By GUY WILLIAMS
Councils will have to step up and provide better parking management and public transport options when on-site parking requirements for developers are abolished next year, Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter says.
Genter, who spoke at a public discussion in Queenstown on Tuesday night about the change, says existing parking requirements ensure private cars are the dominant transport option.
‘‘Getting rid of the parking requirements was necessary, but it’s not sufficient to make sure that you are providing an alternative.’’
The government’s national policy statement on urban development means territorial authorities have to remove minimum carparking requirements for all residential, commercial and visitor accommodation developments by next February.
Genter, the former Associate Transport Minister, says councils need to take a smarter approach to parking management, rather than just requiring huge amounts of off-street carparking to be provided.
Public transport has to be more frequent and reliable, and active transport made a more viable option.
Asked about the impact of new accommodation developments in smaller centres with limited or no public transport, like Glenorchy, she says councils will have to ensure the provider caters for the travel demands it creates, but have more than just single-occupant
vehicles as a solution for how to get there.
‘‘If they decide not to provide a travel management plan, then you can make it clear they will be expected to contribute to getting people to that village.’’
That could be through conditions on the development’s consent, or targeted rates.
Smaller communities have the chance to push for scheduled public transport services, likely to cost less to establish than a large, off-street car park.
She also wants to see NZ Transport Agency spending more on public transport services and bus priority measures.