Last night, Campbell Live dedicated their entire show to looking at transport, with a large focus on what is happening in Auckland. Even better is that they produced an entire segment looking at our Congestion Free Network proposal.

The first two segments are on the same video. The first one looked at Auckland’s current problems, which were summarised as:

  • A motorway network that has a lot of lanes and is busy primarily at peak times;
  • A rail network that was never really designed with passengers in mind, but is at capacity;
  • A bus network that hasn’t really been changed to reflect the changes in the city for 40+ years, that is at capacity.

I think that is a fairly accurate description of where we are at, and importantly it noted that (particularly at peak times) the networks are at capacity.

The next segment looked at what projects are currently happening or proposed. I must say I did have a little chuckle at referring to the Western Ring Route as a loop, considering some of the frustration that has been expressed by the use of the term when referring to the City Rail Link. As for AMETI, that is the first time I have seen that animation of the Pakuranga busway station, and it looks interesting (can we have a copy please Auckland Transport). I also loved how the rest of the projects were referred to as a Christmas wish list, and combined with the way the interview with Len Brown was edited, really highlighted it as such.

Campbell Live 31 July 1

The third segment looked at what other regions think about transport funding and Auckland. As highlighted, the real problem the regions are facing is that the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) are sucking up most of the funding. However, while it is mentioned that Auckland has three of the seven RoNS projects, I do question why it sits on Auckland’s books. Sure, it is being built within the region, but probably the strongest advocates for it are from Northland who call it a lifeline for their region – despite it not looking to do much for them. The rest are elsewhere in the country, including some particularly expensive ones in the Waikato and Wellington. I’m sure you economists out there will be bound to have something to say on the comment that the agricultural products on rural roads are just as valuable as, say, someone getting to work in the Auckland CBD. Also, is it just me or did Wayne Brown just suggest Far North transport priorities are being driven by what forestry truck drivers complain about?

Campbell Live 31 July 2

And lastly, in my favourite segment – but then in this regard I guess I can be a bit biased – Campbell Live covered our Congestion Free Network. They did a great job by taking our maps even further and animating them.

Campbell Live 31 July 3

A very big thanks to the Campbell Live team for covering the proposal, and judging by many of the comments I saw from all over the place, it appears that a lot of people like the idea which is excellent.

It’s been a big couple of days for us with the CFN: on Tuesday morning Sudhvir had an op-ed about it published in the Herald, while on Tuesday night we presented the plan to IPENZ. Things aren’t slowing down though – next week we will be presenting the plan to the council’s Transport Committee, and along with Generation Zero we will be pushing the idea during the upcoming local body elections.

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  1. Brilliant work, thank you all. Great to see the sense our media can produce working with well-informed partners.

  2. Good work. Geez even with a full segment dedicated show Campbell still didnt address the elephant in the room – our un-priced/heavily subsidised transport networks

    1. Elephant in the room is a bit over-the-top — it is standard practice worldwide to have an unpriced and heavily subsidised transport networks, especially roads.

      1. That may be the case, but it doesnt change the massive impact it has on said networks. Just because something is common in other countries have any bearing on it not being a big problem, or conversely a big opportunity if fixed.

        1. Thats one hypothesis. But the historical record tells us that rather than having been tried and found too difficult, it has largely been left untried. And where it has been tried, it has generally been successful to the extent that it has been tried.

  3. This was the most informed piece of TV commentary about Auckland’s current transport problems (mentioning freight as well as people movement!) that I have seen on National TV in my 15 years involvement with Auckland local government. Campbell Live did the Congestion Free Network option proud too – and animating the extensions was the icing on the cake. Take a bow those who helped TV3 and who designed the network, and who emphasised the need for project and modal prioritisation.

    Apart from the need to get sustainable modes into the mode share more (though the show did justice to the Harbour Bridge cycling clip-on), there is a need to get into the debate the type of mixed use land use planning and settlement pattern transformation Auckland needs so that a greater proportion of of its citizens can meet most of their needs using short trips. The assumption that those living north of Albany should have reasonable expectations of a 30 minute, 40 km commute, to work in Penrose or Tamaki, and that infrastructure should be provided to meet those sorts of demands, need to be challenged.

    The debate is tending toward a supply management emphasis. This needs to be moderated with a well framed, dare I say populist, demand management picture and vision for Auckland.

    1. Your last paragraph is a bit of an understatement. Dont know what you mean by populist demand management? Why not simply priced based demand management – it tends to work best in pretty much every other corner of the economy.

    2. Joel,
      “The assumption that those living north of Albany should have reasonable expectations of a 30 minute, 40 km commute, to work in Penrose or Tamaki, and that infrastructure should be provided to meet those sorts of demands, need to be challenged.”

      I think that assertion should be challenged too.

      The point with this is that, this expectation can be easily met with the CFN – provided that the commuter’s expectation is *not* that this 30 minute commute be done using single occupant cars as is done now.

      Lots of cities have multi-modal transport systems than can and do allow such a commute and we should aspire to the same. Why?

      I am sure any economist will tell you that labour mobility and flexibility of workers to be able to be where the jobs are, is a given from Economics 101 onwards.
      Efficient multi-modal transport becomes the method de-jour to enable these market “efficiencies” to occur.

      As has been noted elsewhere people tended, since time immemorial to live within about 1 hour commute time of their workplace, its just that as the amount of distance 1 hour of travel covers has gone up and up over the last 150 years, so its been easier to simply build out as traffic speeds have increased than any other option.

      But I do agree that having a system that requires all those “Carbon units in Sector 7G” to need to drive to their current job (wherever that is in the city) is wrong, but until now they’ve had no realistic option otherwise.

      1. Good points Greg. I guess I was too simplistic. However I’m not suggesting that Auckland should be divided up into little self-sufficient islands of economic activity, and that we’ll pull up the draw-bridges between. Vancouver – for example – has a top line planning objective of “self contained communities”. This is not to prevent movement or mobility between communities. However it is to provide more local options for more activities – including employment. Auckland has for too long gone for mono-zonal land uses – especially residential – necessitating/forcing long commutes for everybody. That is not efficient. If you want to talk about maximising economic efficiency, and you factor in time, energy costs, transport infrastructure costs you will arrive at density and mixed use as the solution.

        Supply management and demand management are both essential parts of the transport and land use planning equation.

        1. *Like* this comment a lot. Ref Hank Dittmar’s insightful 5 Minute Walk For A Pint test. “Fixing” AKL’s transport needs to be predicated on fixing our social structure – the real failure is in how we design many of our communities here.

        2. We should be aiming for something like the Copenhagen “Five Finger Plan” where development was encouraged along 5 rail routes out of the centre. The centres on that rail route were intended to be self sufficient but with easy access to the centre.

          The areas between the “Fingers” is to be kept as green areas and some low density housing.

          According to everything I have read, it has been a great success, to the extent that a sixth “Finger” has been added and I believe a 7th is being discussed.

          In Auckland the “Fingers” might be along Busways rather than rail lines but the concept is still the same. Concentrate the majority (not all) development along transit corridors, instead of just randomly creating “communities” (actually just a bunch of houses in the middle of nowhere – Flat Bush) with no links.

          Or is that a socialist conspiracy to stop “freedom” and kill the “NZ Dream”?

        3. I don’t disagree with your thrust.
          But I see that as an aspirational/intergenerational goal with a far longer time-frame that the 30 years the CFN is looking at.

          There are many huge barriers in NZ that stop people living and working locally – not least, that while you and your spouse/partner jobs may initially be near where you live, as you change jobs, have kids, grow up, old, or whatever, you may not be able to afford (or simply may not want) to move to be near that new job.

          Schools, community of interests and other wider societal issues complicate that decision no end, and then if you and your partner end up with jobs at other ends of the city what then?
          Say, no provision for you to commute cross town to your job – local only?

          If people didn’t take the new jobs because they could not travel there easily, or live near they work then that would be a huge inefficiency in the marketplace.

          Not that thats the only arbiter of whats right, but it is an argument (one of the few it seems) that the current governments and treasury do seem to listen to when its raised as an objection/reason for things.

        4. I agree Greg – and those points are never raised when people like John Minto talk about these “satellite cities”.

          In addition, if you are restricting people (which you are essentially doing if you designate new communities with no good transit links to the wider city) to an area with a population much less than Auckland’s 1.5 million, then the competition for jobs and employees drops.

          That means that employees have less leverage for higher wages and businesses have less access to employees. I often dont apply for new jobs in Auckland because I know that my commute will be much longer and will probably involve driving 50-60 mins each way.

          That restricts my job choices to the North Shore (with a population about the same as Chch) or the CBD (a much bigger job market but still restrictive). If a job is in Greenlane/Mt Wellington for example, forget it, I am not travelling that far as the system currently. That means less applicants (for a job that already has very few qualified people around) and so less competition = less leverage = lower salary.

          If businesses struggle to employ people, especially well qualified technical people, because of a lack of work force to choose from, they are less likely to expand and perhaps move towards exporting. That holds back the whole economy.

          To really have the advantage of a big city, we need to make sure that at least the majority of the city can access jobs in a city of 1.5m. Densification and centralisation can do that.

          Look at the recent study about social mobility and sprawl.

          I think that is a massive indicator and will lead to more inequality.

        5. Sometimes you choice may be move house to different part of Auckland or take the job across town.
          The only option, for the career I want is, in 2012 was studying at Tamaki and this year working at Greenlane hospital (officially called Greenlane clinical centre). This was a bit of travelling from Torbay!!

          Interesting enough I have used PT a fair bit (881 bus and train to Glen Innes).
          The CFN will address the main problems I faced (congestion slowing buses between Constellation Albany and between Fanshawe St to Auckland Hospital and more frequent trains without delays getting into Britomart)

        6. John Minto and satellite cities? I think you mean John Palino – although the less he is mentioned the better: truly awful perspective on transport.

        7. I’m not convinced that John Minto’s vision is anchored in reality, doubling the bus fleet in just a year in order to provide fare-free travel? NZ bus builders can’t build that many buses and try to hire drivers for them on top? nice idea, but unrealistic

  4. I must congragulate the team for of your efforts. Auckland and I think engineering/urban design/roading/public transport/council amalgamation/publics view in general is going through massive transformational change at the moment. Even my own views as an civil /roading engineer are changing/developing from personal experience, overseas experiences, learn from others/experience, being open to other ideas…even reading your blog and other peoples ideas. I think your plan will go ahead (with maybe some refinements here and there) and Auckland is definately ready for change. That Campbell live animation and the entire clip was excellent. AT has done some good work and obviously the CRL is core to your plan as well. Not just local body elections think getting/meeting with key Auckland Transport and brain strorming together as a whole would be good also. If we are talking about 85% say capex without the $12B extra of the priority over the next 17 years then 85% of all the capex roading engineering resources should follow and fast track this thing. No 2 year phasing in/consultation but a dedicated team that has power to act accordingly ie global approval once Auckland is happy with the generic plan. This would also save money all round and get instant results /impact and try and get the massive gain patronage first ie momentum.

  5. Excellent. Nicely articulated, all. It’s great to see some sympathetic mainstream media coverage.
    Just a shame that the people who really need convincing aren’t in Campbell’s demographic, but getting this level of exposure is one heck of a good start.

  6. A suggestion for myth-busting which arises from one of the comments on the CFN segment, but which is also trotted out constantly, is that Auckland would be better off if we just stopped trying to bring people into close physical proximity. Incentivise telecommuting, encourage the rise of the suburban centres, and all will be merry and bright because we can just stop worrying about transporting people around.

    This particular myth is awfully pernicious because it has such a beautiful prima facie logic to it, and that’s particularly so as we get more and more connected technologically.

    1. Then the Unitary Plan and Auckland Plan will need to be rewritten from their current formats. As we know there is the main City Centre Zone but, also the 10 Metropolitan Centres which act as high end suburban centres across the wider city.
      In saying that the Metropolitan Centres are being reviewed and some might be taken back down into Town Centres (Papakura), one hopefully into the General Business Zone (Sylvia Park) and two upgraded into Super Metropolitan Centres. A case of waiting to see what comes out in September

      As for the CFN itself well it effectively allows or would allow for the first time rapid and efficient cross city commuting which Aucklanders love to do. We manage this part well then Auckland won’t be strangled by the constant congestion we face currently.

      Oh and kudos for Campbell Live calling the CRL the City Rail LINK, wish the other MSM outlets would do the same. And had to chuckle at the Western Ring Route Loop term coined up 😛 In saying that I wonder once the WRR is fully complete it should carry the State Highway One shield

      1. WRR is not entitled to be designated as SH1 for two reasons:
        1) It doesn’t meet the existing SH1 at any point. It links between SH16 and SH20.
        2) It’s an intra-regional road, so only justifies a double-digit identifier. Single-digit highway numbers are only allocated to inter-regional roads.

        1. Technically, the name “western ring route” covers SH20 from SH1 at Manukau to its future end where it joins SH16 then along SH16 to SH18, and SH18 to where it meets SH1 at the Constellation / Upper Harbour Hwy intersection.

        2. I think BR… was suggesting the entire WRR from Manukau to Albany be designated SH1. This makes sense and it was actually the original intention when the motorway network was devised.

        3. Posted a half-written reply. Continuing…
          It is theoretically possible to re-route SH1 along the whole WRR corridor and indeed that was the original plan when constructions started on the original Northwestern Causeway – the Auckland Harbour Bridge was supposed to be the intra-regional link, just between the Isthmus and the North Shore.

        4. Yes, I read that the mayor at the time of the Bridge was determined that there should be no chance of the Bridge failing to meet the tarffic projections and so agitated for SH1 to be routed over the bridge.

          This of course led to the horrific set up we have now where the CBD has been sliced and diced so that it has no coherent flow. What a very different city it would be if the original plan had been stuck to and the Bridge had only been accessed from surface roads rather than the motorway.

          Certainly a lot more freight would be bypassing the city.

        5. I just took look at Wiki and NZTA and they have the WRR starting from State Highway 1 up at Upper Harbour Drive/SH1 interchange and finishing at the current SH1/20 interchange at the southern end

          On that premise and your premise that entire section would form a massive bypass to serve inter regional traffic skipping the central isthmus area where they currently have to go

          Thus it could carry as an entire package the State Highway 1 shield and should do so. The old part of SH1 between Manukau and Upper Harbour could carry the SH20 and 18 designations as that section would be come intra-regional

        6. I live near the Mt Abert end of Richardson Rd, which forms part of the local road link between the north end of SH20 and SH16 at Waterview.

          The number of trucks using this route to get between the two motorways has really skyrocketed since the SH20 Roskill extension opened. So in a way some trucks are using the full western ring route already.

  7. Just want to say good work Matt, I think that’s the second time I’ve seen you on TV and both times you came across as level headed and well informed.

    The downside however wad the network they presented was different from what you are suggesting. In their plan they will be running northshore style busways everywhere when what you have priced is on road bus lanes.

    No doubt the former would give a real congestion free network however it would cost fortune. Potentially more than the councils entire transport plan.

    1. Thanks

      As you say it will be very costly to build completely grade separated busways or rail lines everywhere which is why we fudged the lines a little in what we suggest. We know that we can get vastly improved bus priority that will be close to what a dedicated busway would provide, like what is currently proposed on Dominion Rd.

      I think the important thing though is much less the exact technical details and more so the vision. Most of the projects already exist in the Auckland Plan but what AT or AC haven’t done is show a comprehensive plan as to how they could actually work and the impact they would have. The focus has been on individual projects without showing how they interact with and benefit each other. This whole process is largely about showing that having a system of high quality PT routes is actually possible and not some way out there dream. It would be interesting to see what would the response be if AT/AC put out a few transport package options for public discussion including one with the CFN and a few key roads compared what they currently propose. I suspect that if shown the CFN properly the public might pick that option.

      1. Yes, I noticed that the Devonport to Smales Farm via Takapuna bus lanes were stated as a busway. I think you are only suggesting bus lanes there.

        All the same, the NIMBYs on the peninsula will be screaming blue murder on that one as it is suggesting one of their precious car lanes on Lake Road might be taken away. Sacrilige!

        1. It is completely viable to propose high quality bus priority for Lake Road as part of our network:full time bus lanes, signally privilege, and proper stations.

          Furthermore this is build able, to demand anything more is absurd for that location and would lead to nothing improving.

        2. Completely with you Patrick and I know that some on the local board are too.

          However, tehre are a lot of people stuck in the 1960s who think that roads are the only answer and that taking away a car lane will lead to carmageddon.

          The same people who are convinced the cycle lanes on Lake Road are causing all the congestion.

        3. presumably this level of service would be continued through from Lake Rd to Hurstmere/Kitchener/Shakespeare to link to Smales Station? I suspect that some form of hybrid signals based priority would be needed to clear cars out of the Milford shopping centre, as this area is a significant bottle-neck.

          There is a risk in limiting the focus in the transport/land use/economic planning exercise, yes there are agglomeration benefits in and around the CBD, but there also need to be recognition of growth in the metro centres around the city and that they afford many people shorter trips to work and importantly can provide for balanced loading on the passenger services. This latterissue is important because it reduces empty seats, thus improving both financial and fuel efficient/reduced emissions performance.

        4. @SZteve C, why not run it along Tahoroto road?

          Completely agree that it is possible Patrick. we can do it in the style proposed for Pakuranga Road, but with only 2 general lanes.

        5. to be fair sailor, the diagrammatic nature of the scheme doesn’t provide this level of detail, but I assumed (and I know what is said about assumptions) that the service would pick up another growth node at Milford

          certainly, Taharoto would be quicker and cheaper, but to a degree it depends on where you strike the balance between service efficiency and service utility

        6. I agree that Kitchener would be good. But you are probably looking at 200 million in property acquisition minimum. Tahoroto will be an intensive corridor, and Milford is being downgraded from 8 storeys in Unitary Plan 2.0

  8. I thought interviewing regional mayors complaining about funding while standing next to empty roads with not a vehicle in sight for miles for the entire interview was a bit of an own goal for the critics.

    1. +1

      I loved it when they said they were thinking about aking roads back to unsealed too. It just made me think how few vhicles must be using the road for that to be the option.

  9. In watching this last night, i was surprised how much the plan makes sense…….however It is disappointed to assume that all of the growth is going North…. If you look at the growth in terms of big developements like Addision at Takanini 3000 houses, Stone Fields ???, and the 6000 houses at Pokeno, surely there needs to better links south as well…..

    Anyone that has headed south out of auckland at 5pm or north at 8am is aware of the chaos at the Manukau connection between state highway SH20 to SH1 with 8 lanes having to go down to 2 at takanini (whatever traffic engineer that thought this was a good idea, needs their head read, especially when 2 weeks after opening there was cones then traffic lights installed to reduce the traffic flow) knows this area needs urgent attention…..this bottle neck is only going to get worst here…

    The problem is this that this issue backs up the traffic and causes issues further up the line, Waterview though a great project and a much needed one, is going to make this area worse….in other words you will be able to go and sit in traffic quicker on SH20…….whats the saying “the network is only as strong as its weakest link”, surely we need to focus on understanding the whys before building more roads and adding the problem areas……

    My prediction – when Waterview opens the SH20 to SH1 junction, we come to a grinding halt……………

    1. Many of those places you’ve mentioned are a walk, cycle or brief bus ride away. With the new network that is being rolled out over the next 3 years there will be many frequent buses connecting to major transport nodes, be they rail or busway. Also, the govt have announced an upgrade for SH1 south of Manukau.

      1. Also, Pokeno is in the Waikato. You had besk ask the Waikato Regional Council what they intend to do re transport options from there. Having said that, I believe that Auckland Council will be in talks with their counterparts over that issue. I wouldn’t be surprised to see electrification to Pokeno sooner rather than later.

        1. To me that is the obvious solution.

          I don’t think that a ‘focus on the North’ is accurate either. Maybe the East, and NW, but that is due to large populations living in neglect.

    2. What wasn’t shown is the very minor – relatively – extension of electrification to Pukekohe, and the planning of a couple of new stations between Pukekohe and Papakura. These will happen with or without the CFN, Don’t forget, there’s the Southern Line running all the way through the southern suburbs, and it’s being electrified as I type. That’s the ultimate CFN. The focus on the north is because there’s nothing high-quality above the top of the NBW, there’s nothing high-quality across the harbour, and there’s nothing high-quality connecting up the NW motorway and across SH18. The entire area is devoid of high-quality congestion-free transport modes.

    3. Just to get some clarification on the issue in regards to Southern Auckland

      Glenora Road Station: Requires a Business Case Study to be conducted on the station before 2015. If Business Case study is good and Te Mahia Station is closed, then the station will be advocated to be brought into the 2015 Integrated Transport Program. Depending on the 2015 Long Term Plan funding the station could be operational by end of 2018.

      Manukau South Link: Business Case and Operations Study under way with an estimate report back due late this year. In light of enquiries made AT see no particular reason why the South Link should not be built and operated at a set frequency from Pukekohe to Manukau via that link. In regards to POAL‘s Wiri Facility, no major issue per se but, I did make enquiries about the feasibility of shifting the facility down the road. POAL are looking into this

      Papakura to Pukekohe Electrification extension coupled with two new stations and Pukekohe being upgraded ($110m) has been mooted. Last I looked it was waiting on the Funding strategy for the project. Unless the Council Strategy and Finance Committee do a major divert of funds from another budget line then I would expect to see this project come up until the 2015 Long Term Plan, Regional Land Transport Program, and Integrated Transport Program are all finalised

      And as Bryce said, something was believed to be discussed around the Pokeno and the northern Waikato. Might kick some enquiries off on what was mooted around that.

      And State Highway One from the Manukau Interchange is due to be upgraded (including the Takanini Interchange) from 2015

  10. Outstanding exposure from what is probably the only TV outlet doing thorough investigative journalism in New Zealand. If you want ‘know your enemy’, check out Terry in the comments box below the video piece about the CFN. He’s a one-man facepalm.

    1. Well he isnt the only one. John Minto is basically running the same line. I am still thoroughly unconvinced by this idea of making Manukau some kind of 2nd CBD or Super Metropolitan Centre.

      I have yet to have anyone answer the question of what is stopping the development of Manukau now. If there is no answer, then we have to either subsidise those areas with tax payer money or somehow make the CBD less attractive and force businesses to relocate.

      As the answers to Terry explain – decentralisation is exactly what Auckland has been doing and why so many people have to travel cross town to their job, meaning PT is often not an option and even roading is hard to provide when everyone is going to a different centre.

      That is the ultimate anti-urban, “cities are just small towns on a bigger scale” line of thinking. Agglomeration benefits!

      1. You’ve mixed up John Minto with John Palino. Personally, I think there are altogether too many Johns in this mayoral race, and I do not say that lightly. However, it doesn’t seem likely that either of them will oust Len. With that said – it would be nice if we could tee up a time to talk to these other mayoral candidates at some point (or Len, for that matter)

      2. Having spent a bit of time out Manukau way in the past 12 months, I think it doesn’t even need much in the way of council funding as such. The new bus – train interchange is required but the biggest thing that could make a difference is the removal of the parking minimums. Apartment living has already begun to take off there and it is feeling very urban already. Some road diets, cycle paths and traffic calmed cycle streets wouldn’t go amiss either. The potential returns for investment is huge I feel.

        1. Yes, I think Manukau will be fine and is heading in a new direction.It won’t be a new sub-CBD anytime soon, but it will be an urban hive of activity, thanks firstly to the investment in the bus/rail interchange. The same thing is happening in New Lynn.

          Sooner or later the penny is going to drop for the naysayers and they’ll realise how PT can play a big part in creating a better city for everyone, regardless of how you personally want to live, work and commute. And no, its not just about buses.

        2. I love the idea of Manukau getting less auto dependent and more people living there. That wont need any subsidies or penalising the CBD. There is MIT moving above the train station and that is great. All for it.

          I am talking about encouraging businesses to relocate there (or other metropolitan centres) from the CBD.

          There seem to be a few people (including our friend Terry) amazed that ASB decided to put its new HQ in the Wynyard Quarter. I see why they are confused because ASB could have got a cheaper building in say Manukau and also possibly paid lower wages.

          However, that is “city is overgrown small town” mentality. I am sure ASB put its HQ there because they know that is the best way to attract the talented, highly skilled professionals a bank needs. Also they now have the option of recruiting those people from all over Auckland, not just counting on the ones who live in the South or who are prepared to commute across the city to work in the South. When your pool of candidates is already small, that is a big plus.

          Again, agglomeration benefits.

          Terry has suggested that the Council should have stopped ASB doing that. This is exactly the kind of thinking I am worried about. That or promising tax breaks to encourage businesses to relocate.

        3. In fact ASB got a steal when it purchased the rights to develop its HQ at Wynyard Quarter. And Sea + City (precursor to Waterfront Development Agency) got the anchor tenant it wanted to attract further development on the land – which – remember – is contaminated, is off the beaten track (in terms of transport access – compared with Manukau). Things are not always as they seem.

          Many cities have evolved from being monocentric to being polycentric. There are all sorts of reasons and explanations for this. This is a neat one I found for you:

          “….The appearance of sub-centers throughout history has been described as the clearest spatial manifestation of the progressive disassociation of activities and powers in the city that is inseparable from the development of civilization. However, the phenomenon of polycentrism includes a distinguishing fact, associated with a jump in scale by means of which the city exceeds its critical mass, which historians locate for the first time in Imperial Rome when the capital reached the mythical figure of one million inhabitants. It would not be until the 19th century when Ebenezer Howard proposed overcoming the problem of the risky nature of this behavior by taking advantage of it by means of its arrangement: the Garden City was nothing but a metropolitan city articulated through several centers, the coordinated operation of which served as the basis for an economic and planning strategy that allowed the promoting of the rational construction of the modern metropolis….”

          Which is a definition at:

          Market theorists quite like the idea of polycentrism because it potentially enables cooperative competition. Sustainability advocates like the idea because it combines agglomeration benefits (up to certain limits) with decentralisation benefits and is usually more egalitarian in that a greater proportion of the urban population can live modestly while having good access to good employment opportunities. Most polycentric cities do have a central core – like London for example – which has many other employment centres distributed throughout its metropolitan area.

        4. How is Wynyard Quarter “off the beaten track”? It is a 10min walk from the busiest train station in Auckland. Also, the Northern Busway buses go right past it. Hardly comparable to Manukau which doesnt even have rail links from both directions.

          I dont really see how that is “not always as they seem”. That is exactly as it seemed. The ASB chose to locate to the CBD because it was a good business decision, for many reasons including the one you listed.

          Yes, there may well come a time that Auckland gets as big as Paris, London, New York or Tokyo (which is the city the article you quoted above was mainly dealing with) and we need to look at true polycentrism. However a population of 1.5m-2.5m is not the time to be doing that. Even Sydney is struggling to justify the new “CBD” at Paramatta with 5m people, which is usually the model cited for Manukau. All it appears to have done is meant a whole lot more people can choose to drive in Sydney – not the result I think Auckland is aiming for.

          I have lived in quite a few cities that size in Europe and none had adopted a polycentric model. At that size the city doesnt have the critical mass to support more than one big centre. All you end up doing is splitting your efforts making the overall city less vibrant and interesting. And killing the agglomeration benefits.

          I dont see a case for making Auckland polycentric and I dont see how to do it without artificially propping up Manukau or penalising the CBD.

          What do you see is currently lacking in Manukau that would lead to businesses wanting to locate there? I still havent heard anyone explain that to me, and I have asked a few times – always side stepped. Concrete examples please, not vague concepts like “encourage innovation”.

        5. goosoid: “I have lived in quite a few cities that size in Europe and none had adopted a polycentric model. ”

          Sydney is over 50 km across. A similar area based on central Manchester brings in the centers of Liverpool, Bolton, Wigan, Warrington, Rochdale, and Blackburn. Just down the road Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Doncaster, and Sheffield cover about the same area as Sydney. So do Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton. So do Cardiff, Newport, and Bristol. So do Newcastle, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland. So do Glasgow, Paisley, East Kilbride, Dumbarton, Stirling, Cumbernaud, Airdrie, Falkirk, and Greenock, and Edinburgh isn’t too much farther away from that connurbation.

          I think polycentric conurbations with about the same population and area as Sydney are pretty much the norm for the UK.

        6. Note to ATB: this might be wanting to be split off as a side topic with its own thread (please)

          Quoting: How is Wynyard Quarter “off the beaten track”? It is a 10min walk from the busiest train station in Auckland. Also, the Northern Busway buses go right past it. Hardly comparable to Manukau which doesnt even have rail links from both directions.

          Yeah yeah the rail links in both both directions are coming 😛

          Quoting: What do you see is currently lacking in Manukau that would lead to businesses wanting to locate there? I still havent heard anyone explain that to me, and I have asked a few times – always side stepped. Concrete examples please, not vague concepts like “encourage innovation”.

          I shudder at terms like “encourage innovation” and “innovation precincts” as that usually means endless money down a black hole for an eventual flop backed by the Public Sector 😛
          As for what is lacking in Manukau that would lead to business to wanting to locate there?
          People like David Willmott and their parking minimums and total auto centric dependency planning as seen here (check 1:10 in) that has caused Manukau to be scared and unloved (as mentioned by the Deputy Mayor when I was having a conversation with her on Manukau) thus businesses not really wanting to be there.

          If some remedial things were done to Manukau – the small stuff like the AT Davis Avenue “upgrade” and that kind of upgrade duplicated to other areas like Ronwood Avenue, the Manukau Transport Interchange, the Manukau South Link, some more active transport paths, and some more green urban plazas/open spaces will go along way in raising the desirability of Manukau

          Planning wise: remove the height limits proposed in the Metropolitan Centre definition of the Unitary Plan and get rid of those cursed parking minimums so developers don’t have to provide all that damned parking with a high quality mass and active transit network on its way.

          Do that and Manukau will do the rest on its own in attracting both residents and businesses. The attraction for businesses wanting to be in a desirable area that can hold some agglomeration effects of a mini city centre, that has a very good transit system (and 15 mins from the airport), nice urban spaces, two major tertiary campuses attracting around 10,000 students total, a theme park, a large population centre base; and planning regulations that simply do not get in the road…

        7. Obi – OK that may be true, but personally having lived in the UK and on the Continent (France, Czech Republic, Romania), I dont think we should be adopting any UK models for transport or urban form. Public transport and urban planning has been a disaster in the UK unless you love cars. Also of course, all those are actually historic towns and I bet a lot of people still commute from there to the nearest big centre like Manchester or Edinburgh/Glasgow, especially for white collar work.

          You may see some similar forms in the Rhineland because of its very dense form (it is basically just one big city) but in general Northern Europe (the world leaders in urban planning and transport) doesnt have polycentric city forms where a city has the population of Auckland.

        8. BR:AKL_Admin01 – Great – I have asked that question so many times and not received a full answer.

          If that is what you are proposing to stimulate Manukau then great, I am all for it. However, I just hope in 10 years after those changes are made if the growth doesnt happen that we dont start hearing that Manukau needs a stimulus package (AKA tax payer subsidies) to get it going.

          It does show doesnt that the auto dependent form is really not that great for business, despite what Auckland planners have thought for 60 years. Good luck to you with the campaign for that.

        9. Quoting Goosiod: I have asked that question so many times and not received a full answer.

          If that is what you are proposing to stimulate Manukau then great, I am all for it. However, I just hope in 10 years after those changes are made if the growth doesnt happen that we dont start hearing that Manukau needs a stimulus package (AKA tax payer subsidies) to get it going.

          The full answer will come once something in concrete comes out and from Council as a result of current dialogue to get a “plan” set up around the wider Manukau area and the Manukau City Centre core. In saying that as the dialogue continues I hope more and more pieces of the puzzle will fall in place that will shed more light and answers for you

          As for growth not happening and Manukau needing a bailout? Well if it was from marco-economic reasons such as Central Government committing a balls up or the world economy going for a crash dive – then I wouldnt worry about bailouts as there would be no cash any how.

          If it is from a planning cock up – then even I will not ask for a bail out from the rest of the city and taxpayers. In saying that it is case of getting it right unless I want my own career absolutely stuffed in planning and consulting

        10. Mr Goosoid, as an ex-ASBer, I can tell you my colleagues who worked at ASB in Albert Street weren’t keen on moving to Wynyard Quarter. ASB sold it as a similar distance from Britomart, which conveniently ignores the bus routes that terminate mid town or above, or the walk from Britomart to Wynyard Quarter is exposed to the weather.

          ASB actually has staff all over AKL: Approx 2000 (might be less now) at North Wharf, 500 technology staff and call centre at Albany, 600 back office and call centre staff at Eden Quarter, Investments team at Takapuna (although they are moving out) and another call centre within the regional centre at Manukau.

        11. that walk from Britomart to Wynyard is gettng busier and busier. Maybe it’s in some way possible to make it sheltered? (Or a Tram…)

        12. And Steve – what age group arer the colleagues you are talking about?

          Are all your younger colleagues equally as unhappy?

  11. Thanks Matt, Patrick and Sudvhir for presenting their case really well on television. I really think this is gaining momentum. Keep pushing the council, local boards and AT – they will eventually see that moving these projects to higher priority will make a big difference.

    My main concern is that the upheaval in the short-term (Hop shenanigans etc.) will put off enough that the vision for what can be will be lost in the fog of how things currently are.

  12. I put this one in on the TV3 blog under the CFN. Hope you like it. The congestion free network actually makes a lot of sense and it is affordable and sustainable. It provides a viable option in particular for those who don’t need to take a car and frees up the roads for those that do. 85% of the planned roading capital expenditure without the extra $12 Billion dollars. It actually is do-able if Auckland gets behind it.
    The City Rail Link is core and critical to both the current plans and the congestion free network. The congestion free network is more a direct fix, gets the patronage up faster and obviously less gold plated. And when the patronage goes up the roads free up and probably then it doesn’t justify the gold plating on some of the current planned projects.

  13. I am all for the The Congestion Free Network it would make getting around that much easier 🙂 especially if you are just visiting and don’t have a car, I used to live in Adelaide and took the bus and train everywhere, New Zealand metro systems need a major upheaval to get them that good

  14. What about Devonport!! it can’t cope with all the navy traffic. Why did they put in cycle lanes when they are hardly ever used?.. The road is wide enough for two lanes in and out of Devonport surly this would solve our traffic problems.

    1. At a guess, they put in the cycle lanes as they were very cheap (compared to full road lanes) and to give people who don’t want to be stuck in a car in a traffic jam a choice.

      If you want to really solve the traffic problem I suggest a full-fledged motorway looping around the peninsula, necessitating the removal of almost all housing and with them any source of traffic.

  15. Blake, the annual cycle count station on Lake Rd at Taka Grammar recorded 266 cylists in the AM and PM counts. The site was 15th of 85 sites counted this year, but was down from last year’s 321 cyclists. It’s not Tamaki Dr, but “hardly ever used” is a bit distant from reality. See: and go to for more detail.

  16. Nick theres only so many people that live in the Devonport area. There would not be twice as much traffic it would ease the traffic and make the trip to Takapuna 5minutes instead of 25 minutes. 266 people might use the cycle lane but what about the other 13,000 people that live in Devonport that don’t use the cycle lane? thats not including the people that also travel to and from work that don’t live in Devonport! plus the cyclist can also contribute to the the traffic as i have experienced many times myself. For example when the cycle lane ends in Hauraki corner for some reason they think they can ride in the middle of the road… and then cross lanes and head towards Takapuna. Sporting commitments and people attending school also contribute to the traffic.

    1. Legally a cyclist can take the lane, and is encouraged to if it is unsafe for a vehicle to pass. They can also legally change lanes if required to do so to move through an intersection.

      Takapuna to Devonport is 5.5km, in order to do that in 5 minutes you would need to average 66km/h which is simply unsafe and infeasible due to pedestrians and traffic. A grade seperated busway should be able to do the trip in 12 minutes regardless of traffic. Much better than a single occupant car, both in terms of time, cabon, and cost!.

    2. Why shouldn’t a cyclist be able to cross lanes and head to Takapuna? They are not likely to be motorway bound.

    3. Cyclists are perfectly legally entitled to change lanes, what made you think otherwise?
      And the two car lanes leading up to the Hauraki Corner lights northbound are pretty narrow – not safe to pass a cyclist. If you are trying to, then you are driving dangerously.

      Remember that each commuting cyclist on Lake Rd is one less car. Assuming that’s just half of them, how would Lake Rd cope with 133 extra cars?

      Hint – 133 cars queued up would be about half a kilometre long.

  17. The North Shore Council from memory approved the widening of Lake Road from Hauraki to Belmont just before the amalgamation and presumably this is still going ahead? The road was to be two traffic lanes plus an on road cycle path plus I think there was to be a narrow flush median.

    Does anybody know how this is progressing please?……….perhaps the money needs to be diverted now to strengthen the roads to carry the 64 tonne trucks……..grrrrrr !!!!

    1. Many of the cyclists on Lake Rd are riding in a contra-peak direction, i.e. southbound to the ferry or Naval base in the morning when drivers are heading north to Takapuna or the m’way queue and the reverse in the evening, therefore there’s little conflict between modes on the road and the current situation is quite satisfactory.

      I used to ride to the Bayswater ferry when I was working in the CBD (much nicer than being stuck inside the Devo one) before the bike lanes and never had any worries with traffic on Lake Rd except at the horrid Lake/Esmonde intersection.

  18. I never said it was illegal. The point i was trying to get across was that it contributes to the traffic. Maybe a small but wide footpath tunnel under esmond rd where it meets lake road to prevent this from happening?..

    1. but Blake, how can cyclists cause problems for traffic if there are hardly any of them? some consistency please 😉

      but I agree that there is a design problem that builds an expectation that cyclists will turn onto Esmonde Rd, in situations like this (right turn from Taharoto Rd to Northcote Rd from the north, for example) I always change lanes where the road is narrowest, before any flare into three or more lanes

    2. Blake I live in Bayswater and there is only one thing that contributes to traffic on Lake Road – lots and lots of single occupant vehicles, a lot driven by people who work in the CBD but are too precious to take the ferry to work. Trying to blame cyclists is just absolute BS and a normal knee jerk reaction by a motorist.

      The best solution would be to put in a bus lane to the busway but I am sure all the auto dependent reactionaries in the area will oppose that like they oppose every other change on the peninsula.

      But dont worry, myself and CAA are working to get even more cyclists on that road so then you wont have any worries, the cycle lanes will be even better and a lot more cyclists. Especially school students. Good news eh?

  19. Keep up the great work guys. Just keep banging on the facts and some of them will get through some thick skulls out there. With so many years of under investment in PT, we will get our biggest gains by investing in it now.

  20. im a builder goosoid you cant take your tools on the ferry!!!! the ferry dosnt suit every one buddy!!!! what about the trucks, delivery vehicals and the navy. Not every one wants to ride a bike! 266 cyclists and the majority of them ride there bike for fitness not to work!!!! the only knee jerk is you on your push bike! I live in Devonport and there is a problem with traffic on lake road! but your to bind to see it with your eyes on the back of your head!

    1. Blake more people on bikes, buses, trains, and ferries are fewer people clogging the road in front of you, that’s all.

      Currently our systems are so poor for these other modes that there are too many reluctant drivers filling our streets and roads, lets make it viable for more to choose not to drive for every journey and vital road users like you will find the vehicle lanes freer.

      And cycling is not just for exercise, it is a form of transport too.

    2. Blake, nobody’s forcing you to cycle or take the ferry. The problem in Auckland is that because alternatives have been so poorly catered for for many years, Auckland’s transport development has been solely focused on driving, so that those who otherwise could and would cycle/bus/train/ferry/walk to their jobs are forced to drive as that has become the only realistic option for many.

      This means a lot of people who do not need to carry stuff are driving full sized cars just to transport themselves (ie no tools, goods etc), and this takes up much more road space than is really necessary, making things slower and more congested for everyone including those like yourself who actually do need to drive and move stuff as part of your job.

      The more transport options you give Devonport/Bayswater/Belmont area residents, fewer would be forced to drive, and the less congested the road out of there will be for everyone.

      Having said that, I work in ICT, and recently have been driving less than half the time. I have my toolkit and resources in a backpack, and often get eqiupment delivered directly to customers.

      I have a second, insulated bag inside the first to get out when carrying more than expected or getting some groceries on the way home.

      Probably not practical in trade jobs as your tools and gear are much larger, but it shows that with some jobs, it is possible, and that if I do that, I would like to think I am leaving more road space for the people who actually need it.

    3. Blake, if you read my post, those counts were taken in the peaks, they were commuters!

      and I don’t think that anyone here argues that everyone should take the bus, there are people just like you who have a legitimate purpose for driving a vehicle, but there are many who drive because they just haven’t thought of doing anything other than driving, but if PT is convenient, fast and cheap, then it’s a no-brainer

    4. Blake, one morning when you’ve got a few minutes spare park near lake road at peak times and take a look at the traffic going past. Count the number of trucks and tradies vans and utes and the like. At the same time count the number of single occupant commuters that look like they are headed off to an office job, shop or school. I think you’ll find the latter outnumber the tradies and trucks by at least ten to one.

      Yes you might not be able to take your tools on a bus or ferry, but of course that doesn’t mean everyone else has to drive. The clear majority of people have a choice to drive, take public transport, cycle, walk or whatever. What we need to do is put a bit of money into those alternatives for a change so they can actually become a realistic option for many people. And naturally every person that swaps to a bus or bike is another person not queued ahead of you at the lights.

      Widening lake road to add another lane wouldn’t achieve much except get a few more people queued up a Hauraki Corner and Esmonde Rd quicker. Unless you somehow widen every part of the corridor, widen every intersection, widen Esmonde Rd, extra lane on the motorway… Well your just shuffling the deck chairs around, it does nothing to solve the problem of everyone trying to drive on the same road at the same time.

    5. Come on guys, Blake has a very good point. Nobody in their right mind could say Devonport is deprived of PT connections to the CBD and have little choice but to drive. Their are 3 separate ferries going there all of which are faster than driving. If people are not constrained by other reasons PT is the clear and obvious choice.

      As for cyclists blocking the road, this is a classic case of not looking at the big picture. You don’t need 2,000 cyclist to stuff up traffic flow. All you need is 1 blocking a lane for a short while and the next thing you know 10 other users are delayed each of which end up blocking more people after that.

      It’s similar to 1 pedestrain crossing a road which ends up blocking the left turn movement which then blocks the straight through movement and before you know it that 1 pedestrain has delayed about 100 people by 2 mins.

      Of course if you only look at the small picture you will think it was that one pedestrain who had to wait 60s that had the poor end of the deal.

      1. I see. Its the one cyclists fault, not the abundance of drivers who choose to drive instead of using the apparently plentiful PT. If that cyclist wasn’t there, the area in question would be a dream to drive.

        If you choose to drive you are not in traffic, you are the traffic.

      2. I find 4 wheel plus vehicles are the only things capable of being blocked. Other road users only take up a small amount of lane space and cant really be blocked (except by 4 wheel plus vehicles). As such it is the presence of 4 wheel plus vehicles that is necessary to for blockages to occur.

      3. Three separate ferries all going point to point to downtown. Great if you are headed downtown or parts further south, not so awesome if you are going somewhere else on the North Shore for an example.

      4. What makes pedestrians time worth less than a motorists? Not to mention many motorists, in their warm, dry cars, won’t even stop at a ‘courtesy crossing’ to let someone cross when its raining.

      5. SF. This big picture also applies, but on an exponentially larger scale, to those slow,, or tentative, or dangerous, or stupid, or queue jumping motors who FUBAR Aucklands roads every day.

        I had better give some evidence to support my statement hadn’t I… the motorway! Gillies Ave, esmonde rd.

    6. Blake, I have no option but to take a vehicle for work either. If I need to start sometime nearing peak times (unusual in my industry), I leave earlier. I don’t leave at 8:15 and curse the traffic. Its pointless. More PT I say.

    7. You guys really are classic. With no information what so ever you claim all the problems in Devonport are caused by single occupant drivers heading to the CBD who drive due to there being norl PT option.

      Yet when told Devonport has 3 separate PT connections that are twice as fast as driving during off peak and about 10 times faster than driving during peak you claim it’s people heading north that are causing the issues.

      So now that you claim it’s people heading north causing the issue you start claiming it’s people driving to the CBD again that are causing the issue and that in oder to fix the problem you need more buses going to the CBD, even though there are already 3 ferries that are much faster at going to the CBD than a bus would ever be.

      It’s clear that you don’t actually care in the slightest as to where or why anyone is traveling and that you only interest is satisfying a personal fetish regardless of the net result being good or bad.

      1. @SF it is people inm cars causing the problem. PT is good going to the CBD from close to a ferry, and ok to the CBD from Lake Road.

        The PT is rubbish to go North, the drivers who find driving the easiest choice to get to Takapuna can’t really be blamed, because unless you are willing to run the gauntlet on a bike, driving is the best option.

        Anyone except those carrying goods who drives CBD to Devonport except those carrying goodsor vice versa is a stuck up, selfish prick causing traffic for everyone else.

        Hopefully putting it all in 3 sentances should help you as I know you struggle to read multiple posts often.

      2. SF Lauren I think you misunderstand. “Heading north” is the only motor vehicle way out of the Devonport/Belmont etc area by vehicle – to drive from the peninsula to any other part of the city, you must head north to Esmonde Rd.

    8. And Bryce. I never implied car drivers were more important than pedestrains but rather that they are equal.

      If you bothered to read what I said you will see I said that a single pedestrain could slow down 100 vehicles. That would imply the pedestrain is being treated at least 100 times more important in that particular situation.

      1. Well with no information whatsoever you claim the problems on Lake Road are not caused by single occupant drivers heading to the CBD who drive due to the fact that they think they are too good to take the ferry. If you do have information in your entirely neutral position as a traffic engineer please tell me, because I would love to know.

        What I regularly encounter in that area where I actually live, are many people who do have other options but choose to drive because they think they are too good for PT. Cycling is just too scary right now and I sympathise with that completely. I am a very confident cyclist but Lake Road still scares the bejesus out of me becuse everyone on it is so angry and needs to drive at 100km/h otherwise they are in “congestion”.

        What’s your solution to the problem then? Just widen Lake Road? I am pretty sure we have already done that and the problem is still there.

        1. Now as to why some people don’t take the ferry to the CBD each day I think we can make one rather safe assumption, that being that some people in Devonport don’t actually want to go to the CBD at all. In fact, given only some 10% of the jobs in Auckland are in the CBD you could expect that only 10% of people would have interest in such a trip.

        2. More than 10% of the population of Devenport workm in the CBD, stop being so disingenuous.
          Also, the number is irrelevant really. 1 person doing that is too many.

        3. Given an admin deleted this post I’ll make it again.

          Goosoid, I never made such a claim and you have clearly just made that lie up on your own.

          Feel free to read my posts again and not that I never even vaguely suggested such a notion.

      2. SF, I read it that you thought 1 pedestrian shouldn’t be able to have that effect. If I got that wrong then I apologise. Also, that 1 pedestrian will have far lower an effect than turning vehicles at a signalised intersection.

  21. The bus car parks are full the ferry car parks are full. It gives people no option but to drive!!!!!! or illegaly park there car and risk it getting towed or risk a ticket. New Zealand is getting lazy, people want to drive to work for there own comfort not use buses and ferries even though it is an option.

    1. It may seem obvious but it does look like it needs asking – Blake, for those who can take the bus (either via north to the city or south to the ferry), why is walking to the bus stop not an option as you very strongly imply? Why the need to drive to it?

    2. A point made early on in these comments Blake was that even if there were additional lanes for cars, this would not result in improvement because there is already too much traffic at peak times. in other words this would not me an effective solution. An effective solution is one that facilitates greater movement of people. If there are problems with pt then these need addressing so there are genuine options. In looking to buy a house in Auckland, the nightmarish experience of trying to drive along this route was claustrophobic and enough to put us well and truly off this location.

  22. Anyone else see the irony in complaining about needing to “see the big picture” from a person who struggles to see beyond the seemingly limitless priority of the private car?

    1. Repeating my post above as it may get lost in the way this thread is flowing…

      It may seem obvious but it does look like it needs asking – Blake, for those who can take the bus (either via north to the city or south to the ferry), why is walking to the nearest bus stop not an option as you very strongly imply? Why the need to drive to it?

  23. Thank you SF Lauren at lest some body has a brain here. If you want to solve the Devonport traffic problem put two lanes in. If you don’t want to solve the Devonport traffic problem don’t put two lanes in and do what you guys say. Then in 30 or 40 years time when the traffic gets even worse you will look back and say oh Blake was right we should of listened to him.

    1. So two extra lanes to move people faster to a bottleneck, in the meantime encouraging more people to drive, making the problem worse.

      Based on that logic, I can safely assure you that no one will be saying “Blake was right” in one year, let alone or 40.

      Your logic is that encouraging more traffic will ease traffic. Nonsensical.

    2. @Blake, but then you would still be FORCED to sit in traffic. With bus lanes the 95% of people who do not need to drive would have a choice.

  24. Because nobody wants to bus to Takapuna hop off the bus then board another bus from Takapuna to town at 6 or 7 in the morning! after you pay the bus fair it works out just as cheep to drive!

    1. Why the fuck would anyone do that?

      If you were going to town you would catch the ferry.
      Even if you were to do the trip that way, it would still be faster than driving.

    1. So what if they can afford to drive to work. Can you tell all of US if they all actually WANT to drive and sit on Desmond Rd, and crawl along to the bridge? Or do some of them want another option… which the CFN gives. No one wants to take away YOUR right to stew in traffic, but others want another option.

    2. Blake, I assure you a lot of people on this blog earn a very good salary and many of us choose not to drive everywhere. If you think people cycle or take the bus too work because they are too poor to drive then I am afraid you must mix in some very limited circles.

      Yes, as a builder you cant take the ferry or bus – so you should appreciate every person like me that has removed themselves from the traffic on Lake Road. I never said you could take a ferry or bus. I said there were people driving to the CBD because they are too precious to take the ferry – that is true – I see it every day.

      We have tried building new roads and expanding roads to meet the traffic situation for 60 years in Auckland. It hasnt worked – why would we keep going down that path?

      Your personal attacks at me above above aren’t really appreciated and you are just repeating the same arguments that have been rolled out for 60 years in Auckland. And the chaos you see around you when you are part of the traffic on Lake Road is the outcome you get if you dont give people any alternatives. The CFN gives alternatives and bus lanes down Lake Road would be part of that solution.

    3. Blake and Patrick in general you’re right that on the average Devonport is not a poor area, but there are pockets of real poverty on the peninsula, in the old Navy housing on Bayswater and on the other side of Lake Rd, plus there are elderly all over who might no longer drive, we need to plan to provide for the transport needs of the WHOLE community, not just quibble over a priviledged few

  25. There’s really two options:

    1) encourage more people to drive, adding to the number of cars on the road and over time using up the increased capacity – so back to square one, or
    2) encourage people to get out of their car (or provide for those who desperately want to) and free up road space for others.

    Now guys like Blake – who say they have to drive and will always drive – need to ask themselves which of those options is in the long term better for them.

  26. Well people obviously want to drive thats why there is a traffic problem durr. So we need to build the roads to accmmodate for the traffic. The population is also increasing and the navy is half the reason why traffic is so bad on lake road. Don’t get me wrong the rail system to the shore is a great idea and i look forward it. Patrick any one can buy an Audi but id rather put my money else where. KLK there are only so many people that live in the Devonport Area traffic will not get worse because its the same people that use lake road every day and would make the trip back from the city alot faster.

    1. A lot of people drive beacuse they dont see any other option. The bus is just as slow as driving because it has no separate right of way (like a bus lane).

      People also want to smoke/gamble/drink/eat unhealthy food. But we do things to discourage (not prohibit) those activities by explaining to them the problems they cause and (in some cases) limiting people’s ability to do them – that is why we have restrictions on smoking, driving and gambling.

      Driving is the same – we need to find ways to discourage it as it is slowly strangling Auckland. In particular it is slowly strangling the Devonport peninsula.

    2. Also, it is very unlikely that the population of the peninsula wont grow in the next 30 years. It is a popular area and there is a big push by the retailers in Devonport (who are really struggling) to get more apartments and higher density housing to support the businesses.

      In addition, I predict a lot of the naval housing will be sold off and the land developed into higher density as the Defence Force moves away from supplying housing to the sailors.

      So we do need to not only cater for the traffic on lake Road now but all the new people who will arrive. Two lanes of traffic arent going to provide that level of access – especially when none of the reatilers down Lake Road want to give up their on street parking so you are going to get pinch points like the Belmont shops.

  27. oooh i know… every close minded hypocritical right-wing petrol head will demand the socialsized payment of road tunnels through these pinch points! cause it’s there god given right to make everyone suffer with them in traffic.

    but hey road tunnels are way cool….

  28. Regarding Devonport transport – what could make a difference.

    1) CRL. The ferry goes to the ferry Building . CBD buses travel at an average of 9km/hr- probably slower at peak. The CRL will make travelling from the Ferry building to CBD sites quicker. Both directly and indirectly by decreasing congestion.

    2) Extending Northern busway to Albany. Hopefully less traffic to CBD. Freeing up Esmond Road.
    I would like to know how much of the Lake road problem is Pre Esmond road and how much is due to Esmond road blocking back on to Lake road.

    3) Does Takapuna Grammer add to Lake road blockages? Additional school buses could help here.

  29. No sheep andrew you smart arsenic!! YOUR SO NUDE!!! You think your mr burns. You stick to riding your moonhopper, you dont have a mental illness because your not even driving your wife crazy. Watch out if your tired ill be sure to through a few energy drinks in the bike lane for ya

    1. *Andrew, *You’re, *you’re, *Mr Know It All, *don’t, *you’re, *tyres, *ya.

      Blake, New Zealand is a deocracy meaning that everyone gets a say, regardless of whether they choose to reduce traffic for everyone else like Andrew and I or not. Also, placing nails in the cycle lane deliberately to damage a vehicle would be a criminal offense.

      1. Blake, please don’t, because I’ve not cycled in that area for a good six months so you’ll most likely injure someone else.

        By the way, besides the energy drinks bit, I have absolutely no idea what that seemingly random you just said means. I just checked with my wife, and she also has no idea what you’re on about either? And thanks for your concern as to whether I’m wearing anything, but I just checked and I am wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

        Back on topic, I note none of my earlier questions have been answered, the last being why exactly does one need to drive and park in order to get to their local bus stop?

        1. * correction, typo: I have no idea what that seemingly random arrangement of words you just said means.

  30. Overall in general think we are all getting frustrated and the mayor and the chairman of Auckland Transport need to give a mandate to give public transport priority whatever and wherever that is. On Campbell live just announcing it and saying right thsi is going to happen on the 14th December 2014. Just hoping patronage is going to go up without direct open heart surgery is not going to do it. This will help everyone out no matter where they are. Im talking widespread and fast-4 months on the ground and happening then the graph will go up. More people on PT with fast service and less on the road but best done as an overnight operation as a slow and painful one scratch at a time isn’t going to do it.

  31. The government changed the law so Auckland Transport now has to do whatever the Minister says. To get the result you and many of us want requires changing the government.

  32. Roading projects are designed and built to get a reasonable level of service at least after 10 years after construction based at the intersections on using regional models of traffic numbers. The only way to downsize the roading footprint is to get public transport patronage up fast and real fast. This would save the $12 Billion and probably even more. At the moment I don’t think the flows don’t fully level out with growth until about 2026. I think a drastic fast change in the network no-one has really thought or too afraid to do about but think it would change the focus immediately and give the spike in patronage and change things a hell of a lot faster than planned. Sure if might be a little painful for a little while but is worse?Look at the pain on expenditure on money that isn’t even there. Needs to be done with cheap easy fares at the same time and get the mainstream on it..

  33. In another post I suggested that a public transport mandate effective say in 4 months was the David Tua punch. To take this a step further suggest take David Tua to the announcement on Campbell live with the mayor and the Auckland Tranpsort Chairman. And say Transport Minister to have a problem with that. That is how we roll…..literally.

    1. Thanks for coming back and saying that – it’s appreciated.

      My earlier comment was partially because most Auckland drivers, especially the office-commuter type, usually don’t realise they are part of the cause of the traffic congestion they find themselves stuck in, rather than merely being “stuck in traffic”, in a can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees way.

      Most of us on here are well aware of the value to the economy of freight movement and the trades, which is why one of the reasons we advocate for is the provision of good quality public transport infrastructure is to free up space on the roads to allow you guys can get round on them quicker, rather than an endless cycle of widen the roads and fill them up, widen them and fill them up. Better to use 8 square meters of road for you and the van load of tools and supplies for your work, than for one office worker and a car full of nothing else but air!

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