Transportblog has reached a milestone, this is our 5,000th post.

The blog was started in 2008 to discuss transport, its role in making Auckland what it is today and how Auckland could be made a better place in the future. Over time we’ve also expanded on that and now talk also about wider urban issues, housing being one of the most prominent. Transport and Housing/Land Use are different sides of the same coin after all.

Myself and my fellow bloggers are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve over the years, especially when we’re able to start important discussions and effect long term change.

I’m often asked just how we manage to keep things going as we do, after all as well as the blog we also have paying work we need to do too. The thing that fuels that torch, often keeping us up late at night writing posts, has been the support we’ve had from you our readers and of course seeing the progress Auckland is making as a city.

Last year we launched our own parent organisation – Greater Auckland – to give the blog a bit more structure behind the scenes and help with the advocacy we do.

Here are a few stats to go with the 5,000 post milestone.

The blog is obviously an online entity, but if you follow us on Twitter you may have seen us recently teasing a physical manifestation of some of our work.

The booklet is a small collection of some of our great posts over the years discussing the urban evolution underway in Auckland and how the city can change in the future. It was pulled together for us by Nick R with the design and layout by Laura Dueker of Dueker Design.

If you’d like a hard copy, we do have some available at cost ($10). Also if you haven’t already please sign up to Greater Auckland so we can keep the blog and the work we do going.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the blog whether it be by writing posts, commenting, or reading and sharing our content.

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53 comments

    1. Hi Tim, thanks for asking – sorry we haven’t gotten a system for this up already. One option in the meantime would be to visit http://greaterauckland.nationbuilder.com/donate and put through a $10 donation to the GA bank account, and put “Booklet” as a reference and “Tim S” or similar in one of the other fields, and then send us an email to let us know where to send it.
      But we’ll try to get a proper system in place by the end of the week, and will do a post to let people know. So if you don’t mind waiting, that might be the best option!

      1. Just gonna jump in here and say that I’ll be looking to buy one as well – I’ll wait for the system set up. Keep up the good work!

      2. Hi John, Thanks for that, just transferred the money through. Keep up the good work, looking forward to the next 5000 posts! Cheers

  1. Congratulations on making 5,000 posts.

    Though I don’t always agree with what’s written on here it’s great to have a public forum to discuss these issues.

    The next challenge is to get a wider cross-section of society involved.

  2. Its a fantastic effort. I use your graphs of drive licenses, VKT etc in little old Nelson. Here we are battling road building dinosaurs who want to send trucks and cars through an already polluted poor part of town, slicing it in half with a new state highway in an effort to reduce the 1-3minute average peak hour (sic.) delay (3-7.5m peak peak hour (sic.) delay. Can anyone name any roadbuilding that has eliminated congestion in anything other than the short term?

    1. London Bridge. There was a lot of congestion at the ford when the tide was high prior to the bridge going in around the time of Claudius.

    2. This is a terrific site and has done a great job. Believe it or not it has changed how I think about some issues. And as you know I particularly like playing in the comments.
      Blackadder: Well, it is said, Percy, that civilised man seeks out good and intelligent company, so that through learned discourse he may rise above the savage and closer to God.
      Lord Percy: Yes, I’ve heard that.
      Blackadder: Personally, however, I like to start the day with a total dickhead to remind me I’m best.

  3. Great one guys! Been following you ever since AKT shut his own site down in…2010? I can’t believe it’s been six years I have been following you guys. It’s always a habit of mine to peek in here about twice a day.

  4. Congratulations. I’ve enjoyed reading every single post here, even when they’re wrong 😉

    Your challenge is, by your 10,000th post, to have successfully lobbied for EC to have 10 minute frequency buses before 6am .

    1. You will certainly never get 10 minute frequency buses before 6am, and it would be irresponsible to lobby for that. What a gross misallocation of resources!

      1. According to Transportblog ideology, if you increase frequency you stimulate demand, so whereas there may not be much demand now, you will get some later. Fewer cars on the road at 0530 means fewer at 0730 and congestion disappears!

        1. Ah ha, not correct TransportBlog (TM) ideology at all!

          The correct TransportBlog ideology is that you increase frequency in the right places at the right times you will capture a greater share of the existing travel demand away from traffic. If there is negligible travel demand before 6am then increasing frequency will do nothing, as there is nobody to serve and nothing to capture. Likewise if there is limited demand out in a semirural backblocks, extra frequency won’t do anything either, even at peak times.

          The higher order TransportBlog ideology of “don’t waste resources and money where it won’t do no good, spend it where you get the maximum gains” is trumps anyway.

          1. Counterargument: there is substantial demand but because of a lack of PT, it all uses the roads; these early drivers have a butterfly effect on later congestion
            Counterargument 2: part of public policy is not merely to respond but also to shape. Thus: sugar taxes. Public policy should enable our angels and punish our demons and by incentivising early travel we are likely to create a nation that like Abraham Lincoln said (or Jefferson?) is early to rise and healthy, wealthy, and wise.

          2. I disagree. Transport in the early smalls isn’t an issue that needs to be shaped. Sugar tax is a problem of overconsumption, there is no such problem before 6am for the most part, unlike around 8am.

            FYI Melbourne started providing free and frequent train service before 7am to try and bleed demand off the peaks. It wasn’t much success, turns out there is simply little demand to travel super early.

      2. In a few years I can definitely see us needing 10 minute frequencies on some FSN routes and parts of the rtn before 6am

        1. I think that will be the case, especially as other parts of the RTN create an expectation of service levels at differing parts of the day.

  5. Great, well done! It’s a great forum for some much needed ‘informed debate’ on Auckland/ NZ’s urgent urban issues.

    1. Dear Stephen
      Believe me, this blog is not spoken of with much fondness in the hallowed halls of Auckland Council wherein the decisions on Auckland’s future are made! But like the Socratic gadfly I have no doubt the stinging does some good. Still at times I think a softer touch would be better.

        1. In the last decade or so ive seem the blog receive criticism from all angles: too right wing / too left wing; too hard / too soft; and too nice / too mean to AT/AC.

          All these criticisms kind of miss the point. We’re not trying to be (or not be) any of those things. All the blog aspires to be is independent and informed.

          In my experience, most criticisms of the blog say much more about the critic than they say about the blog itself.

          EC is a case in point: he seems to suffer from delusions of grandeur and importance, which compels him to pass judgement on what he likes / doesn’t like about what we write. He doesn’t seem to realize that we dont give much of a fat fig what he thinks, but on and one he goes nonetheless.

          I remember someone from AT once complaining that the blog was “too negative” about AT. So i went back and counted the last few posts we’d written on AT. Result? 40% were supportive, 40% were critical, and 20% were neutral.

          Basically, most criticisms of the blog seem to reflect the internal biases of the critic, and what they want to see, rather than something inherent to the blog.

          We’re just a bunch of people writing about things as we see and experience them, which we try and support with evidence. No more no less.

  6. And thanks for putting a motorbike in the pictures: poor bastards nobody cares about and that arguably do more to traffic efficiency than bicycles! Not starting a fight, I cycle as well. and I walk, I drive and sometimes I crawl if I’m drunk enough

  7. Congratulations to all involved for reaching this milestone. I’m just staggered at the dedication that turns out quality posts every morning before I have hardly opened my eyes. It’s compulsory daily (well, twice-daily actually) reading, and a massive achievement. You guys deserve serious plaudits.

  8. Very well done, and great works for Auckland and further afield.

    How do we get a copy of that book into every Auckland household? Or at least a version that covers the key things people should think about before the election rolls around?

    I suspect it’s the sort of thing a crowdfunding campaign could raise money for,

    Let’s try some numbers:
    500,000 dwellings.
    $5 per booklet
    $1 for a few pages
    $cents for a brochure

    What gets printed and delivered depends upon how the crowdfunding goes. The contents have to be neutrally balanced politically and just provide topics to think about and evidence of what works.

    1. I would start by raising enough to get in the hands of every elected official in Auckland (Crs, LB members, and MPs), perhaps in time for new and returning local government members later this year.

  9. Fantastic work team. You’ve changed Auckland and made New Zealand better. If you’ve stopped even one unnecessary road project you’ve also saved NZ tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. You’ve also given me a lot to read over the last few years.

    Thanks.

  10. This is pretty impressive. I’m a fan of your work and look forward to re-reading these pieces in beautifully-designed hard copy.

    Still — and there’s never a convenient time to bring this up — I wonder: could you not find anyone other than five white guys to feature on urbanism in Auckland, for such a carefully-edited reflective compilation? (I’ve highlighted niche publications like NZ Contractor Mag on the same question, by the way.) I hope future editions might present more diversity!

    1. I understand the sentiment, but the reality the people volunteering to write blog posts all last last year happened to be white guys, so the annual retrospective was written by those same whitey males by default. There were several guest posts, from all sorts, however those all tend to be focussed on specific topical issues rather than the more general concepts suitable for a magazine. (I should note that Greater Auckland has a different and more diverse membership that just the honkies who write the daily blogs.)

      Nonetheless, contributions from anyone and everyone are always welcome! Click the Contact Us link to get involved.

      1. >> I understand the sentiment, but the reality the people volunteering to write blog posts all last last year happened to be white guys

        For future reference, in such a situation, I’d have cast a wider net. If I found a special compilation of this type was going to be so far from diverse, I’d look to include at least one other piece (could be a guest work) that wasn’t limited to past posts. Make the new piece an editorial, an up-to-date vision, a critical review, a foreword or afterword, or something, anything. Yes, it would be a token gesture, but it would be a start (if you make sure to go further in future). Of course the lack of compensation and other structural constraints would still filter many voices, but surely it’s realistic to solicit one piece by one such author for one publication in a year? Heck, if nothing works, I might even include a placeholder with a note explaining that the editors are aware of the diversity deficit this time, and explain why that is and how it might improve.

        Okay, so the booklet is already done. My only suggestion is to do better next time; and if you need ideas on how to get there, I can offer some specific tips, but let me know if you’re really interested as this will take more work to prepare than my usual commentary.

        1. A fair comment, but I’m no magazine editor and as simple as it sounds to commission a few extra pages, it took many many hours just to pull together a few old posts and edit them for the layout. It is perhaps a testament to the amazing quality of the typesetting and graphic design (also done on donated time, by a foreign woman no less) that you expect so much more!

    2. we’ed love to have more diversity on board, and have actively attempted to recruit same, but as the only currency is enthusiasm we don’t make a very compelling case… especially as not only are the rewards largely invisible and uncertain but you require a pretty thick skin, so really it’s more surprising that we’ve been able to keep going rather than why aren’t there more and more varied contributors… still we live in hope….

      1. I remember one or two concerted efforts towards this in the past. How did that turn out? Any evident lessons? I’d be happy to volunteer more detailed, practical advice in this area privately if the blog/organisation would like. Hope is good but change is better. Just get in touch by whatever channel you prefer.

        The lack of compensation is definitely a strong filter, but I’d take that as a given in this sort of activity. Fundraising (as I see Lance W is initiating) can itself be a costly exercise, so I wouldn’t expect to get very far with that, though any surplus would of course help. There are still other things you (or we, in general) can do cheaply, I think.

        I’d also single out the “thick skin” requirement, as it goes both ways. Being a regular commenter, I’ve had to deploy a thick skin to engage with regular bloggers (and friends) where substantive disagreements arise, even if we agree on most other things. There’s definitely ways to moderate that conversational protocol without excessive effort, and therefore to invite a richer range of perspectives.

        1. We haven’t had a lot of luck attracting new writers in general…

          The Sunday reading posts that Kent and I have been writing are perhaps an easier opportunity to get more diverse voices on the blog. In the last two editions, I ended up with a 50/50 gender balance, although that probably isn’t representative of the overall trend. Possibly something for me to think more about.

        2. How did previous efforts turn out?
          Many people who might be prepared to write posts tell me they fear they aren’t knowledgeable enough about topics to do so.

          For many others, they’re already working in the industry and fear their jobs/companies could be compromised if they talk publicly about stuff they do. The guest post the other day on the Ruhr for example was written by a women living overseas but fears it would be too easy to link it back to her if her name was used. As it is some of those who write posts get hassled and threatened by the likes of AT and NZTA because of their involvement in the blog. The latter issue is something I’ve been raising with senior people at places like the MoT as I fear that NZ is missing out on a lot of valuable discussion simply because everyone in the industry is conforming to the only game in town (AT/NZTA). This isn’t something that’s as much of an issue in places like the US where consultants can work in a huge rage of cities and states each with their own agencies.

      2. I don’t think transport is (a) an issue that different ethnicities/genders would dramatically impact (unlike, say, education) and (b) a different ethnicity/gender is no guarantee of a different perspective.

        George S. Patton and Bernard Montgomery were both “old white guys” with diametrically different viewpoints. George Marshall and Colin Powell were separated by 50 years, different race, and completely different formative experiences, and viewed things the same way.

    3. We’d like to have a wider range of contributors – but as Patrick noted blogging can feel a bit “exposed”, which is a disincentive for many people. (And it’s not paid.)

      With regards to the magazine, I’d encourage you (and any other readers) to judge the quality of the arguments, rather than the demographics of the contributors. Of course, the two things are not fully separable – where you are in society influences the problems or opportunities that you perceive.

      But we hope that what we’re advocating will, at least, make many people better off without making anybody too much worse off. When managed well, cities are win-win phenomena!

      1. >> With regards to the magazine, I’d encourage you (and any other readers) to judge the quality of the arguments, rather than the demographics of the contributors. Of course, the two things are not fully separable – where you are in society influences the problems or opportunities that you perceive.

        I certainly try to read that way, and it helps that the authors in this instance happen to be thoughtful, informed, well-traveled and empathic enough to present sound yet sweeping arguments. There are a few good reasons to say that isn’t enough, though.

        One is as you said, there are inherent limitations that individuals and homogeneous teams suffer, that only contacting more diversity can break through — I know, for example, this blog tends to editorially overlook certain interests that I try to represent, and I expect the magazine inescapably reinforces this. A second benefit of diversity for a team (even if an ad hoc selection of bloggers) is resilience; as political or economic winds change, as new situations/incentives arise, as turnover swings opinions, a more diverse group will more likely maintain its collective wisdom. But the final and perhaps most important benefit is the dynamic feedback loop in which some diversity encourages more/richer diversity, so we bring into the fold unforeseeable perspectives, and generate unexpected intersections of values/experiences/ideas (the best kind — as happens in well-designed cities!).

        1. Meh I fear you doth protest too much. More specifically, you seem to be taking a glass half empty approach (e.g. why don’t we have more of this and more of that).

          IMO, the fact that the blog exists at all is a small miracle in itself. It’s run by volunteers, many of whom have full-time jobs, families, and a myriad of other commitments. Yes diversity is something that has value, none of us would deny it. And while we are conscious of these benefits, it is something we will seek to address organically, rather than by actively trying to drag in demographics that are not represented on the blogging team.

          Why? Because we’re bloody busy doing other things! Like making money to put food on the table and writing blog posts, for example.

          If we were a for profit organisation then I think your observations would have merit. But we’re not, and if we happen to have unintentionally organized a sausage party on transport issues, then that’s unfortunate but not a disaster. After all, if we hadn’t all got together the blog wouldn’t exist at all.

          Sure the blog can be improved in a myriad of ways, and diversity is but one.

          I note however that gender is but one measure of diversity. There’s also geographic diversity (the bloggers are spread out through Auckland, while I am based in Amsterdam) and we have a range of different preferences. Matt likes corgis, I like labradoodles, for example. And that’s before we even start talking about things like sexual preferences. The stories I could tell wink wink, nudge nudge …

          Try taking a glass half full perspective.

          P.s. If you have this kind of general feedback on the blog then we’d really appreciate you putting it in an email rather than in the comment thread, where it comes across as a bit naff. Like going to a party and complaining about the free cocktails. He he he so punny …

          1. >> Meh I fear you doth protest too much. More specifically, you seem to be taking a glass half empty approach (e.g. why don’t we have more of this and more of that).

            One could say the same about TransportBlog’s critiques on transport and urban issues (and one would be equally wrong). That’s what advocacy and constructive criticism looks like from the other side. You might benefit from learning to accept sincere feedback like this, just as you expect others to digest your carefully considered submissions. I, for one, am not going to turn around and dismiss your comment superficially; instead, I’ll take your advice on board as best I can. I can only suggest you do the same with mine.

            If I don’t wrap my remarks in sufficient compliments, or I fail to balance my coverage with glass-half-full good news, it’s only because I’m pressed for resources as you can clearly appreciate, so I can only focus on core priorities.

            >> IMO, the fact that the blog exists at all is a small miracle in itself. It’s run by volunteers, many of whom have full-time jobs, families, and a myriad of other commitments. … Why? Because we’re bloody busy doing other things! Like making money to put food on the table and writing blog posts, for example.

            I feel your pain. I really do. Perhaps moreso in some ways. For all the difficulties you face (and it is a difficult thing you’re all doing), the people being left behind (e.g. women and minorities) in general tend to have it even tougher. The idea behind actively fostering diversity is, in part, to share that burden more evenly.

            >> Yes diversity is something that has value, none of us would deny it. And while we are conscious of these benefits, it is something we will seek to address organically, rather than by actively trying to drag in demographics that are not represented on the blogging team.

            I don’t see a clear boundary between those two characterizations of approaches. I think the specific suggestions I have to offer actually rely on an “organic” pattern of growing diversity of voices. Nothing will happen overnight, nor will it cost tremendous effort or any money. The fact I’m volunteering this comment and proposal is itself an “organic” event — no one asked me to get involved.

            However, it does take an active sense of intention (i.e. policy) and deliberate effort in strategic places (i.e. design), just to bootstrap a process of growth & review. If you’re opposed to that on principle, then you won’t have much luck no matter what else you do.

            >> I note however that gender is but one measure of diversity. There’s also geographic diversity (the bloggers are spread out through Auckland, while I am based in Amsterdam) and we have a range of different preferences. Matt likes corgis, I like labradoodles, for example. And that’s before we even start talking about things like sexual preferences. The stories I could tell wink wink, nudge nudge …

            Yeah, but gender is kind of a very big and important factor, and it’s not a discretionary “preference”. It’s genuinely nice that you represent a range of views on dog breeds, but you must be being facetious if you’re claiming it’s equal in social weight to gender diversity? You might have mentioned diversity in parenting, travel, age, etc, instead — those are relevant, substantial and positive in this case.

            >> Try taking a glass half full perspective.

            Try at least listening to those who are less-privileged in an industry and advocacy field, and who take the time and effort to speak out when they can, despite the obstacles to that you yourself recognize. Patrick and Peter correctly say “thick skin” is a disincentive for diverse participation, yet here you are dismissing as vexatious a voice constructively representing some of that missing diversity? Come on.

            >> P.s. If you have this kind of general feedback on the blog then we’d really appreciate you putting it in an email rather than in the comment thread, where it comes across as a bit naff. Like going to a party and complaining about the free cocktails.

            Case in point. Do you realise how intimidating unsolicited private email is when you don’t know people well, and what a power play it is to take discussions out of the public eye? (There are ways to mitigate all this, and again, I will happily provide specific advice to that end.) At the same time, the comment box is an affordance — an invitation ­to interact — more immediate, somewhat in anonymity, and still in the safety of the public eye, so it tends to win over email for me, even if it is also chilling in other ways.

            But the analogy is a good one. I feel as out-of-place at a cocktail party as you might feel at an Indian wedding. Sometimes the free cocktails are, indeed, problematic.

          2. The blog has two main bloggers (Matt and Patrick), the rest of us simply write guest posts from time to time so as to lighten the load on those two.

            It’s statistically challenging, if not impossible, to get diversity (of any form) from a sample size of 2. So where you see a lack of diversity I simply see a lack of scale. And that’s what we’re trying to address by publishing the booklet: It is designed to attract more funds and contributors from a range of demographics. The booklet is an attempt to reach beyond our current crop of contributors so as to increase the diversity of our following. That’s why your comments come across as something of an own goal: We are aware of and sensitive to this issue, and we’re working hard to address it.

            Perhaps you disagree with our methods, but we would seem to agree with the objective.

            I respect and appreciate your perspective, and I consider myself to be a feminist. When working as a transport consultant I strived to increase participation from woman in our company and industry via a number of initiatives, and I’m pleased to say that these were successful. This is not to say that we got where we wanted, but we definitely took some big steps in the right direction. The Blog, GA, and this booklet is another such step: It’s reaching beyond traditional transport circles and hopefully helping to involve a much more diverse audience in discussion on such matters. That’s why I emphasized that diversity has several dimensions.

            In my opinion, the way you’ve raised the issue here is not particularly constructive, because your comments have (unintentionally) detracted attention from an initiative that is specifically designed to attract a more diverse following. We openly acknowledge that it’s not ideal that the booklet contains articles written by men, but to attract more contributors we have to start somewhere and ***a small group pf men is all we have right now.*** We are a small group of geographically and age diverse men, however. Matt is 30 something and lives in west Auckland, while Patrick is a boomer who lives in fancy-pants central suburbs.

            Yes the comment box is an invitation for public interaction, but it is also something that has some guidelines attached to its use: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/about/user-guidelines. May I ask that you take a read of the user guidelines and then have a re-read of this post and your comments in particular. That may help you understand our reactions to your comments. In my opinion, you’re de-railing this comment thread with something that you’re passionate about. That’s why I suggested taking it offline. It’s not about power; it’s about recognising that for the blog to be readable and inviting to everyone, then comments need to be 1) related to the topic at hand and 2) not dominated by few people. We try and apply these guidelines to everyone, even those (such as yourself) who are talking about topics that we are also passionate about.

            Ultimately I would suggest the best way forward, if you would like to contribute to greater gender balance in such matters, is to send us an email with your ideas. If you feel like this involves too great a power imbalance, then we’re open to other suggestions. What we’re not particularly open to is people de-railing comment threads when they have a bone to pick that is not directly related to the matter at hand.

            P.s. I apologise if my earlier comment was not clear on these points and/or came across as overly facetitous. I wrote it in too much of a hurry and was trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to bring some levity into the conversation.

          3. I’m keeping this in the comments thread because I think it belongs here now. Explanation below. If you disagree then I’ll leave it to your editorial discretion to take whatever action you decide. *** I have decided to leave it here and add comments in bold. ***

            >> That’s why your comments come across as something of an own goal: We are aware of and sensitive to this issue, and we’re working hard to address it. Perhaps you disagree with our methods, but we would seem to agree with the objective.

            I don’t think any own goals were scored until your comments. I think Nick, Patrick, Peter and Matt all responded very positively and informatively. I know you all agree with the objective, and that’s why I felt comfortable raising it without pretext. Thing is, being an ally who agrees in principle doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility to act when you can (if anything, it’s perhaps more incumbent) — otherwise, well, there’s your own goal. *** We agree in principle and are acting in accordance with those principles as best we can. I described your actions as an “own goal” because you are criticizing our efforts (however flawed) to reach a more diverse audience ***

            I’ve given a few general ideas already and my offer still stands to provide specific detailed advice via private channels (no commitment and no cost for the blog/org) — but no one’s taken it up. So don’t try to make out that I’m derailing or whatever. *** Thanks for the ideas, and we look forward to receiving your email. The most constructive thing you could do would be to write a guest post for us on how to get more gender diversity in transport discussions. That’d be really useful, and would be significantly more constructive than what you have contributed here (beyond the first comment) ***

            >> The Blog, GA, and this booklet is another such step: It’s reaching beyond traditional transport circles and hopefully helping to involve a much more diverse audience

            I feel the same about this quite well put-together booklet. That’s why I felt it important to explicitly note in a comment under the blog post about the booklet, that it could be a great vehicle for diversity, apart from everything else that’s going for it. The original blog post is a reflective, periodical, meta-piece on the matter of the blog itself, and about who participates in it, so I think it’s perfectly on-topic to bring up the diversity issue here. Note that I don’t “generally moan” about the editorial direction of the blog; this is just the best time I saw to bring this particular issue up (though of course no time is a really good time to mention a thorny subject). *** I’m glad we agree on one thing: The booklet is a good step and well put together. Note that my primary issue was the fact that you made several lengthy comments on the same issue that effectively boiled down to criticizing the blog. We don’t feel that lengthy comments, especially critiques, are well-suited to a comment thread, because they reduce readability. Short, pithy comments are encouraged – and emailed feedback is welcome ***

            >> In my opinion, the way you’ve raised the issue here is not particularly constructive

            FYI http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Tone_argument — but I also reiterate: I’ve given compliments, context and constructive advice in the comments, relevant to the subject of the post, and there is still a standing offer of detailed advice away from this public discussion. *** Tone is important, as per our user guidelines. In terms of how you could have acted more constructively, I’d suggest a guest post containing your ideas is a good place to start ***

            >> We openly acknowledge that it’s not ideal that the booklet contains articles written by men

            That is, only after the issue was raised in comments. (Comments on the topic of the diversity represented in the booklet introduced in the original blog post.) One of my early suggestions was to maybe next time actually acknowledge in the booklet itself that there is a diversity deficit, to explain why that is and what the path to progress is — now that would be quite open! *** The diversity deficit is important, but is not the primary topic of this post. Hence your lengthy comments are not really appreciated. In contrast, a guest post on the topic would be appreciated. ***

            >> Yes the comment box is an invitation for public interaction, but it is also something that has some guidelines attached to its use: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/about/user-guidelines. May I ask that you take a read of the user guidelines and then have a re-read of this post and your comments in particular.

            I did, again, just now, for you. I don’t see how my comments breach or even begin to test any of the guidelines, but let me know if you think otherwise. (1) I am not trolling, and neither are you, and all is civil, so we wouldn’t need report anything. (2) I don’t use a real name but the blog allows it, the editors know me already ,and Matt has just above given reasons why people often hide identities. (3) I’ve only picked on statements and not people; can’t say the same about some of your arguments, but I can handle it. (4) This isn’t general moaning but rather a specific issue relating to the topic of the blog post, along with relevant compliments and constructive offers to help. (5) I believe I’ve used logical arguments, and so have others, yourself included, even if we disagree on premises. (6) My opinions are clearly opinions and I accept room for disagreement, but not that it should bar discussion anyway. (7) All text is original. (8) The editors still have editorial discretion; I’m only appealing to the topic. (9) I don’t think the blog has made a mistake, so I wouldn’t report anything by email, but I do think this on-topic discussion is worth having and constructive ideas merit proposing, in comments under a blog post reflecting on the blog and its participants. (10) Again, the comment box is preferable both as an easy affordance (though the blog can take steps to make email easy too) and also in this case as being related to the reflective subject matter of the post. *** Rule #4 is the critical one: “If you there are things you like and/or don’t like about the blog then put it in an email to us, rather than a comment. Or find another space more to your liking.” I’d say you’re now also approaching our limit for rule number 8(i) “obsessive arguing” ***

            >> In my opinion, you’re de-railing this comment thread with something that you’re passionate about.

            Except the thing I’m passionate about has to do with the subject of the post: a TransportBlog milestone, with reflections on who participates, and how much, and how it’s structured, and so on. That’s de-railing? Look, if this was a pet peeve someone constantly brought up in this form at the end of every blog post, then sure, you have my sympathy. But really, you think it’s de-railing even in this annual post looking back at past achievements by and about the blog? Under a post with reflective participation statistics about everything except diversity? A post introducing a booklet singing the praises of a grown-up international metropolis, written by no women or minorities? Really? That’s de-railing? *** Yes I consider your comments to qualify as “de-railing”. The point of this particular post was to reflect on the successes of the Blog and raise some funds to help make it better rather than to discuss the relative diversity, or otherwise, of the contributors! ***

            >> That’s why I suggested taking it offline. Ultimately I would suggest the best way forward, if you would like to contribute to greater gender balance in such matters, is to send us an email with your ideas

            I’ve suggested it too. Still waiting for a taker. Email me at the address in my comments, DM me on Twitter, or just volunteer your name here to receive email. I don’t want to put in hours of work preparing a sincere pitch no one will read — we’re all pressed for resources. (Maybe this is a good point to note the site doesn’t seem to have a catch-all email address, so I’d have to select one or more of you to email, but I don’t know who is interested and who I’d be spamming.) *** You’re free to contact Matt and Patrick at the email addresses listed under contact us. I know they’d be more than happy to receive a guest post to lighten the load on them. ***

  11. Awesome effort from the whole team! I love reading this site and have done so for many years; it’s been bookmarked under my favourites section for longer than I remember. The depth of analysis is great and beats paid journalists’ efforts hands down!
    Well done! Look forward to the next 5,000 🙂

  12. Very well done and a big thank you to all involved, and please keep up the good work: it is making a noticeably positive difference.

    (And if mfwic can be moved, then maybe Phil can be too:-))

  13. This is the third time Ive read this thread and wondered: Do I put my hand up for the odd post?
    I usually post while on similar topic they take a different course with things like the Unitary Plan and Transport. Probably because most times I focus on Southern Auckland which is the fastest growing area in Auckland and my home.

    Up to the admins here but offer is there.

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