. This extra cost has been accepted as the current income generated from the car park is forecast to exceed future costs. Currently the budget for 2 Pompallier Terrace is $4K per annum, which is likely to increase to somewhere between $10-$30K. The current income is $36K and opportunities to increase revenue will be investigated as the proposed development progresses.

With revenue of only around $36k per annum that carpark represents a terrible return on the site and suggests each carpark is only generating about $2.40 per day. To put that in perspective, current prices are $1 per hour and hour for the first two hours then $4 per hour after that. That suggests either the carpark is being poorly managed by AT or it’s barely being used and therefore not all that valuable.

The carpark as it is now

With the developer on board it appears officials are patting themselves on the back but it seems the question they haven’t asked themselves is:

How does this outcome help encourage mode shift and the reduction of driving that Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and government policies all say that we need in order to reduce congestion and emissions?

Speaking of emissions and climate change, the papers climate impact statement says:

  • Utilising best practice universal design, the plaza will demonstrate climate mitigation and adaptation measures, with consideration given to the use of sustainable materials, waste reduction, water conservation and the creation of a suitable microclimate by addressing solar access, shade, and wind.
  • The new basement public car park will be flexible enough to allow for future changes or reconfiguration to suit changing transport preferences. This includes but is not limited to the ability to swap car parks for bike facilities, addition of EV infrastructure and support ride share initiatives as required.

I wonder how all the emissions from building the structure as well as all of the vehicles that will use it would weight up compared to the “climate mitigation and adaptation measures” incorporated into the plaza.

Finally, if keeping this carpark is so important to AT, why didn’t they and the local board use it as an opportunity to achieve other outcomes. For example, discussing with the community that if this currently underperforming carpark is to be retained, a similar amount of on-street parking on Ponsonby Rd will need to be removed to make way for cycleways.

While this particular issue may seem small, if the council is ever to realise their vision for Tamaki Makaurau then at some point they’re going to have stop letting ATs parking tail wag the strategy dog.

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  1. Attempting to establish the Transport Emissions Reductions Plan (TERP) while Auckland Transport continue to undermine quality climate planning like this is a farce.

    If only this was a one off, and if only this was the only type of issue.

    1. Heidi, yes bluntly AT is not meeting their obligations to achieve emissions reductions. The issue obviously starts at Board level and filters through the organisation. Arguably it starts above that at Council level, given that AT are a CCO.
      The politics of change is difficult as we have seen from COPout 26.

    2. Yet again the ableists want to demonise and shame people with disabilities and deny them access to the city streets. NEWSFLASH: for many the ONLY transport option is petrol driven vehicles and parking, (often even taxis are inaccessible and at a cost of greater than $50 to get just the next suburb over unaffordable to those on the lowest incomes in the country with the least access to work and jobs in the city). But it is ok if they die isolated from their community and without work in poverty. Because you are all about making people with disabilities disappear and be denied access for your lofty luxuries that scream hypocrisy at every turn. Want a pish up festival with more fuel and waste burned just to run it and you gorge yourselves on wasteful products horrendous to the climate while someone outside begs for a job, housing and basic access to the city streets, well you got it. Lets see what you do with it now that most the disabled cannot get work in the country, city, and even housing is restricted to less than 2% of homes for over 25% of population. How kind… no wait how hypocritical.

  2. The carpark already has EV infrastructure.
    Council should sell the land outright and allow the developer to create what they want. The public plaza will end up absorbed into the development and assumed to be private like others in the city.
    The council should also allow a higher building. The old facade looks out of place with a glass box barely sticking up behind it. At least a couple more stories if not several.
    I’d also assume the plaza will be more elevated than the existing land and overlook neighbors. Being the lowest point they’ll probably have the vehicle entrance under it.

    1. Like the road corridors and so on, Council (we) own the land and Auckland Transport have the responsibility of managing it.

    2. More to the point who paid for the land? Was it the Auckland City Council? Or was it local retailers who paid through cash in lieu of parking contributions? AT are just the current title holders. We need to look at why it was bought and who it was supposed to be held for.

      1. Times change. Any contribution needs to be seen as a contribution to society, and society’s understandings and challenges change. We know now how damaging providing parking is.

        1. Right so it was put there to provide parking for a local centre. The aerial shows it full so there is clearly a need for it. If the parking was removed and it was sold it would need to be offered back to the previous owner. Maybe just removing all the parking isn’t a very smart thing to do and maybe it has greater value as parking than the value of the revenue collected. Gosh who would have thought.

        2. If I sold chocolate at 10% of the market rate it would be really popular, that doesn’t mean there is a need for it.

          We bought lots of land to make inner city railyards. We repurposed all most of them because we realised they aren’t needed any more. We should do the same to the inner city car yards we no longer need.

        3. Yes conflate a discussion of positive externalities with chocolate because you prefer spin to logic. Well done!

        4. I am with you Sailor Boy – chocolate, ice-cream whatever. If you price it below cost it will be popular.
          Surely the starting premise when there is such a desperate need to reduce emissions is how can people access their local retailers other than by driving and parking? It’s not that hard, most(almost all) cities in the world have a lower car modeshare than Auckland.

        5. This is parking provided as a public utility to generate positive externalities. Imagine if it was bicycle parking, would that upset you?
          If it was a train station on a frequent route?
          A good question is: Do the positive (externalities) outweigh the negatives?

        6. Parking has negative externalities, not positive. Hence the comparison to chocolate with it’s poor health effects and environmental damage in production.

        7. It is an interesting paradox that parking is at the same time so valuable, yet paying for it seems so far out.

          I guess we are just used to it. We will probably have to get used to the fact that you have to pay for parking, just like how you pay for electricity or drinking water.

        8. Miffy if you go by the logic of “something was done in the past so we have to keep doing it forever” I have bad news about a lot of things for you.

          You seriously make the status quo an argument for retaining the status quo? Hat off, that’s impressive.

        9. Getting rid of parking is fine if all the retailers are local convenience shops. Problem is the destination retailers need to be somewhere too. Remove all the parking and they move further out and people will drive further. Do any of you think Millys Kitchen get many of their customers turning up on a bike?

        10. “Problem is the destination retailers need to be somewhere too. Remove all the parking and they move further out and people will drive further.”

          Nope, people will catch PT to those destination shops. Just like they do in cities all over the world, including destination retailers at Sylvia Park, Newmarket, and the city centre.

        11. Those destination shops in old centres are becoming a rarity. Most have already given up and moved to a car-based industrial area. When they leave they are replaced by another shop selling the same muffins and coffee as all the others in that old centre. Net result is longer car trips and less reason for people from outside an area to visit.

        12. Yet again the ableists want to demonise and shame people with disabilities and deny them access to the city streets. NEWSFLASH: for many the ONLY transport option is petrol driven vehicles and parking, (often even taxis are inaccessible and at a cost of greater than $50 to get just the next suburb over unaffordable to those on the lowest incomes in the country with the least access to work and jobs in the city).

  3. Can we increase these parking costs to reflect the value of land please (use that to fund PT and bike infrastructure). It seems absurdly under valued for what it is, let alone how it crowds out other modes. Given PT has to deal with farebox recovery it’s almsot criminally cheap to park a car.

    Also when is Ponsonby getting bike lanes? 6/7 car lanes and parking lanes, bike infrastructure on K road, (hopefully) along GNR and the CBD. Given what happens there, absolutely ridiculous to not have bike infrastructure.

    1. The problem is AT knows that if you increase the parking costs to reflect the value of the land nobody will park there. They think it’s strategically important to subsidize parking.

      Funny how people always say parking is so important yet they aren’t willing to pay more than a dollar an hour for it.

    2. The absence of protected bike lanes on Ponsonby Road is a disgrace. There was have been several huge opportunities to put temporary infrastructure in place over the past 18 months but crickets from AT.

      I’m a pretty quick cyclist so ride centre of the left lane at about 30kph. Fast enough not to annoy drivers, and far enough out not to get killed when a door opens, plus to make myself more visible to drivers pulling out of side streets. Others can’t do that.

      Bike lanes on P Rd long, long overdue.

      1. Agreed, Ponsonby Road definitely needs the K-Road treatment. That area has a lot of potential but at the moment it’s pretty awful biking and even just walking down there. It’s a monster of a road (six lanes wide including parking in most places with a flush median) so there’s a lot of space that could be reallocated to wider footpaths and protected cycle lanes. It’s crazy that there aren’t even painted cycle lanes. In it’s current state Ponsonby Road is the perfect example of just how damned car-brained Auckland is.

      2. I’m not a fast or confindent cyclist, so much so that a lot of the time I’d simply ride on the footpaths of Ponsonby Road till I hit Franklin Road cycle path. The one time I decide to use the road some idiot SUV owner opens his door on me, 10 stitches and a missed Football cup final as a whole season playing later and haven’t ridden a bike since.

      3. Yeah but who wants to put up with the 3-5 years of road works hassles to build the bike lanes will cause…… Auckland is unlike other big cities around the world – our geography, mentality, family size, lifestyles, population, etc dictate that you need a car. Try taking the family out to Piha on your weekend on a bike or train…..? Or how about a round of golf at any one of dozens of beautiful courses around greater Auckland, going for a fish out at Maraetai, visit the glow worms at Waitomo, take a bush walk through the Waitaks…… We are not and never will be like Europeans who have extensive train networks, Kiwis are fiersly independent – we don’t even go to the local beach half the time without a chilly bin, boogie/surf boards, change of clothes, extra towels, etc. Plus there are plenty of motorheads and perveyors of fine cars among us. Why can’t we just accept that we’re a car loving/needing race and get on with making great infrastructure for them. And don’t talk to me about ‘climate change and car emissions’ until they stop making tens of thousands of satilites, blasting them through our protective precious atmosphere and then forever more directing countless toxic electromagnetic radiowave beams back down on us. Stop fcuking around and give us decent car infrastructure.

        1. So building proper PT and bike infrastructure means you wont be able to drive to Piha ornto play golf?

          Who knew?

    3. Only economists and idiots use costs as a measure of benefits. The price people are willing to pay for parking is only a fraction of the benefit. Supermarkets provide vast areas of free parking because they gain out of it than the people parking there would ever be prepared to pay. Without parking a supermarket would have the catchment of a dairy.

      1. In a compact city with safe walking and cycling, supermarkets without parking have a considerable customer base. Supermarkets with carparks are part of the suburban model that has caused our transport emissions problem.

        We’re transitioning, miffy. It’s a whole bright new world of possibility now.

      2. From council’s perspective, the income is the only benefit from car parking. Everything else is an adverse effect. More traffic, more urban heat island effect, more pollution, everything further apart->more travel.

      3. They do pay. It’s part of the Supermarket’s return on equity, the dead floor area taken up by the carpark. In this case the supermarket is effectively subsidising the driver to bring in overall benefits to themselves. The supermarket recovers this cost through higher margins than it would otherwise have.

        If somehow the amount of parking required was less at a supermarket for the same customer volume, the resulting benefit would accrue to both customers and the supermarket. Why do you think supermarkets are so happy to have click and collect now?

        You are just misunderstanding the costs/benefits and where they accrue. They are always relevant and they always fall somewhere.

        1. Seems unfair to me that I walk to the supermarket yet subsidize those that drive through my grocery prices. The parking needs to be unbundled from the grocery prices.

        2. From the supermarket point of view it depends, how many people will just drive somewhere else if you charge even $1 or $2 for parking? Rationally this doesn’t make sense, but people don’t always behave rationally.

        3. Dead wrong. Supermarkets provide parking areas to increase their catchment, that allows them to sell higher quantities at lower margins. Without parking most supermarkets would be the size dairies and would change the same higher prices.

          The marginal customers are car drivers who lower thee cost of food for walk-up customers.

        4. Please provide a link to an economic analysis of this, miffy.

          Looking at the situation with a broad overview it’s clear that the fundamental inefficiency of cars has cost us dearly – space-wise, resource-wise, energy-wise, of course from health and urban form point of view.

          If you have some analysis to show otherwise, I’d love to read it. If not, can you go a-dinosauring elsewhere for a little while?

      4. That doesn’t explain why the Countdown and New World metro supermarkets in Auckland have the highest profit per square metre of any in the country… with zero car parking.

        1. It does — the city centre is the only area in Auckland with enough density (and also people without a car) to have a meaningful walk up catchment.

        2. @roeland: this is nonsense. There are many dense, walkable areas in Auckland and supermarkets demonstrably don’t need car parking in them. If the CBD was on the margin of the required density then only one supermarket would even survive, but there are two, and both of them are doing very well.

        3. The city centre is the only one. Density is probably around 15,000 although there are big variations between blocks. Grey Lynn and Ponsonby are about 4,000 to 5,000.

          (The areas with the highest density outside the city centre are about 6,000 and are in South Auckland.)

          Those two supermarkets have 3 to 4 times as many people in their walking catchment as their suburban counterparts. And a much larger share doesn’t have a car.

        4. I would have definitely thought that Parnell, Newmarket, Newton, and Ponsonby had sufficient density to support walk up supermarkets. I’m surprised that there aren’t any, but parking minimums may well be the driving force there.

          FYI, there are 2 metro style supermarkets in the city centre (Lower Albert Street, Victoria Street, and Queen Street).

        5. Newmarket yes, although it is also extremely hostile to pedestrians. The others are a bit more densely populated than further out areas but not by a wide margin. I think you can thank the magic of zoning for it.

          To give a random example, Parnell has roughly the same density as Ranui.

        6. looking at population density in a downtown area is only a small part of the picture. The catchment is just as much based on the people working there so a comparison with suburban areas would need to include this (and tourists)

        7. Yes all you have to do is sink billions of public money into rail systems and focus all of the cities buses at the area and what do you know? You can build a supermarket without parking.
          A few in the CBD is hardly proof of a general rule for all supermarkets.

      5. Love your work miffy, good girl – logical, intelligent, balanced and a wicked sence of humour – poor Heidi, that cracked me up, brilliant, made my day. XX. Cheers

  4. Hi Matt (and wider GA crowd)
    I intend to vote to support this today because:
    1. The public benefit from a new plaza in Three Lamps should be huge. We have been firm in our requirement for it to be accessible, visible and activated (like Freyberg Sq, not like Station Sq Newmarket). Three Lamps is underserved by public space at present, and we don’t have the land or funds to provide it from the public purse (see Ponsonby Park as evidence).
    2. There is convenience retail & amenity at Three Lamps that needs some parking. This proposal maintains the same level of off-street parking as present. Provision of off-street means on-street can be removed (albeit slowly), to be replaced with bike parking, parklets, bike lanes and bus lanes. Pricing of the spaces should increase – agreed.
    More than happy to discuss this, and any other parking / transport issues in detail.
    Graeme Gunthorp
    Waitematā Local Board – Transport Lead

      1. The biggest reason for avoiding 3 lamps shops, which I do (I live in Grey Lynn), is because it is unpleasantly dominated by traffic. That’s its biggest problem! Underpriced and oversupplied parking incentivises more driving and even lower place appeal. Did Commercial Bay put parking and driving up the middle of their billion dollar investment, no of course not, they want it to succeed.

        1. +1 Please, Council, give us the public spaces we want. Not bloody parking and all the traffic it brings.

        2. You won’t catch me dead over there either.

          I’ve made the mistake once of going there, and then another mistake of parking on the wrong side of Ponsonby Road. Every metre of walking is 1 too many.

          Ironically that means I will not visit any business unless I know there is off-street parking available. A system like this is self reinforcing.

    1. Graeme yes a plaza is great and welcome.
      Three Lamps is well served by PT at present and has some of the best PT in the region. It is served by three frequent buses, the InnerLink, OuterLink and 20 as well as other buyers such as the 101 and the 866 & 966 from the North Shore. The issue with PT here is not that those buses don’t have priority through the area so are less reliable than they should be. That it course is in part to there being too many cars encouraged by ‘easy’ carparking.

      How much more/better public space could the area have if the cost of building those carparks was instead directed to that task

      As for point 2, every single on street carpark is going to be a long and arduous battle to remove, if AT can even be bothered trying (no sign they are). Why not use this development as an opportunity to advance that.

    2. Thanks for commenting, Graeme.

      If you vote to support this, that will be a blow to planning for a liveable and low carbon city, and your decision will – from reading your comment – be based on misinformation.

      “Provision of off-street means on-street can be removed (albeit slowly)” – For heaven’s sake. There is no mandate to replace on-street parking with off-street parking. You have a mandate to remove both kinds. Your understanding here does NOT follow the Parking Strategy, and it is not climate suitable. Reduction in parking supply is a Council strategy for encouraging modeshift and reducing vehicle travel and emissions.

      “The public benefit from a new plaza in Three Lamps should be huge. We have been firm in our requirement for it to be…” The public DO NOT have to sacrifice quality transport planning in order to get a new plaza.

      “There is convenience retail & amenity at Three Lamps that needs some parking. ” There is LOADS of parking in Three Lamps. The retail and amenity at Three Lamps is in DIRE NEED of safe walking and cycling, and of faster PT. AT’s job is to repair that, to fix the deficiencies. That requires reducing VKT, and removing that parking is one of the major tools to do so.

      I’m glad you’re happy to discuss this and the other parking items, because you can expect some discussion. To give our kids a future, please vote responsible today and say no. Further, please discuss this with your other LB members and convince them all to say no.

      1. +1,At least we know ,where the councillor stands,this p
        roject is bad ,economically and environmentally, it is bad enough AT proposing it,but worse,when rubber stamped by councillors,anything for a vote eh.
        For any budding local politicians,with limited knowledge of economics and science,might l suggest Entrust,good little earner,only have to please, less than 10% of voters,Auckland and the environment would thank you for getting out of the way.

    3. Very disappointing, Graeme. For a Local Board that has so publicly acknowledged AT’s failings, how is it you haven’t critically examined their myths about parking?

    4. What an absurd position from the “Transport Lead”. Look how much of that map is for the provision of driving and parking private cars in what is meant to be one of NZs premium retail/entertainment areas.
      You just have to despair how bad the leadership is on this

    5. Hi Graeme, thanks for your response. I agree with your position. There is a strong likelyhood there will be cycle-lane on Ponsonby Rd & there will still be a need for car parks as not everyone can use either PT or cycle to Ponsonby.

      1. “Provision of off-street means on-street can be removed (albeit slowly), to be replaced with bike parking, parklets, bike lanes and bus lanes”


        Tell me you have a binding agreement from AT that those on-street parks will go once the new underground parking is available,. Otherwise, you have been asleep at the wheel and have no idea how AT operates.

        1. “There is a strong likelyhood there will be cycle-lane on Ponsonby Rd”

          Pfft. We don’t want strong likelihoods. We want guarantees that if AT insists on parking off-street, there is no need for it on-street, with the exception of loading bays and disability parks. Its a fair trade-off.

        2. P.S. Don’t get the wrong idea, Graeme 😉

          Thanks for fronting up and sharing your position and thought process. Good to have local and central elected officials engaging more. But leadership is what’s needed, not following what’s popular.

        3. Hi KLK, I understand that most of the commentators on GA are keen to create a nudge to incentivise alternative multi-modal transport options. I fully support this & anything to make cycling safer in AKL. In this instance I believe a carpark is pragmatic option for those who aren’t served by PT links to three lamps.

        4. “to create a nudge to incentivise alternative multi-modal transport options. I fully support this & anything to make cycling safer in AKL”

          Then you will fully support reducing parking, as research shows “parking can directly compromise the adoption of active and sustainable modes of transport.” – https://www.foreground.com.au/planning-policy/car-parking-choking-cities/

          The supply of parking in Three Lamps needs to be reduced to support the Council’s desired mode share there. The situation is exacerbated by lack of enforcement and management.

        5. Hi Heidi, I agree with making cycling easier, but I also believe it’s pragmatic to have car-parks in Ponsonby for those people who don’t live in the inner-suburbs who might want to go the restaurants. Really this is a non-issue.

        6. So Mark, as a cycling and PT advocate, I assume you support removing all carparks on-street, once the underground carpark is done?

        7. “I agree with making cycling easier, but I also believe it’s pragmatic to have car-parks in Ponsonby for those people who don’t live in the inner-suburbs who might want to go the restaurants.”

          Yes, those restaurants are welcome to build some car parks for their customers.

    6. Thanks Graeme,

      Can you assure us that you will work with AT to ensure these car parks will be priced to promote 85% occupancy, as minimum?

      Further i don’t have a problem with these car parks being retained but i think thought needs to be given to the following:
      -Higher allocation of Mobility spaces;
      -Reallocation of spaces to cycle parking;
      -Encouragement of Car Share Parking.

      Once public land is gone it is gone for good. It should be remembered there may be use for this space for future public good that we cant even begin to think about now.

      The key is to optimise its use now and then evolve and retain flexibility. Cheap parking I would suggest is at the bottom of that priority list. In the very least those that use it should pay to do so.

    7. Thanks for posting Graeme, have AT provided you with the cost to ratepayers of providing those car parks? What I mean is how much would ratepayers get from the sale of the property if no AT car parks were required? Should have been investigated as part of the business case and shared with you.

      1. Surely if it costs a couple of mill to build the car parks the developer will knock that of the sale price to cover their costs. Ratepayers are out of pocket for a couple of million.

        1. Structured carparking costs about $60,000/park so that comes out to about $2.5mil, though it may be more because it’s underground. This doesn’t take into account the cost of having a hideous gaping basement carpark mouth opening up in the middle of the plaza, probably right where people would want to walk into it. Wherever that accessway goes, it’s going to make that edge of the plaza useless because it’ll be hideous and nobody will want to walk there.

    8. Sad to hear you support this, Graeme. AT will get more high-cost car parks off-street to subsidise driving while dragging their heels to remove a single car park on Ponsonby Rd for another decade.

  5. What sort of facility would we end up with if instead Auckland Transport required replacement with a secure undercover bike parking area? something that doesn’t exist, parking on the other hand is over supplied in the area. Millions spent subsidising more parking to maintain the status quo. It is likely not that long ago that this area was converted into parking.

    1. Fancy bike parking don’t help if it’s not safe to ride there. That big Takapuna car park got fancy bike parking. Few people ride to Takapuna and who would be surprised.

  6. No doubt the management and friends of the management of Eke Panuku Development Auckland make use of this car park on their frequent visits to expensive cafes nearby. How else could you explain the extreme reluctance to give away this incredibly subsidised parking? $36k pa on 1300 square metres in Ponsonby is just outrageous, less than $700 pw. A large tent sited there would generate more rent at market rates. Sell it to the developers without the parking conditions.

  7. To the Waitemata Local Board (not just Graeme – who needs thanking for being brave enough to comment): This is really straightforward. All suburbs need to reduce the driving mode share, but any staging of action in Auckland should start from the inside out – the inner suburbs are where the most immediate action needs to be.

    Ponsonby, Eden Terrace, Parnell, Herne Bay etc… these are our Paris, if you will. These are the places where significant parking removal needs to happen in the next 12 months. This allows for the reduction of traffic, providing more reliable travel for buses, and the building of cycle lanes. Together, due to the central location, this improves sustainable transport for people from all over the city.

    Part of your job is to understand the effects of parking. AT aren’t going to give you the advice you need on this for the reasons you’ve already noted.

  8. The Waitemata Local Board is wanting Council to spend a LOT of money on bringing the Leys Institute up to earthquake standard. Money that would go a long, long way to providing other public benefits.

    Surely there should be requirement to maximise value from other Council owned sites in order to help pay for this?

  9. “Provision of off-street means on-street can be removed (albeit slowly), to be replaced with bike parking, parklets, bike lanes and bus lanes.”
    Do tell. How do you remove on-street parking slowly to create either a bus lane or a bike lane?
    I get it that this stuff is tough, that removing parking is unpopular. I also understand that you were probably elected because you were popular, and that not being popular will cause some dissonance, but surely the emissions crisis demands better than just popular decisions?

    1. Its not that its tough, its that those driving these decisions are weak.

      Its very simple. You are OK with 43 new carparks underground because that will free up space for all these wonderful bike and bus lanes, parklets etc on the surface.

      Everybody wins, right?

  10. One of my colleagues pointed out that these car parks are completely random in how they came about and are located. The Three Lamps end of Pons Road has two AT off-street car parks but the other end of Ponsonby Road has no AT off-street car parks. If you suggested buying a section at the other end of Pons Road, demolishing a building and installing a car park that will return $36k annual revenue you would get laughed at. So why retain one just because it has been there for 50 years.

    1. Not laughed at. People in AT and some in the Local Board and Business association would LOVE to add more car park lots at “deserving” spots like you identified. It’s just that the real-world market prices for parking land are so eye-watering, they have to sneak in the subsidy via existing ownership like this to hide the real cost.

      1. Or sneaky 1-for-1 deals like Takapuna where, if development doesn’t happen after all, you end up with two car parks at the end, for years – or maybe decades! I could not believe how fast that Takapuna car park was agreed and built while the Panuku development idea is now safely buried for at least decade, i think.

  11. Two new huge off street carparks have been added (three if you count the commercial building at top of MacKelvie St), Countdown and Ponsonby Central at the more eastern end. Like all additional parking, especially when underpriced, these generate more driving through all the neighbourhood streets, to the detriment of quality of experience for people, local and visitors alike.

    These would be fine if the opportunity was taken of these additions to remove on street parking for better pedestrian space, bike lanes, trees, micro-parks, bus priority, etc. this what the hugely successful and attractive Europeans cities do. Streets for everyone, cars underground; properly priced, and limited so area is not overwhelmed with traffic.

    AT is an unsophisticated partner for urban areas, they have a false, more = better for both driving and parking approach, a failed idea from last century. Plus they have no idea how to get a proper return on our assets. Is the local board and biz association pushing in the best way to improve their performance?

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