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The Nelson Photo News



Inner City Parking: A Sound Scheme, If It Helps The Shopper

The Nelson City Council's $800,000 parking scheme to develop two areas in the city will ultimately cost ratepayers well over $1 million.

Already $300,000 has been spent. The intention of the Council to expedite this work over the next two years means that $500,000 will be raised and spent in this time. To meet loan repayments on this large balance, a further $41,000 annually has to be allowed for in future rate levies for the next 20 years. This is in excess of the amounts already provided for by rates and revenue from the city's 300 meters. Of the $500,000 to be found, the City Council is negotiating with commercial interests for a loan of $400,000, and the Council is already on the market for a loan of $100,000.

Regardless of the sources of loan money, the final responsibility for repayment rests with ratepayers. The repayments on $800,000 will total approximately $72,000 annually. Over 20 years, this totals $1,440,000.

Theoretically, the strong support for the scheme indicated by businessmen is merited. Ideally they should benefit from a revitalised business centre with more than adequate parking for shoppers. The eastern block, bounded by Trafalgar and Collingwood Streets, will cater for 400 cars, and the western block, 450 cars.

But is the expense to the person most affected, the ratepayer, justified? If the parking areas are used entirely by shoppers, fair enough. But there's a chance, a strong one, that city workers are going to take full advantage of the increased area and park their vehicles there all day. Even now, trying to find a park in Trafalgar, Bridge or Hardy Streets can be difficult. Some workers leave their cars on one space all day.

If shoppers have difficulty finding parking when the new blocks are provided, legislation should be introduced to limit parking or have the blocks administered by attendants. Or, if the situation became bad, workers might have to leave their cars out of the inner city area completely. Miller's Acre can cater for numerous cars, and barely three minutes' walk from it is the parking area behind Trafalgar Park. This lies vacant during the week. Other streets, only minutes' walk from the city, usually have numerous vacant parking spaces.

Many businesses at present cater for staff vehicles. But many don't. Policing the time spent by cars on one space might be difficult. But it is being done in other centres and it might have to be done here, even if only in the central business area.

After all, the $800,000 parking scheme is aimed at assisting shoppers and the business community, and to justify that expense the plan must work.


A section of the eastern parking block. About three quarters of the area has been acquired by the Council to cater for 400 cars


Scenes are like this are common in Trafalgar Street. Difficulty in finding parking for short stops in the city often leads to double parking. Some cars occupy the same space all day



Miller's Acre can accommodate numerous cars but many are loathe to leave vehicles there. They'd rather feed the meters in the central portion of town


And in Achilles Avenue a parking space can be hard to find


Montgomery's area, acquired by the City Council and administered under lease, is not patronised as well as it could be. About 85 cars can be accommodated here, but there are usually vacant spaces. This parking building is in the centre of the proposed western block which will provide 450 parking spaces



An ironic situation. In the city, irate shoppers curse all-day parkers. And yet about five minutes' walk from the city there are numerous spaces in the area behind Trafalgar Park. If businessmen want to keep shoppers happy, perhaps they can convince their employees to park their vehicles a short way from work. Besides, that short, brisk walk to work will get the circulation going.


Some businesses provide parking for shoppers and staff. In the foreground is a shoppers' sign; in the background, "Staff Only."