Cascades Rd ‘an accident waiting to happen’

Times photo Wayne Martin

People continue to flog their cars along Cascades Rd despite signs prohibiting them from doing so. Some residents say selling cars on the busy road has to stop. Farida Master reports.

It is a mistake that hasn’t been rectified and residents have had enough.

The problem of a parking lane for residents on the busy Cascades Road being used by private vendors to sell cars is a long-standing one.

And it’s getting worse with traffic congestion increasing on a road and with one entire lane being used as an unauthorised car yard.

A sign put up by Auckland Council at the site says “Strictly No Trading”.

Despite that, on any given day there is a line up of 15-20 cars for sale, with the number going up to more than 30 cars sometimes.

Locals want to know why the council isn’t issuing parking tickets.

Patrick Toon, long-time resident of Cascades Road, says the problem is a very serious one, not only for residents in and around the area but also for motorists who sometimes, due to sun strike, cannot see people suddenly stop their cars and zip across the road to check out the vehicles on sale.

“It’s getting out of hand with people coming in and out of the parking lane, with a screech of brakes.

“It’s a terrible accident waiting to happen,” he says.

He has even questioned a parking warden for not issuing a parking ticket to those selling cars in the designated parking and service lane.

“The parking warden said there is nothing they can do since the council has now taken it off their hands.”

Mr Toon was told that the traffic wardens could only issue a ticket if the cars didn’t have a Warrant of Fitness or a Registration.

“The council made a blunder by taking it out of the hands of Auckland Transport,” he says.

“I immediately wrote to the council to ask for an explanation and was given a job number. After much follow-up I was told that it was a mistake that the council had made, taking it off the parking wardens.

“They said they would work on rectifying it.”

That was two years ago.

“But nothing has happened so far. The mistake has not been rectified,” he says.

Vicky Chan, 35, a resident of 23 years in the area, wants to know why parking tickets are issued to those who park more than two hours at shopping malls “instead of Auckland Transport (AT) monitoring cars for trading at a spot that clearly has a sign saying `Strictly No Trading’.

“If AT can go to the mall everyday to issue parking tickets, why don’t they come here?
“There have been so many near-miss accidents with people suddenly slowing down to check out the cars on sale.

“Also, there is no marked area for crossing the road so people cross from anywhere after stopping to have a look at the cars. The other day I almost ran over someone who suddenly stepped out of the shadows to zip across the road,” she says.

“We live in a street across from the Pakuranga golf course and it is so dangerous trying to take a tight turn into the flush median strip that merges into a lane leading to the roundabout.”

Vicky clarifies saying: “I am not against a community car yard but then why not have it at Lloyds Elsmore instead of a busy road?

“The parking lane is only meant for people living on the main road to park their cars.”

Howick Local Board member Adele White says that the local board is working on a solution with the council and that it is an urgent priority.

“We are investigating potential legislative changes with the bylaws and looking at revising them. Give us a couple of days,” she says.

Mark Hannan, AT spokesperson, points out that if a vehicle is “registered and warranted and its primary use is for travel, then it has every right to be on the road.

“Any vehicle can park on the roadside provided it complies with any restrictions and is parked legally.

“Parking is not reserved for people who live on a particular street unless there is a Residents Parking Zone.

“With regards to Cascades Road, Auckland Transport is currently looking at options to try to resolve the matter.

“We acknowledge the concerns that are being raised and have discussed this matter with the Howick Local Board and the local councillors.”

[poll id=”4″]