Ponsonby Rd has pretty serious pretensions to being Auckland’s premier shopping and cafe strip, and it sure does attract very high volumes of people. However the amenity for these people is very poor. Both in terms of its form but also in terms of its upkeep. Overall I think its fair to say that like many places in Auckland pedestrians are clearly low on the radar for those who have been charged with forming and maintaining this street. Certainly compared to the constant and loving attention AT gives the roadway the footpaths are in a shocking state [see below]. At many times of any day there are as many or more people on the footpaths than in vehicles, yet both the quantity and quality of the public realm that is afforded to people not in cars is more than suboptimal.

PONSONBY ROAD_9128

Yet there’s lots that’s great here and with just a few well executed tweaks and it could be really fantastic. The street is among the best forms of public realm there is; and it is clear the goods and services on offer here and the opportunity for a good old fashioned paseo or passeggiata along this natural sunny ridge attracts all sorts, young and old, and at all times of the day and night. Ponsonby Rd has such great natural attributes and a near constant activation; the dull moments like the bank and fire station or parking lots aren’t too bad or too long. And anyway are likely to be improved. The length of it is worth walking; from K and Gt North all the way to Jervois and College Hill.

But despite these attractors the pedestrian realm is fractured and perilous. Any attempt to use the footpath, and let’s not forget that is the only way to access the shops and cafes, involves a constant yielding to fellow citizens in vehicles. And not just at the crossings of the narrow side streets but also on the many moments where the footpath itself is also a vehicle crossings. Frankly it is outrageous that the previous Council ever allowed a fast food business to run a drive-in facility that crosses the pavement twice across such a busy pedestrian place. And don’t start me on the terrible informal extra road they’ve allowed opposite the top of Franklin.

Ponsonby Rd- lot 3
The Richmond/Picton intersection; we believe all modes would benefit from this returning to a Barnes Dance pattern. Certainly it would be safer and better for pedestrians.

Above: The Richmond/Picton intersection; we believe all modes would benefit from this returning to a Barnes Dance pattern. Certainly it would be safer and better for pedestrians.

And a great city walk is a powerful thing, commercially, socially: as an attractor for local business, it is the ‘public playroom’ for residents and visitors alike. I’m not advocating for more land here, just for the quality of what’s already available to be better connected, defined, and available for people doing that most valuable thing: walking.

The prime opportunity is for this public realm to be stitched together across the various interuptions. Firstly for each of the minor cross streets to have their priority reversed and become extensions of the Ponsonby Rd footpath by raising the surface up to footpath level in a continuous line. This would clearly communicate to drivers the need to proceed with great care when turning, and to yield, as some already do, to the more vulnerable pedestrian. Some of the wider cross streets like Vermont are already narrowed and planted with good trees, but continuous blacktop invites fast and careless driving by some impatient or inobservant drivers. This can be fixed, as can the crossings at the major intersections.

So a group of us have got together to outline a number of improvements we would like AT and AC properly investigate along this well trod path.

1. Raised pedestrian tables on the minor side streets inline with the footpath.

2. Reinstating the Barnes Dance at the Richmond/Picton intersection with Ponsonby Rd

3. Ped crossings at the existing refuges at the mid blocks.

4. Enforce the existing 40kph speed limit.

5. Ban U turns.

6. Implement the Ponsonby Rd plan

There’s a petition here: http://www.actionstation.org.nz/ponsonby-for-people

And I would like to add; complete the return of the London Plane trees along the length of the street so we will get fully a joined up architecture of these great street trees along the route.

Add your thoughts on these or other possible improvements and feel free to nominate other streets that you think would benefit from this sort of upgrade. And note this post is deliberately focussed on the pedestrian realm as the cycling, traffic lane, and PT issues are covered in the masterplan, but also so the pedestrian realm can be discussed in its own right.

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96 comments

  1. That’s a lot of solutions looking for a problem (http://faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/encyclop/garbage_can.html)

    I don’t want my rates money spent until the problem/challenge is clearly identified – what will the outcome be?

    I’d guess, though you don’t make it explicit, that you’d want to raise the satisfaction rating of pedestrian users of Ponsonby Road.

    If so, before going onto potential solutions, don’t you need to (a) survey the users and (b) identify their user requirements?

    I’d also like to see the logic chain between outputs like the provision of new pedestrian crossings, and outcomes like pedestrian satisfaction.

    Remember, solution identification is the last step. Not the first.

    1. Increase the desirability of the streets? So more people will walk, and bring more shoppers traffic.

      So the sales of the shop will increase, and the valuation of the shops will increase.

      More profit means more shops, and more choice and quality. So the house around the street will increase in value.

      Council should also be happy as they can collect more rates.

      1. Kelvin mostly shoppers come to Ponsonby by car, they are finding this more difficult due to deficient parking, or parking time limits/costs. There have been a number of recent shop close downs which could have been affected by parking/travelling difficulties. Hard to tell without a survey.

    2. Did you miss the point where Patrick said he’d like the following “properly investigated”?

      Cars meanwhile, it’s easy. Fast driving, lots of roadspace. No need for research, we just build em. to the tune of a couple billion each year, even where the BCR is shite.

      But pedestrians! What do they want? It’s so unknowable. And so costly. So lets define the issue first, with an extensive consultant report on the matter! That will save us rates, and defer action for another year.

    3. E.C. I agree with you here, where’s the beef they say! In the first sentence he say to the effect that this is Auckland’s premier shopping precinct. Then the article goes on pointing out a few anomalies and how it could be improved. I say do not change a winning formula. Seriously I think any research would show a lot of push back on the line of reasoning here. Dare I say Ponsonby Road would gain a lot more pedestrian traffic if there was more public parking available, its impossible to get a park anywhere near many places I frequent there and as a result I go elsewhere.

      1. The upcoming paid parking scheme will make parking much easier and significantly reduce the circling, congestion and turning conflicts.

      2. Hey Robert that there’s traffic engineer thinking: you should apply if you aren’t one already. They always argue that there’s either not enough or too many pedestrians for better amenity: Not enough to justify it, or so many obviously everything’s ok. Brilliant! I never have found the exact Goldilocks moment where just a speck of the zillions spent regularly on goldplating the roadway for all those people once out of their cars.

          1. No I’m simply pointing out the double standard. The roadway is constantly upgraded, the rest of the public realm is not. There is no justification for the pedestrian realm to be ignored. It is dangerous and suboptimal for all users. Try using a wheelchair along here, for example.

            It is also a lost opportunity. Every retail area is in competition: Ponsonby’s main selling point is not an oversupply of parking, that ‘advantage’ is owned by the suburban malls, Ponsonby, like the Central City, and Newmarket if it was well run, succeeds by offering a quality and unique experience, not one more like Botany Centre.

            But you should keep driving by; it’s obvious not to your taste.

      3. It easy to get a park near many places I frequent there and as a result I go to Ponsonby Rd – just ride a bike there. And don’t say Auckland is too hilly, I regularly ride my single speed up Franklin Rd to get to Ponsonby Rd.

      4. Never fear, AT (and other parts of Council) are busily turning all the suburbs around Pons Rd into Residents pay for permit parking. (st Mary’s Bay already, Freemans next, followed by Ponsonby, and can Eastern Grey Lynn be far behind?)

        This mostly benefitS Pons Rd businesses at the expense of the residents of these suburbs, so don’t worry, there will be parking aplenty for shoppers.

        Beware of the Robocop cars they are introducing that drive round all day scanning number plates, linking them via GPS, then issuing automated tickets (if required).

        Wonder how soon we will be sick of them?

          1. This was analogue I’m afraid- an AT good cop/ bad cop meeting with a few hundred Freemans Bay residents last Wednesday.

            LPR from memory- License Plate Recognition system. Mounted on white SUVs.

            One slide they flipped past quickly said “7 year repayment (time)”

            Might do a post about it.

    4. (If anyone is still reading at this late date.) The problem *has* been identified. About 5000 times around the world, and the solutions are fairly standard and they do work. A tidy, well-appointed public realm provides a more positive image of a place – “place-making” – and gives higher sense of security. The research has been done and it points in one direction. The need for physical improvements in AKL’s commercial areas is huge.

      Auckland’s town centre footpaths are a disgrace. The cheapest finish, followed by neglect. And NZ drivers’ attitude toward pedestrians is also pretty shocking – they see humans as big game, and there is open season. Anything that can mitigate this murderous tendency will also make town centres a more attractive place to shop and hang out. That’s what malls work on every day. Why not commercial streets?

  2. Absolutely agree. Bring back the plane trees, and in the meantime, keep the existing magnolias on this otherwise grim stretch: https://www.toko.org.nz/petitions/2-old-magnolia-trees-at-230-ponsonby-road
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/protest-hopes-to-save-priceless-trees/

    And yes please to raised pedestrian tables that allow for a continuous, uninterrupted amble. I’d love to see those along all our main shopping streets and arterials; so tired and sad to see clusters of children and old folks stranded on corners, stopped in mid-stride, nervously giving way to all passing vehicles just in case.

    PS “dull moments like the … fire station”? Spare a thought for the passing junior urbanists (and their patient parents) who enjoy the scenic potential these civic amenities 🙂

    1. Hmmm. Am keen to see what is proposed for this site before getting worked up about those two trees. Currently they shade a carpark. It is not hard to imagine ways in which they could be incorporated into a cafe courtyard design of new buildings here, but similarly new properly intense buildings here up to the pavement without these carparks and Plane trees returned to the street would also be a great improvement. Not convinced yet that these are critical.

      But it does all hinge on the quality of the proposed new projects.

      1. Just one key thing to keep in mind – badly-placed new street trees could be the biggest hazard to proper cycle lane infrastructure down the road.

        Just think of Pt Chevalier Road. Short of ripping out either the trees or the flush median (both not exactly winners with locals), that street will never get proper cycle lanes.

        So the lesson is – any new trees need to be planted so they don’t screw up future cycle plans.

        1. The trees on P Rd are all on the footpath, in fact they are causing some of the damage to the old badly maintained footpath, not suggesting that that’s an argument against them, rather that they aren’t in the way of any cycle route and that the pavement needs attention.

  3. It’s sad that Patrick Reynolds has yet again chosen to demean a thought provoking and well laid out post.

    This is a classic case of trying to find a problem where there isn’t one. The piece tells us the footpath is in a shocking state then shows a footpath in almost immaculate condition in the photo. You want a footpath in a shocking state, move out of your inner city comfort zone and take a look around the real Auckland!

    So what if pedestrians have to stop every now and again for 2 seconds to let a car through. To describe that as a minor inconvenience would be a massive overstatement.

    This “project” to “fix” Ponsonby Rd would be a waste of ratepayer money. Money our council does not have.

    1. “So what if CARS have to stop every now and again for 2 seconds to let a PEDESTRIAN through. To describe that as a minor inconvenience would be a massive overstatement.”
      fixed it for ya

    2. You’re operating from a basic assumption that people should give way when they’re on foot, to avoid people in cars having to slow down or stop. Apart from the fact it’s what you’re used to, can you provide any fundamental reason why it should be that way?

        1. Correct, that’s one good reason why CAR drivers should give way. So that they constantly (at least in town / residential areas) drive under the assumption that they have to be able to stop fast enough to give way.

          THAT’s how you improve safety.

          Not by giving the guy with the proverbial gun the expectation that he can fire it whenever he likes, where he likes, as long as the potential victims where told they should have looked and ducked.

    3. The photo was presumptively chosen to illustrate the fact that all those people have to give way to cars, despite there being more of them than cars, despite it being a hospitality street, and despite there being a good safety case for giving pedestrians right of way. Not to illustrate the worst example of local footpath maintenance*.

      And on top, Matthew, you would be shocked what we really want: The rule that is law in many western countries of the world, where ALL drivers have to give way to cars at side streets. NZ is one of the pedestrian-downpriorising outliers here, but feel free to defend the reason why a beautiful country in the south pacific has to treat cars better than pedestrians. Both sides are talking to a wall here, but we’re not writing these blog posts for you, but for the people on the fence, in the middle.

      *By the way, why do roads get resealed a perceived all the time, and footpaths get resealed once every perceived five decades?

      1. Hey Max – Leave our Ponsonby Road alone. It works, don’t mess with it any more. If you want to mess around experimenting do it somewhere that’s NOT so popular. If you and your ideas have merit your street will become very popular and you can smile and say “told ya”. In the meantime leave Ponsonby Road alone.

        1. On what basis are you claiming that Ponsonby road is ‘ours’. You drive up and down it 8 times a day?

          ps don’t leave comments on the photos…few will see them.

          1. I have lived here for 30 years, I drive, walk and run along Ponsonby Road on most days, shop there, eat there often enough. I dunno.

          2. Despite the call for increased density to boost and sustain public transport, Wendell Cox, a US public policy consultant, has stated that this policy was unrealistic: “Downtown Auckland would need to look like Hong Kong for Auckland Regional Council’s [transport] goals to be achieved.” Despite the negative perception of public transport, he noted in 2001 that Auckland CBD “public transport’s work trip market share is 31%” compared to Wellington’s 26%. Cox further stated that no other centre in New Zealand achieved as high a market share in public transport as the Auckland City centre, but also noted that CBDs are no longer the dominant employment areas.[26] This qualifies the public transport share of the CBD, as public transport percentages for the whole Auckland Region hover around 5% of all journeys. This figure is comparable to numerous North American and Australian cities.

            I do not think trying to insult commentators will assist by the way.

          3. Yet you have so many complaints about it. Branch out, maybe somewhere there is a place that can meet your needs.

        2. Your Ponsonby Road, eh? Show me your certificate of ownership? Thought so.

          Better yet, go away and campaign for your own vision for how P Road should be (or stay), instead of trying to stop the conversation with one of those “love it or leave it” false arguments.

    4. Might as well give up. Everywhere they look they want to remove cars. I wonder if the writers of these articles consider anywhere OK for cars?

      1. When your argument appears to be nothing more than ‘you are anti car if you suggest anything that affects the mighty flow’ you aren’t going to get much satisfaction here.

        Thank god there is the hugely respected Transport Logic blog site out there putting your side of the argument out there from time to time and putting the anti car brigade in their place.

          1. My favourite article is the one proving that Skypath won’t work because no one uses the New Manage Bridge cycle way. Of course there is a far more attractive crossing a few hundred metres away that the Harbour Bridge seems to lack…

      2. Paranoid and childish exaggeration: there is no mention in the post of so much as removing even one parking space or traffic lane. Vehicles will still dominate 99.99% of all roads and streets. Useful things vehicles, but not everywhere and at all times and all speeds. You’ll have to have a cry about something else, Ricky.

      3. Ricardo and Conan, I do so enjoy your little pro-car comments. Most amusing. But thanks also for the heads up to the “hugely respected” Transport Logic website (which seems hugely devoid of any signs of life, with the last posting made in May, and no comments…). The last of the die-hard, pro-cul-de-sac, anti-biking, pro-car-parking brigade. Hope that works out for you Conan.

        1. I love the line on the transport logic blog that says “those who are most vocal being happy to lie and misrepresent the facts to get others on board”. Given that there don’t appear to be any comments, who is most vocal? What does that mean about their representation of facts?

  4. “and feel free to nominate other streets that you think would benefit from this sort of upgrade.”

    More than welcome to do this to my road.

  5. I think that you and your “Group” are kidding. Already the 40Km is observed, (I drive the road about 8 times per day). There is enough crossing already. There needs to be more parking, like a parking building. Or alternatively 5 minute shuttles along the road (leaving from parking facilities).

      1. The link Bus is a Big Joke, if that public transport I do not want it, nobody else seem to either as its always empty.

        1. Robert Thelmat – can we explore your dislike of the Link bus for a minute? You say you want more parking, or a parking building, or a shuttle. Yet the Link bus, which effectively IS a shuttle, you say you would refuse to take, and that other people also must dislike it, as they shun it, apparently. So what would you want as a solution? Those little mini-buses they have in some cities? Can you elaborate please?

          1. Guy, the Link is very popular. Trolling Motörhead claims no one uses it is hardly an issue. Which is not to say it couldn’t be improved, better placed stops and priority would be a good start. But it is already a P Rd shuttle: If it does nothing else, it certainly does run the whole length of the street both ways all day without deviation at 10 min freqs.

          2. If I need to go to the city on the link bus it takes me 45 minutes to get to where I go, and the same or similar back versus 10 minutes each way by car, I am time poor. If I am working I can’t justify charging 1.5 hours travelling time to my client either. And also the link bus does not travel near my house, so I need to catch another bus to get to it. Seriously this is the year 2015 not 1915!

  6. Its a low density suburb with quaint bungalow housing that is practically a living monument to every failed ideology of Auckland planning – low density, height restricted, special character restricted, you name it they’ve got it. There aren’t ever going to be enough people living nearby to justify spending time or money on this throwback neighbourhood.

    1. See the second image up there? That’s actually what’s happening on P Rd. A mixed use commercial building. 300+ employees in businesses like Icebreaker above retail and hospo on the site of a caryard and before that a gas station. This is intensification. What do those people in there do at lunch time and after work? That’s right, they meet and talk and shop and eat and drink, right there on the strip. This is the missing third force that has been underweight along the ridge; there’s lots of residents at a pretty good density, and there’s lots of retail; now adding that commercial layer above.

      It sure as hell isn’t about those driving here from distant suburbs.

      1. After work they most likely go home. Additionally many probably live in distant suburbs and travel by car and park outside residents houses during the day because there are not sufficient parking facilities.

        1. The parks outside resident’s houses are available for all to use. You’ll find the boundary of a resident’s property is generally the edge of the footpath, not 3m into the roadway

    2. Amazing. If you take pretty much everything in that statement and reverse it, you would be far closer to the truth.

      A really incredible effort of cognitive dissonance. Bravo sir.

    3. Haha! Troll of the week unaha!

      It’s actually the place that many many aspire to. There’s not been a dip in property prices round here the last 20 odd years. Highly desirable, beautiful heritage buildings, huge trees. Most of it still looks like it’s original vision, public transport friendly area with lots of walking opportunities.

      And it was dense enough for trams 110 years ago- hasn’t got less dense since then.

      Clearly you’ve never been there….

  7. Some of the comments on this page remind me of prior to queen street being upgraded. Apparently it was perfectly fine as it was and the council were wasting money. Now it looks much better, is much more pedestrian friendly, attracts a lot more people and tourists, and of course attracts a lot more spending (at businesses who pay an awful lot in rates).
    But you never hear the “don’t waste my rates money” brigade say they were wrong.

  8. Most of the footpaths are tar seal aren’t they with about 4 million repairs (slight exaggeration but you get the picture). If they are going to sort the paths out do it properly in concrete and ensure they don’t put in troughs and valleys to accommodate cars. They remain flat and true if laid properly where as tar seal falls to pieces.

  9. The good news is that the Waitemata Local Board is already making progress on the Ponsonby Plan http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies/Councilstrategies/Documents/ponsonbyroaddraftplan.pdf

    We have committed $460k from our Local Board transport capex fund to the Ponsonby Road Pedestrian Experience project. Initial concepts are attached to the July agenda
    See item 13 http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2015/07/WTM_20150714_MIN_5105.htm
    The plan is to improve all the side streets between Franklin Road and Williamson Ave to greatly improve pedestrian amenity. The design will go out for public consultation (personally I would like to see raised tables on the intersections and not just the throats narrowed as in the concept design).

    The footpath is on AT’s renewal work programme – the timing is being worked out with the Ponsonby Business Association as it is potentially very disruptive

    I have also logged with AT a request to re-instate the barnes dance at the Richmond Rd intersection and have been promised a response by mid August.

    1. Surprising bus lanes are dismissed so readily in the plan P Road already has a fair number of buses and is very wide, and is a strategic part of the bus network. Should this be reviewed when the new network comes out?

      1. Auckland Transport’s view, when we were developing the plan 2 years ago, was that bus lanes could not be justified. Presumably this could change as a result of the new network consultation that is due to start later this year for the central area.

    2. Pippa – What additional car parking will be available in the area as part of your plan? I do not think narrowing throats would have a positive effect, in fact I fail to see what the problem is that would be solved by such. It this plan a solution looking for a problem?

      1. Response to Robert’s various comments:

        The plan supports effective parking management and doesn’t propose the removal of parking (specific details will be consulted on at the design stage for each initiative).

        A huge amount of additional short term parking is going to become available in the side streets off Ponsonby Rd once the Freemans Bay and Ponsonby residential parking zones are implemented.

        If you fail to see the issues regarding pedestrian safety on Ponsonby Rd then I can only presume you don’t walk and/or don’t know anyone that walks.

        Improving the pedestrian experience on Ponsonby Rd will not only create a safer more pleasant environment for everyone but will also be good for business.

  10. Before work starts on restricting vehicle access, let’s get the public transport sorted out first. Ponsonby Road is a long street, and walking the length of it is not on everyone’s “must do” list. That is why the side streets are chocka with visitors’ cars – they want to shop in the street but don’t want to walk a couple of ks to get to where they are going. Ponsonby was one of Auckland’s first suburbs, and was built in the days when most people walked to the end of their streets to catch a tram on Ponsonby or Herne Bay Roads, and perhaps that is what needs to be replicated today with a decent parking building added for the visitors. Loved the first image – it looks like my old friend Summer Street. Imagine getting a 21 tonne truck down there to a house site with cars parked both sides of the road, the Audis well away from the curbs so they don’t scuff their tyres.

    1. No one is suggesting reducing vehicle access, all roads and intersections will remain in place, all turns still allowed, all carparks left, only travel speed at intersections is proposed to be reduced very slightly for a very short distance.

      Plus I think it’s a bit dishonest to say let’s improve PT first when we are doing that right now.

    2. Excellent comment Evan. The side streets are at capacity. Parking is an issue, and cars trawling for car park spaces are often the culprits in terms of unsafe U-turns etc. A tram shuttle up & down Ponsonby Rd with carparks at each end (Vinegar Lane plus Three Lamps) would make a lot of sense.
      Great that Pippa has picked this up too. On my wishlist would be simply: More trees and a couple more pedestrian refuges. Yes the footpaths are pretty crappy in places but that doesnt bother me as much.

      1. “Parking is an issue”. Is this based on not getting a park outside wherever you want to go? I live five minutes walk from Ponsonby Central and parking is certainly not an issue in our street. Maybe people just need to walk a bit further?

    3. Evan, you talk sense! Also access for emergency vehicles needs to be unrestricted (Fire Engines etc). Many shop owners are finding now that with the parking restrictions in side streets they can not get staff to work in their shops as the staff have nowhere to park for more than 2 hours or so. Also shop owners find clients who come in for say a hairdressing do not visit the shops nearby after their appointment as their parking time has expired when they are finished. So they go straight home.

  11. You could describe King St in Newtown (Sydney) exactly the same way. At least though, with King Street, the argument could be made that the raw and “organically shit” nature of the sidewalks fits in with the overall psyche of the area. Ponsonby is allegedly far more polished than that…

    1. Thanks Patrick – FYI Copenhagen is a flat and condensed city, and I note that there are actually cyclists in the picture. Auckland is not Copenhagen, or Amsterdam, never will be as long as there are hills and wet or windy days.

      1. Yes because of course Copenhagen is famed for its mild tropical climate. I cycle everyday in Auckland and I can tell you it is the best city (of around 10 worldwide) I have lived in for cycling weather wise.

        If hills are the biggest deterrent you need to explain why Christchurch, Hamilton and Palmerston North are not cycling powerhouses. You also need to explain why the hilly Isthmus has the highest cycle rates while flat Manukau has the lowest.

        Christchurch was the second biggest cycling city in the world until the 1960s. Then we didn’t turn back from auto dependency like the Netherlands and Copenhagen and this killed cycling. Chch could easily be an Amsterdam and Palmie a Groningen with the right infrastructure.

        I am currently in a very hilly part of Northern Italy and some of the towns here like Bolzano have 30% mode share for cycling.

        There is only one thing needed for high cycling rates – good separated infrastructure on arterials and low speed residential roads. As has been proved all over the world, build it and they will come.

  12. That pic from 1924 with the tramlines in the masterplan is what we should be working towards with Ponsonby tbh.

    1. The Tramlines were pulled out for a reason, most likely they did not provide the transport required and nobody was using them. Our forebears were not stupid!

      1. The trams were being used very well. The problem was, as it has been for a long time, that Auckland was too cheap to upgrade the tired infrastructure that had been poorly maintained during the war. Unwillingness to invest in transport infrastructure, unless a motorway of course, is one of the sad legacies of the last 50 years.

        Certainly there were some tram lines that were packed until the day they were closed and the lines hastily ripped out because the public outcry meant they could be reinstated.

        Actual facts show our idealogical bias as guiding your views, not evidence. A few minutes spent doing research on Google would have told you all this.

        1. So totally uneconomic then. Do not assume idealogy. Though on reflection perhaps your Avatar gives some clues to yours.

          1. My avatar shows that I like cycling and trains. That has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with actual real world experiences in my life.

        2. During the 1950s and early 1960s all the tramway systems were replaced by buses or trolleybuses: Wanganui (1950), Invercargill (1952), Christchurch and New Plymouth (1954), Auckland and Dunedin (1956) and Wellington (1964). This followed a general international trend, especially in North American and British cities. The traditional tram systems of the period were perceived as a slow and outdated means of transport, characterised by inflexible routes and expensive infrastructure maintenance. In Wellington there was significant opposition to the closure of the last tramway system in New Zealand, and the final decision to disestablish the remaining lines followed on a public referendum in 1959.

        3. Patrick

          Despite the call for increased density to boost and sustain public transport, Wendell Cox, a US public policy consultant, has stated that this policy was unrealistic: “Downtown Auckland would need to look like Hong Kong for Auckland Regional Council’s [transport] goals to be achieved.” Despite the negative perception of public transport, he noted in 2001 that Auckland CBD “public transport’s work trip market share is 31%” compared to Wellington’s 26%. Cox further stated that no other centre in New Zealand achieved as high a market share in public transport as the Auckland City centre, but also noted that CBDs are no longer the dominant employment areas.[26] This qualifies the public transport share of the CBD, as public transport percentages for the whole Auckland Region hover around 5% of all journeys. This figure is comparable to numerous North American and Australian cities.

          By the way I do not think trying to insult commentators will assist you.

          1. Wow so much wrong.
            1. The trams weren’t uneconomic, they were actually making a financial profit. They were pulled out because people driving cars (a minority in those days) didn’t like that they had road space. They thought that if the trams were gone they would be able to drive faster. It also was a case of following what was happening in the US but in the case of american cities they were pulled out after a consortium of car and oil companies brought up the private tram operators under a shell company ad shut them down to encourage people to buy cars.
            2. Wendall Cox who is a known anti city, anti transit advocate and has been disproved many times.

          2. Robert, you will achieve nothing by quoting Cox who is a paid anti-urbanist, it simply reinforces your naivety on this subject. The thinly veiled racism in that particular claim by Cox makes it even more egregious, but even setting that aside it is clearly ludicrous to argue that those advocating higher density are doing so to ‘to sustain PT’. Rather higher urban density is a virtue for economic and sustainability reasons and good PT is simply a byproduct or rather precondition/outcome of good efficient urban density.

            Additionally Journey to Work data only picks up 20% of trips; ignoring trips made for education, shopping, and recreation is a pointless exercise.

            No insult intended, just description; you did advocate the transport policies of the 1950s above.

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