Today the Auckland Transport board meet again and as usual, here are the highlights from the papers.
Like last month, there is little of interest on the closed agenda. The only thing worth noting is it appears we’re soon to hear more about the plans for the transport networks in the greenfield growth areas that were consulted on last year. This from the items for noting
- Supporting Growth Alliance: Public Launch of Board approved Network
Here are the most interesting updates from the main business report. These are in the order they appear in the report.
AT always list in the report any procurement being undertaken or contracts issued for greater than $2 million. This time they note the project below. I’ve since learnt it relates to the new bridges over the motorway at Northcote Rd as for some reason they weren’t able widen the existing road bridge to accommodate the cycle lanes. It would be nice if it meant cyclists and pedestrians could avoid the motorway interchange completely and not have to cross all the on and off ramps but I can’t see how that would happen without detours.
Northcote Safe Cycle Route Stage 2 (Bridge Construction) – This procurement is for the physical works of the required bridges and includes, but is not limited to: utility services work and relocations, construction of two bridges, cycle and pedestrian signalisation, construction of the connecting paths, modifications to the Smales Farm entranceway and landscaping works.
The analytics report is one of the most interesting parts of the board report – although it can sometimes be hard to tell how much of it is effectively a tech demo and how much is going to become part of ATs regular tools. This month they say
The implementation of red light running analytics utilising existing camera infrastructure is complete, and eleven sites are in operation. Twentyfive further sites are planned for a progressive roll out of new cameras and analytics between May and November 2019. To provide the highest possible accuracy of detection of red light runners, AT Business Technology have deployed an improved solution that uses an input direct from the traffic controller, which is implemented at the new Morningside Drive / St Lukes Road site. Three further sites will have cameras installed in June with analytics built by the end of June. The analytics will detect both vehicles and buses.
AT has also built and refined speed detection analytics using a single CCTV camera on Grafton Bridge. The refinements have improved accuracy dramatically from 65% to 95%. The use of a single camera in the Auckland Transport speed detection system is different to the conventional way of using radars to detect speed. Single camera CCTV analytics is significantly cheaper and quick to deploy. This means the solution could be rolled out across wider Auckland and would collect enriched data. Grafton Bridge is the first trial site.
Having Auckland-wide information on speeding would be invaluable in helping to understand the scale of the problem and the effectiveness of interventions.
If you’ve been noticing a lot of raised tables being installed recently, this is part of a project called Mass Action Pedestrian Improvements. AT describe it as:
MAPI is a component of the high risk urban programme which improves safety by focusing on constructing raised tables at existing pedestrian crossings.
One of the concerns we’ve had for some time is that some of the most delayed projects are the cycleway ones. Notably, It’s been more than six months since the last cycleway project was completed (Ian McKinnon Dr) and nothing has started in that time. Thankfully it appears things might finally be starting to move in the right direction again with a number of projects at or close to the construction phase. As well as the Northcote bridges mentioned above we have
K Rd – contract has been awarded and construction starts late June/Early July
New Lynn to Avondale – the main works tender is in the market and construction on the new bridge over the Whau start in October.
Takami Drive to Ngapipi – About to go to tender for construction
On Street LPR
AT are looking to use licence plate recognition on a car to help improve parking enforcement. They say it’s still going through a testing and pilot phase but assuming that goes well, they will start to trial it with the first phase of that being to monitor residential parking zones and phase two being on street paid parking.
In the list of items relating to bus services, these ones stand out. The service rationalisation could be interesting and we’ll be watching to ensure it doesn’t mean cutting any frequent routes back.
- A strategic review of bus routing in the city centre is nearing completion, targeting solutions that remove the number of buses terminating in the city centre, to reduce pressure for on-street bus stops and layovers.
- A number of service changes are being made in August and September 2019. These focus on:
- service rationalisation on poor performing routes to improve on-going operational expenditure
- some capacity improvements to address known issues on routes 755, 70, 75, 105, 101, 27 and Onewa Rd services
- diversion of 134 services to serve Williamson Avenue
ATs rideshare trial continues to underwhelm with just over 90 trips a day in April and a total since launch of almost 10,400 till the end of April.
Integrating Ferry Fares
With the council approving funding to provide integrated fares for ferries, AT say:
Work is commencing on the development of ferry fare integration into the broader PT fare structure based on Council preliminary development funding approval. This would see single zone land-side bus/train travel incorporated into the existing ferry fare price. Council has also approved preliminary funding for free PT for 5 – 15 year olds on weekends and public holidays from September 2019.
This gives an indication of what we can expect in the future. One item we’re likely to hear about in coming months is something called “Park and Ride Integrated Development“. This is likely related to a story we saw late last year suggesting AT were looking at developing P&R sites, including potentially awful options like this at Constellation station.
Statement of Intent
The board are due to sign off their next Statement of Intent – which is essentially that they plan to do over the next year or so. I haven’t gone through it but I did notice this in the letter from the Mayor/Council.
Managing the impacts of the transport system on the environment
The new emphasis on emissions reductions is positive and council supports the inclusion of the new measures. It is positive how Auckland Transport is working with other members of the council family to help develop and implement the Auckland Climate Action Plan and supporting water quality and environmental outcomes (both in renewals and new builds).
The transport system is also a major contributor to water quality issues. Acknowledging that there are only certain aspects Auckland Transport can directly control, the statement of intent should include a commitment to work with council on measuring the impact of the transport network on water quality.
Longer term, the council is interested in how to decouple vehicle kilometres travelled from population growth (as noted in the draft SOI) and how to continue the mode share shift regionwide, but especially in the city centre and city fringe areas, to reduce vehicle numbers allowing developing of the Access for Everyone programme.
This is notable as it’s the council pushing for these changes, not “an ideologically driven group of anti-car bureaucrats” like a certain mayoral candidate has suggested.
Let me know if the comments if there’s anything important you’ve seen that I’ve missed.