Sunday 9 June 2013

anti-RPZ myth: "no guarantee of parking"

The other "say no to RPZ" myth is: there's no guarantee of parking even within an RPZ.

Maybe, but here is Nugent Hill, and there are plenty of guarantees here. And this is on a Saturday.

The main guarantee of "nowhere to park" is the decisions of your neighbours: how many vehicles they own, what type, and where they park them.

One of the most resented parking problems in Kingsdown and Cotham is actually student parking in the HMO-student houses. A house with 4+ students would often have 3-4 cars, cars which would sit there all week. Sometimes the students would even forget where they'd left them -you can see them wandering about on a weekend.

The RPZ has said "residents are buying the option of using their car on weekdays in exchange for limiting vehicles/household to two, maybe three". Well, that limiting of vehicle numbers is what keeps space around. You still see the student cars, with their Cotham RPZ sticker alongside their London one: richmond, highgate, whatever. But you don't see so many.

The result: more space.
There's another aspect to this. Whenever some land fill-in has some new flats built, the landowners always say this is a "sustainable development", putting in a bike rack and pretending the owners won't own a pair of cars. Now the council can say "if it really is sustainable, there'll be a one car limit". This forces the architects to come up with designs that admit there is a need for on-site parking -so not creating problems for the existing residents- or embracing that sustainability story by saying "it's designed for a one-car household" -and making it suitable.

So again, this shows that the RPZ isn't anti-car, especially anti-resident-car. It's anti many-student-cars-that-never-move, and its anti-fake-sustainable-development-proposals, but for anyone who lives in an area who likes somewhere to park evenings and weekend, the upper limit of vehicle ownership benefits them by restricting the amount of space their neighbours will occupy.

For anyone living in Clifton saying "no guarantee of parking", they have to ask themselves:
  1. Do they ever find that student parking is an issue, and during term time do they find they have no guarantees of being able to park on their own street?
  2. Do they ever  to oppose new planning proposals on the basis that it doesn't provide enough off-street parking to avoid reducing parking guarantees for existing residents?
If either of those two questions are answered with a yes -you have problems that an RPZ can address


pete said...

Why not just scrap all RPZs?

I've never understood why some people are given preferential access to parking space on a public road just because they happen to live nearby.

All parking rules should apply equally to all road users.

bsk said...

I've never understood how it has come about that some people think they can store their private property on public land and not be charged rent for the privilege.

Unknown said...

I totally agree with you bsk! Totally nuts that people think they should be entitled to use something they don't own for free.