Consultation began today and Wellingtonians have until Friday 19 October to have a say.
The Council's Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says the Council often gets complaints about taxis sitting in parking spaces in certain parts of the central city without paying.
"We're proposing changes to restrict this practice and make it easier for parking wardens to enforce. Taxis provide an important service, which is why we have central city taxi stands, but on-street parking spaces are intended for shoppers and people doing business in the central city," he says. "We regularly hear from motorists who say they are frustrated at not being able to find a park in these areas because they are being taken up by taxis waiting for business."
Under the changes being proposed, taxis will still be able to drop people in these areas and pick up passengers who have ordered a taxi but will not be able to park and wait for business in these areas unless they are on a taxi stand. They will only be able to park in metered or pay-and-display parking spaces in these areas if all taxi signage is removed.
At this stage, it is proposed taxi parking restrictions would apply in Bond, Pipitea, Waring Taylor and parts of Featherston streets, as well as The Terrace by Aurora Terrace. However, it is possible that the proposed restrictions for Bond Street could be subject to further change as part of a wider review of pedestrian safety in the Willis Street area.
Wardens aren't easily able to issue tickets at the moment because under the existing rules taxis are permitted to park in these areas. If questioned, drivers will often say they are just there for a few minutes even if their intention was to sit there much longer.
Cr Foster says if the practice becomes a problem in other places in the future, the Council could decide to extend the proposed restrictions to other areas.
"There are more than 1200 taxis licensed to operate in Wellington City and we can't and won't provide free parking space for them all," he says. "Our priority is making sure there are enough conveniently located taxi stands to meet the needs of Wellingtonians and visitors to the city."
For more information about the proposed new taxi restricted parking areas and changes to the city's traffic bylaw (the Wellington City Consolidated Bylaw 2008 - Part 7 Traffic), see:
Public Input - Taxi Restricted Parking Areas