Auckland: a fresh start?

And so, a year and a half after the Royal Commission into Auckland’s local government reported back its findings, the Super City begins. It’s goodbye to Auckland City, Manukau City, North Shore City, Waitakere City, Rodney District, Papakura District, Franklin Districts and (perhaps the only one I’ll be sad to see go) the Auckland Regional Council – and hello to the new Auckland Council.…
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CBD Tunnel on “The Nation”

TV3’s political show “The Nation” has this week focused on the rail plans the Super City has, and the government’s response to those plans. There are a couple of videos well worth a watch. First, a story outlining the details of the CBD Rail Tunnel – with interviews of Len Brown, Mike Lee, Christine Fletcher and others (click image to be taken through to TV3 website and watch the video).…
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Urban sprawl – not the way of the future?

I have long argued against urban sprawl as a pattern of development, because of its inevitable car dependency, its poor sustainability and its general soullessness. With the government undertaking a serious overhaul of planning regulations that relate to urban areas – potentially making it easier for our cities to sprawl – I read with interest an article from the USA which argues that our changing demographics and cultural preferences mean that the demand for sprawl is simply unlikely to be there in the future.…
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Council structure announced

The make up of the new Auckland Council was announced today by Mayor Len Brown. The structure of the council, and the chair of each of the committees, sub-committees and other forums are outlined below: Structure and appointments:Committees of the WholeStrategy & Finance Committee – Penny Webster Accountability & Performance Committee – Richard Northey – CCO Strategy and Appointments Sub-Committee – His Worship the Mayor – CEO Review Sub-Committee – His Worship the Mayor – Tenders & Procurement Panel – Jami-Lee Ross Regional Development & Operations Committee – Ann Hartley – Social & Community Forum – Cathy Casey – Culture, Arts & Events Forum – Alf Filipaina – Economic Forum – Arthur Anae – Community Safety Forum – George Wood – Environment & Sustainability Forum – Wayne Walker – Parks & Heritage Forum – Sandra Coney – District Plan & Urban Design Forum – Cameron BrewerAuckland Future Vision Committee – His Worship the Mayor / Deputy Mayor – Transport Committee – Mike LeeStanding Committees– Hearings Committee – Noelene Rafills – Regulatory & Bylaws Committee – Des Morrison – Audit & Risk Committee – Sharon Stewart – Civil Defence & Emergency Management Group – Michael GoudieAdvisory Panels– Maori Statutory Board – Alf Filipaina – Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel – Arthur Anae – Ethnic Advisory Panel – Mike Lee – Business Advisory Panel – Cameron Brewer – Rural Advisory Panel – Des Morrison – Youth Advisory Panel – Michael Goudie – Social Policy Forum – Calum Penrose No real surprise to see that Mike Lee has been appointed chair of the Transport Committee.…
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St Lukes – the ultimate planning failure?

On Monday next week the new Auckland Council formally comes into being. The agenda for its first meeting has already been uploaded to the new Council’s website. Let’s hope such timely uploading is a sign of good things to come! Much of what’s included in the agenda for the Council’s first meeting is standard “house-keeping” stuff – although it will be interesting to find out the structure of the different Council committees, including who ends up chairing them.…
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Washington DC Metro Photos

For some reason, while I had always planned to post a selection of photos from my visit to Washington DC as part of last month’s holiday, I never quite got around to it. It seems to be a relatively slow day for transport news, so here’s some great rail eye candy from the Washington DC Metro:While I knew about the concrete “vaulted” design of the stations, I wasn’t actually aware that all the underground stations had this design.…
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On-time PT stats: too blunt a measurement tool?

Humantransit has a thought-provoking blog post on whether measuring “on time performance” is really the best way to gauge the effectiveness of public transport in providing what its users want and need. Here’s a couple of interesting paragraphs: I have a great deal of sympathy for transit executives trying to deal with on-time performance, because many of the causes of delay are outside a transit agency’s control.…
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What’s wrong with this picture?

Anyone able to guess where this might be? Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craigsyd/with/5113726486/ Believe it or not, this is the sole pedestrian link between Auckland’s second busiest railway station and the main shopping street adjacent to that station. This is the link between Broadway and Newmarket train station.…
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