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  Reply # 417774 15-Dec-2010 17:32 Send private message

...(edit).... why can you not have designated pick-up/drop-off areas around the city in the same way as at the airport?

Put CCTV on the area and fine anyone who is there for more than 5 minutes or when the driver leaves the vehicle.  Two or three of theses dotted around the CBD would work wonders :-)


Personally I can't see that as a workable solution for a number of reasons.
Primary amongst them is that  the Airport is a destination, as opposed to the city which has many destinations.
Also what are the chances of it making thing things worse? If you make it easier to for kerb side stop-and-drop then you may actually encourage more folk to do it.

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  Reply # 417784 15-Dec-2010 18:23 Send private message

WCCParking: That is exactly the point I was trying to get across.  If you try to do a pickup in the central CBD during peak hours, it's dangerous, takes ages to get through by car and there's usually nowhere to stop.  However, you only need to walk one block towards the periphery of the CBD (e.g. the Michael Fowler Centre car park and 'designated' pickup/dropoff area) and it is not only safer for the person being picked up, but it's also a lot quicker and easier for the driver (i.e. reduces congestion).  There are already many such locations around the city - MFC, Railway Station, Parliament, several locations along the waterfront, the parking lay-bys along Victoria Street and in Courtenay Place, New World in Chaffers St, parking garages, all the service station forecourts etc. but to name a few.

Some people seem to have this funny notion that they should be allowed/able to stop and park right outside their destination at all times regardless of the needs of all the other people they share the public road with - if only we had the room to accommodate everyone's needs...

Jon Visser


I've worked in the CBD for 4 years and didn't know there were designated PU/DO points - I'm educated :)

Perhaps that's the key!  People need more education - publicise these areas.

@oxnsox:  I get your point but people are going to do it anyway - if the behaviour could be adjusted to stop in safer areas where they won't get a ticket - isn't that the point?

Enjoying the debate




Procrastination eventually pays off.

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  Reply # 417799 15-Dec-2010 19:14

WCCParking: @technicaljoe:
You are correct - the wider area has been established for two important safety reasons:
1) To address the large number of bicycle accidents that were occurring in that area.  Previously there were diagonal parking spaces there and drivers were backing into cyclists and traffic without looking.  Unlike other parts of Victoria Street, this was exacerbated because of the number of people stopping temporarily to pick up and drop off things at that location.  Therefore short term (5 minute) parallel parks have been installed, with the remaining space allocated for use by cyclists and manoeuvring vehicles (not for short term parking).
2) Victoria Street is a main arterial route.  The extra space helps dirivers to get in and out of parking spaces without impacting on the arterial traffic, especially during peak hours.  Impacting on peak hour traffic typically leads to stop-start flows that consequently lead to nose-to-tail accidents, intersection blocking etc.



When was there ever angle parking on the Victoria St frontage of the library?

IMHO the extra space available acts as a magnet for short term stopping and the roadway should be marked in some way to discourage this if the WCC alternative is to park a camera car opposite.

gehenna: the basement car park in the library is usually fairly empty around 5pm, you could wait by the lift, take a folding chair :-)

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  Reply # 417835 15-Dec-2010 22:05 Send private message

Many thanks WCCParking for your helpful comments.

Bung raises a good point - the extra-wide space outside the central library lends itself to the notion of a pickup/dropoff point is it takes vehicles peforming this manouvre out of the danger areas you've highlighted, which construes a bit of a contradiction in what you've previously said.

As we all know, WCC are notoriously bad at at signposting anything to make people aware of what the rules are - the almost complete lack of liquor ban signage (after 5 years! - and what is around is highly inadequate) is a good example of this.  Why not do something really simple and spend a few dollars on a few litres of paint and a few more dollars on labour and have some yellow cross-hatching painted in this space?




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  Reply # 417963 16-Dec-2010 09:22 Send private message

WCCParking: In relation to what we expect from wardens, it would be fair to say that we don't expect them to sit on a park bench all day doing nothing.  If they do that, they are likely to face disciplinary issues regarding their performance (that would be true for most jobs I would think), and if they get fired for such non-performance then they can become a disgruntled ex-employee that writes misleading letters to the Dom Post...


Thanks for the extra information, it becomes much clearer now that we have the whole story.

StarBlazer: Gehenna makes a good point - why can you not have designated pick-up/drop-off areas around the city in the same way as at the airport?

Put CCTV on the area and fine anyone who is there for more than 5 minutes or when the driver leaves the vehicle.  Two or three of theses dotted around the CBD would work wonders :-)


They do, they are called "Loading Zones".  If you read you road code you will see that in the absence of any other signage they are for loading people and goods.

There is one just outside my office where you can pick up and drop off people.  The challenge of course is finding space on one that isn't taken up by trucks parking all day while fitting out a nearby shop.

Unfortunately most loading zones are restricted to "authorised vehicles only" which seems to be defined as goods vehicles plus cars that have paid for a permit from WCC.



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  Reply # 417972 16-Dec-2010 09:37 Send private message

WCCParking: 
Some people seem to have this funny notion that they should be allowed/able to stop and park right outside their destination at all times regardless of the needs of all the other people they share the public road with


Again I challenge that, as the library is by no means right outside my destination, nor where I am coming from to be picked up.  I did (and have done for as long as I can remember) walk to that location to be picked up as (and this seems to be a perception backed up by most other people commenting here) it was my interpretation that it was a safe place to be picked up - and certainly not obstructive to the flow of traffic.  

I also have to clarify that I get picked up from work once or twice a month (if I'm lucky that is, haha).  So I'm not exactly what I'd call a repeat offender....and given that I and my partner who was driving were not aware of any wrong-doing, it's unfair to pass judgement on us as people who would blatantly flout the law.  We are safe drivers, we never get parking tickets for unpaid meters or going over our allotted time.  We most often park at Reading if we are out for a few hours at night, we are by all accounts regular law-abiding citizens.  

So if this is something we have done and been persecuted for with a hugely disproportionate fine, then I have to question how many other people are in our position having had these fines laid on them with no knowledge of any wrongdoing.  

If this is as big an issue as your comments have suggested, then why is there no clear signage around the CBD at these popular pick-up/drop-off zones stating "THIS IS NOT A PICKUP/DROPOFF ZONE".  Why is the actual response to just drive around taking photos of ordinary law-abiding citizens and extorting money out of them?   

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  Reply # 417999 16-Dec-2010 10:23 Send private message

Dratsab: Why not do something really simple and spend a few dollars on a few litres of paint and a few more dollars on labour and have some yellow cross-hatching painted in this space?


We can't win, can we... the moment we put lots of paint down on the carriageway we start getting complaints from all the motorcylists and bicycle riders that it causes them to slip over when it's wet - that it's a safety hazard and we shouldn't do it.  When we put up lots of signs we get pedestrians complaining about "visual pollution" and complaints from drivers that it's all too confusing - there's too much information and that makes it dangerous to read & drive...

Basically we need to have a reasonable balance between how many markings and signs we use, and it is not possible to put out instructions for absolutely every little thing that people may do wrong.  We do need to rely on people having a reasonable understanding of the road rules if they are going to use a motor vehicle on a public road.  It quite clealy states in the road code that you may not double park, and the tickets are a small but painful & effective reminder of that rule.  Chances are that if people have received such a ticket, they will be less likely to do it again.  That is the purpose of "strict liability infringement notices".  Tickets address just the very small number of offenders only, whereas putting up lots of signs (at the ratepayers' expense) wuld be extremely costly and unneccessarily provides information to the 99% of drivers that do already obey the road rules, so should not really be necessary.

I do take gehenna's point:

gehenna: Why is the actual response to just drive around taking photos of ordinary law-abiding citizens and extorting money out of them?


Most people that are ticketed are basically law abiding citizens that did not set out to 'commit a crime'.  Receiving a ticket can leave you feeling really upset that someone thinks you've broken the law, when you really didn't mean to.  However, at the end of the day the law has been broken and an offence has been committed, allbeit a very minor one.  Therefore the penalty is also very minor in the big scheme of things.  The penalty fine is typically set to recover the cost of carrying out the monitoring and enforcement, on the basis that all other ratepayers and (law abiding) drivers should not be paying for us to have to deal with individuals that break the law.  If someone can think of a fairer system, parking managers for all cities in the world would be interested to hear about it.

An emerging thought is to look at how the tickets are set out.  Rather than the current prescribed "legal" notice that makes you feel like a criminal, overseas authorities are adding text such as "your fine will contribute to the road safety improvements in your community" (which is typically where parking income ends up).  This makes people feel somewhat happier about receiving the fine, knowing that the money doesn't just go to a "parking authority" but ends up somewhere worthwhile.

Jon Visser

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  Reply # 418034 16-Dec-2010 11:08 Send private message

gehenna: I also have to clarify that I get picked up from work once or twice a month (if I'm lucky that is, haha).  So I'm not exactly what I'd call a repeat offender....and given that I and my partner who was driving were not aware of any wrong-doing, it's unfair to pass judgement on us as people who would blatantly flout the law.  We are safe drivers, we never get parking tickets for unpaid meters or going over our allotted time.  We most often park at Reading if we are out for a few hours at night, we are by all accounts regular law-abiding citizens.  

So if this is something we have done and been persecuted for with a hugely disproportionate fine, then I have to question how many other people are in our position having had these fines laid on them with no knowledge of any wrongdoing.  

If this is as big an issue as your comments have suggested, then why is there no clear signage around the CBD at these popular pick-up/drop-off zones stating "THIS IS NOT A PICKUP/DROPOFF ZONE".  Why is the actual response to just drive around taking photos of ordinary law-abiding citizens and extorting money out of them?   


Firstly, nobody is judging you and I don't think you are being persecuted.  This is not stealing, fleeing or reckless endangerment - it was however a fine for a parking infringement - it won't stop you from getting into other countries and you won't get a criminal record. 

Most of us have had one - yes it's annoying but it's a fact of life - perhaps the old phrase should read you can't avoid paying taxes, death or parking tickets!! (Sorry to tar you with the same brush Jon - haha).

Ignorance is no defence of the law!  If you really had no knowledge of wrongdoing, then please buy a copy of the road code and read it.  Without question, you were double parked - there is no defence for "I was only there for a couple of seconds" or "I wasn't in anybody's way".

If you post a comment on a forum, you have to accept that some may not agree with you.  Some people will be offensive and others just like trolling.  I'm sorry if you don't like my opinion, but that's what it is - an opinion. 

Submit your request for a waiver and let us know the outcome - agree with you or not, I am still interested in your cause and the outcome.  Perhaps your letter could swell public opinion for more education or better signage and you could be the one that gets things changed.  Or, you may have to pay $60 and move on (no pun intended).




Procrastination eventually pays off.



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  Reply # 418049 16-Dec-2010 11:29 Send private message

StarBlazer: 
If you post a comment on a forum, you have to accept that some may not agree with you.  Some people will be offensive and others just like trolling.  I'm sorry if you don't like my opinion, but that's what it is - an opinion. 


That's not the case at all, I fully agree with you.  My statements are more a case of my brain following the natural progression in questioning the logic behind the whole situation.  I would never shirk from my responsibilities, in fact I intend to pay the fine following Jon's comments in the thread.  My concern now is that a lot of people will be caught out by this, and whether the correct course of action is to gather revenue from this, or fix the infrastructure problem.

Buy a road-code and read it? Sure...but how many people have read the road code once they pass their license test....rightly or wrongly?  
 

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  Reply # 418060 16-Dec-2010 11:50 Send private message

gehenna: Buy a road-code and read it? Sure...but how many people have read the road code once they pass their license test....rightly or wrongly?


Sadly not many!  I had to when I moved here from the UK - Bought it, read it passed the test with 100% - but still make simple mistakes.  Perhaps everyone should re-sit their theory to get the licence renewed - although I'd hate to be the politician that makes that decision!!! 

Problem is all it would mean is more unlicensed drivers on the road - not necessarily better ones!

Come on Jon, sounds like we agree on better education being the way forward.  You've read, responded but perhaps it's time for action - better signs, perhaps bill-boards in high offence areas.  At the end of the day, this is still using the revenue from the fines for road safety improvement. 

One day, instead of giving out tickets to cars that double park outside the library, give them a leaflet - explain that "today is an amnesty" "please use MFC for pick-up - next time you may get a fine".  List the other pick-up/drop-off areas on the back (have somebody else on standby for littering offences - ha ha just kidding).

This would be providing education whilst showing a social commitment and understanding.




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  Reply # 418089 16-Dec-2010 13:13 Send private message

WCCParking: the moment we put lots of paint down on the carriageway we start getting complaints from all the motorcylists and bicycle riders that it causes them to slip over when it's wet - that it's a safety hazard and we shouldn't do it.
Bloody incredible in this day and age that there isn't a slip-proof paint out there! Can't they mix it with sand or something? Have you fullas researched this recently?

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  Reply # 418170 16-Dec-2010 16:36 Send private message

One of the things about the use of a camera car for parking enforcement is that there's no more need for human contact, and no chance for a parking warden to even have the opportunity to say a friendly "move along there" to a driver who's broken the rules.
It's made me think about the purpose of those parking rules, and the purpose of the City Council. I found this on the Council's website in their Vision statement, it's looking for "an improved quality of life for all Wellingtonians."
Wouldn't that part of the vision be better met by using only walking, talking parking wardens? 
Also, I love the idea that Jon Visser mentioned there of having a note on the parking notices that says "your fine goes towards the improvement of road services," let's do that!  

SM

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  Reply # 418204 16-Dec-2010 18:05 Send private message

I too got one of these annoying infringement notices mid-November courtesy of the WCC camera car which I intend to contest. 

Apologies if this repeats other comments, as I haven't yet read the 5 pages of posts to date (will do so soon, and will edit this post accordingly). 

The relevant legislation indeed states that double parking relates to your vehicle having another between it and the nearest edge of the road, and that you are double parked if you stop, stand, or park your vehicle in such a manner.  I've asked WCC for a street plan for the area to show where the legal edge of the road actually is - it may be the white line (fogline) to the right of my alledgedly double-parked vehicle, or it may prove to be the edge of the carparks to the left of the inside vehicle. 

Of note, the camera car was fourth in the queue for the traffic in the left lane.  At the Victoria, which has a time delay of approx 30 seconds from end of a red light through the green phase to the next red.  It took two photos, 3 seconds apart, so I alledgedly double parked for at least 3 seconds.

Sure, ticket me if my vehicle presented a hazard or was disrupting traffic flow, however I wasn't distupting traffic, I wasn't using my vehicle unsafely, not was I contributing to congestion around the CBD. 

What is next?  Ticketing drivers who double park to allow another vehicle to exit a carpark?  Ticket drivers who double park to back into parallal park?  Ticket drivers for being double parked when stopped in traffic when there is another vehicle parked between you and the edge of the road?  All of these are possible cases of double parking, and liable for the $60 infringement, as 'parking' is defined by WCC as follows:


Parking means:


  1. in relation to any road where parking is governed by the location of parking meters or multiple parking meters placed pursuant to this Bylaw, the stopping or standing of a vehicle on that portion of the road for any period exceeding 5 minutes; and

  2. in relation to any other road, the stopping or standing of a vehicle on a portion of the road


I'll post again once I've sorted out a few bits of 'please let me off, WCC' letter with any relevant defence, and hopefully others can use this to their advantage if my case suceeds.

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  Reply # 418369 17-Dec-2010 09:04 Send private message

SM: What is next?  Ticketing drivers who double park to allow another vehicle to exit a carpark?  Ticket drivers who double park to back into parallal park?  Ticket drivers for being double parked when stopped in traffic when there is another vehicle parked between you and the edge of the road?  All of these are possible cases of double parking, and liable for the $60 infringement.

But you weren't doing any of these things were you?  What were you doing, why were you double parked?

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  Reply # 421338 24-Dec-2010 14:19 Send private message

Hi all,

I haven't forgotten you, just waited for the questions to stop before posting replies.

SM: Not sure if you have had the opportunity to read some of the other posts yet.  In relation to the road rules, a car that is stopped to give way to other traffic or even for signals and signs etc (whether they have the right of way or not) is not considered to be double parked and would not be issued with a ticket.  In fact, it would be great if people could be a bit more courteous and let others in from time to time.  "Stopped/parked" (or "double parked") is when the vehicle is able to progress (i.e. there is nothing preventing it from moving along) but the driver chooses not to in order to carry out an activity other than driving (e.g. picking up or dropping off goods or passengers, talking on a mobile phone, etc).  The warden typically makes a note of this before issuing a ticket, i.e. that they did not see any vehicle trying to get out of a parking space at that time or that they observed someone getting in or out or the driver on the phone etc.

Chainsaw: yes, you can get slip-resistant paint.  We still get riders complaining even if we use this (some bicycle riders even allege that paint markings throw their front wheels out of line and causes them to fall over)...

Freisia: Absolutely agree that we must also have the personal contact from wardens.  The camera car does not replace the existing wardens, it is in addition to the wardens on foot patrol.  For the types of offences that the camera car picks up, it would be unusual for the warden to deal with in person anyway (i.e. it would be dangerous for them to go out into a live traffic lane to have a discuission with a driver).

StarBlazer: an "amnesty" where we issue leaflets instead of tickets is a good tool that we do use.  Most recently we have used it to address illegal footpath parking by motorcycles.  We managed to reduce such offending from about 500 per day to about 20 per day by using info leaflets only, no tickets (though we do now use tickets).  In relation to double-parked cars or other such short-duration stopping offences, it is very difficult for wardens on foot to detect these and dangerous for them to go out onto the carriageway to attach the leaflet to the car, and then for the driver to take it off before driving off.  The Council and the police has tried to use warnings such as flashing lights at drivers to address this, but they get pretty much ignored.  A ticket in the mail is considered a reasonably simple, practical and effective alternative.  For those wanting more warning signs for everything that people can possibly do wrong, this is just not practical or reasonable.

Note that for the Christmas shopping period we are issuing leaflets wishing people a "Merry Christmas (and  by the way, you have gone slightly over time)" instead of tickets for parking meter offences.  This gives them an additional 15 minutes to get back to their car, reflecting that things are unusually busy in town so people are more likely to get "caught out" unexpectedly.  Though if people hog spaces then this is also inconsiderate for others, so we do still issue tickets for those that overstay by more than 15 minutes.  Sometimes it is appropriate to use such discretion.

A safe and merry Christmas to you all,

Jon Visser
Wellington City Council

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