Hamilton Gardens – Grey St Parking

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It is normal for people to want to park as close to their destination as they can. Often a popular destination will hire a car-parking expert, who will calculate average demand and make a measured assumption for car-parking needs. Then consider the risk of a politician acting “out of character”  or saying* “When I visited I couldn’t find a park. That is not a good result, not good planning”. By default the Hamilton Gardens team’s goal appears to be to have an above-average supply of parking as close to the destination as politically possible.

* Strategic Growth Committee Meeting – 13 February 2020 – 1:18:00

Even with car-parking becoming the centre of the Hamilton Gardens landscape there will still be a need for overflow car-parking during major events. With the Cobham Drive underpass completed, could Grey St be seen as an extension of Hamilton Gardens?

The Sillary St pedestrian and cycle underpass access to Hamilton Garden is close to dozens of on-street car parks in Graham Street and Sillary St West. Grey Street is wide and could provide over 70 car-parking spaces. The beauty with Grey Street is that we could use it like a large chalk board to test out the possibilities. Each of the above options can be tried without making any permanent changes, and done relatively cheaply. There would be a real cost of a few thousands of dollars, blackening over existing white lines and repainting three times over a short period to test reactions. The quality of the paint needs to be poor so it wears, and we can clearly see the desire lines of motor vehicle drivers who fail to cope with the change. For Option ‘A’, potted plants could be used to reinforce the location of the bike lanes.

The goal is to have Grey Street seen as part of Hamilton Gardens; as a boulevard theme garden. Please send beautiful drawings/pictures of boulevards to city councillors and senior staff at Hamilton Gardens.

Hamilton could apply the French meaning of ‘Allée’ to Grey St so that it becomes an example of what was described as a ‘formal garden that was both a promenade and an extension of the view. It either ended in a terminal feature, such as a garden temple, or extended into apparent infinity at the horizon’.

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Hamilton Gardens Allée – Grey St Trees

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The definition of an allée in the Collins English dictionary is: ‘a path in landscaped area that is bordered by trees’. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an allée as ‘a walkway lined with trees or tall shrubs’. In French an Allée was a ‘formal garden that was both a promenade and an extension of the view. It either ended in a terminal feature, such as a garden temple, or extended into apparent infinity at the horizon’.

Over a decade ago I met with the late Lois Livingston on Grey St to discuss the pedestrian/biking link from Grey St to Hamilton Gardens. The conversion quickly moved to the attractive berms and the lack of vision about the selection of trees that lined this over-width road. In 2015 this was flagged in the Hamilton East Neighbourhood Plan (p19) under Projects: “Grey Street Avenue of Trees • This project is about enhancing the connection between the Hamilton East Village and the Hamilton Gardens along Grey Street with a tree-lined corridor. Rows of flowering cherry trees will begin where the oak trees end, creating a visual and spatial gateway to the Hamilton Gardens.”

In 2015 this was a shovel-ready project. The above image tells us ‘The Council has a supply of relatively mature trees available’ and on page 30 the ‘Grey Street Avenue of trees’ is ‘funded’.
I am suggesting the trees should have already been planted. I am not proposing a name change for Grey St, but I do encourage people to imagine something more than an avenue of trees. Can this road become more of a promenade, with an extension of the view, ending at the gardens, and “extending into apparent infinity at the horizon”?

Category: News