Proposal status: Feedback closed 6 July 2020, last updated 18 September 2020.
Reference number: RTV-300
In June 2020, we proposed changes in your area
To provide short-term and long-term parking while making sure the road is clear for all on Waratah Street, we proposed parking restrictions on Waratah Street, Birkenhead. On the North side of Waratah Street, we propose P120 time restricted parallel parking and on the South side maintain the existing unrestricted angle parking.
Our proposal included:
- installing P120 (2 hour) parallel parking restrictions Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm on the North side of Waratah Street. These restrictions aim to ensure unobstructed road access while providing a selection of short- and long-term parking.
- maintaining current unrestricted parking on the South side of Waratah Street. This should provide residents and commuters continued access to parking during peak hours.
- installing signs to alert drivers to the new restrictions. The concrete blocks on each side of Waratah Street are not compatible with road markings. As such, we will install signs to inform drivers of the new restrictions.
No residential permits will be granted as part of this project.
Birkenhead : Safe with us
Auckland Transport cares for your safety. We want to make our roads safe for everyone, people walking and cycling, especially for our kids and senior citizens and people driving. Projects like this one around Waratah Street are another step towards our goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. We are guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures (like minor time saving).
Based on feedback from the community, we have decided that this proposal will not proceed to the next stage. The majority of respondents did not support the proposal including several residents who would only like the changes if resident parking permits were provided. We had 43 responses and here’s the breakdown of how they responded:
- 70% (30 respondents) do not support the proposal. They provided messages such as: there already aren't enough parking spaces for residents and commuters, that residents should be provided parking permits, that AT should just paint parking lines, and that this proposal could result in illegal parking and/or pushing parking to other streets.
- 21% (9 respondents) support the proposal with minor changes. Their suggestions were one or a combination of issuing resident parking permits, painting the parking lines and/or removing parking at the intersection of Birkenhead Avenue for safety reasons.
- 9% (4 respondents) support the proposal as is.
Residential parking permits cannot be considered at this stage because Birkenhead does not meet the required criteria for residential parking permits. Under AT's Parking Strategy, residential parking permits are only available when a Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) is introduced. Because the majority of properties in this area have off-street parking, we are unable to consider an RPZ at this stage. Instead, AT's Parking Strategy recommends the localised time restrictions as outlined in this proposal.
We will continue to monitor the area and, if required, review the parking usage next year. Thank you again to everyone who submitted feedback on this proposal. A summary of this feedback and answers to questions and concerns is below.
- There were numerous concerns that as a result of this proposal: people will park illegally, will devalue their property, will stress residents who rely on street parking, will push people to park on Birkenhead Avenue, will limit the amount bus commuters, will push people to park further down Waratah Street, and that parking will be underutilised in the P120 areas.
We have listened to your feedback and will not move forward with this proposal.
- Numerous concerns and explanations that the main issue is the access to driveways – many are concerned that the parked cars block their visibility when exiting their driveways.
Although parked vehicles outside driveways may slightly reduce visibility, it is overall safer to retain parking outside driveways as it causes lower speeds on roads. Parked cars can give drivers an opportunity to edge out of their driveways before pulling out.
- Numerous suggestions to paint parking lines or remove the Gobi® blocks or concrete blocks.
Gobi® blocks, which are heavy-duty concrete blocks that allow grass to grow through, are located on both sides of Waratah Street. Marking them is not practical, as weeds will grow and will cover line markings.
A couple of years ago, AT replaced some of them that were forming part of vehicles entrances and in our opinion needed the most urgent attention as they were causing operational issues such as driveways obstruction.
We are committed to an approach to manage parking and its supply that is sustainable in the long term. Therefore, our focus is on promoting the efficient use of the existing public parking resource in the first instance. The benefits of increasing the existing public parking supply need to be weighed against the considerable consenting, capital and operational costs that it would incur if the Gobi® blocks were removed.
- There were numerous concerns about poor visibility when turning from Waratah Road on to Birkenhead Avenue. Many respondents suggested removing parking at top of Waratah Road.
Our Traffic Engineering Team has reported that there are no significant safety issues due to parked vehicles at this location as there are no recorded crashes related to vehicle parking on the road side in the last 5 years. However, we will continue to monitor this location. It is not believed the proposed changes will reduce the safety of the intersection.
- Concern that by establishing parallel parking the road will open up and cause cars to travel at higher speeds.
Although removing parking along this road altogether may increase speeds, it is not believed changing the angled parking to parallel parking will adversely affect speeds. Furthermore, the timed restrictions would have created greater overturn, leading to a slower environment overall.
- Suggestion that AT comes out to see the issues first hand.
After the closure of this consultation, AT re-investigated the safety concerns raised by respondents.
In the past, we have reviewed and visited this street on multiple occasions. AT has had a number of discussions with residents over the past couple of years to talk about issues residents have raised.
- A respondent suggested widening the road to alleviate the issues.
Auckland Transport's focus is on promoting the efficient use of the existing public resources. The benefits of widening this road need to be weighed against the considerable consenting, capital and operational costs that new parking facilities would incur. At this stage there are no plans to do increase the width of this road.
- Suggestion that there be a budget for widening the footpaths.
Encouraging more people to walk is a key part of our transport strategy. Auckland Transport supports walking and invests in footpaths as part of making Auckland a desirable place to live. We have a footpath budget that is designed to complete minor gaps in the existing walking network to provide for improved walkability in communities. Currently there are almost 800 requests on this list and in the past year, we have received around 100 requests alone. Therefore, we have to prioritise our investment.
Your request was added to a New Footpath Candidate List where it was scored and prioritised based on benefits to safety, connectivity and community demand. Unfortunately, your footpath currently ranks low on the candidate list and will likely not be prioritised for design in the near future.
In the meantime, if a car is blocking a footpath, please call our contact centre on (09) 355 3553 with the vehicle details to request enforcement.
We will continue to monitor the area and, if required, review the parking usage next year.
Please call us on (09) 448 7265 or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register to receive the proposal outcome and any further updates by email. We have also told everyone who provided feedback and requested email updates the outcome of this proposal.