This is the fourth in a series of posts reviewing the year that has been. Part one reviewed public transport, part two reviewed walking and cycling and part three reviewed roads. In this post I cover off some of the other things we’ve discussed this year.
In August the Government and Auckland Council signed a terms of reference on what is called the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP). As the name implies the goal is to finally get alignment on transport priorities between the two parties rather than the standoff we’ve had for the last five or so years. If all goes well it should give us a much more defined and agreed package of works for the coming decades to really help address the regions transport issues.
There will likely be information on it in the new year and the final recommendations are due back around August – which could prove interesting in the discussions leading up to the local body elections. We are involved as a stakeholder and we are pushing to ensure many of the issues we often discuss are addressed to help get the best possible outcome.
Long Term Plan (LTP)
The council set its latest LTP this year which is the budget for the next decade – although the actual budget is set annually. The LTP is reviewed every three years and is one of the better opportunities to change the council’s priorities. Transport featured heavily in the discussion for this LTP with the council consulting on the whether the city should go for a transport plan that was barebones – which no one was happy with or a plan that had everything including the kitchen sink. They also consulted on how to pay for the plan that included everything asking about whether people would rather motorway tolling or increases in rates and fuel taxes. Both of those options required the government to come on board which they consistently made clear they weren’t going to do.
As part of the consultation the council asked where the focus on transport should be. After 27,000 submissions this how people responded showing strong support for better public transport and cycling.
Following on from the government’s refusal to look at funding options the council passed a three-year interim transport levy of $99 per household which was a bit of a game changer as more than half of the money it raises is directed to PT and Cycling projects as shown below.
National Land Transport Programme (NLTP)
Every three years the NZTA set the NLTP which sets out what will be funded over coming three years. It is created in conjunction with similar programmes in each region. The 2015-18 plan was released, a summary of which is shown in the graphic below.
We had some great international experts visit Auckland during 2015 including:
- Charles Montgomery – author of Happy City.
- Mike Lydon – author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-term action for Long-term change
- Jeff Tumlin – author of Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Vibrant, Healthy, and Resilient Communities
- Gabe Klien – former transportation commissioner in Washington DC and Chicago and now author of Start-Up City
They visited as part of the Auckland Conversations series and talks are now all available on youtube.
It’s been a crazy year for development with projects going on all over the city and many new ones proposed. The skyline is dotted with cranes building stuff and it’s only going to get busier next year with some major projects such as the CRL, Precinct’s Commerical Bay and the convention centre. In the next few years there is over $2 billion of private funds being spent in the central city alone. Below is our RCG Development Tracker
We’ve had another fantastic year on the blog and it’s great to see many new people starting to read and join in the conversation. We launched Greater Auckland to help support the blog and while we have been a bit quite publicly on it we’ve had some success behind the scenes. Thank you to all who have helped support us.
As we love our stats on the blog here are a few about us for the year.
- Including this one we’ve published 781 posts this year, this is actually down on the 908 we published last year. In total the blog is fast approaching 5,000 posts.
- We’ve had just under 33,000 comments. The most commented on post this year was right at the start when AT announced they were considering light rail.
According to Google Analytics we’ve had
- 306k unique users
- Just over 1 million sessions with an average stay of 3:15
- Just under 1.9 million page views. Many people read the blog from the homepage so it’s hard to give an accurate idea of exactly what the most read post is but here is a list of the top 10 posts from this year that people clicked through to.
- Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus – had surge late in the year as was oddly shared around again on social media.
- Of Experts, Damned Lies, and Pohutukawa
- Auckland’s mass grave
- Light rail to fill the void
- A great day for Auckland – Skypath Approved
- The CRL Design Showcase
- 2015 – Auckland’s Watershed Year
- Auckland’s Old Tram Maps Modernised
- Appeals against Skypath
- New Red Light Cameras now live
Lastly thanks to my fellow bloggers and those who have written guest posts for spending so much time providing content and keeping things going.
I hope you all have a great 2016.