Lily Kuo, “African cities are starting to look eerily like Chinese ones“, Citylab. A good feature on Africa’s growing and changing cities, which are getting a lot in the way of investment and technical advice from Chinese firms. African cities are (in my view) going to become increasingly important over the next century – my main hope is that their population growth is matched with economic and social dynamism:

Do you see similarities between the pace and kind of urbanization in Africa that you do in China?

We all know China’s unprecedented urban transformation, which transformed China from a rural into an urban society in one generation. Now, Africa is urbanizing at the same pace as China did in the past 30 years, but in a process that is less coordinated and aligned. People do not only move to the capitals of African countries, but especially top second and third tier cities.

There are many resemblances. First of all, the speed of urbanization is similar. But also, the level of energy and dynamism and the ambition for progress in Chinese and African cities are comparable. Driving through the fringe of Nairobi, with its construction sites, road works, traffic jams, and advertisements for furniture and processed food one could easily imagine being in the outskirts of a Chinese city.

Here are some plans for a Chinese-led development on the Lekki Peninsula in Lagos – that’s one of the places where I grew up:

A Chinese consortium holds a major stake in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Nigeria, near Lagos. The plan for the new city was designed by urban planners in Shanghai. (Michiel Hulshof and Daan Roggeveen)

As cities in Africa and elsewhere grow, they need to be careful that they’re growing in a way that connects people rather than maroons them. A reader sent us this reminder of how poor street design and insane laws in US cities prevent people from using the simplest and cheapest transport mode – stepping out the front door and walking.

Antonia Malchik, “The end of walking“, Aeon:

In 2013 more than 4,700 pedestrians were killed, and an estimated 66,000 injured, in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls ‘traffic crashes’. That’s a bite-sized phrase for what is, essentially, people in cars killing and injuring people on foot.

Kate Kraft, the National Coalition Director for America Walks, an advocacy organisation for walkability, says that, ever since towns began removing streetcars, we’ve undermined transit systems that would support the walker and planned instead for the car. Walking is an impediment to the car culture we revere, an experience we’ve intentionally designed out of our lives…

Over the past 80 years, walking simply as a way to get somewhere, let alone for pleasure, has become such an alien concept to Americans that small movements towards making neighbourhoods and communities more walkable are met with fierce, indignant resistance. Much of this fight has to do with who pays for the sidewalks. Once an area has been designed without walkability in mind, it’s extremely expensive to reverse the infrastructure. Municipalities and suburbs alike have to consider curbs, gutters, stormwater runoff, ongoing maintenance, and snow removal. I live in Montana, where snow cover from early November to late April is normal. While my town ploughs the roads, homeowners are legally obliged to keep sidewalks adjacent to their properties clear of snow with shovels or snowblowers. It’s excellent exercise, but not necessarily fun, especially for the elderly or disabled. In heavy winters shovelling can feel fruitless, and it’s not uncommon to see pedestrians giving up on icy sidewalks and shifting to the well-cleared roads.

The resistance to sidewalks, and to walking, often splits along generational lines. People who have come of age and grown old in a car-centric culture have trouble seeing why they should pay to enable walkers. One neighbourhood in suburban Chicago fought sidewalks so bitterly, with long-time residents speaking against sidewalk calls from younger families, that it ended up with a walkway stopping pointlessly halfway down a block.

I’m a sucker for maps, and this one is particularly fantastic:

For some context on how travel speeds have changed, here’s David Harvey’s infographic showing the world “shrinking” as transport technology has improved. (From The Condition of Postmodernity.) Notice that there have been very few improvements since jet aircrafts (and containerised shipping) in the 1960s:

david harvey shrinking world map

Ben Casselman, “What we don’t know about Canada might hurt us“, Fivethirtyeight. For the data wonks, a nice look at the negative impact of changes to Canada’s census. As it happens, I was recently working on a project that required Canadian census data. These changes made it more challenging to get the right data:

In 2006, the small Canadian town of Snow Lake, Manitoba, had 837 residents, many of whom worked in the local mining industry. It was a prosperous community: The typical family earned 84,000 Canadian dollars a year, well above the national median of about $66,000, and the unemployment rate was just 5.1 percent even though only a small fraction of residents had a college degree.

Five years later, Snow Lake had lost more than a tenth of its population, shrinking to 723 residents. But the government doesn’t know who those residents were — what they earned, how much school they’d completed, whether they were working. That’s because in 2011, unlike five years earlier, filling out the government survey that collected the information wasn’t mandatory — and nearly three-quarters of the Snow Lake residents who received it decided not to bother…

That seemingly small change has had far-reaching consequences. Canadian researchers say the new, optional National Household Survey is less reliable, less comprehensive and significantly more expensive than the mandatory survey it replaced. And it isn’t just researchers who are worried: A diverse set of groups, from local governments to business organizations, has criticized the shift to an optional survey as shortsighted.

Critics argue that the voluntary survey fell short in two crucial ways. First, because response rates were so much lower, the survey wasn’t able to collect reliable data on smaller communities, including Canada’s many sparsely populated areas. Second, surveyors struggled to collect sufficient data on certain groups — the poor, aboriginal populations, immigrants and others — that have always been among the hardest to reach. That means the resulting data could be biased, possibly in ways that could be difficult to detect.

On a completely different note, here are four designs for adding bike lanes to existing lanes from Jeff Speck (via Vox):

Jeff Speck: Four Road Diets from Cupola Media on Vimeo.

And now, two Auckland-focused articles. First, here’s the PM talking about what might (or might not) happen to the property market (from Interest.co.nz):

“If you look at Christchurch as quite a good example — when supply starts to meet demand then prices don’t go up anymore,” Key said. “And, actually over time, and it’s one of the things the Reserve Bank didn’t say, but frankly they should have said, is interest rates won’t stay low forever,” he said.

“So when people go buy houses purely on the expectation they are going to get a capital gain, you’ve just got to be careful they don’t come in for a nasty surprise – just like those people who bought stocks recently, and thought they were always going to go up forever, are in for a nasty surprise today.”

Later Key said history showed prices never went in one director forever. “If people think Auckland house prices are going up forever, they are misguided. History tells you that’s not normally the case, that the market goes in one direction forever,” he said when asked if the global market slump would hit Auckland housing.

And second, here’s Bernard Hickey asking “Why do Aucklanders fear Council debt?” in his weekly NZ Herald column. I agree with Bernard:

Here’s a question for Auckland’s property owners. Be honest. If you could take out a mortgage fixed for 12 years at 4.01 per cent to invest in an asset that will last decades and have a guaranteed customer base of over 1.5 million, would you? Would you take on that debt if the interest cost was less than 15 per cent of your income?

[…]

Auckland urgently needs investment in its roads, rail networks, buses, water systems and other infrastructure to cope with an extra million people over the next 50 years or so. They will be ratepayers and the growth of Auckland’s economy will support that debt.

The two-faced approach on the personal debts of ratepayers and the public debts of their councils in a city growing as fast as Auckland is odd. Ask yourself: would you borrow at 4 per cent to invest in multi-generational assets with guaranteed customers in a fast-growing economy? Of course you would.

Lastly, a few pieces on how we think, plan, and build our cities. In “Point of view matters: the scourge of modelitis“, Urban kchoze observes that the relevant viewpoint that should be considered when assessing planning applications (and planning rules) should be the perspective on the street rather than a top-down or ‘Sim City’ view. I really like the way he goes out and finds highly specific examples of things being done well or poorly:

Someone who sees cities from the point of view of a pedestrian knows that the human scale is horizontal, not vertical.

This focus on verticality is a clear effect of modelitis, higher stories are usually not visible from the ground for pedestrians. Even when they are, people tend to look down, not up, so most people will not even notice how tall buildings really are unless they take the time to check. A focus on a proper point of view, one of pedestrians, would focus on how a building’s 3 or 4 lowest stories meet the street, not on how high it is, ESPECIALLY when the sidewalks have awnings, in which case the buildings are largely not even visible!

At the foot of the Empire State Building, sorry for the windshield perspective, the actual height of the building is irrelevant
So even if you care about harmony and order in urbanism, you should focus on the harmony and order as seen from the street, not as seen on a model of the city or from the sky. For example, Vancouver has had good urban planners who understood this and allowed skyscrapers that also had podiums that maintained the “street walls”.
“Vancouverism”, towers are present without disrupting the “walls” of the street”, they are in the background, not the foreground
This is the view from the street, again, forgive the windshield perspective

This piece from Melbourne offers some thoughts on regulation of apartments, which is currently under consideration by the Victorian state government. It suggests investigating options for improving information available to renters and buyers of apartments as an alternative to regulations. Mark Sheppard, “Better apartments for the future“, Urban Melbourne:

We believe that many people make a deliberate choice to accept a lower standard of one or more aspects of amenity when buying or renting an apartment, either because this is the only way they can afford to enter the market, or as a trade-off for a higher standard of another aspect of amenity, such as location. An obvious example of this is people who choose to live in an apartment in a converted warehouse or office building, without a balcony or car parking space, because it enables them to live in the CBD where they don’t have the financial and time costs of travel to work and entertainment. Another example is studio apartments without a separate bedroom, which provide an affordable first home option. A further example is people who choose a south-facing apartment for its view, despite the lack of solar access…

There is also a legitimate concern that people do not fully understand the amenity standards of the apartments they are considering buying or renting, particularly with off-the-plan apartment sales. In response to this, we suggest that a rating system be developed for apartment amenity and that each apartment for sale or rent be required to have its rating explained to potential purchasers or renters. A standard set of apartment amenity criteria could be developed, so that apartments can be easily compared. For example, the size and access to natural daylight and ventilation of each room (including ceiling height), living room solar access, balcony size and solar access, energy efficiency, noise, outlook, storage, adaptability, universal accessibility, corridor daylight and ventilation, car parking and provision of communal facilities could all be rated “good”, “standard” or “poor”, based on a standard set of objective 2 criteria. At the same time, the location of the apartment in terms of its accessibility to amenities such as public transport and parks could be rated.

A rating system would ensure that potential purchasers and renters can make informed choices about apartments, without restricting the options available to them. It would also ensure that the price of apartments is closely related to their amenity, so that relatively poor apartments provide an affordable housing option.

Lastly, here’s a positive example of how public transport investments can benefit society by connecting people who want jobs (but who may not have the cars to get there) with firms that want workers:

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32 comments

  1. Jeff Specks and other’s desires to reduce the number of lanes for vehicles shows an appalling ignorance of basic traffic engineering. Two lanes in the same direction will flow more than twice as many vehicles as one lane. Traffic engineering 101. So reducing the number lanes will simple worsen congestion. It was cute to show a car every now and then – but underhand, and not representative of any real roads in built up areas and arterials across Auckland. I hope no-one promotes the reduction of lanes as being intelligent. Auckland is already at breaking point on most main routes, to reduce lane numbers would be an act of arrogance and another wedge in the increasing economic suicide for the city.

    1. I see where you’re coming from, but you’re making three assumptions that may or may not be borne out in practice.

      First, you’re assuming that a general traffic lane will move more people than a bus lane or bike lane. That’s not always true. For example, the Symonds St and Fanshawe St bus lanes move a lot more people at peak times than the general traffic lanes next to them. In that case, the flow-maximising thing to do is to keep the cars from slowing down the buses. We’re not yet at that point with any cycle corridors, but other cities have reached it.

      Second, you’re ignoring road user behaviour and assuming that people on bikes will always just get out of the way of cars. That’s not true in practice. In the absence of separated cycle lanes, the safest thing for people on bikes to do is often to “take the lane” to prevent dangerous overtaking and to stay out of the door zone. (This is totally legal, by the way.) Consequently, installing a cycle lane can speed up drivers by getting slower-moving bikes out of their way.

      Third, you’re assuming that roads have been built to their optimal capacity. Frankly, that just isn’t true. Roads are sometimes widened excessively on the basis of traffic forecasts that don’t eventuate – as NZTA’s post-implementation reviews have shown.

    2. “Two lanes in the same direction will flow more than twice as many vehicles as one lane. Traffic engineering 101.”

      That may be the theory for conceptual freeway design, but it is Inncorrect in the context above. Atrerials like the above and like those in Auckland are constrained by their intersections and turning movements. Two lanes that widen to six at the stop line would have more than double the flow of one, however if you are constrained to two or three lanes at the stop line then the second lane won’t come close to even doubling flow, let alone more than do double.

      In Specks four lane example the left turns (our right) are made from the inner through lane, so stopping traffic whenever that occurs and causing sudden weaving and or tailbacks. With the dedicated turn lane you don’t get the weave or tail in the primary through lane, so the throughput capacity can be the same or higher.

      Again, different story on a motorway the example is clearly an urban arterial with turning traffic and intersections.

      1. Yes you are right. If you want to see an extreme example of this in action, look at the Burwood highway x Stud Road intersection in Melbourne. 2 lanes in one direction suddenly turns into four “straight” lanes and 2 right turning lanes.

        Also found on Ferntree Gully road too.

        Intersection capacity (including syncing of lights) has a slightly bigger influence in road capacity on roads, than say, the number of lanes 200m down the road. That’s why a lot of two lane roads (1 per direction), increases to about four or five lanes (2 traffic lanes and maybe one right turning lane) at intersections.

        That’s why VIcroads in Melbourne does not allow for any loss in intersection capacity when bike lanes are added (but taking away one traffic lane per direction is alright in some circumstances)

        Note: this is only theoretical. Actual experience may differ due to a variety of reasons such as driver behavior etc

      2. Nick, Peter, this is exactly what happened in Sydney when they banned parking on arterial city routes and then had two lanes each way. More than twice the traffic of (the previous) one lane flowed (being able to pass other vehicles, etc). That was the only way Sydney survived (traffic wise), otherwise it would have ground to a halt. Having one lane for cars and one for buses defeats the purpose of max flows. I have been advocating for a long time that Auckland arterials should be studied (in a logical manner) and have all roadside parking banned 24 x 7, to keep things moving. Most Auckland arterials are already well over peak capacity and this needs to happen.

      3. I agree Nick about your intersection comments, what II was trying to say (many misinterpretations by respondents) was do not reduce the existing 2 lanes each way in the example to 1, that would not be sensible.

    3. ” I hope no-one promotes the reduction of lanes as being intelligent. Auckland is already at breaking point on most main routes, to reduce lane numbers would be an act of arrogance and another wedge in the increasing economic suicide for the city.”

      Well Ricardo/Riggles or Biggles or whatever you call yourself, please explain how you propose to fix the problem, given that your textbooks have done nothing but lead to the present situation of roads at breaking point – in your words.
      Haven’t you and your ilk had over 60+ years of motorway and road engineering practice to get it right?

      And yet you’re still trying to conjure up a magic solution that works, and you still can’t explain the stark difference between the theory of traffic flows in your textbooks and the reality of the situation?

      Simply adding more lanes simply for yet more cars is proven here and elsewhere to be the wrong solution to congestion.

      Whats needed is less vehicles moving more people – after all thats what provably works right?
      And how can we do that Ricardo, if we can’t widen roads?
      Why we reallocate space away from certain usage types (like SOVs) and give it to buses and such.

      From a pure logic point of view a bus lane in Auckland can (and does) move way more people than the traffic lanes. Or do you deny that statistic too?

      AT’s own analysis of The Remuera Road Transit lane show it moves over half the number of *people* in the AM 2 hour peak along that corridor, compared to the adjacent SOV lane next door.
      And even though T3 vehicles are allowed there, those T3 cars move at best 1% of the people as so few cars have the required 3 occupants.

      The average ratio of cars to Buses+T3 vehicles there is 75% car to 25% bus+T3 vehicle – so in your textbook logic we should devote a mere 1/4ths of the road space to the most efficient modes by your logic right?

      If you have any evidence otherwise please present it, oh, and show your working.

      1. Greg, What is it all with name calling on this site? The simple proposal to improve flows is to study (intelligently) Aucklands city arterial routes and mark them all as no parking 24 x 7 thus providing 2 lanes each way. Some respondents say that this will cause danger etc etc, but that is how Sydney works. Aucklands central roading is already over capacity, so speeds will still be low, and it is something that needs brighter ideas. Further restricting vehicular (and I’m not just talking cars, but all forms of wheeled transport) flows by reducing roads from two to one lane does not help. Other than banning vehicles outright some smart thinking is required. Flow is critical, stationary vehicles cost real money, pollution, etc.

    4. I am a traffic engineer, I hate to appeal to authority, but that’s important in this case.

      In general, the bottleneck of road capacity is intersections and freeway ramps, not through capacity. The idea of a road diet is to reduce the number of through lanes or narrow the existing lanes, knowing that the interplay at intersections may make the loss of through lane minor or insignificant.

      For example, you convert a street with two lanes per direction into a street with one lane per direction plus one shared lane for left turns (right-turns in countries with left-side driving). The logic is that, during peak hours, there are enough vehicles doing these difficult turns to jam one of the two lanes and convert it de facto into a left-turn lane, so there is little point in keeping these second through lanes. That is somewhat true, but it depends on the proportion of left-turning vehicles, my tests on simulation software have revealed that at 10% of traffic turning left, there is a 25% loss of capacity in a road diet (theoretically, if there was no left-turning vehicle, the capacity reduction would be 50%). But if the ratio is 20%, the loss of capacity is only about 5%. Also, road diets tend to induce a bit more vehicle delay even when not at capacity, but we’re talking a few seconds at major intersections only, so nothing significant. So people selling road diets based on there being no impact on traffic and capacity are overstating their point.

      But here is the thing, a street with 2 lanes per direction is quite dangerous. The lane nearest the center doubles as both a turn lane AND a fast lane to pass slower vehicles. So this combination of decelerating vehicles and fast vehicles can generate quite a few accidents, between vehicles and with pedestrians crossing the street at crosswalks who may start crossing, with the vehicle in the nearest lane slowing down, only to have the vehicle behind that one quickly pass the slowing vehicle and hit him at full speed. So this kind of street is not a good design at all.

      If people value a 5-10% capacity boost over the safety of drivers and pedestrians… well, I suggest they re-examine their values.

      Finally, road diets are often traffic-calming measures, they are not intended to favor car travel over all else. The more lanes you have per direction, the more you induce drivers to pass slower drivers, transforming the street into a race track. Limiting the number of lanes, especially if you go to one lane per direction, forces traffic to travel at the speed of the slowest driver, as passing is usually not allowed. This prevents speeding and makes traffic more predictable, lowering both the frequency and severity of crashes. The goal of a road diet is to make streets safer and better for non-car drivers mainly, so as to encourage more efficient modes of travel than cars in urban areas. If it succeeds, it can lower the number of cars on the road, which is a big plus on every level.

      Too often, traffic engineering is obsessed about increasing capacity and speed, but the real unspoken question is “why?”. Should public authorities spend millions if not billions just to induce ever more travel, or is a sane transport development and transport policy about limiting unnecessary long-distance travel? Transport, like electricity, has no benefit in and of itself, the benefits come from what it allows to happen. So if you can shape cities so the same economical and social activities can occur with less transport required, that is a positive outcome, just like if you can tune a CPU to provide the same level of power with less energy use.

      1. If the road is completely congested on any stretch then reducing to a single lane does not reduce capacity at all, because the intersection will still be the binding constraint.

    5. Exactly. Traffic Engineering 101 is entirely the problem.
      There is a huge need for practice here to get a lot more sophisticated than this level.

      The religion of vehicle traffic ‘flow’ as above all else is indeed the most basic level; simple to the point of being simplistic.

      The real world exhibits a more complicated concatenation of conflicting influences that unfortunately seem beyond much traffic engineering practice as observed by the outcomes in NZ.

    6. You do realise the objective isn’t to maximise the flow of vehicles, right? It’s to maximise the flow of people. Common sense 101.

    7. As someone who teaches “Traffic Engineering 101” (well, actually, we call it 261…), I’m going to side with all the counter-responses here. The key is that, in an urban context, you do not get 100% optimal use out of your lanes, either due to turning traffic in the middle lanes or bikes in the outer lanes (adjacent parking throws in another wrinkle too). Having a central median area also allows you to install occasional refuge islands to help simplify the crossing task for pedestrians (c.f. 4 lanes all at once vs two single-lane crossings). And the traffic calming effect provides another crucial little safety gain for everyone (1km/h speed drop = ~4% injury rate drop on urban roads). So a road diet is a great solution to replace a four-lane wall-to-wall traffic sewer, from both an efficiency and safety perspective. I have often thought that many Auckland four-lane undivided roads would be greatly improved by such a treatment (esp. given that some of them carry less traffic than some two-lane roads elsewhere in the country).

    8. I’m not convinced your math is right but even if it is, that applies if your only consideration is to move as many cars as you can in as short a time as possible. In urban areas, especially commercial areas, there are other things going on that may be equal or higher priority. In retail streets it has been demonstrated that one way streets decrease foot traffic and therefore sales. One way traffic moves faster and that decreases visibility of businesses along the way.

      And obviously – traffic engineering 102 – if you make this street two way you make the next street two way and you don’t lose any capacity.

      In the US there has been a massive shift from one way to two way streets in downtowns for the reasons above and they have resulted in much better place-making and public acceptance. Traffic engineering 2000 BC saw every street as nothing but sewers for cars, thus destroying the viability of downtowns everywhere. It’s been an uphill battle but those attitudes are starting to give way.

      Streets serve many purposes and they can be designed to do them well or badly.

    9. Please don’t forget about the phenomena of “disappearing traffic”. I encourage you to read this research paper which looked at 70 case studies of road capacity being reduced (eg by road dieting):
      http://contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/reading/disappearing-traffic/resources/disappearing-traffic/

      The researchers found rather than the predicted chaos; the new layouts worked due to the volume of traffic reducing (as people made different travel choices, ie: supply-side inducement of traffic demand also works in reverse)…

      To quote the introduction of the research paper:
      “Reallocating roadspace from general traffic, to improve conditions for pedestrians or cyclists or buses or on-street light rail or other high-occupancy vehicles, is often predicted to cause major traffic problems on neighbouring streets. This paper reports on two phases of research, resulting in the examination of over 70 case studies of roadspace reallocation from eleven countries, and the collation of opinions from over 200 transport professionals worldwide. The findings suggest that predictions of traffic problems are often unnecessarily alarmist, and that, given appropriate local circumstances, significant reductions in overall traffic levels can occur, with people making a far wider range of behavioural responses than has traditionally been assumed. Follow-up work has also highlighted the importance of managing how schemes are perceived by the public and reported in the media, with various lessons for avoiding problems. Finally, the findings highlight that well-designed schemes to reallocate roadspace can often contribute to a multiplicity of different policy aims and objectives.”

  2. Enjoyed Mainfreight CEO Don Braid’s interview on Q&A this morning, he proposed funding rail from road user charges and upgrading Hamilton to Whangarei for high speed rail (although NZ version of high speed would probably be barely fast enough to get a speeding ticket on SH1)

    Enjoyed panel comments by Ben Craven somewhat less, it’s evident he believes roads are fundamentally cheaper from a tax perspective and that’s all that matters – sod the cost benefits. Also I doubt he would ever support any investment that risks boosting blue collar worker numbers and influence

    1. Rather than true HSR, we can easily aim for the same kind of speeds – 160 km/h – that the Tilt Train in Queensland achieves (and yes, on narrow gauge just like NZ).

      1. Is that tilt train for passengers or freight or both?

        And if the rail was upgraded to that speed, how quick timewise could a freight train of containers get door to door from Marsden Port to Metroport in Onehunga?

        And when compared with the extra sailing time needed for any container ship calling in NZ to call at either Tauranga or Auckland from say China or the US instead of Northland,
        isn’t the truth that the “end to end” freight delivery times between the overseas port and the local busines would be improved for any exporter or importer if the ship doing the carriage stopped on Marsden port, and the containers were railed to or from there, as compared to the ship sailing down to Auckland or Tauranga and then being railed to Metroport or wherever from there?

        And isn’t reducing time to market of many of our key exports one of the main reasons for this huge investment in RoNS?

        So aren’t we just ignoring the elephant in the room by not seriously considering making Northland the freight hub for Auckland which when coupled with a usable rail network will save the country $billions a year.
        That must have a BCR of 4 or better once all the WEBs are included.

        1. The actual tilt train is for passengers but the track upgrades, including cambered corners and straightening of the lines will have had some significant impact on freight as well I’d expect. I’m not certain but there may have been grade separation included in some places.

          FYI: The trip from Roma St station in Brisbane to Rockhampton on the tilt train takes just a few minutes longer than Google suggests as a drive time. 7hrs 25 minutes (train) vs 7hrs 11 minutes via car.

          Update: There is some more good info here – http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/queensland/

  3. Whats the best way to get rail freight to northland, via an upgraded North Auckland Line and Avondale – Southdown deviation or thru the new AWHC?

    1. Upgraded NAL is the easiest and most cost effective (IMO). While there are some limitations on the Western Line in regards to a 3rd line, there are opportunities to create 3rd line ‘passing loops’ to create freight capacity without affecting Metro operations. But that is in the future. Of more immediate need is the Marsden Line and tunnel upgrades to allow high cube containers (and vehicle transporters).

  4. ” when supply starts to meet demand then prices don’t go up anymore,” Key said.

    Seeing as we can’t boost the supply enough to do that, wouldn’t slowing the demand ensure it could happen in our lifetimes?

  5. Is it possible to get a larger version of the map of travel time from London in 1915? Clicking through gets me to a smaller version (surely that was not the original that was uploaded to twitter?)

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