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Sunday, 24 March 2019 08:37 am

Cars driven out of lower Tory Street in favour of pedestrians

Apr 9th, 2018 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Amelia Lingonis owner of Smack Bang

Wellington City Council’s attempt to make lower Tory Street a more livable area has caused trouble for local businesses due to fewer car parks.

The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake affected local businesses and residents, so the council has teamed up with Victoria University students to redesign the street.

Mayor Justin Lester says the trial is about driving more people into the area.

“This part of Tory Street wouldn’t say it was a boon for pedestrianisation. You don’t often see people walking down here.”

Mr Lester challenged business concerns about losing car parks.

“People don’t drive into business. You don’t drive into a café, you walk in.”

Car park meters out of use as there is no longer parking on lower Tory Street.

He said business affected by the three-month trial should work with council staff.

Liz Standish, manager at Brendon Motors says the redesign is causing too many parking problems.

Last week Brendan Motors needed to get a truck to drop off supplies and it couldn’t get in because the loading zones are placed in the middle of the road, said Standish.

“Having two loading zones right opposite your workshop, you need to back out and there are two cars in there, you are stuck on an angle,” says Standish.

Loading zones are in the middle of the one way street.

“We can’t get tow truck in here because they have got no way to back in. How is a truck supposed to turn around in that small gap?” she says.

“They are eventually going to drive anything automotive out, it’s just what is going to happen to the city because they want it all pedestrianised,” Standish says.

Amelia Lingonis, owner of the retail store for dog owners Smack Bang, says her business has been affected too.

“We’ve got zero car parks now and only one-way traffic. The hundreds of people that would usually see my signage everyday driving or walking past aren’t seeing it,” says Lingonis.

Since the project begun, Smack Bang’s weekly instore turnover has dropped by 16% so far.

“The most noticeable change was Sunday before last, usually one of our busiest days due to people going to the markets, who would usually park down Tory Street, turnover that day was down by almost 50%.”

Easter, Hug A Pug and CubaDupa were positive influences the last two weekends as there were more people in town, says Lingonis.

Eric Kong, assistant CEO of Dragons restaurant, says parking has affect.

“It’s harder for people to find a car park so that causes just a little bit of delays in their booking times.

“But everyone else seems to be quiet enjoying it. Whereas, people might come and do bookings they can go outside and come and have a sit around while they wait for their table,” Kong says.

“Currently it is harder for our delivery easy drivers to actually get a spot. So it is potentially dangerous to park on the pedestrian area where people normally sit.”

In response to the lack of car parks in the area Lester says the council wants a livable city.

“We are not going to go and knock down all our parks and our reserves and create car parks because that suits people in cars.”

“It’s not perfect for everybody potentially, that’s why it is a trial. But at the same time, we are nearly out of the mindset that we have to park outside the door,” Lester says.

Cars park in non parking areas as loading zones are full and there is no where else.


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