You have to have thick skin to work for the council. Almost everything they do, every change they make, is evaluated by us the ratepayers. We are quick to criticise any change that happens in our city, and we very rarely throw out compliments to the people that keep our city going.
The latest issue to get us keyboard warriors blinded by the red mist is the proposal to charge for inner-city parking in the evenings and on Sundays.
I hate paying for carparking. I never have any loose change and it feels like you need to be an IT professional to get the meter to take your card as well as your individual parking space code.
What I hate more than paying for parking is not getting a car park within 50m of my desired destination! Friday night is date night in our whānau, so we head off in the Honda Odyssey to Broadway Ave in search of a reasonably priced plate of noodles, donburi or pad Thai. What often happens is that we can't find a park close to our desired gastronomical destination, so we circle the block and change our mind and decide to go for a shahi paneer from the Indian restaurant, which by luck has a car park right outside.
If there is an event on at the Regent that night, the only parks that are free are the ones directly in the target zone for the heavy artillery released by 1000 sparrows who have spent their days sparrowing away and loading up for just this occasion. It's a mistake locals make only once.
On these occasions we find a park on the other side of Princess St and enjoy the walk to and from Phnom Penh, which by chance has the best Hokkien noodles in town.
On reflection, if I had to pay $2 to park closer to the restaurant, I would probably do it. It's still a great night out for two for under $30. And I think that is the council's point, charging for meters in the evenings is not only a good source of income for our city but it will also free up more car parks so our small businesses can get more customers. If things are tight that week, I can always park 200m further away for free.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
No, instead of moaning about PNCC trying to save you paying more rates, perhaps you should lobby our city officials to deal with the real carparking crime, small cars! Like a hunting dog, I always get excited when I spot a seemingly empty car park near my chosen destination. Feeling smug, I flick on the indicator and slowly start to swing into my newly claimed territory.
The shock of seeing the tiny rear end of a Toyota Yaris or Suzuki Swift taking up three-quarters of my car park is a dagger in my heart. Perhaps our amazing parking meter wardens should start issuing tickets for small cars who park too far forward in car parks, thus deceiving us who drive bigger-boned vehicles!
But seriously, Palmy is currently designed for private car ownership, look how much land in our city is used up so you can pop into the shops as the whim hits you. We are all paying for roads and car parks that we don't all use, perhaps a little more "user-pays" is a good thing?
Palmy is a wonderful vibrant city, thanks to the efforts of those that work in The Battleship on the south side of The Square. Tino pai to all PNCC staff.
The only constant is change.
• Dave Mollard is a Palmerston North community worker and social commentator.