Car parking faces a continuing squeeze in downtown Auckland streets, following a 20 per cent reduction in spaces over the last five years. Auckland Transport says 843 street parking spaces have gone since 2007, leaving 3417 bays compared with 4260 previously.
According to the NZ Herald, the trend is set to continue as more CBD streets are turned into “shared spaces” – used by cars, bicycles and pedestrians. The business association ‘Heart of the City’ considers the lost spaces a necessary price for improving central Auckland’s urban environment, putting more emphasis on the need to build a better place for people, not just for traffic.
Auckland Transport claims a 26 per cent increase in patronage on key central bus routes, such as the inner and outer link services, since these were re-designed last winter. This is a trade off in return for a 20 per cent reduction in parking.
Cars are still a major consideration and access method for many, with cars last year bringing about 34,500 people into central Auckland each morning compared with 36,500 who arrived on buses, trains, ferries, bicycles or by walking.