Parking Day update

by Greg Bodnar on September 14, 2011

After getting in touch with appropriate people from Wellington City Council to discuss plans and get permission, it has become obvious that participating in Park(ing) Day is going to be difficult. Bylaws govern the use of vehicles in parking spaces within Wellington. However, I cannot find the specific bylaw implied by the officer I contacted:

You are advised that it is not appropriate for any pedestrian activity to occur on a public roadway, including parking spaces (i.e. regardless of whether any payment is made) without the approval of the Council, and any unapproved activity will be removed for the safety of the public.

WCC is both unwilling and unable to grant permission for such activities. With Rugby World Cup currently on, the clean, coordinated image comes first. RWC doesn’t seem to stop New Plymouth District Council, which is encouraging residents to participate.

What does this mean for Wellingtonians wanting to participate in Park(ing) Day? First, read through the Park(ing) FAQ and potentially move on to the Park(ing) Manual. If you are considering a park, make sure that safety absolutely comes first. Also, keep in mind that WCC will not take a friendly view to it, nor will ParkWise. Although creating a temporary park is a fun way to start a conversation about public spaces, a valid alternative would be to talk to your councillor directly.

Having said that, I will still be getting out there. I have the day off and I believe that there is room within the rules for a legally parked park.

Alan September 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

“…it is not appropriate for any pedestrian activity to occur on a public roadway…”

But this is one of those groovy shared spaces, right? Aren’t cars supposed to give way to pedestrians, to “give pedestrians priority” as the public design document says?

Clearly, we’ve been sold a pup with this Lower Cuba Street redevelopment. What a joke.

erentz September 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Hear hear. WTFWCC, either this is a shared space or it’s not. Seems not only doesn’t it look and feel like one, we now find out legally it isn’t one either.

Alan September 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Well, it could be that I’ve misinterpreted what is supposed to be achieved by the “shared-space” concept (it would be great if some council official could articulate it officially, publicly and succinctly).

If shared space is just about ensuring a shared and safe through movement of cars and pedestrians then it probably does work (but for the parking of course, and assuming council pings those cars currently ignoring the speed limit).

But my impression, however wrong it may in fact have been, was that the Lower Cuba space was going to be some kind of replacement for the loss of Manners Mall. Clearly the Lower Cuba “shared space” is not that replacement.

stephen clover September 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

*gets popcorn and waits for Richard McLean to turn up*

pinkiep September 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

From reading the rules, a park would certainly be legally parked if it was on the back of a large flat trailer, for example a car-transporting trailer hired for half a day ($77 from hirepool)

However, refusing to move and inviting the newpapers along to witness being forced off could possibly be effective. I would like to see them issue a ticket to a park that does not have a number plate, and attempting to force you off physically would be assault. I imagine the police could be called in to deal with your “disporderly behaviour” but I think that could possibly end up as a PR nightmare.

keith September 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

With Rugby World Cup currently on, the clean, coordinated image comes first.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the “we must look nice for The Rugby” meme from the council.

I kind of despair of the cultural cringe implied by the idea that what tourists have come halfway round the world to see is Anywheretown, devoid of anything remotely resembling local character. And even if that were true—Wellington’s residents have a right to the city too.

James September 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

I can’t see too much in the parking byelaws either. Also, if a small motorcycle (such as a monkey-bike) was legally parked in the defined parking space, there’d be quite a lot of room left for other stuff.

Greg Bodnar September 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

Motorcycles are currently specifically excluded for pay-and-display parks, according to 6.5. Bicycles get iffy around 9.5.

pinkiep September 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

@James for that matter a bicycle is legally a vehicle. Would have to read the parking regs a bit closer to see if bicycles are specifically excluded, but on the face of it they just say “vehicles”

Stephen September 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

I read the bylaw closely. I’m afraid there are specific provisions for bicycles that exclude them from using parking places. I guess when we have pedicabs and cargo bikes in use around the CBD we might need to revise that…

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