The CCC has one of, if not the, greenest office building in NZ. It scored bonus points in the green rating for having limited parking, and through promoting public transport and cycling for its workers. The CCC’s Civic Building originally had 114 parking spaces in the resource consent. All that lasted a little bit more than 3 months.
The CCC has now leased 211 car parks, at a cost of $1 million up front, with yearly costs around $420,000. The Press reports these are for senior management, councillors, and to provide (more?*) disabled parking. At least 44 have been identified by the Press as for senior management, with another 114 primarily for the council fleet.
The city and its ratepayers would be far better off if the 44 parks allocated for managers and councillors were scrapped, with those workers offered a fully-loaded Metrocard ($1196 per year) or $1200 in cycling store vouchers. Give it a week or two, and the council would surely find a new enthusiasm for revitalising the dire state of Christchurch’s public transport and cycling access. Furthermore, the city would save $50,000+ a year plus the $960,000 it cost to secure those 44 parks.
It would also show the role that transport access would play in revitalising the city centre – once the transport networks improve, the need for tracts of land devoted to parking diminishes, and these can be replaces by retail, office, or residential developments instead.
Alas, the Council has gone ahead and signed 12-year leases, and looks to be firmly looking at the past in terms of how the city will tackle parking and transport in the city.
*Presumably the original plan provided for adequate disabled access parking before the Civic Building was constructed? Or was that another oversight?