Monday, 13 April 2015

Old Redlands residents' parking zone

Parked carsKizzi Murtagh and the Green Party have been doing a fair amount of doorknocking in the Redlands area recently and listening to people about their day-to-day problems. One thing that has come up time and time again is parking – there is now a petition for an Old Redlands zone.

We organised a small but perfectly formed meeting on parking a little while ago and at the meeting one of the Redland councillors mentioned that they were again considering a larger residents’ parking scheme in the “Old Redlands” area – terraced housing, no off-road parking, big parking problems.

Happy to support this resident-led petition to galvanise support for a consultation on residents’ parking in the Old Redlands area, but the council definitely needs to think about where this zone stops very carefully.

In neighbouring Park Ward residents’ parking has just gone in on College and Culver roads, will shortly be going in on St Bartholomew’s Road and is under consideration in Hamilton Road, Eastern Avenue and the Grange Avenue area.

Each of these road by road schemes will create problems at the edges. Is it time for an East Reading mega zone? What do people think?

5 comments:

Dave S. said...

I live in Eastern Avenue & the residents parking stops just before my door (I'm not actually entitled to a permit !), so in front of my house is "free for all" parking. I regularly see every morning non-residents parking around 7:00-7:45AM as this is the closest non-permit parking to Cemetery Junction, then walking down to Cemetery Junction and then on to town (normally by bus).
Then later in the morning, University-based visitors resort to parking on the pavements to access the University.

Imposing a residents only parking may alleviate the problem here, but it will just push it further out. Also the bottom half of Eastern Avenue always has masses of free parking for residents anyway. I think residents don't have a problem with considerate parking per se, it's the inconsiderate parking - on pavements, & blocking entrances, for example - they have an issue with.Also the 20MPH blanket limit is generally a nonsense sice it's impossible to get up to those speeds in most roads anyway.

So a couple of (well, 4) suggestions:
- Carry on allowing some legal parking (possibly permit-based ?), but strictly enforce illegal & inconsiderate parking - especially on pavements. There are a lot of elderly & disabled users that cannot get past the cars on the pavements, and it's a nightmare for he buses also;
- Think about the bigger picture, rather than a street by street basis - for example, turning Redlands into a well thought-out one-way system (you may need non-Reading based expertise for this !) along avenues such as Hamilton, Eastern, Junction Rd., etc: - this wil still allow traffic to still flow but give space to allow parking as well;
- put pressure on the University & hospital to provide adequate parking for their staff & students. It's not like they haven't got the space (University) and the vast majority of parking issues are as a result of University (& hospital) traffic, as well as users not wanting or able to park in Central Reading all day (which is becoming near impossible to do for any length of time exceeding 3 hours);
- Enforce (cameras?) the no-exit at the bottom of Eastern Avenue, it's downright dangerous especially when residents often encounter illegal exits (often with large trucks) when turning into the avenue.

cheers

Dave

Dave S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob White said...

Thanks for your thoughts Dave. At the top, near the University, parking capacity is one of the problems which is why residents' parking is being looked at for the top part of this road. We did a letter drop to the lower half a while ago making people aware that this is on the horizon and asking if the whole of the road should become residents' parking, but didn't hear back from many residents supporting this. Send me an email if you would like to be kept updated on this issue by email: rob@readinggreenparty.org.uk

Dave S. said...

I agree the main problem is at the top of Eastern Avenue, the lower part is not so bad (but suffers really from a combination of 2-way traffc and parking). It's going ot be difficult to enforce parking at the top end because of the width of the pavements. Only way I see it is to double-yellow line one side, or both sides, of the road but that will not stop vehicles parking fully on the pavements.
Something a little more radical could be interesting - although it's not illegal to park on pavements, it is illegal to park on a pavement that is also designated a cycle track. So one thing you could consider is a scheme Redlands-wide that combines safe cycleways, parking and a one-way vehicle system (a la Amsterdam) which gives as much weight to cycles as to vehicles - since cycling is also quite dangerous around these streets. This would also encourage more use of cycles in a safe environment, which it isn't at the moment and possibly alleviate some of the traffic & parking issues ?.

Rob White said...

Thanks. I am waiting for the relevant transport planner to get back in contact with me but I believe the scheme he will propose will involve double yellow lines on one side of the road for possibly both (in a staggered fashion to create a chicane). In my experience when there is parking on only one side of the road people don't park on the pavement as much.

Your idea about cycle lanes on the pavement sounds interesting, but the pavements around their are very narrow. I think getting 20 mph in residential roads would do more to encourage cycling.