Laneway carparks trimmed

By Alexandra Newlove

8 comments
GONE: Only disabled and loading zones will remain in the new laneway.
GONE: Only disabled and loading zones will remain in the new laneway.

People parking in Whangarei's new laneway can soon expect a fine instead of a gentle reminder.

General parking spaces in the pedestrian-friendly shared area are being scrapped, as drivers continue to park incorrectly. Four disabled parks and a loading zone will remain.

Whangarei District Council parking officers had taken a softly, softly approach to enforcement since the laneway opened in December but the shambles continued, prompting a blanket ban.

Councillor Brian McLachlan said the loss of the four remaining parallel spaces represented one of the CBD's "death by 1000 cuts".

"I can understand we need to have pedestrian safety. But we're removing even more car parks in a prime location," he said.

Parking was one of WDC's main ratepayer gripes and some eyebrows were raised over the sacrificing of 12 parking spaces - including those about to be removed - for the laneway project.

The council had contacted the 40 businesses surrounding the laneway seeking endorsement to remove the four remaining spaces. Twelve responded, with 10 giving the go-ahead.

Tracey Cherrington, manager of Shanton, which bordered the laneway, was positive about a parking ban and said it would fix the "chaos" some drivers were causing and improve pedestrian safety.

"A lot of people passing by ask us what the set-up with parking is. You look out and think 'what are people doing?'"

WDC roading manager Jeff Devine said changes to laneway parking would not be enacted until new markings and signage were in place.

Under WDC's Parking and Traffic Bylaw, parking in a disabled space or loading zone carried a $40 fine. Inconsiderate parking carried a $60 fine.

- Northern Advocate

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