Traffic Lights – more harm than good?

There’s an interesting article in today’s NZ Herald that looks at the traffic effects of when there was a power cut last Monday, with a specific focus on why having the lights turned off might have actually made traffic better. Here’s the article: Flow-on effect of no lights By Heather McCracken 4:00 AM Sunday Jan 31, 2010The same intersection at 4.50pm last Monday, during the power cut (L) and at 4.50pm on Tuesday, when the traffic lights were working (R).…
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A Question

This may well be the shortest blog post of all times, but it is to raise a question that I have never had properly explained: Why is is that Sunday’s public transport service levels have to be worse than Saturday’s? In all my catching of public transport over the years I’ve seen no real evidence that patronage is much less on a Sunday than a Saturday, except for in the evening.…
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New York Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

New York is finalising plans to create the first, of half a dozen BRT lines in the city, on First and Second avenues. The lines are not “true” BRT as they will not be fully grade separated or prioritised such as the lines in the first city with BRT, Curitiba, Brazil (or Auckland’s own Northern Busway) but rather similar to our green bus lanes only with stations to speed up loading.…
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Onehunga Line: the good and the bad news

Well there is some good news to report on the Onehunga Line, and some bad news (well, no news is bad news in this case). The good news has emerged from the answer to a parliamentary question about whether the Onehunga branch would be included in the electrification project – which was a point of debate back in August when it seemed like there would be some serious cutbacks to electrification.…
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Costing the Holiday Highway

The announcement of the Puhoi-Wellsford motorway on Wednesday detailed the cost of that road to be $1.4 billion. Here’s the relevant part of the press release: …$1.4 billion strategic upgrade of State Highway 1 from Puhoi to Wellsford… It would seem to me that this is the cost of the whole Puhoi-Wellsford stretch, and not just the Puhoi-Warkworth first stage.…
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Holiday Highway confirmed – despite low BCR

There were some interesting announcements yesterday on the Puhoi-Wellsford “holiday highway”. While the first stage to Warkworth is being brought forward for completion within 9 years (that may sound like a long time, but at least half of that would be construction time, so the first step of construction might happen within the next four years), the second stage between Warkworth and Wellsford seems to have sensibly been pushed off into the never-never.…
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Puhoi to Wellsford: BCR of 0.8

Yes, the benefit to cost ratio has come back with a negative return as demonstrated in page 8 of the NZTA project summary statement http://nzta.govt.nz/network/rons/docs/puhoi-wellsford-project-summary-statement.pdf (hat tip: LucyJH):A BCR of 0.8 meaning at a cost of $2 billion dollars it will return $1.6 billion to the NZ economy.…
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Can you build your way out of congestion?

Whether or not it’s possible to “build your way out of congestion” is a fundamental question that transport planners all around the world grapple with. On the one hand, we seem to have been building a lot of “transport stuff” over the past few hundred years yet our cities seem as congested as ever; while on the other hand it seems quite crazy to suggest that building transport projects is pointless as no matter what you build, you’ll never actually be able to make a difference to congestion.…
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Discounts for Newmarket Train users

While my comments on the Newmarket station have been mixed, and there are still certainly some unresolved issues relating to timetabling and trackwork, it does seem as though some thought and effort is going into getting people to try out the station and getting people to consider new ways in which to get to a place like Newmarket – which has excellent public transport connections and a shortage of parking.…
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