Auck’s New Car Park Space


Take a look at Auckland’s new car parking haven.

It’s the new Darby Street.

Oh look - it’s just like the old Darby Street.

After we all celebrated the launch of the first Shared Space for Auckland, guess what happens. Without adequate policing or signage or maybe it’s just motorists sneaking back to their bad old ways - Darby St has become a busy car parking area where people are staying for long periods.

Yes this is a “shared” space. A halfway home.

But the council need sto press home that Shared Spaces came out of Europe where cars are not the dominant species.

Over there they probably didn’t need to educate the populace  about having to share with pedestrians & bikes.

However in the car obsessed nation that Is NZ, it is clear the Council is not doing an adequate job of educating drivers that they don’t have right of way. Otherwise what was the point of spending all that money - was it just to build a new carpark?

Late on Friday night, i almost got bowled over by a yellow painted boy racer Mazda roaring out of Darby St at an incredible speed as I walked along the  cordoned off Elliott St where the next Shared Space construction is happening.

He almost hit me because of the visibility obstructions of the construction site - and I was not expecting a crazy boy racer.

No one is monitoring or caring so you can’t blame Yellow Boy racer.

But unless we start making a protest noise now, these Shared Spaces will be a waste of money and a lost cause.

Darby cost $2.3m. Let’s not waste it.

Changing Auckland’s car habits will take time. But the only way is to make it clear it is a shared space and police it until people get the message and discourage long term parking there.

The signage is now there but no one is listening.

I stick by my earlier post that the only way this will truly be effective is for vehicles to be banned from Queen St.




  1. DanC says:

    That is a shame. Parking wardens or CCTV to issue tickets?

  2. Andy says:

    I would love to see some sort of protest that would make people realise what these areas are. People should just sit on the sides so on cars can park. (Except for loading vehicles of course)

  3. Patrick R says:

    Andy policing or protests aren’t the answer, it’s physical barriers that work. Jon’s last line shows the only way, time to get the cars out of Queen is so over due.

  4. Cam says:

    We could fine these people for parking there, but then the likes of Cameron Brewer would complain in the press about AT’s cynical revenue gathering.

    This shared space is a failure it’s just a car park. It needs to be closed off to cars sooner rather than later.

  5. Andrew says:

    I don’t care about revenue gathering whingers. Next time I see cars parked here I’m calling Auckland Transport to tell them about it. I suggest anyone else who wants this area kept clear does the same.

    It’s their decision as to whether they issue fines or start with warnings.

  6. Matt L says:

    When I was there earlier this week, there were a couple of cars parked but they were mainly tradesmen working in one of the shops being done up. There were no cars side without trees.

    I haven’t had to many problems with cars along there, most seem to be very understanding of what rules are and drive slowly and courteously. The one time I did see a more aggressive driver I (and I noticed a few others) walked in a way that forced them to take it slow.

  7. George D says:

    We didn’t need to spend $2.3 million, on this or any other street.

    Some simple bollards would have cost a few thousand and done a better job. We’ve still got the chance to do the same on other streets.

  8. Andrew says:

    @George D: Have you been down there and had a look? The place (minus the cars) looks fantastic, they’ve done an excellent job.

    Losing the kerb has helped making this area much more walkable. You can’t lose the kerb without redoing the drainage, and you can’t redo the drainage without digging up the street, so you might as well do the job properly while you’re at it. This is what they’ve done.

    Now, if they did add bollards in the future, it’d still be easy to do but you get a much better result.

    I’m all for trying pedestrianisation by just adding cones or bollards, but it’s not a permanent fix because of those kerbs still separating perceived walkable space from vehicle space.

  9. Anthony says:

    Heh, What I would do is dress like a parking warden with a notebook, so that no one would come and park on the road

  10. Patrick R says:

    And George ‘we’ didn’t spend anything, CBD businesses and residents paid for it. Here:

  11. JX says:

    @Matt L - I walk through nearly everyday & 90% of the time there are cars parked there everywhere

    Also the cars have no clue that they don’t have right of way & I often get beeped or harassed with the drivers thinking what the hell do you think you are doing getting in my way - the council needs to make a better effort in educating drivers that they must “share” the space with other traffic types - to date this hasn’t happened & so people’s experience when using it is woeful

  12. Joirdan A says:

    Excellent example of urban planning, just needs so fixing up when it comes to execution….I have noted that the same cars tend to be here day after day, most likely local shop owners? perhaps tow them once and they will learn…there is a wilson carpark like 20m from here so shouldn’t be an issue.

  13. KarlHansen says:

    @George D

    Look at the photo on Commons below, and the other photo about 1/5th down the skyscraper website and then tell me that a few cheap bollards would have sorted that. The cars might be gone, but it would still have looked like $#%?, and not like Vulcan Street!

    Also, even if the whole one side is parked up (which I agree, should be enforced better), the space for pedestrians is still easily more than doubled. The rest is teething problems and need for fine-tuning.

    We should also not forget that we are transport nerds here. 95% of Aucklanders probably never heard of shared space. Build a few more such zones, educated (and enforce!) the rules, and they will eventually get it.

  14. luke says:

    shared space? what is that? why don’t they just make it a proper pedestrian zone and then there wouldn’t be any confusion. no cars parking, no cars endangering a relaxed, lingering walking/cycling/shopping/being in the city experience, which is the entire point.

    new zealand desperately needs to designate some parts of their cities in this way, where driving is not faster, not more convenient, and drivers cannot in fact participate - they need to get out and walk or cycle.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>