The Auckland Plan is the region’s long term vision and spatial plan. The first version was created in 2012 following amalgamation and it is required to be reviewed every six years, which is now. Today the Council are launching consultation on the revised plan, called Auckland Plan 2050, along with the latest 10-year budget.

There’s a lot in it to cover so for this post I’m going to start by looking at some of the transport section.

The transport section is divided into three directions which are supported by seven focus areas. These are:

  • Direction 1: Create an integrated transport system connecting people, places, goods and services
  • Direction 2: Increase genuine travel choices for a healthy, vibrant and equitable Auckland
  • Direction 3: Maximise safety and environmental protection
    • Focus area 1: Make better use of existing transport networks, including a greater focus on influencing travel demand
    • Focus area 2: Target new transport investment to the most significant challenges
    • Focus area 3: Maximise the benefits from transport technology
    • Focus area 4: Make walking, cycling and public transport preferred choices for many more Aucklanders
    • Focus area 5: Better integrate land-use and transport decisions
    • Focus area 6: Move to a safe transport network free from death and serious injury
    • Focus area 7: Develop a sustainable and resilient transport system

Probably my biggest criticism of the new plan directly relates to my post the other day about the need for a defined and quantified vision. Reading through the plan, it, like many other documents from the council or Auckland Transport sound fantastic but is not backed up by any solid targets for what the city should aim for. For example, it talks about needing to change how people travel but doesn’t say just what should be. Having an undefined and unambitious plan will be about as effective as not having a plan at all.

Much of the plan has come directly from, or been heavily influenced by the Auckland Transport Alignment Project. Given there’s already a review of that underway with changes in priorities likely, the plan will need to be updated to reflect that before being signed off.

Direction 1: Create an integrated transport system connecting people, places, goods and services

This section is all largely straightforward. There are two noteworthy parts though. The first is this schematic of the strategic road and transit networks. This appears just to be the two maps from ATAP smashed together and whilst each part isn’t new, I found that by presenting them together it does provide a useful context.

The second noteworthy part is mention of needing passenger services between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. It has its own page and if it sounds a lot like our Regional Rapid Rail plan, that’s because it its, complete with our RRR map and all. One part I quite like, is mention of that will be needed to make it successful. That’s because just chucking some old, slow trains on the route isn’t likely to have great outcomes.

For rail to be successful, it will require a substantial programme of investment that includes:

  • new, faster trains
  • completion of the City Rail Link to enable use of Britomart station by regional trains
  • track upgrades within Auckland (including a third or fourth main line on busy sections of track) to separate fast inter-regional trains from commuter trains
  • track and station upgrades outside Auckland.

Direction 2: Increase genuine travel choices for a healthy, vibrant and equitable Auckland

This is where things start to get more interesting. As the headline suggests, the plan talks more about needing travel choice, noting:

As Auckland grows it is essential that more people walk, cycle or travel by public transport. This will reduce pressure on our roads and free up room for freight and commercial travel.  More walking and cycling will also have significant health benefits through increased physical activity.

As mentioned earlier, there’s nothing to say what levels PT, walking and cycling should be. There is however this chart showing trips to the city centre over time. As you can see car use has remained about the same since 2001 whilst the overall number has increased and that increase has come from greater PT use. Current projections show non-car modes increasing significantly in the coming decades. But, these are projections, not targets.

As part of enabling more travel choices the plan notes that we’ll need to separate public transport from general traffic. It has a useful page on the success of the Northern Busway as a reference. It includes this point, something that should be pushed out to the public more.

The success of the busway has delayed the need for further harbour crossings, saving billions of dollars. It is so popular and effective that many services are becoming overcrowded.

This chart shows the Northern Busway and its forecast growth. It is already moving an increasing number of people and that it will continue to do so well into the future, surpassing 50% of people on a bus by the mid-2030s

The section also talks about how we’ll need to redesign our streets so they’re “about people and places, not just moving vehicles” which is good to see clearly defined.

Direction 3: Maximise safety and environmental protection

Auckland’s worsening safety record is called out, with deaths and serious injuries on our roads almost doubling since 2012.

Finally we see a plan in New Zealand mention Vision Zero:

Reversing this trend requires new approaches to safety. We should be guided by the ‘Vision Zero’ movement, which aims to eliminate transport-related deaths and serious injuries.

Focus Areas

The focus areas largely talk about the stuff above in more detail. One of the more interesting ones are these maps showing strategic road and rail networks as a map rather than a schematic and breaks projects down by when (roughly) what decade they’ll happen. It also shows where the major development areas are and as you can see, most are on or along a rapid transit line. The projects and timing of them are what came out of ATAP previously. With a new version of ATAP on the way, it will need to be incorporated into this document.

And the road map. It’s not clear why the Warkworth to Wellsford project ends in a paddock east of Wellsford.

Overall there are many things to like about this version of the Auckland Plan. However to me, the lack of any defined goals for how the city will be in the future is something the council need to address.

Submissions on it are open till March 28.

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  1. A PLAN is about actionable time bound steps towards defined goals. As you’ve clearly noted having the plan published ahead of the goals is putting the cart before the horse. This is probably why that road is planned to end up in a paddock east of Wellsford. It’s part of a defined goal that just hasn’t been shared yet.

  2. “We should be guided by the ‘Vision Zero’ movement”

    Shouldn’t it say “we will be guided by the Vision Zero movement”, or even “we will adopt vision zero”. This is a plan not a wish list right?

    I’m also unclear as to what makes our major roads and PT routes “strategic”. Safe cycleways to local schools could be just as strategic as a new motorway or rail line. Strategic does not have to mean big expensive and fancy.

    1. To be guided by ‘Vision Zero’ would mean having Focus area 1: Safety
      ‘Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society’
      Why the word “should” and have safety as focus area 6:

      If we look at Hamilton’s transport plan (planning from June 2017), there is not ‘should’ or ‘move to’
      The only number of deaths planned is ZERO.
      The priority in transport spending is SAFETY.

      1. A plan should have achievable, measurable targets (even if at a stretch). Planning to go from 64 road deaths to 0 is as achievable as planning to have everyone within 1 minute walk of rapid PT. Both would be fantastic, but both are incredibly unlikely to happen. If you plan an unachievable goal, you won’t put much effort in as you know you have lost before you start.
        Why not something like ‘halve the number of road deaths every decade’. Potentially achievable and measurable.

        1. But have we tried genuine measurable targets? The kind of ones the CEO of AT’s bonus is linked to? I doubt any CEO would link his bonus to 0 deaths!

        2. 0 road deaths is entirely achievable. Not necessarily next year, but this is a plan for 30 years. I’d be disappointed if there isn’t a single year in that period in which we achieve that.

        3. Here is some examples of success, Please note they are vision counts from dekra vision zero map, may be some miss counting.
          Cities with population of over 50,000 people with zero traffic deaths.
          Finland 2009=6, 2015=8
          Germany 2009=38, 2015=55
          Netherlands 2009=17, 2015=19
          UK 2009=47, 2015=64
          Poland 2009=4, 2015=10
          USA 2009=0, 2015=42

        4. Sailor boy: Achieving it for a single year is meaningless IMO.

          Peter H: I can’t see a single city over 400,000 people that has ever achieved zero deaths. We have 4x that. For smaller cities it is obviously possible – for really small cities its possible without even trying.

        5. “Sailor boy: Achieving it for a single year is meaningless IMO.”

          Auckland has 50 deaths a year. To get to zero in a single year, we probably need to be averaging less than 5 a year. Achieving zero in one year probably means a whole lot to the families and friends of the 90% of people saved.

        6. Zero deaths must be possible. You are fighting diminishing returns so it might require all of your transport budget, all of your education budget and maybe your health budget too. It must be possible. The real question is is it worth it?

        7. Even if we don’t end up with driverless cars, I think the technology used in their development will allow for collision avoidance systems that will mean zero deaths in 30 years time is probable not just possible.

        8. Agreed, once we get our road deaths down close to zero, we will start getting towards diminishing returns. Luckily we are nowhere near that stage so we don’t even need to ask the question yet.

        9. The shore wins in one aspect of the Auckland Plan. The goal to increase travel choices goes a bit like this.
          AT – “We are going to increase your travel choices by removing all the parking at your local shops”
          Customer – “So now I have to choose which distant shopping mall I will go to instead of using the local shops on my way past”

        10. Jezza – yes I think technology will probably get us there. By that theory we can achieve vision zero by doing nothing and waiting for technology to do the job for us (and in my opinion that is the only way we can achieve it).
          Isn’t it like a DHB setting a goal of 0 cancer deaths in 30 years, hoping that someone will find a cure to cancer?

        11. Jimbo – I agree. However, my point was that zero deaths is realistic, therefore the reasons people have raised for not adopting it are not valid.

          Therefore we should adopt it and use it as a way of driving down the number of road deaths in the interim. It is necessary anyway as I think the acceptance of this technology will require a change in mindset away from speed and towards safety.

        12. Jezza the reason to not adopt it is because I think it will be at the expense of shorter term realistic goals. If the DHBs had a goal (or even a mandate) to reduce cancer deaths by 10% every 5 years, they would probably do things like increase spending on detection. treatment, melanoma advertising, free sunblock, etc. But if the goal is to have 0 deaths in 30 years, they probably won’t be motivated to do much at all. Anyway maybe that’s just the way I think and set goals, each to their own…

        13. Perhaps that’s right, Jimbo, and it is just a personality thing.

          I’ll give you an example of someone for whom a possibly unrealistic goal is far better to set than small more realistic goals. I have an elderly member of my family staying for three months with me, treating the stay as a health camp to lose weight. (I’m not much of a cook, you see, but I make a mean garden salad.) He’s set a goal of getting from 112 kg to 87 kg. After two months, he’s down to 98 kg. He probably won’t get to 87 kg in the one remaining month, but previously trying to lose a kg or 2 every week didn’t work at all. He’d been trying that for 40 years. To attempt to lose 25 kg in three months, he has had to change attitude, diet and exercise levels, and maybe, just maybe, those changes will last after he’s left.

        14. “Isn’t it like a DHB setting a goal of 0 cancer deaths in 30 years, hoping that someone will find a cure to cancer?”

          No, it would be like a DHB setting a goal of 0 deaths from surgery errors.

        15. Zero deaths is the only acceptable target. It would probably be illegal under the HSWA to target anything else.

  3. Can someone explain the point of putting the Auckland Plan out for submission before the ATAP is revised? Just seems pointless, unless Council is looking for an outcry to give further strength to changing ATAP?

  4. That is a very negative projection for 2046 city centre travel. Only a 9% increase in public transport over thirty years? Surely the CRL will add this by itself, if not more, when opened?

    1. No – actual public transport usage is forecast to nearly double by 2046 (the length of the bar). It’s just the mode share that only increases by 9%, due to the overall number of trips growing.

      1. Yes, one of those lovely little modelling things NZTA gets so very, very wrong. They assume the trips will just increase, regardless of what they do… and then set about inducing traffic.

        1. There are 6tph running to Swanson in both directions all day. There are an additional 6tph running peak direction only (not sure how many hours these run). So yes the majority of services will run to Swanson.

  5. The depicted future strategic transport network is nowhere near good enough – there’s no strategic public transport on the whole North Shore except along the motorways and still nothing for Howick. It has to be much more comprehensive than this or we are just going backwards.

    1. You misunderstand. The North Shore and Howick were included in the super city to fund work elsewhere. They are intended as revenue centres not cost centres. The money gets spent in the centre and the isthmus. We can thank Rodney Hyde and the three numpties on his commission for that (remember the geriatric judge, the retired nurse and the planner nobody had heard of).

        1. The Shore and central government paid for a rapid transit line in one part of the Shore, no thanks to the rest of the region. Now they are taking our money to pay for anywhere else to have a better one. Just like the Shore residents paid for a wastewater plant to deal with growth for years to come. Now watercareless is building a trunk sewer to use it for West Auckland’s shit instead.

        2. North Shore City finished at lonely Track Rd. The only advantage to former NS people is a station at Rosedale and a reduction in delay to some existing bus users who get on at Albany. Minor. It wont change anything for 98% of shore people.

        3. From memory over 80 % of the original Northern Busway cost was paid for by central government. Given 33 % of taxpayers are from Auckland then it is fair to say a decent proportion was funded by Aucklanders from outside the North Shore.

          I would also anticipate a significant amount of money will be spent on improving this existing RTN route in the next 20 years in the form of converting to LR and building either a bridge or tunnel.

        4. Jezza North Shore people also pay their share of taxes so your argument is weak. We got a rapid transit system built cheap so that is achieved central government funding rules. Then they forced us to amalgamate, increased my rates by 38% (even allowing for the earlier regional rate) and cut services to us. Now not only do they get access to our taxes, they directly take money as rates and spend it on the centre on gold-plated projects.

        5. And we took over your stadium debt and busway payments when you amalgamated.

          The Shore is the only part of Auckland with a proper rapid busway and yet their hand is always out for rail or something else before anyone else gets the chance to catch up.

        6. The Shore owes us anyway, because the depression that sets in when visiting such a car-dependent area puts a huge toll on the Health System. Vrooom go the cars. And the people shop. At the malls. And Vroom go the cars again.

        7. Waterview? That was an NZTA project paid out of taxes. Not something people on that side built at their expense for us. As for the malls Heidi, you might be surprised to find out a large part of the trade at Albany mall comes from south of the bridge. People with very poor shopping options can get on the motorway and shop with plenty of parking 15 mins north. Same goes for Farro, same goes Bunnings and Mitre 10.
          A lot of shore people just get pissed off that the Council is set up to take from us and it puts very little back.
          As for the debt, yes they took the stadium debt, but they also took the stadium asset which is worth more than the debt.
          I know it is not a case of all our rates being spent to build your shit. Some go to reclad an office building the Council should never have bought but did because they are incompetent, but that is still a flow of money to the centre. The worst part is we will never get to break away because the people to the south will miss our money too much. But at least they could include some projects that help us.

        8. Gosh, is that so, mfwic? If I was on the Shore, I’d reduce parking at those malls quick to cut that cowardly southern custom. Or reduce the harbour bridge width and stop them there.

        9. I have no doubt you would Heidi. On this side of the bridge we see it as a win. Our solution is to increase the size of parking areas so that there is plenty of space for us to park and our southern cousins who suffer from reduced shopping choices. I mean it is hardly their fault that nobody built a mall near the older suburbs is it? And who are we to make the lives of others harder than they need to be? But that is how we are, sharing and caring people. Just stop it with all the rates please.

        10. “Waterview? That was an NZTA project paid out of taxes. ”

          By your own logic, you’d best stop your complaining about the busway then.

        11. So basically your beef is that you are from a wealthier part of Auckland thus have higher than average property values than other parts of the city and pay higher rates.

          You want to ringfence all the money within this wealthier part of the city and leave the south and west to fend for themselves. This despite a lot of North Shore money being earned in jobs located on the isthmus.

          Incidentally it must have been some interesting accounting that determined QBE Stadium is an asset. No one would want to buy it and it is a very poor earner.

        12. I’ve got a solution. The Shore pays lots of rates, apparently. But they don’t score particularly well on ethnic tolerance. The West is poorer and doesn’t pay much in rates. But they have the world’s highest rate of ethnic tolerance. Why don’t we use the rates money from the Shore to provide really good public transport from there to the West, and then send people from the Shore to the West each day to learn how to be ethnically tolerant? Win win. We get to use the strengths of both parts of town and everyone’s better off.

        13. Or maybe some of the people from out West could give classes on the Shore. So they could do some shopping while they’re there.

        14. and there goes Heidi playing the race card despite not a single mention of race in the comments she is replying to…. how is it up there on your high horse??
          Miffy does raise some points (not all necessarily correct). The Shore does pay a lot of rates and doesn’t get a hell of a lot back (yes it is generally wealthier so you would expect some distribution of this to other areas of course). The bus way is great for what it is. However for most people on the Shore it is either a long way away from them (especially since little has been spent on improving roads to/from the busway), takes too long to get to, or more commonly doesn’t serve their needs (the busway doesn’t do anything if you are going from Glenfield to Browns Bay, or Mairangi Bay to Devonport, or Albany to Birkdale etc). East Auckland and the North West are probably the only areas in Auckland that have a leg to stand on, the rest of Auckland has heavy rail nearby (as well as plenty of bus routes, bus lanes, cycle lanes etc).
          The North Shore quite possibly has the worst congestion per capita in Auckland (note per capita – we all know about the Southern “carpark” Motorway). The issue on the Shore is the lack of main arterial roads – there aren’t many of them and lack of bus/T3 lanes. Since Heidi is playing the race card then the Shore also has one of the highest rates of immigration from Asia (particularly China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong) and anecdotally they are more inclined to drive their children around to school etc than Kiwis (and often in large CO2 producing SUVs – BMW X5 is always a popular choice, but Range Rovers and Mercedes are also popular options).

        15. I would say that the places that always complain about having a low transport spend (e.g. the shore and east) actually have some of the highest spend (motorways, bridges, etc). And the places they complain about, the isthmus and city, probably have the lowest spend. I can’t recall a single major transport project on the isthmus in the last 30 years unless you count SH20. The city has only really had britomart and a few shared spaces.

        16. Sorry, AKLDUDE, no offence meant. I was just being silly because I don’t think you can really work out what people in one area get back from their rates or should be paying – it all depends too much on each particular person’s lifestyle. The ethnic tolerance things was a wild card to try to show the randomness of what each part of town offers.

          What opportunities are available to each person are not always so measurable. Some kids get to go to school on clean land; others have to put up with methane-producing landfill land that subsides and has sharp objects rising up through the school field. Some kids get to walk to school safely in a pleasant environment; others take their life into their hands and suffer noise, fumes, heat from the pavement and splash from the cars in a tree-less berm-less roadscape. Some get to swim in clean surf, others in industrial pollution.

          I think it’s far more useful to try to have a plan that acknowledges how efficiencies can be gained (eg through higher density) and how quality of living can be improved (eg through improvements in accessibility, environment and opportunities). Yes, I’m critical of capitalist consumerism and carbon-wasting lifestyle choices, but that criticism isn’t limited to the Shore.

        17. AKLDUDE – a lot of what you describe is actually as a result of decisions made before most of us were alive, and before the 1989 amalgamation, let alone the 2010 one.

          The lack of arterial roads in the North Shore for example well predates either amalgamation and is a planning issue. The presence of rail where it is is mostly related to decisions made in the 1870s and 1920s.

          Other issues are mostly local issues as well, the major road block to quality bus services comes from within the Shore such as the recent opposition to extending T3 lane hours and previous opposition to the Onewa bus station.

        18. “I can’t recall a single major transport project on the isthmus in the last 30 years unless you count SH20. The city has only really had britomart and a few shared spaces.”
          Of course you need to count SH20. So SH16 hasn’t been rebuilt and widened? The CMJ wasn’t rebuilt and widened and extended? Pink Path, Onehunga HR, bus lanes all over the place, pedestrianised streets, bike lanes, Britomart yes, HR Western Line double tracking, HR electrification, extended ferry terminal?

          All of those were of course needed and many benefit those outside of the isthmus too (just as projects outside the isthmus benefit isthmus residents also). The point is that there are several parts of Auckland that are poorly served by PT compared to the isthmus. Now don’t get me wrong, the isthmus is important as it will be one of the higher density places going forward (although it doesn’t look like the capital gains from these new investments is being charged against those property owners proportionally). What I am saying is that PT is needed to be improved in other areas also so that people don’t need to take the car, this will in turn mean less cars going into the isthmus too. A busway/LR (or even HR) line should be built between Constellation and Westgate along with the NW busway/LR (or HR even) line. The good thing (and especially now that Bridges and Porky are the leaders of National) is that we are likely to have at least 2 terms of not having National in power so hopefully AC/AT can get a bit more PT funding from the government. I do note that I read somewhere today that the AC actually made a significant surplus today? Hopefully that gets plowed into infrastructure.

        19. I wonder if Bridges would admit that the North Shore has a congestion crisis “for those it affects.”

        20. @ AklDude, I agree with most of what you have said, but one comment really grates with me:

          “A busway/LR (or even HR) line should be built between Constellation and Westgate along with the NW busway/LR (or HR even) line.”


          We can run a bus every 15 minutes along the motorway and build some stops at the interchanges and get 90% of the benefits of the busway. Then we can build (for example) a light rail line down Sandringham Road.

          A frequent bus service along SH18 and an LRT line down Sandringham Road is clearly a far better improvement for far more people than a busway along SH18 would be.

          Why would you choose the SH18 busway?

        21. Where is most of the development in Auckland happening? Is it in the NW quarter or is it along Sandringham Road – an area I note is currently already served by a LINK service.

          I’m prepared to wager more houses will be be built in Hobsonville Road this year than will be added to Sandringham Road in the next ten.

        22. The outer link passing over Sandringham Rd is about as similar to LRT down Sandringham Rd as Orakei Wharf is to a separated cycleway along Tamaki Drive.

          I agree the NW absolutely needs some priority here. I was appalled to hear yesterday that LR on the NW is considered a bit of a joke in AT, and won’t be happening anytime soon… After all, why would you do that when you could build Mill Rd?

        23. @Sailor Boy. The SH18 Busway/LR/HR comment was thinking about future investment. SH18 is actually getting pretty congested a lot of the time now (especially since Waterview has opened as people are using it as the WRR).
          I was thinking it would be good to build a busway (like the NEX or NWB when built) to connect the west with the shore. If a busway is being built then wouldn’t it just make sense to build it as LR in the first instance to save expense and disruption later on?
          The HR part was because I’m an HR fan as you know and the shore doesn’t have any HR – I was thinking if there was sufficient funding in place to build the NW RT as an HR line looping around to the shore along SH18 through to Albany (dreaming but that would be amazing).

          Not arguing that LR isn’t needed elsewhere but am mindful of doing a half ass busway job on SH18 after we have seen how successful the NEX has been (and a lot of the differences in price between bus lanes and LR are negated with an off-line actual busway where they are almost the same price).
          With the likes of Hobsonville only half complete and the future growth around the rest of the NW (plus more traffic using WRR once completed) SH18 is going to get quite busy (already most mornings it takes over half an hour from Greenhithe to Constellation and this is growing by about 3 minutes every year – add in another 1000+ people in Hobsonville and more from Whenuapai, NW etc and it will be blocked all the way back to Hobsonville if not further).

        24. Yes, AKLDUDE, the one good thing about the NWM widening is it’s been so apparent to so many people driving it day after day that things are only worse than ever. The demand out west for an alternative must surely be huge.

          Which is why I’m peeved if people in AT are trying to have the whole NW RT put on a back-burner.

        25. Huh, what? Last time I checked Greenlane is in the middle of the isthmus, and it has a rail station.

          Both the Shore and the isthmus have rapid transit. Neither of them is 100% covered.

        26. I disagree jj – no urban centre on the North Shore has a rapid transit station. On the isthmus there are many – Newmarket, Grafton, Mt Eden, Remuera, Kingsland, Parnell, Ellerslie, Morningside, Onehunga… compare those places with Browns Bay, Glenfield, Birkenhead, Takapuna and good luck trying to find the RTN stations near the northern ones!.

          I hope that the concept of equitable means an understanding has finally been reached that the rapid transit network should be expanded for everybody, not just for the isthmus which is already well served.

        27. Equitable doesn’t mean everyone gets the same access. That is equality, not equity.

          Equity would be building rapid transit where frequent transit is failing.
          That would be Dominion Road, where building RTN allows us to remove heaps of buses from the CBD quite cheaply allowing better services to areas that have to be served by buses.
          Equity would be building a southwestern RTN because the southwest has poor access to transport generally and is difficult to link to the RTN using feeder buses.
          Equity would be using frequent feeders to access the Northern busway because it’s cheap to do that, and serves the shore much better than much of the rest of the city is currently served.
          The isthmus will get lots of rapid transit because more than half of the jobs are there, and lots of trips pass through it.

        28. That might have more to do with historic urban planning on the North Shore than anything else, not really designed at all with rapid transit in mind.

          Inequitable would to expect the rest of Auckland to pay the large cost of rectifying this poor planning that happened long before amalgamation.

        29. The shore has rapid transit running through the centre and local buses and park and ride linking to it. Most of the train stations you mention are on the outer of the isthmus and not much use to anyone that doesn’t happen to live near them. I guess it depends on what you define as the isthmus, but I was more meaning the likes of Royal Oak, Three Kings, Mt Roskill, Onehunga (every 30 minutes is not rapid), Sandringham, Lynfield, Mt Eden (the train station is almost in the city), etc.

        30. Many areas in Auckland have similar spots away from rapid transit.

          In case of the North Shore, you’ll find that areas like Glenfield and Birkenhead are similarly far removed from any rapid transit. And there are no meaningful connections (current or planned) via local buses between those areas and the NEX.

          A look at that strategic network map should inspire at least some optimism if you happen to be in that particular spot on the isthmus.

          (btw. the definition of isthmus makes it easy to spot one on a map)

      1. How much population increase is projected for Howick to 2046? What intensification provisions were supported by its local representatives in the unitary plan?

        1. Retiring some flatulent local politicians might help, but not enough to justify priority investment ahead of other parts of the region.

        2. Sacha, to answer your question on the Unitary Plan, Howick has allowed for quite high density zoning in the future – much higher density than the area around Dominion Road. It’s a perfect place for a transit station!

        3. Hey Sacha, there’s a lot of intensification due in Howick, but even if there wasn’t it’s already the worst served area in Auckland for public transport. It’s a complete shambles, that auckland transport and central and local government need to fix. That’s their job.

          future strategic transport network with a blank space north of ti raku drive simply isn’t a solution that’s going to work

  6. Replying to Heidi – the timing of consultation on Council budgets is driven by statutory timelines: there is a requirement to have the LTP signed off by 30th June at the absolute latest so consultation needs to occur now (March) so that there is time to receive and digest feedback, give serious consideration to it, and make any necessary changes to the draft documents. It was originally intended to consult on everything (including the Auckland Plan Refresh) simultaneously rather than have a series of separate consultations spread over time (which might have lead to “consultation burnout” and consequently lower public involvement). Unfortunately for this cunning plan (although fortunately for Auckland), the change of government has allowed a major rethink of the GPS and ATAP which will take another month or two and no longer fits the proposed schedule of consultation – so consultation on many aspects of Transport planning has very recently been deferred until April – although the fuel tax will be dealt with now (a month of consultation starts today).

  7. Ok, so the Auckland plan has 6 outcomes, 20 directions and 36 focus areas. Most of them are vague, meaningless waffle…

    It’s like someone said: “We need a planning document so it looks like we are doing stuff and getting the public to provide input, but keep it vague/visionary so nothing specific is mentioned that we could be held to account for.”

    I’m sure the consultants were paid good money to produce this, but seems like basically more of the same with some tweaks around the edges.

    I think its a safe bet that the people designing and building the roads and what not have never read any of that and don’t intend to and will just continue BAU.

    1. You shouldn’t be so negative. 6 outcomes, 20 directions and 36 focus areas is still a hell of a lot better than the pile of dung they gave us in the first Auckland Plan.

        1. They first Auckland Plan did deliver us a major housing crisis, so that is one achievement for Brown and Hulse I suppose.

    2. Yeah i especially like “Focus area 2: Target new transport investment to the most significant challenges”

      In terms of describing what they plan Aucklands Transport system to look like, it’s about as useful as saying “Focus area 2: Don’t flush ratepayers money down the toilet”

      or the related “Don’t award contracts based on the largest kickback”

  8. The ‘schematic of the strategic road and transit networks’ compared to a map of Auckland is interesting. I learned that Westgate to Albany really is a much long distance than I had supposed. The planners have given up on a primary arterial road reaching Devonport. And my dream of putting the next million new Aucklanders into tower blocks built around a ultra high speed rail link to the CBD is postponed until at least 2050 and therefore I will never see it.

    Analysing “Increase genuine travel choices for a healthy, vibrant and equitable Auckland” – they may improve health but the reason people travel is rarely for their health but to get from one place to another. The word vibrant means very little except in council and government announcements where it means ‘this is what we want to do’; it also aggravates me badly – still waiting for a sign to my local vibrant cemetery. Doubt we will ever get bureaucrats to leave out unnecessary adjectives but at least every few years the buzz word of the moment moves on. Couldn’t find ‘superdiversity’ in this post and that is progress!
    ‘Equitable’ is interesting; I seriously doubt it will happen and it is debatable if “the fair and impartial distribution of resources” is part of the Council’s mandate; sounds like communism. However I will take it the council will be fair since that is the Kiwi way and of course our council is a democratic body where every voter however humble has a vote of exactly the same value. It is rather sad the council needs to tell us it is being equitable.

    “Maximise safety and environmental protection” related to the almost doubling of road deaths. It should be “Considerably improve” not “Maximise” since that could only be achieved by removing all travel or returning to the ‘man with a red flag’ walking in front of each car. I am sure there are factors relating to road design that affect road safety and I am pleased to see humps slowing down vehicles on many of my local roads but can someone with more knowledge explain how many road deaths are the result of bad road design and how many due to permitting young people (whose brains are still developing until they are 25) being permitted to drive? The only accident on my road was a few years ago: a young man from out west had a few drinks, stole a motorcycle and went up the hill on our wide road and simple forgot to turn at the bend and crashed into a brick wall killing himself and destroying the wall. It all happened on a wide, empty road. He must have been popular because there were many tributes to him written in marker pen on the remainder of the wall. This one crash proves not all deaths are the result of road design and lack of public transport. Maybe we should be educating our children differently?

      1. ‘Vibrant’ is a good word to describe all those who are not killed on our roads either by our council’s good road design or self-control tempering their urge for speed.

        For any members of our council PR department reading this try these synonyms: spirited, lively, full of life, full of spirit, high-spirited, energetic, sprightly, vigorous, vital, full of vim and vigour, animated, sparkling, coruscating, effervescent, vivacious, dynamic, flamboyant, electrifying, dazzling, stimulating, exciting, dashing, passionate, fiery, determined; peppy, zippy, full of beans, feisty. And for an alternative meaning of the word: quivering; pulsating.

        1. I suppose, Bob, a “good road design” is fine, until you put a weapon on it, piloted by a human. A “good transport design” on the other hand, doesn’t leave our safety up to the vagaries of each individual’s method of drowning their sorrows. So many parallels with the gun ‘debate’. We’ve always been reckless at times, and individuals have always taken their own lives through stupidity or sorrow. But society shouldn’t assist them to efficiently take so many innocent people with them.

        2. Heidi: any attempt to argue will make me feel like I’m identifying with Trump – replace lollipop ladies with ladies in hummers carrying light sabres? Describing a car as ‘a weapon piloted by a human’ reminds me that last night’s mince was ‘dead flesh chopped into little bits’.
          I should have mentioned that the errant drunk motorcycle thief came to a gentle left hand bend and chose to continue straight across the opposite side of the road, across a narrow grassed berm and across the pedestrian footpath before hitting the wall. It was an act of God that there was no innocent vehicle or pedestrian in his way. My point is that other than abolishing all motorised transport there will be accidents. In this case there was absolutely nothing our council could do to make that road safer at that location: lighting, surface and width all ideal.

          I am interested in whether this was a strange exception. Most accidents would have driver error, vehicle design and road design all as contributing factors to a greater or lesser degree. Our council’s plan wants to “Maximise safety” but they can only control one of those factors.

        3. Don’t mention Trump!! The reason I’m acting like a rottweiler at the moment is I’ve just held my tongue for a week while a young man in my extended family created havoc with his new persona of born again cyber currency dealing Trumpist and gun lobby supporter. I’ll be right again in a few days, once I’ve finished planting my leeks and carrots.

          You’re completely right. But the solution is in your comment. With just a set of bicycles to nick, that silly man would have lived to tell the tale, and be a whole lot better off for the experience, probably. Instead we have at hand these advanced machines, capable of doing so much good, changing lives for the better. But instead we use them for WHAT??? To move around a sprawling unpleasant paved-over degraded landscape, by burning up the fossils of millennia of life, screwing up the climate in the process, polluting, maiming and killing as we go.

          Do I think we need to move away from a car-based transport system? You betcha, Bob. For the love of everything I hold dear, including our sometimes silly young people, I absolutely do.

        4. “In this case there was absolutely nothing our council could do to make that road safer at that location: lighting, surface and width all ideal.”

          They could have made the road a lot narrower so that he couldn’t achieve those speeds. They could have blocked the road in the middle to create two cul de sacs for motorists. The could have pedestrianized the road. If the area is a trunk road they could have installed crash barriers.

        5. It’s a motorcycle. How narrow are you going to make a road so that motorcycles can’t speed on it? This website sometimes, good lord.

  9. I’d love to see a specific focus on improving roads as a space for local residents rather than through traffic.

    This might be prioritising people at the local shops over people driving through or prioritising cycleways that allow kids to get to their local over someone driving from Howick to Onehunga.

      1. Focus area 8: Nurture local active transport through priority changes especially for youth and education.

        Or Focus area 8: Grow youth ownership of local place and learning by prioritising active access. 🙂

        Sorry I’m getting silly… the other focus areas weren’t that bad.

  10. Where is the rail line from Swanson to Kumeu/Huapai? Amazing the lack of common sense and vision this plan demonstrates in taking advantage of an in-situ HR rail line. Maybe that would be too inconvenient for the light rail north west promoters who prefer waiting 20 to 40 years for their favoured PT scheme when sorting out HR could be a 1 to 2 year task.

  11. >•completion of the City Rail Link to enable use of Britomart station by regional trains

    So AT have allocated funding to pay the estimated 600K to renovate the ventilation??, because without it the chances of Kiwirail or anyone else running regionals (Diesels) to Britomart is Zero

    1. They have specifically linked to the Rapid Regional Rail proposal. This proposal calls for hybrid trains that run electric in Auckland and diesel south of Papakura/Pukekohe.

  12. What about the south west rail link from Pukekohe to Waiuku? Looks like the growing population of thesouth west are forgotten. Buses for next 30 years when there is already a well maintained rail line. Just perfect for a couple of these battery AT electric trains

  13. The problem with Councils in NZ is they lack the resources to independently carry through with their plans. Hence the need for buzz words etc

    1. Lack of resource? Council wastes so much money on the wrong things. More like lack of leadership, vision, meaningful action and always trying to please the loudest complainers.

    1. First it’s Leadership.
      When setting transport targets, the first question Hamilton city councillors ask was something like this
      “Are we allowed to set our own road death target or is this set by Regional council or Government or NZTA?”
      Answer from staff
      “It’s your plan, it’s your target, as elected officials you approve the number”
      6 Councillors voted for ZERO, 5 councillors voted for some people to die, because that’s what ever other council in NZ does.

      1. So six Councillors thought they would look good by setting a zero target without providing funding to ever achieve that. Five Councillors saw the stupidity of that approach. And you choose to characterise the ones who aren’t idiots as voting in favour of death.

        1. If only there were some way that we could reduce the mean. Perhaps setting a goal that implicitly requires reducing the mean would contribute to that….

        2. That is about as effective as setting a goal that you will win lotto.
          But for dishonest and daft politicians can’t lose. In half the years there will be fewer deaths than normal and they get to claim the credit for that. In the other half of the years the the number of deaths will be higher than normal. In those years they can say that people really need to be more careful and that it is nothing to do with them. But regression to the mean allows them to claim successes while disowning failure.
          If I ever become a politician I will certainly be pushing vision zero.

        3. “That is about as effective as setting a goal that you will win lotto.”

          That’s bullshit.

          It would be equivalent to me setting a goal of growing all of my own vegetables; it’s achievable, but a massive challenge. It’s impossible to do every year because rare and random events like cyclones would stop me from achieving it in some years.

          I won’t achieve it next year, but I can take steps. I could buy a chest freezer to keep any produce for longer. I could upgrade my composting system to reflect the use I’ll need. I could experiment with planting dates and crop types to increase yield. I could transfer some more lawn to crop production.

          All of these will increase the statistical chance of me achieving this.

          I can measure interim success by keeping a 60 month rolling total of produce purchases or road deaths. Because produce purchase and road deaths currently happen dozens of times a year, I can measure progress towards my goal. Unlike your comparison to lotto.

          Similarly if we wanted to achieve 0 road deaths on AT roads, we could install median barriers on high volume rural roads and roundabouts at high volume rural intersections. We could reduce speed limits (with supporting road design) on residential streets. We might then be 10% closer to our goal than we are now.

        4. And also, if we are aiming for a target of zero deaths, we have to understand the errors we have made in transport planning, and stop making them.

          We can reduce the road toll one year by improving certain stretches of road. But if we continue doing what we’ve always done – building new roads out to new suburbs inducing more traffic throughout the city, and consigning more people to long, tiring commutes in areas too spread out to allow good PT, the road toll will just keep on rising again.

          Vision Zero offers something far better than incremental improvements – it requires a complete rethink.

        5. The councillors first question was can the target be what we want.
          Now that they have set a target to equal Hamilton 2001 road deaths of zero and have prioritised safety project ahead other projects.
          Will the NZTA fund projects that put ‘Life and health before other benefits within the society’
          6 leaders voted to try, 5 voted for business as usual

        6. Easy for London and Hamilton to say though thay don’t have to worry about rural roads.
          With 80% of deaths occurring on rural roads and a transport thingie not willing to spend any more than pittance on inadequate maintenance, any claim to zero anything is lies.

        7. Hamilton does have rural roads, but note: none have a speed limit of over 80km/h
          The elected officials have set 80km/h as the optimum maximum speed within Hamilton
          This is what majority of councillors believe is reasonable & practical

        8. Oh come on Peter, I think we all know there’s a vast difference between Auckland and Hamilton in this respect.

        9. mfwic, pretty cynical towards vision zero. The road system designers of the last decades are responsible for the disgraceful death toll on our roads. I’d rather give the vision zero proponents a chance than continue to rely on the “experienced advice” of long time traffic engineering experts/professionals advocating for acceptable death tolls.

          Even if proponents fail in achieving zero deaths each and every year I doubt they will cause more harm than continuing with business as usual where it’s OK to kill a few people each and every every week so we can save a couple of minutes on vehicle trips.

          Transport system design isn’t a holy war, there is no greater good being served by continuing to send people to their slaughter on the dark fields of asphalt.

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