Recently NZTA updated the Transport for Future Urban Growth (TFUG) videos to show the projects proposed, have a watch. Some things that I found interesting

  1. Again so much road widening you have to ask is it all really necessary?
  2. Penlink looks very sidelined. It looks as if NZTA/AT are more concentrated on providing infrastructure to the areas zoned for high greenfield growth of which Whangaparaoa isn’t compared to Orewa & the large zoning on the other side of SH1.
  3. Confirming which level crossings in the South they want to remove, and which they want to grade separately. Manuroa road closure could be unpopular due to the heavy vehicle movements that would be diverted.
  4. While TFUG does propose extending the rapid transit system into these new areas, the videos seem to spend a lot of time talking about them in comparison to the copious amounts of new or wider roading that’s planned

Overall I think some major changes will have to occur I don’t think it will be affordable & it seems as if they are trying to do everything rather than deliver a feasible network of value.

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54 comments

    1. Presumably it’ll be inside the existing developed areas, and therefore would require PT and cycling instead of roading. Which is what the full 100% should have been. Instead, the new and widened roads required for these greenfields developments will increase vehicle kilometres travelled (vkt) in the whole city, together with what increased vkt brings: carbon emissions, air pollution, cyclist and pedestrian danger, including deaths and serious injuries. Stupid planning.

      1. Its to do with the ATAP KPI’s they mentioned Greenfield growth but not Brownfield growth

        “Transport does not delay urbanisation in line with timeframes of Future Urban Land Supply Strategy”

        In CFN 2 we changed it to “Prioritising accessibility in areas that are seeing major (population) growth, including both greenfield areas and existing urban areas”

  1. Closing the Manuroa Road Crossing on first look would be daft as that is how the big Halls trucks get in and out from their Takanini Base. However I see AT want to open a new crossing at Rangi Road which would go by Te Mahia Station and connect with Mahia Road creating a new link that means trucks are not having to go through a residential area as current. So some merit.

    TFUG is still too many roads first rather than transit first. If they did transit first they might find the need for big 4 lane roads disappears (Mill Road needs a safety upgrade but that does not mean 4-lanes).

    Pet peeve is still the Drury West to Manukau bus route that trundles everywhere rather than feeding the commuters to either Papakura or the new Drury Stations and catching the train up to Manukau (yes the South Link comes back).

    Still a lot of work to be done.

    1. Ben the Halls base will be cut off from their workshop and other storage by the closing of the Spartan Rd crossing so they will not use Manuroa Rd. I’ve said this before and Harriet has been quick to attack the idea (hopefully she takes a proper look this time), given the vehicle movements (mostly heavy trucks) from the two businesses (Halls and VTNZ) between the Spartan Rd crossing and GSR surly it should be considered that leaving the Spartan Rd crossing open and instead closing the dangerous Spartan Rd/GSR intersection. Remember the closing of Spartan Rd crossing is about safety, most vehicle movements in and out of both Halls and VTNZ are across that crossing because it is safer than the alternative onto GSR.

  2. It’s all down to the order in which those new links will be built. If the motorways and local roads are upgraded before decent PT is delivered to the areas – there is very little hope for those places. Existing links are already pretty congested and if people living there are forced to drive it will make their lives (and those in their way already) miserable.
    Unfortunately – it does look like it’s going to be road-fest with some cursory PT. Why do we try to encourage growth in Warkworth (with high frequency express buses) is beyond me.

  3. I still can’t believe that they are running a busway past that much growth at Dairy Flat and still not planning to go through the town centres.

    1. The busway will be within walking distance of much of that area and local buses will be needed anyway so they can have those running a loop to basically cover close to 100% of that area. At the same time they will save millions on a shorter route plus ongoing savings in distance and time travelled by buses (fuel wages etc) since the motorway route will be a shorter more direct route.

      1. No. The area west of SH1 is roughly 2.5km wide. Taking the busway right through the designated area would make pretty much the entire area walkable and definitely cycleable. AT’s focus is on park and rides. An expensive, ridership limiting, strategy.

        1. and what about the development on the other side of the motorway or did you just not see that?
          They have plans for buses in the area anyway. Adding extra distance to the busway by taking it off the most direct path add’s to both construction costs and maintenance costs as well as adding to the cost of running the actual service (longer journey, more fuel, driver pay etc, there would be some savings from less local bus in the area of course but those would be outweighed by the additional costs elsewhere). In rural area’s park n rides do make sense as the cost of rolling out PT to far flung very low density areas costs a lot more – I think it was Patrick who stated that in previous posts about how difficult rural area’s are to service with PT.

          1. Of course I’ve seen that. And why is that development there? Because of Penlink. Majority of development on western side. Build to that. Even from that development, it would only be 3.2km from the outer edge to the middle of the proposed developed area. If you look at the UP maps, building the busway along SH1 misses most of the proposed development.

            Also, it adds almost nothing to the overall journey distance.

          2. Why are you talking about rural areas? This is going to be an urban area, so Park and Rides are not appropriate.

            Taking the busway through where the people will actually live will add about 500m to kilometre from every house in the newly developed area the total bus journey while removing an average of over a km

          3. It is 2 suburbs surrounded by a huge rural area about the size of the old ACC boundaries all the way from Riverhead through to Kaukapapa and Wainui. Those people all drive and currently have no PT option except to go to a Park n Ride. So yes Park n Ride is needed there. The posts on this blog opposing Park N Rides have been about urban ones (Albany, Constellation, Glen Eden etc etc).

          4. Yes, park and ride is needed at Grand Drive and Redvale stations, they are on the urban fringe. All of the others, which is what we were talking about will be urban stations.

          5. Yes proper rural P&R’s needed. The big upgrade in size at Hibiscus Coast should have had the effort of time & money put into one at Grand Dr instead (& extending the NEX). Pulling local congestion out of the existing P&R area. In anycase, charging for the parking should be done so people that really need to use it like the relatives I have in Puhoi (which need to drive 17mins just to get there) can rely on there been spaces available. I think this will all happen once AT figure out a good integrated system to charge for parking with the AT Hop card.

  4. Looks like the new development relies on rapid transit.

    Does that means the existing rapid transit corridors need to be upgraded?

    NEX need to be upgraded to light rail.
    Western bus way will need to be built asap, and potentially upgrade to light rail.
    Southern line will need higher line speed and less dwell time, preferably with express train.

    1. The southern line has some of the highest speeds on the network (more 110kph zones), short dwell times don’t translate to faster travel times just more frequent and longer stops. The problem with the rail network is congestion and some of that congestion is directly caused by the current timetable.

      DDO is coming but don’t expect it to translate into faster trains like the hipsters of transport blog/ Greater Auckland will have you believe.

      1. Why don’t short dwell times “translate to faster travel times”? Rather than insulting people explain your point and see if it stacks up.

        1. Short dwell times translate to longer waits not faster travel times, if faster travel times were possible they would be happening already. The difference between DDO and TMDO is a mater of seconds, add those few seconds up and it equates to a longer wait at the networks various congested points (something that is worse since the timetable changed in March).

          1. Luke there is a difference between DDO (driver door operation) and DOO (driver only operation), the TM does a lot more than just close the doors.

            It is DDO that has been suggested, it is just a mater of time before it is implemented as AT makes out they care about what the public think but in reality they just do as they like.

          2. Bigted – I agree with you that the congested points have got worse since the introduction of the March timetable.

            However, there is no reason that shorter dwell times would make this worse, unless for some reason the timetable was not changed at all to account for this.

          3. Shorter dwell times don’t translate to faster overall travel times? Lets go up to two minute dwell times then so no one has to get up while the train is still moving.

          4. Once again a ridiculous comment from Sailor boy.
            Jezza there is no reason this can’t be fixed but while everyone looks at it backwards nothing will change. Fix the congestion and everything else fixes itself, only looking at dwell times expecting that the congestion will sort itself out just makes it worse.
            The Auckland trains are one of the biggest causes of extended dwell times, 3 second from zero speed before the door release can be given, 20 seconds for the t car doors to cycle (without allowing for people to use the doors) followed by 6 seconds once everything is closed before the drive can apply power.

            Before anyone says CAF need to fix this. CAF have supplied exactly what AT ordered and as they are currently in dispute over the final payment for the current EMUs.

          5. Bigted – I agree sorting out the congestion is the most important thing, the new timetable has been very frustrating in this regard

            However the dwell times will also have a significant impact on train running speed. As you say there are some very slow parts of the cycle and I have no doubt CAF have supplied a train that can have significantly quicker times. It appears to be a lack of organisational will at AT, and possibly Transdev and Kiwirail to solve this. For example doors opening as soon as the train stops.

            Regarding DDO what other tasks would the TM be undertaking if they were not controlling the doors? DDO sounds like a step towards DOO.

          6. Jezza you are correct about DDO being a slippery slope towards DOO, there are still far to many faults currently dealt with by either the TM or the TM assists the driver that without the TM will result in cancellations or extremely long delays and slow trips. You think the antisocial behavior is bad now wait till they realize there is no crew on most trains and see what happens, the Transport officers (only up to 100 planned and are intermodal will be spread thinner than the current TIs) will be too few in numbers to be everywhere.
            Kiwirail have never had anything to do with the EMUs, Transdev just run them for AT so they are ATs baby, there is a delay from wheel stop to door release for safety reasons set by AT (they could do as the London underground do and define wheel stop as 1mph having the 3 seconds start from there).CAF have no interest in up specing the current EMUs and with the service warranty about to expire they are currently negotiating a servicing contract with AT. CAF have had a test train running on all lines interpeak coupled up as half of a six car but closed off and full of every sensor you could think of to prove to AT that the Auckland network is indeed reasonable for the extra maintenance that has had to be done and that they have not been supplied ‘duds’. Maybe after the maintenance contract is sorted At could negotiate how much it will cost to get some of the upgrades you mention

          7. Do you know if the TMs are going to be Transport Officers as well? I understand that there are probably still tasks they need to do, however it is definitely not a full time job, they appear to spend most of their time standing at the doors waiting for next stop.

            If they are to stay onboard it would be good for them to have the full range of powers to deal with anti-social behaviour etc. It would effectively mean each train has an TO, along with a group of them that rove between all PT.

            On Monday during the network meltdown the driver came on the speakers a couple of times to explain what was going on, it was clear and easily understandable to us passengers (his name was Josh incidentally). Then the TM came on the speakers when we were waiting to come into Britomart, it was the usual garbled TM message that seemed to imply that Britomart was full and we were turning back, which wasn’t the case. It may have been full but were were not turning back.

            Hopefully we have more of the drivers making the announcements in the future.

          8. Some of the drivers are not much better, you should hear them trying to converse with train control. TMs (and drivers for that matter) only repeat information supplied to them (that has often changed several times) when they make announcements. I agree that the TM job doesn’t appear to be a full time job and it would be good to leave them on the trains fully trained as transport officers on every train so they can attend to any TM duties while doing TO duties.

    2. Would be nice if all of those things were done. LR does have a place (might as well build the western as a LR route from the start).
      I’m still not convinced that the North Shore should not get a proper HR line, however if the choice is between more buses or LR then LR of course is superior especially if they can get it running at over 100km/h along the NEX.

      1. I generally agree with CFN2.0’s LR proposal, but one that does concern me is the North Shore line. Will LR have the capacity once all this extra population is added between Albany and Orewa? Maybe that is why they are going with lots of PnR to ensure it doesn’t become too popular.

        1. Yes especially if a bridge is built instead of tunnel. We could build for four track span however in interim only use half with the rest walking/cycling, then in future add the other two tracks while doing a Skypath2 Clip On to new bridge. Basically the LRT is easily stageable & doesn’t necessarily require a CRL2 straight away or potentially at all & if a CRL2 is chosen for LRT in future then it is down the line well after this programme has finished. The need to build a CRL2 striaght away for NS HR is what kills it.

          From the CFN2 Report

          “An important but often forgotten part of successful transport planning is future proofing, making certain corridors are left open for expansion, building in a way that does not preclude/hinder future works. CFN2 has thought about this extensively. We propose building the harbour crossing (either in bridge or tunnel form) wide enough for four tracks, but in the interim, only two tracks will be constructed. Operating four-tracks in the future would enable the two lines to be segregated in the future doubling light-rail network capacity. While we do not see this as needed in the near future, however, we believe this will be a wise choice that future generations may thank us for.”

          1. Yes the Making Room for urban expansion concept is important Harriet. Something that was unfortunately not considered enough in the post WW2 city growth period.

  5. Why are they calling a new train station Drury West in the south? The area already has a rural area name being “Runciman”, or it would have a Te Reo name as well, which would be far more appropriate. The new proposed station Tironui, just north of Papakura isn’t named “Papakura north”, it has had a consisted name.

  6. Agree that the RTN needs to be in place first. However, it is inevitable that there will be new and upgraded roading with any greenfield development as the car will still be an important form of medium distance non-commuting transport. The important thing is that they should be designed to be resident friendly, not just traffic sewers.

  7. As Auckland extends north and south, isn’t there an obvious cumulative capacity problem on SH1?

    The north video referred to 35,000 new households in the north (Warkworth and Silverdale), and 17,000 jobs. So many residents will have to travel to work elsewhere. If one resident from every ten new households traveled south on SH1 in the morning peak, that would be 3500 extra cars in the peak, about 80% of the capacity of two freeway lanes. There are not two lanes of spare freeway capacity now south of Albany. Where will this traffic go? The same problem will occur to the south, where the same assumption would see an additional 4200 cars join SH1 traveling north in the peak, wrecking it too.

    Of course, 3500 persons in an hour would be 1/5th the capacity of a proper LRT or Metro line, or 1/10th the capacity of a heavy rail line. This shows how short term a solution the widening of congested freeways is, and how passenger rail (whether LRT, metro or heavy rail) is a long term solution.

    Second comment – the other elephant in the room is where do all the other people live? These three videos refer to new homes for 107,000 households, or a population of about 265,000 people. Yet the video refers to needing to house a new 1,000,000 people by 2043! Where will the other 735,000 live? Of course they will need to go into some overall lifting of housing densities across the rest of the city. I have no objection to that, and would in fact prefer it to seeing Auckland sprawl Houston-style from Warkworth to Drury. Yet the point is, that even after building all the new roads to service these new growth areas, 73% of the population growth (730,000) will still need to be accommodated elsewhere in the city. Surely, providing improvements to the capacity of existing infrastructure to support the increased population density that is certain to occur within the existing urban footprint should be the logical first priority.

    1. Scott:

      1. Yes exactly. They have to actually prioritise Rapid Transit to these areas now, or much worse gridlock will be the result. Business as usual just won’t work.

      2. Yes; gonna have to go much more up than The Unitary Plan allows, UP2 will have to be a thing in a decade or so…

      1. Yip, and the longer it takes for this to be understood, the more of our city will be damaged. I can see the two possible scenarios – token PT, token cycling, while Auckland essentially becomes one big road with people living on traffic islands, or getting to grips with stopping the roads now, and putting the energy into quality denser living, PT and cycling.

        1. That’s where a lot of problem in Auckland has been. Instead of building proper medium density/mid rise they went and let everyone subdivide their section so that you gain little extra density (certainly not enough to justify PT at levels needed for people to use it) but gain a whole lot more people driving. They should have just zoned the entire old ACC area and places like Takapuna as mid-rise/high-rise where appropriate. That area alone if it was all built mid rise only could hold about 1 million more people and 2+ million if built high rise.
          Could have then built all the LR and subways you liked because the density would be there.

          1. Most transport problems are caused by NZTA and their archaic funding rationale/processes which suggest you shouldnt invest “until a severe problem exists”. Its the complete antithesis of urban planning and sets us up to fail again and again.

            Whenuapai – should be planning a bus station right in middle of catchment now.

            Dairy Flat – agree with others RTN should be planned through middle of planned area not adjacent to motorway.

        2. Yes, ideally those houses would be somehow organised in town centres. Not those moronic things like “Botany town centre” or “mangere town centre”, but a proper town centre, the kind where people would dare to move around without a car.

          But, maybe my mental model of the situation is a bit simplistic, but:

          Q: How should we proceed with those greenfield developments?
          A: As pointed out above

          Q: But is that legal?
          A: No. Think of the cars.

          The end.

          1. I agree, but I think we need to distinguish between town centres that are commercial to provide employment, and local centres to provide services.

            When I was in Brisbane recently I saw a program Brisbane City Council had in developing what they called “Urban Villages” to get more functional local centres. Nothing more than a grocery store, a cafe or two and some small shops, but enough to meet a lot of basic needs locally within walking distance. They seemed to work very well. They based them on reinforcing existing shop areas, not trying to force new locations for activity. So one in every suburb.

          2. Oh it isn’t hard, but zoning has completely messed up how to build places for so long so we’ve lost the knack. Don’t separate: Mixed Use, Mixed Use, Mixed Use, everywhere, is the answer.

            Especially in new centres, they should, literally be the centre of the new area, connected by Rapid Transit to other centres and the The Centre, people living above retail, offices mixed in there too, and parking below, behind, and reduced.

            Hobsonville is an improvement, but that still has the ‘centre’ not in the centre, a drive away, and the Transit is peripheral (which is of course inevitable for the ferry, it of course has to be at an edge of the land).

  8. Looking at the street layouts, are all of the NW areas quite low density, cul-de-sacs and so forth – surely more suited to cars and with more challenging catchments to make rapid transit viable – sadly.

    Should they not be focusing on more densely populated areas, where a greater ROI might exist. I hate it, but if sprawl already exists, it’s difficult to do without supporting buses, park and rides etc

    I wonder what the service would be for Puke… and indeed if there might be demand now for a spur into Manukau for shorter southern turns.

  9. Sadly NZTA seems an organisation that is bereft of any good ideas. I was fascinated to read the newspaper piece about the proposed Hamilton to Tauranga expressway. No talk anywhere about the economic benefits, because most likely there aren’t any. The sole rationale seemed to be that it would save 1.5 lives per year. Maybe this figure is statistically insignificant – who knows? What is certain is by spending nothing the government could change the rules around drink driving and seat belt use and safe 100 lives.
    But politics isn’t about doing things, its about appearing to do things.

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