Over the last few years, Auckland Transport have increasingly become the go to political pinata by those looking to score some quick headlines – if you don’t like something about Auckland, blame AT. They’re accused of all sorts of things, from not listening to the public all the way to being ideological bullies waging a war on cars to force people out on to bikes and public transport.

Most of the complaints appear to be a fear of even the most modest change. So I thought I’d put together a list of just some of the things AT would be doing if they were seriously trying to change transport in Auckland and even remotely living up to the hype.

Parking

Parking is one of the biggest levers AT have to changing how people get around the city. It can also be one of the most contentious. Heidi wrote last week about the need for less parking.

So what would AT be doing about parking if they were really trying to effect change?

On-street parking

There is a huge amount of demand on our street space and the reality is not everything can fit within our road corridors. AT need to prioritise that space based on a clear hierarchy of uses. On our arterials, the safe and efficient movement of people, particularly those on buses and bikes, is far more important than the provision of on-street carparking, so an AT looking to really change Auckland would focus on this. This would require AT to become more bold with how they deal with parking, as at the moment they’ll publicly consult on the removal a single carpark, even when it’s to improve safety.

Charging for Park & Ride

Park and Ride can be a hot topic and there are frequent calls for a lot more of it to be built. As we’ve talked about many times before, P&R is useful in some situations but can be very expensive to provide for not all that much extra public transport usage. If AT were serious about better managing P&R, one of the first things they’d be doing is looking to introduce charging for some or all of those P&R carparks. This would both help manage demand and maybe the funds raised could go to helping fund improved alternatives ways for people to reach those stations, such as better feeder buses or bike lanes etc.

Albany Park and Ride where another 135 carparks have just been added to the existing 1100 shown

AT’s own parking strategy says they will look to price P&R both when additional capacity is provided or “once demand consistently exceeds the 85 percent occupancy threshold capacity during the morning peak” and yet despite recently adding new and increasing existing park and rides, there is still no suggestion it will ever happen.

Enforcement

There’s not much to say here other than an AT looking to make a difference would be out and about cracking down on bad parking, cries of revenue gathering be damned. This would particularly be where safety issues are involved such as parking on footpaths.

Cycleways

The building of cycleways is one of the most frequently cited examples of ATs supposed hatred of cars. Yet for all the noise about them, the roll out of new cycleways has been painfully slow. Some of the key reasons for this have been due to the cost of building them increasing, as AT try to do everything they can not to impact cars, and hiding and delaying anytime anyone complains.

To put things in perspective, Auckland has over 7500km of roads of which almost 5,000km are urban roads – a number has been increasing by 50-100km per year as new suburbs spring up. By comparison there are only just over 300km of cycleways and most of those will consist of nothing more than a line of paint on the road or a shared path. What’s more, AT are targeting to build just 10km of new cycleways a year.

So what would AT be doing if they were really trying to effect change?

Rapid roll out

One of the first things AT would be doing would be to rapidly roll out bike lanes to all arterial roads in Auckland. This would be done by removing car parking and even car lanes if needed. An example of this happening is in Seville, which went from a network of next to nothing, to having over 180km of protected cycleways in just a few years, including rolling out over 80km in the first 18 months. Mode-share of bikes has increased from near zero to about 10%.

Streetfilms have made a great video explaining how it was done.

Getting a rough but extensive network in quickly is the key to this approach. Not everything will be perfect, but details can be improved over time. As we’ve started to see in Auckland, the critical thing is getting the network in place. Of course these days it won’t just be bikes that will be using them but all sorts of small electric movement devices too.

Other cities to try the rapid roll out approach have included Calgary and Edmonton – although not to the scale of Serville.

Bike Parking

Along with more bike lanes, one thing that is really needed to improve integration with public transport is more bike parking. At most of our train and bus stations you’re lucky to get more than a few unprotected racks. The image below is of the Smales Farm busway station. It has more bike parking than most but as you can see, is completely exposed.

Along with bus/train stations and ferry terminals, much more on street bike parking is needed. An AT looking to make a change would be quickly rolling out bike parking in place of some existing car-parks in town centres all over Auckland.

Public Transport

AT have been successful at changing our bus networks in Auckland and are seeing good results from it but Auckland still lags far behind many  our comparator cities. To get more people out of their cars and on to public transport here are a couple of things AT should be doing.

Bus Lanes now

One of the biggest things we can do to make buses better is to make them both more reliable and faster and the best way to achieve that is with more and better bus lanes. Like with cycle lanes above, this would come as a priority above parking and car lanes. As I’ve talked about a bit recently, AT currently have a project to do this on some of our busiest bus routes but I worry it’s currently on track to take many many years to implement. Like with the above, if AT were really living up to the hype they’d be getting out the cans of paint and implementing most of this almost overnight and coming back to fix some of the detail later.

Cheaper Fares

This one is admittedly a bit out of ATs direct control as they require funding from both the Council and NZTA but an agency that was serious about getting more people on public transport would be much more actively looking at ways to help improve our fares.

Safety

Improving safety is now the top priority for AT and yet like with bus and bike lanes, safety improvements get dragged through arcane consultation processes. Even though we’re repeatedly told that these processes are about discussing the issues and not a referendum, AT inevitably seem to fall back to the numbers and how many people submitted for/against each outcome. They even look to be wavering on one of their key safety initiatives as they’re scared of the political response during an election.

Once again, an agency that was serious about safety would at least be rolling out temporary safety improvements immediately then coming back to deliver on more permanent solutions.

There’s a lot more that I could cover in here shows that if AT were seriously living up to the hype, they’d be doing a lot more. In light of what some other cities are doing they look positively timid and the impression I get on most issues is they’re so busy trying to find a compromise that they end up appeasing no one.

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120 comments

  1. One major change AT could make would be to increase the frequencies of trains on rail network so they at least meet their own definition of a rapid service layer, the ostensible core of the new network. The current off-peak/weekend frequencies militate against the foundational principles of the new network. But pig-headedness prevails at AT, an ugly mix of institutional conservatism and hubris.

    The same could be said of its approach to all-door boarding. AT is currently designing new buses with narrow rear doors when, surely, one of the benefits of contactless travel cards is the ability to speed up boarding and hence journeys?

    1. The rail network is still a work in progress, even the current frequencies are often not deliverable. There’s very little point in increasing weekend frequencies when some or all of the lines are out of action every second Sat/Sun. You have to walk before you can run.

  2. I’d add reducing dwell times on rail and bus services.

    Cheaper fares == less service. Not necessarily a change for the better, unless discounts are targeted to price sensitive groups.

    1. Yes, they seemed to have given up on the trains ridiculously long dwell times. Compared to Wellington or the DMU’s and SA’s they are a mockery.

      1. Have just been in Perth where the Mandurah Line seems to be operated by trains that are suspiciously similar to Auckland’s CAF trains. Except the dwell times are much shorter – in particular, when the doors close, the train leaves. Almost immediately. No need for a signal from on-board staff. Actually, what staff?

        I do like the fact that there are indeed human staff aboard Auckland’s trains. But let’s not allow them to slow down the system.

        If you want to see short dwell times, try the Moscow Metro. Hesitate and you’re waiting for the next train. But that’s only 90sec away, so just chill!

  3. On parking enforcement I agree. AT do not have a bottomless pit of enforcement staff but I do think ticketing cars/vans/trucks blocking footpaths is a priority, not 10 minutes over on a meter and failure to pay a tax (expired rego). Poor bloody pedestrians have to compete with shit paths, overgrown hedges, e -scooters, bikes and builders. Having to walk on the road so some arsehole can park that much closer to their villa doesn’t cut it.

    Similarly bus lane monitoring is a must. They do not work properly if there is a hint that the rules can be ignored! Example; Onewa Rd’s T3 lane in the evening is routinely rendered inoperable by morons who simply do not know the road rules and who park and fully block the T3 lane about halfway up opposite the Z station outside the liquor store so they can get their alcohol hit on the way home. FFS, how hard is it to park around the next corner?? Still no consequences means it’s a thriving problem.

    1. It would be great if they enforced no parking on footpaths on John St in Ponsonby, so parents with small kids in push chairs didn’t have to walk down the middle of the road. Currently the footpath is blocked by cars all day every day.

      1. You shouldn’t have to, Brendan, because AT’s responsibility is to provide a safe network, and failing to enforce this is failing in their duty, but how would you like to do a stint of reporting them? If you were up to it, you could experiment with reporting one car, and seeing if they respond – and if they then ignore all the other cars. And try reporting several cars, and seeing if that’s more likely to get them to respond. And the other thing would be, would they stop responding if they’ve done it a couple of times, on the basis that other parts of the city need attention too. It would be fascinating to know.

        Let me know, and I might make the effort to try a stint in Pt Chev and see if they treat our areas differently, too.

  4. What is actually rubbish is their communications. AT completely stuffed things up in Mt Albert shops by poorly managing not only the contract, but also the public communication. The footpath widening was for double decker buses, but 90% of the population there thinks it was for a cycle lane. The green paint could have waited until the buses were established. AT’s cockups will have political consequenses.

    1. Beaumont Street by Victoria Park was narrowed for double decker buses, but there was no communication about this, and the end result is narrow lanes which are more dangerous for cyclists and buses/trucks now drive partially on the painted flush median barrier which creates an extra hazard for pedestrians crossing the road.

      Too bad they didn’t use the money to improve the bumpy foot path on Beaumont St opposite Victoria Park instead.

  5. Perhaps we too could live in a society where people are not consulted. AT could just do anything they liked. All they would need is a puppet police force armed with batons, pepper spray and some water canons firing blue dye at people. But just think of how good the public transport would be and how shitty the parking could be.

    1. You mean like those dictator ran Countries like Denmark as provided in the example? You know many, many well loved Cities including big ones like New York carry out tactical Urbanism very successfully. I don’t think you’re as funny as you think you are Miffy, sorry to say.

    2. We do, miffy. Projects go ahead without consultation, like optimisation to increase traffic volumes. They only need consultation if they impact on driver amenity.

      Anyway, can’t you get your head around how undemocratic their consultation is, and start making some jokes about that?

      1. My experience of AT’s consultation is that it is very democratic.
        They ignore everybody equally and just press on with whatever the hell they were always going to do.

        1. Yeah, but you’ve said that joke before, and it’s not based on any particularly keen observation.

          Look instead for some jokes in the sheer number of important things they consult about, and the bias of who in society has time to submit about so many things. Look for some jokes in the traffic flow projects that don’t have to be consulted on at all, and in the number of times things that improve safety have to be consulted on. Look for some jokes in how they’re using the results – they respond with a risk-averse carefully-worded response to each and every concern, which takes them literally months, delaying improvements they have a legal obligation to provide, and then don’t even say what they’ve decided to do!!

          Or find some humour in the projects that they decide not to proceed with because there was a small number of people who opposed.

          And the very fact that they know it’s not a referendum, and couldn’t possibly be canvassing the whole diverse population, is missing the critical step of ensuring the outcome improves equity instead of improving things for the already privileged, yet AT then start counting numbers for and against. Sometimes when they haven’t even asked if you’re for or against, too.

          It’s so far from best practice, it seems designed to prevent change. Get on board and start witticising for the good of the children, miffy.

        2. Miffy does have a good point, which is not being addressed by the rest of you: Hong Kong does have a superb public transport system (MTR underground, buses, double-decker trams, public escalators on steep streets, vast network of endless minibuses to every corner of the territory, and a plethora of red and green taxis). It is seriously good. And probably completely done without any public consultation. There is something good about a benign dictatorship…

        3. OK Heidi if you really must discuss the serious issues, the key problem is that transport is a political act in a way that providing fresh water or taking away people’s poo away isn’t. Rodney Hyde and Mark Ford didn’t understand that when they set up the Auckland Council and AT. Transport has winners and losers. The normal way to deal with that situation is to make use of democracy and have elected people to provide representation for the minority while trying to please or (appease ) the majority.
          AT doesn’t provide that service to the public because the were set up specifically to not provide that service. They were set up to do what a few rich people thought was required. When that failed they ended up talking about doing things as an alternative to actually doing them. You have to agree they are really good at the talk.
          But so long as transport exists outside of the reach of elected people we will always have the same old shit. A transport organisation talking about what they would like to do without honestly mentioning the downsides and public deeply suspicious of anything they try to do. The whole problem isn’t helped by the aggressive type of people they had at the top of AT who put pressure on their managers to delivery something even if it was the wrong thing. I met the previous boss, he was the sort of person who could see nine wrong things and one right one and he would smash the right one.

        4. Is the public “deeply suspicious of anything they try to do” or is it just a narrow elderly demographic with too much time on their hands who think the world stopped once they bought their house?

        5. Zippo you really need to be wary of dismissing opinions that are different to your own by labelling people to make them seem worthless. Academics have specialised in that process for years and then were genuinely surprised when those same people, who then kept their opinions to themselves, voted on mass for popular causes like Brexit or even Trump. Labelling to shut people up doesn’t actually advance society it just polarises it. It is worse than me entertaining myself calling people who don’t like cars numpties, because you seem to believe the labels, I just do it to throw the same shit back at people.

    3. Alt right fantasist back at it again with his conspiracy shit coopting struggle he could never stomach. The real revolt is people who would not need cars and parking if rags like you didn’t mandate it to be put above facts for your own convenience because change is too hard at your big age. Clock is ticking for all of us

  6. – treat the city centre like it’s changing now and not in 30 years
    – stop acting like retailers have any more rights than a pedestrian who ‘doesnt go in this shop anyway’ when it comes to onstreet parking
    – consider their paid services from a user perspective once in a while
    – stop focusing on draconian penalty for fare avoidance and focus on getting more fares by attracting users
    – red light cameras/ speed management / road pruning

  7. “Cheaper Fares

    This one is admittedly a bit out of ATs direct control as they require funding from both the Council and NZTA but an agency that was serious about getting more people on public transport would be much more actively looking at ways to help improve our fares.”

    Yes and no. AT could decide to reallocate the money they have. In two years AT spent $160 million on capital spending for roads and renewal of roads. Using this money to substantially lower the price of monthly passes would greatly encourage people to use public transport all day/everyday. More people using PT (or active modes) then less money needed to be spent on roads – a virtuous cycle.

  8. “due to the cost of building them increasing as AT try to do everything they can not to impact cars”

    That is not at all true, zero consideration is given to not impacting cars.

    In terms of cost however: Based on the current standards when you want to build a new road bridge, 6.4m is provided for general traffic (the majority of users) and 10m is provided for walking an cycling.

    1. Are those standards very new, Richard?

      Here’s a new road bridge: https://www.google.com/maps/@-36.9014547,174.7197565,3a,60y,186.6h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s7Ra8ThZVxpSXAamZ9-5X-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

      It’s so new there’s no google view I can take the measurements from – you’ll probably know the standard it was based on, but it looks like 8 – 9 m for general traffic and perhaps 5m for walking, with nothing for cycling.

      If they’ve changed the standards so that this sort of thing won’t be built anymore, that’s great. The point of this post, I guess, is to ask what AT would be doing to speed up reallocation of existing streets to a better standard, like the one you’ve quoted. Until cycling has a network and places are walkable, many people will still drive. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fix the poor built environment that’s giving people such poor choice.

      1. That bridge is based on the designs standards from back in 2010 or so and was what AT wanted at the time. It was designed to tie into the roads either side of it. It would have been rather silly, and potentially dangerous, to add some cycle lanes across a bridge that went nowhere.

        To future proof for cyclists however it has 3m footpaths each side that could be converted into shared use paths if AT ever decided to add some to the road.

        The flush median is only there because there was one either end of the bridge. If there were no existing flush median it would have never been built.

        The standards I’m referring to are the current ones for projects that will be getting built in the future. They see about 60% of the cost being spent on about 5 to 10% of the users depending where it is. The provision for peds and cyclists is somewhat nice, however its strange how the road component is so small its a hazard for most users.

        1. I hope you understand, though, that the reason people aren’t cycling and walking is 60 years of not catering for them, and that this needs to be corrected? Your comment makes you look like you think our current infrastructure has had no part to play on the current unhealthy modeshare figures.

        2. This is rather off topic as I was talking about cost and how zero consideration is given to the impacts on cars, however:

          There are many reasons why people choose to not walk or cycle, some of this is due to inadequate infrastructure (in terms of cycling as you can pretty much walk everywhere), however the larger factor is likely that its much faster to drive due to geographic reasons (i.e you can drive somewhere in 30mins that would take you 6 hours to walk or 2 hours to cycle.

          I’m all in favor of letting people get anywhere safely in any standard mode, however this doesn’t mean each mode needs to be provided for in the exact same space.

        3. There are many factors involved in walkability. The existence of a footpath does not provide walkability. Auckland has a deficient walking environment.

          Cycling is generally faster than driving on the isthmus, but would you send your 8 year old off on a bike in most areas? Most parents wouldn’t, due to the lack of safety, not due to the distance.

        4. There would be very few situations where cycling would be faster than driving if you’re comparing things on an apples for apples basis. Generally cycling would only work out faster if its a short trip, its hard to park near your destination and you can take shortcuts. Otherwise its most likely congestion that is making cycling faster.

          Note: By making the above observation I’m not saying its inherently bad.

          In regards to my kids walking or cycling to school, I think this all depends on what type of parent you are and where you live. Where I live walking to school would be the fastest and safest way to go, however other parents will decide they don’t want their kid at that school because decile level and they will decide to drive their kid to some school 10-20km away. Other parents will drop them off because they don’t trust their child or are worried they will get lost or kidnapped.

          If you take the schools at Hobsonville Point for example, they should be super easy and safe to walk or cycle to, however many parents will likely drive for other reasons.

        5. Of course it’s congestion that slows down the traffic and makes cycling faster. That’s one of the consequences of a space inefficient mode.

          I wasn’t talking about school. I was talking about all the things kids might want to go to. The library in Parnell that has the book they want to read, and they don’t want to wait for it to arrive at their local library. The festival that’s on in Mt Roskill. The specialist shop for their hobby in Onehunga. The cousin in St Johns. For fit kids, these distances are no problem. The danger is the problem.

          Spending our resources on roads for driving instead of on sustainable, healthy modes has created an unsafe, unwalkable city without a cycling network and a lot of people are paying a high price for it, especially our children.

          We can change it. We just have to reallocate, and reallocate fast.

        6. I think it really comes down to location.

          For the majority of the city its super easy to walk anywhere, and even on-road cycling is rather easy. Personally I think it should be legal to bike on footpaths (with a 10km/h speed limit) to allow for kids and social cruisers.

          The main trouble spots seem to be the older parts of the city like the CBD and arterials, for example Great South Rd has one general traffic lane each way, a bus lane each way, and then a footpath with next to no space left behind for cyclists. Places like that are rather hard to improve. To a similar extent, places like Ponsonby have very little off-street parking provisions and it would likely be next to impossible to build a carpark building and so its a little tricky to try and improve things.

        7. Yet improve things we must. And we can look to the cities that have not had to resort to building carparks.

          You didn’t respond about how kids are supposed to do long distance trips within the isthmus – only vkt reduction and protected cycleways will achieve that.

          Low traffic neighbourhoods, cycleways on the arterials, quality PT options, reallocation of carparks to better land uses, quality density, and road capacity reduction will bring access and quality transport options to all.

          Continuing to try to build capacity for driving will do the opposite.

        8. “Continuing to try to build capacity for driving will do the opposite”

          Hold on a moment, who said anything about building driving capacity? Sure we need to do that in some places, but in a great many places we don’t.

          In terms of kids, or anyone else, wanting to get around the isthmus. My preference is to make a series of easy to navigate and easy to ride green routes for walking and cycling that primarily use the side roads (with traffic calming). Just imagine it to be like another layer of arterial roads only closer spaced and for pedestrians and cyclists only. The key is to make them easy, fast and pleasant.

          The reason for avoiding the arterial roads is that they simply don’t have the space to provide a suitable quality for everybody. Unless you’re looking to buy all the land on one side of the road.

        9. Your AWHC design adds capacity, as I pointed out.

          For cycling, you need to ask a cycling network specialist, Richard. That’s the opposite of what they advocate. Asking people to navigate their way across backstreets is showing that you’ve not been listening to people who cycle. What you’ve suggested is the classic second class solution that is terrible for wayfinding and prevents people who cycle actually having access to all the amenities on the arterials. The quiet back streets need to become cycling friendly, for sure, with lower speeds and lower traffic volumes. But they’re not going to get that without both low traffic neighbourhoods and a vkt reduction programme.

          The arterials simply don’t have the space to continue to have to provide so much space for the space-inefficient mode. They certainly have the space to provide the modes we know we need to prioritise, for health and sustainability.

        10. Again you getting back in the “car = bad” territory.

          Improving traffic flows on the motorway network doesn’t mean every side road in the country will become inundated with traffic.

          “What you’ve suggested is the classic second class solution that is terrible for wayfinding and prevents people who cycle actually having access to all the amenities on the arterial”

          This comment makes me wonder if you even read what I wrote. Like how do you possibly arrive at the above conclusion when I said the following:

          “easy to navigate and easy to ride green routes”
          “The key is to make them easy, fast and pleasant.”

        11. I possibly arrive there because I’ve been involved in trying to design “easy to navigate and easy to ride green routes” in the back streets, and I’ve discussed other projects with other people who’ve struggled in the same way.

          Retrofitting Auckland after the car deluge is tricky, but we don’t have to keep making the same mistake of thinking we can keep the direct routes for cars and making active modes take the long way around.

          And again, you’re putting words in my mouth. I’m not saying cars are bad. I’m saying the level at which they dominate our city is bad, and the level at which people are dependent on them is bad. Once we’ve established safety and amenity for the other modes, driving will be easier too, and people will be able to choose whichever mode is most appropriate.

        12. ‘To a similar extent, places like Ponsonby have very little off-street parking provisions and it would likely be next to impossible to build a carpark building and so its a little tricky to try and improve things.’

          You’ve summed up the problem with Auckland planning quite nicely there, the assumption that for things to improve Parking must remain as if, if not expand. Rather than focus on what can be done to improve other modes to allow for a balanced mode share. Especially considering we have supposedly declared a climate emergency…

          Note – Ponsonby Central, the organic market are ironically building a few levels of underground parking. So your statement isn’t quite true. Whilst I don’t particularly think its a great idea, at least this business is providing car parks for it’s customers rather than rate and tax payers paying for our road network to supply people with a place to store their private property.

        13. “And again, you’re putting words in my mouth. I’m not saying cars are bad.”

          It’s hard to not see it that way, you disagree with my idea for the harbour crossing because it removes the health and safety issues related with the movable barrier because it may restore the option someone to drive from one side of the harbour to the other.

          In regards to making green arterials; sure it may not be super easy, however your past experiences may be bad due to being limited to a shoe string budget. I’m sure with the right level of commitment and a bit more money you could easily make routes that are faster, safer and much more desirable.

        14. Countdown also has a quite flash looking parking garage over there. Also, even in the CBD companies have no problem building more parking.

          The main problem with building it I would say is that while people want parking, they do not want to pay for it so that parking building would not have a good business plan. And part of the problem is exactly that AT allows parking all over the road.

          What if we really have to pay for parking → then if it is worth bothering to go to Ponsonby, people will pay for it. You’ll get used to that.

        15. I was talking to a civil engineer who was contracting to AT for connected communities project and he was looking after great south road, pretty much the whole length. He said for that segment of his, plus many of the others in the programme, there isn’t enough space to fit all modes effectively. It sounded like active modes would be shifted to backroads/parallel routes so buses and cars could use the arterials. In most cases anyway..

        16. And therein lies the problem. We need to see the brief AT have given the consultancies. To achieve a different result, you need to do things differently.

        17. Heidi it sounded like the engineers own opinion in the conversation I had with him. He had a progressive mindset generally, blaming the unitary plan for allowing too much greenfields and not enough brownfields to achieve the density required for good PT and active. In other words, he was on board philosophically with what’s needed but it sounded like in the day to day task he was faced with (gt sth road from papakura to newmarket) he just didn’t think it was possible. And in his conversations with other engineers looking after other parts, they felt the same. But you’re right in the sense that AT may have put some markers in the ground, for example medians for right turns must be kept, and maybe if they weren’t and general traffic flow was reduced then all modes could fit in. Anyway, I’m just speculating but that’s the jist of what I heard. Depressing stuff I agree there, but unsure who is to blame.

        18. What’s inherently wrong with flush medians?

          They are actually rather useful for allowing pedestrians to cross the road because they give you a space to build pedestrian refuges. They also reduce the chance of there being a head-on crash as well as allow everybody to keep moving along the road.

        19. Thanks, Matt. That’s good to know as an example, and yes I’m quite sure many of the engineers will be progressive, and have their hands tied. Classic disconnect between narrative and action.

        20. “What’s inherently wrong with flush medians?”

          Painted only ones are very dangerous for pedestrians giving a false sense of safety and cars tend to travel faster next to them due to the visual extra width. I see the pedestrian that died the other day in Hamilton or where ever was located at a road like this looking at the news picture. On street parking and medium strip.

        21. I agree with raised refuge island in the median are the safest way to go when it comes to informal crossings, however I would still prefer to cross a busy road with a painted flush median on foot than a busy road without a flush median.

          The biggest risk I find with the ones that don’t have raised island is that some drivers use them as passing facilities.

        22. “What’s inherently wrong with flush medians?”

          They take space that was formerly used by cyclists and put it in the middle of the road. One of the great untalked about changes of the last 30 years that made cycling far more dangerous.

        23. “They take space that was formerly used by cyclists and put it in the middle of the road.”

          That sounds more like an urban legend.

    2. Absolutely not true, as recently as a couple of months ago I saw an email from a Project Manager at AT explicitly stating that they preferred that any accommodation for active modes on a street should not impact motor vehicles. Whether or not this is the message from the top doesn’t matter, as the people making the day to day decisions about what gets built seem to have the same mindset as they ever have.

      1. That sounds highly strange as their current motto is:

        “For life, and health, cannot be replaced by any other benefit”

        For all of the projects I’ve worked on efficiency is of no relevance what so ever.

        1. By efficiency I can only assume you mean moving as many cars as possible in the least possible time.

          I would call that increasing DSIs and marginalising active users.

          Yur statmenet above that people don’t cycle or wal becuase of the convenience of car travel is hilarious btw. Especially in a city where everyone complains how difficult it is to travel by car.

          The best country in the world for cycling was recently voted the best place in the world to drive. Not a coincidence.

        2. “Yur statmenet above that people don’t cycle or wal becuase of the convenience of car travel is hilarious btw.”

          That is likely because you’re not looking at the big picture, the roads aren’t congested because people love sitting in cars on congested roads.

          Have an honest think to yourself, if you woke up as the only person alive what do you think would be your main mode of transport to get around the city? Would you choose to walk everywhere, cycle or drive?

        3. “By efficiency I can only assume you mean moving as many cars as possible in the least possible time.

          I would call that increasing DSIs and marginalising active users.”

          Efficiency is about making the most of what you have. In the likes of Queen St that means double phases for pedestrians because they are by far the biggest demand.

          When it comes to not being efficient however this means removing things like high entry angle left turn, which although proven to be safe and efficient are now being removed for an enhanced perception of safety yet are actually less safe.

          A similar one would be protected intersections where rather than designing the signal phases to allow all modes to move with minimal delay, they are now fully mode isolated running pedestrians on one phase, cyclists on another then vehicles on another. And given you can’t allow all movements at once this means multiple isolated phases.

        4. Funniest comment this month, Richard:

          “Have an honest think to yourself, if you woke up as the only person alive what do you think would be your main mode of transport to get around the city? Would you choose to walk everywhere, cycle or drive?”

        5. “Have an honest think to yourself, if you woke up as the only person alive what do you think would be your main mode of transport to get around the city? Would you choose to walk everywhere, cycle or drive?”

          Have you ever watched news footage of a natural disaster, or a disaster movie?

          So, in that post apocalyptic scenario, biking or walking would quickly be my only options. If everyone had died in a synchronised way at, say, 1am, there would still be carnage of car and truck accidents blocking the roads to other cars. Presumably the same if everyone had died in a staggered way over the night. And if all the other people have died, then the infrastructure to run the car would stop functioning pretty much immediately, along with all the other infrastructure, like electricity. How would I put fuel in my car?

          But more generally, after regular natural disasters, bikes are an excellent way of getting around, in a way that cars are not. Cars immediately suffer congestion, and bikes still travel freely. After the Mexico City earthquake, roads became quickly gridlocked, and bikes were one of the best ways to get around, and get supplies to people who needed them.

          After the first big Wellington earthquake a couple years ago (not the Kaikoura one) a couple separate friends of mine started keeping spare mountain bikes at work, because it had taken them six hours to get home after the quake, and they could have biked it in under two hours.

        6. ok, to make this easier for people.

          If it’s 3am and you need to make 3 trips, each 20km in length to 3 very different locations in the city that are accessible by road, to win a $1 million. PT is still running at normal off peak frequencies, its not raining and there is only a gentle breeze.

          What would be your preferred mode of transport, that you or your neighbor own, to do these 3 trips.

        7. ‘If it’s 3am and you need to make 3 trips, each 20km in length to 3 very different locations in the city that are accessible by road, to win a $1 million. PT is still running at normal off peak frequencies, its not raining and there is only a gentle breeze.

          What would be your preferred mode of transport, that you or your neighbor own, to do these 3 trips.’

          You really are bonkers aren’t you…what a strange conversation. What a strange person.

          To answer your question. I’m low on petrol and there are no gas stations open, I can’t find my EFTPOS card so I can’t pay for parking. I’ll cycle there, might take a while but it’s 3am and i’m not up to much else. Thanks for the million dollars, I can buy an e-bike now and get there even faster next time.

        8. Haven’t had such a good belly laugh in ages. Thanks.

          Richard, do you think it’s telling that both your scenarios are when the other people aren’t also trying to travel? I do. Because once they do, congestion kicks in.

          Whereas with PT and active modes, once the other people travel, social interaction kicks in.

          Some people like it hot, some like it cold, I guess. But we certainly shouldn’t be designing our transport network for 3 am or post apocalyptic scenarios when we can be designing it for good social, physical and environmental health.

        9. “You really are bonkers aren’t you…what a strange conversation. What a strange person.”

          I’m just trying to see if people understand why driving is the mode of choice in most cases for the general public, however it seems a very high level of mental gymnastics are being used to avoid answering the question honestly.

        10. Richard – to provide evidence that to back up the reasons for cars being the number one choice you would need to reference to actual journeys not fictitious ones.

          The scenario you have described has literally never happened to me, and even if it did it would likely be a one off. I would undoubtedly take the car if I was doing a 20km journey in the middle of the night, but I hardly do 20km journeys during the day let alone at night.

        11. “Whereas with PT and active modes, once the other people travel, social interaction kicks in.”

          I don’t think that’s at all true in the majority of cases. When you catch the train in the morning it doesn’t turn into some spritz party with everyone chatting away with random strangers with an informal dance party in the middle, rather most people isolate themselves on their phones listening to music or reading a book.

          To a similar extent, when someone bikes to work on a bike they don’t stop every 50m for a coffee or a beer at every cafe whilst visiting flower shops and libraries, rather they zip along trying to get to their destination as fast as possible.

        12. There’s research into this, too, Richard. Yes, indeed, people walking, cycling and taking public transport have more social interaction.

        13. I can see how someone taking a train or a bus may happen to be on it at the same time as someone they know, however I’d be extremely skeptical of an research suggesting there are any social benefits (above those you get from a car) for commuting by bike.

        14. You should make that mental exercise a bit less far-fetched. Make it 3pm instead of 3am. Note that even during the day it is very unusual to go to 3 places 20 km apart in one day.

          At 3am the car is the obvious choice. During rush hour bicycling may be slower than driving, but probably also more reliable. A lot depends on where you choose your 3 locations.

          Anyway I would propose a few more mundane transport challenges. I will answer them, assuming I for some reason don’t have a car…

          – Someone invites you for a barbecue. Now you have to make it to some nondescript suburb on a Sunday.
          You can’t. Not a problem if you’re a total loner I guess.

          – Someone gets the idea to catching a movie in the cinema. Movie starts in one hour.
          On public transport, not a chance. On a bicycle I had better hurry up.

          – Could you get to the GP with a small child? Or the nearest clinic?
          No, and no. I hope you have healthy kids.

          – Can I get to work in less than an hour?
          by PT, I think yes, but only just. Bicycling will be faster but requires me to swerve in and out of parked cars almost the entire way. Lots of risk there.

          Now these are consequences of how we build our streets, and not the other way around. Cycling is extraordinarily dangerous because we choose to have parking everywhere instead of cycle lanes. Walking is so cumbersome and degrading because we choose to have absolute priority for cars everywhere. (and because we put everything so far apart, which is also to cater for cars).

        15. “however I’d be extremely skeptical of an research suggesting there are any social benefits (above those you get from a car) for commuting by bike.”

          OK, now you will have to do some mental exercise.

          In most parts of Auckland you will almost never see actual people on the street. People generally just appear from behind those 1.8 metre fences wrapped in a car. It actually has something post-apocalyptic.

          That doesn’t sound very conductive to social interaction, does it.

          If you meet your neighbour while driving, well, you have to just keep driving. Whereas on foot or on a bicycle you could have a chat if you wish so.

          Or if a few kids from a neighbourhood walk or cycle to school, they can reap those “social benefits” for at least part of their trip. If in a car, they’re likely to be just in their own car, alone.

          To me that benefit is completely obvious.

        16. “Now these are consequences of how we build our streets, and not the other way around. Cycling is extraordinarily dangerous because we choose to have parking everywhere instead of cycle lanes. Walking is so cumbersome and degrading because we choose to have absolute priority for cars everywhere. (and because we put everything so far apart, which is also to cater for cars).”

          Its no fault of city planning that your friend having a BBQ lives miles away from you in another suburb. To a similar extent, city planning isn’t about making sure there is a movie cinema within a 5min walk of every home.

          Regarding getting to your local clinic, I guess this really depends on how you want to get your child there. If you are wanting to walk or bike you can, although that seems a strange choice.

          Regarding getting to work, again it depends on where you choose to live and work, for me I live 2km from the train station, yet it takes 1.5hrs to get to work by train and only 30-40mins by car. 6 hours on foot and about 2 hours on a bike.

        17. “Whereas on foot or on a bicycle you could have a chat if you wish so.”

          You raise a good point about kids walking to school, and to a large extent this already happens. I was more thinking about the general commuter.

          However if I was going to stop and talk to everyone I know on my 30km ride to work, it would end up taking me 4 to 5 hours to get there. Coincidentally however, just yesterday while driving I saw someone I knew who I hand’t seen for a while and I did pull over and have a chat.

        18. “Its no fault of city planning that your friend having a BBQ lives miles away from you in another suburb.” A well-planned city is compact and it’s easy to get everywhere without a car, so it wouldn’t matter where your friend lived.

          A 20 km journey I’d definitely be taking by bus, unless the lure of empty streets tempted me to enjoy the bike ride.

          Enjoy: https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/laviniacarvalhobr/joys-of-taking-public-transportation?__twitter_impression=true

        19. You don’t have to talk to everyone you meet. But while going home, why not if you have a chance? (also, I think most commutes are way shorter than 30 km)

          I think by now the majority of kids is brought to school by car in many areas. That is one of the things for which we’re trying to find a solution.

          And I can assure you, stopping for any reason (talking to someone, going into a shop you just noticed on the way…) is way easier on a bicycle or on foot than while driving.

        20. “A well-planned city is compact and it’s easy to get everywhere without a car, so it wouldn’t matter where your friend lived”
          I think that’s more of a personal preference of a fictional world and not really based on reality.

          Sure if we capped the population to 1000 and never wanted the leave our little village that may be possible, but not in the real world. In the real world your friend may live in another village, or maybe you want to go to a quiet beach that’s 50km away.

        21. “also, I think most commutes are way shorter than 30 km”
          The average is about 12km in Auckland apparently.

          I can certainly imagine from time to time someone on a bike my stop and say hello to someone, however the vast majority on going somewhere. One of the main reasons people choose to cycle is because its faster, and stopping to make social interactions is rather counter to that.

          And lets not forget people in cars aren’t all heartless monsters, the fact they are using a car may have enabled them to make an additional trip for the purpose of having a social interaction. They may even be picking up there child who was playing sports on the other side of town.

        22. Playing sports all the way on the other side of town sounds quite far-fetched to me.

          (Sport fields and other attractions which attract visitors from all over town should be located near a major PT node so a lot of visitors can easily get there on that PT. That is where your well-planned city comes in)

          Look around for a few different sports, where is the closest field where you can play that sport? In how many cases is that outside cycling distance?

        23. “Playing sports all the way on the other side of town sounds quite far-fetched to me”

          For real? When I was playing social hockey we played at the Auckland Grammer yet we played against teams from all over the city.
          Back when I used to play soccer in Hamilton, would would make the 60km trip to Otorohanga for games.

        24. Richard, you’ve turned this into a thread of annecdotes and what ifs, and you haven’t supplied a single piece of evidence or data..that aside, what exactly ARE you arguing for and what is the relation to this topic?

        25. Joe.

          This particular little thread is essentially me asking goosoid why he thought most people drove. From there it’s spawned into a series of people trying to avoid the question.

        26. “It’s 3am and you need to make 3 trips, each 20km in length to 3 very different locations in the city that are accessible by road, to win a $1 million.”

          Clearly I’m in a reality TV show, and therefore I will take whatever entertaining mode of transport the producers of the show stipulate. Probably Penny Farthing, Roman chariot, and and sailing dinghy.

        27. Why do most people drive? Because there isn’t a widespread provision of safe alternatives.
          In every city I’ve lived or visited or read about that has widespread public transport and/or cycling infrastructure, “most” people don’t drive.

          Subjectively, I think that most people ‘like’ commuting in cars the same way that the proverbial boiled-frog ‘likes’ warm water. They got their drivers’ licences when they were fifteen or sixteen and it felt like freedom, and haven’t noticed in the subsequent 20 years that it is now confinement and powerlessness disguised as freedom.

          Objectively, cars are a terrible way of getting around a major city. Terrible: slow, inefficient, expensive, causing maximum social cost.

          There are numerous studies that show that people who commute by train, bike, or as pedestrians are more content with their commute than those who travel by car.

          People use cars because they don’t see a viable safe alternative. And because, in behavioural economics terms, they experience the endowment effect (they already have cars and a car based commute, so value that more than an alternative) and loss aversion (they fear losing the benefits of their car-based commute more than they value the benefits of an alternative commute).

        28. “Why do most people drive? Because there isn’t a widespread provision of safe alternatives”

          That’s pretty much the answer I was expecting, however it’s extremely far from reality and is pretty much based on the assumption the roads are congested. Hence why I was trying to from the question in a way that compared all modes equally. Alas it proved too hard.

        29. I see what your getting at. In a post apocalyptic world I honestly would want to drive sometimes (while you still can) if I can & bike other times for exercise, necessity or to get around the carnage. I’ve watched The Walking Dead and know how these things work. 😉

        30. The Netherlands have prioritised bike & probably other modes over driving. Drivers their are happy and cycling their is fantastic it seems in general. Check out the BicycleDutch channel on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/markenlei All depends, More rural areas would tend to need cars for longer trips anyway. Dense areas walk and cycle is best.

        31. I’m genuinely puzzled what you’re getting at now. The roads *are* congested. It’s not an assumption, it’s just a fact. That what actually happens right now, on our roads. Not just our roads. Roads in every city. Cities are made up of large groups of people, who all want to get to the same general places at the same general times. When they do it in cars, it causes congestion. You can’t separate cars from congestion, unless you live somewhere deeply rural.

          And what would comparing modes equally mean to you?

        32. “I’m genuinely puzzled what you’re getting at now”

          I thought it was pretty simple really, I’m asking what mode you would realistically choose to travel if you aim was to get somewhere. I think its rather obvious that in most cases of any reasonable distance most people would choose a car, however I get the impression most people here seem to think the one and only reason people use a car is because of an evil conspiracy and really they would much rather walk, cycle or take a bus 20-30km regardless of how long it would take them or how impractical it may be.

          Based on your “fact”, that roads are always congested it would seem nobody would want to drive because road are always congested. However the real fact is that they aren’t always congested, an in actual fact for the most part they aren’t. Its just certain arterials that remain congested for long periods of time which can spill over into some of the adjacent roads. Most other roads only get congested during peak times, with most local roads never really getting congested.

      2. “Improving traffic flows on the motorway network doesn’t mean every side road in the country will become inundated with traffic.”

        Your use of exaggeration is not helpful. Simple maths tells us that if traffic flows on the motorway are improved (and I don’t think you are talking of removing cars to achieve that) then at least some arterials will become congested. Just have a look at what has happened around Albany with the addition of more lanes to the Northern motorway.

        1. “Sure if we capped the population to 1000 and never wanted the leave our little village that may be possible, but not in the real world. In the real world your friend may live in another village, or maybe you want to go to a quiet beach that’s 50km away.”

          In the real world Auckland has to reduce emissions by 50% before 2030. So in simple terms we have to reduce emissions from transport by at least half. (More than half if we can’t decarbonise the grid and find proportionate savings in other areas). Those savings won’t happen just because some of our cars become evs. Even the most optimistic MoT prediction says that is so. The Clean Cars conssultation says there is risk on the downside. MoT and MBIE can’t agree on what is possible.

          So 20 lanes, or whatever it is across the harbour won’t help; in fact it will be disastrous. Have a look at Europe if you want to see 21st century transport systems. Look at Vienna (Mercer’s most liveable city for 8 of the last 9 years) and see how people can move around without reliance on cars; a 26% car mode share heading to 20% by 2025. Look at how quickly Milan is going to transform itself, lead by people with vision, but with the huge support of the residents.

          The North Shore needs light rail as the only cross harbour solution and it should be built in the cheapest way which seems to be a stand alone bridge or tunnel. Less vehicle traffic caused by such an initiative will be helpful to the environment of the Shore and beyond.

        2. Reducing vehicle emissions is somewhat of a tricky thing. The introduction of EVs, soon Hydrogen and carbon negative gasoline cars can all play a part. Things that don’t play a part however are putting speeds bumps here there and everywhere, as they actually more than double your fuel consumption and therefore emissions.

          Looking at the change in vehicle emissions over the past decade it seems trucks, and particularly light trucks are the primary culprits. However I don’t know the details as to why this is.

          In terms of Vienna and a 21st century transport system, it seems they actually have more of a 19th century transport system. And maybe that’s a good thing.

          As to the idea of putting 20 lanes across the harbor, not too sure who’s idea that is. It certainly sounds a strange one. In my box of dream projects, I would actually rather like a high speed regional rail line to go across to the shore and race up to Orewa leaving the busway to keep doing its thing.

        3. – Things that don’t play a part however are putting speeds bumps here there and everywhere, as they actually more than double your fuel consumption and therefore emissions

          Maybe with the lowering of the speed limit to 30kmh we can remove all those speed bumps and lower emissions in one fell swoop?

        4. The issue there is that conventional cars are pretty inefficient at 30km/h or less, they’re best up around 80km/h. Hybrids, electric and hydrogen would be ideal however.

  9. That consultation to remove one parking space on Central Park Drive to improve safety is out of control! Consulted in June and will do in October.

    What a f**king waste of our rates. But worse – how could they think delaying fixing a safety issue is in any way acceptable?

    Somebody’s got their wires crossed about what consultation means. Mad and bad.

    No wonder people are painting their own yellow lines. This has become a DIY city.

    1. Yes I pointed that one out! Totally nuts just to apply a tiny bit of yellow line where its obviously needed. Are they saying if they got overwhelming negative feedback they would just leave it unsafe? If not – then why consult, its such a waste of time and effort.

    2. There seems to be a misunderstanding that AT are somehow not subject to the Local Goverment Act. They are, and the legislative requirements around consulting regarding decisions that will effectively change bylaws or parts of bylaws still apply.

      Yes, even to a few meters of yellow no parking lines. If they didn’t those lines would be unenforceable, and therefore pointless.

      1. The LGA also requires them to plan for present and future generations. The sum total of what they’re doing, in large part because they’ve tied their knickers in a knot on consultation, means they are failing in their duty to do so. They have known about climate change for their entire existence, and they have had the safety review since January last year.

        Yet our children have little independent mobility and little future hope. They are picking and choosing which part of the LGA they care to follow.

    3. Nuts. In general I would think consultation should be used to uncover local knowledge that a consultant or otherwise didn’t know or think about. Bring that information into the decision making mix. It shouldn’t be used as a popular voting exercise.

    1. When I was in Redwood City [south of San Fransico] in ’97’ they had a PnR’ which cost 50cents per day and it was 75% full every day , the ‘PnR’ was nexted to the railway and bus stations . And to enter it people had to front up with cash money to make the barrier to go up and down to enter and you got a ticket to lave the area at the end of the day . AT could try the same thing with the Hop or even cash if that is possible , but the Hop would be better as it would keep shoppers/store staff out of there so it can’t be used as a free all day local parking area .

  10. A few weeks ago AT came to my workplace (about 500+ staff, in Newmarket) and talked about the need to shift to non-driving modes (currently majority of ppl I work with parks in the domain or nearby streets). So I asked them about the following things:
    – What are the plans to make Broadway and bottom part of Khyber Pass more bus-friendly? So buses don’t take 25 minutes to get to K’rd? Or make the right-turn phase into Park rd fro Khyber Pass longer, so more than 2-3 buses can get across at once?
    – What are the plans to add cycling facilities along Manukau Rd and Great Sth Road and through Newmarket?
    – Why is there on-street parking allowed along Khyber Pass and Broadway when there are 1000+ commercial spaces available nearby?

    The answer was awkward silence. So I asked them how can they expect people to shift if they provide no facilities to shift to? They said they’ll take notes.

    This is completely dysfunctional. The meeting that was supposed to take 60 minutes was done after 15 and basically left me completely despondent. AT clearly can’t understand what it takes for people to change their attitude.
    As other have stated here before – why the hell AT thinks they need to consult on safety improvements? Why can’t we have a simple rule – no parking at all times on arterials?

    1. Broadway is in the connected communities programme; Khyber Pass should be. If AT had any sense, that programme would have a key outcome that bus and bike would be improved by each and every arterial street in the programme. And they’d be able to answer your questions with that. Plus they’d be able to prepare the city to expect these changes.

      But they don’t already know this. They expect there to be kickback to loss of parking and traffic lanes and think there’s some kind of magic they can pull that means all those things can stay while they also add the missing networks and amenity. And that’s purely because they don’t have the strength to stick to policy. So they say nothing, and piss everyone off.

    2. That section of roading between Khyber Pass and Broadway is an absolute, total, 100% clusterfuck of roading. I’ve been stuck on a bus there several times – the last time possibly took an hour, and so I swore I’d never do a bus in Auckland again. Of course I had to – its the only way to get to the Airport. But seriously – just needs a big fat buslane with a big fat red line right down each side of Khyber Pass from Symonds St to Broadway. Zero car parks. Simple. Just do it.

      1. It is a double effect. In the weekend:
        – Those driving to Newmarket get free (!) parking;
        – Those on a bus get more delay.

        While we’re at it, we can make Park Road one way for cars and paint 2 bus lanes. I’ve at some point spent 15 minutes just sitting on the Grafton Bridge. Why would you bother with PT at all under these conditions?

        1. Yes please. I’d suggest making Park Rd a non-through road, with the hospital being the final destination from both Grafton Rd and Carlton Gore side. As is the drivers attempt to get to the carpark at the hospital it completely block the Newmarket-bound lane when the car park is full. And until some space clears at the car park – nothing is moving on Park rd, which includes all the buses there.

    3. The 75 bus between Newmarket and the CBD is SO slow in the evenings. I’ve given up on it and prefer to take the train and then walk up Queen Street, it’s much faster! There often ends up being clusters of buses together as well, and then big gaps later on.

  11. I submitted a petition requesting bike lanes and safer pedestrian crossings on Oteha Valley Rd to AT late last year. I was received very politely, but told that AT weren’t going to do anything much different in response to my petition. We got an extra pedestrian crossing, but no bike lanes.

    How can this be adequate after two people died? Where’s the commitment to positive change? AT is very risk averse, and it takes sustained pressure to get them to do anything that would help people on bikes.

  12. I find it interesting that there is apparently a requirement for protected bike racks. What form does this protection take? Is it from the elements or theft?
    Theft I can understand but if from the weather I have difficulty with. Surely in wet weather you are going to get wet as soon as you move so what advantage is there in having a dry bike. Surely the money could be spent better?
    Can anyone elaborate?

    1. Sure, it makes a huge difference to me. Riding in the rain is a pleasure (apart from wondering about the drivers who seem to have really poor visibility in the rain).

      But when you use a bike for errands and shopping, there’s a lot of swapping things around in pannier bags at each stop, as well as stripping off the bike gear (helmets, gloves, hi viz) and maybe putting on the street gear (hat, raincoat, scarf, whatever). Doing that in the rain or having to put things on a wet ground while you organise stuff is really unpleasant, and risks getting things wet that shouldn’t get wet.

      Complicate that further by being the one who’s helping the kids do the same, or keeping them entertained while you do all that, before buckling them into the seat, can be tricky. Under a shelter, little ones are often happy to stand in the dry, watching the drips coming off the shelter while you get organised.

      With a car, you barely know if it rained while you were shopping. But then you’re not having to put things on the ground. And if it’s raining when you come out, it’s not too hard to throw the shopping into the back seat and jump in the front. Not so with a bike.

  13. Yesterday my off-peak (i.e. 20 minute intervals) Southern line service pulled into Newmarket platform 2/3. On platform 1 sat the off-peak Swanson train., clearly a bit early early or a bit late.

    As those Southern line passengers looking to transfer pushed the open door button vigorously the train manager of the Swanson train blew her whistle, it’s doors closed and off it went. Clearly, waiting another 30 seconds so passengers on the other train could dash across the platform was not high on their agenda. Instead, we all had to wait 20 minutes until the next one.

    This insouciant humiliation of their customers occurs a thousand times at a thousand places every week in Auckland.

    If AT actually cared, they’d have a business culture that put the customer at it’s centre and and not some sudden inflexible desire (not evident at any other time) attempt to stick to their farcical three train an hour off peak timetable.

    Until AT get through their thick skulls they are a primarily a customer service business that uses trains and buses rather that their current thinking of being a transport business that has to suffer moving obnoxious human cattle as it’s primary cargo nothing much will change.

    1. AT don’t have customers, they see their job as running vehicles around the network and keeping the operators to schedule. They also don’t believe anyone transfers. Despite their transfer based network they still try and put direct overlapping line everywhere. Look at the purple line, clearly they don’t want anyone to transfer from south to west.

  14. “A few weeks ago AT came to my workplace (about 500+ staff, in Newmarket) and talked about the need to shift to non-driving modes (currently majority of ppl I work with parks in the domain or nearby streets). So I asked them about the following things:
    – What are the plans to make Broadway and bottom part of Khyber Pass more bus-friendly? So buses don’t take 25 minutes to get to K’rd? Or make the right-turn phase into Park rd fro Khyber Pass longer, so more than 2-3 buses can get across at once?
    – What are the plans to add cycling facilities along Manukau Rd and Great Sth Road and through Newmarket?
    – Why is there on-street parking allowed along Khyber Pass and Broadway when there are 1000+ commercial spaces available nearby?

    The answer was awkward silence. So I asked them how can they expect people to shift if they provide no facilities to shift to? They said they’ll take notes.”

    No more than I would expect.

  15. That transfer problem at Newmarket is inexcusable but I’m picking that AT won’t fix it because sometime in the next 5 years the CRL will eliminate the problem.

    1. I don’t mind the train leaving like that when they are running at ten minute duration, especially when the Onehunga trains have to be accommodated as well.

      But for crying out loud, there is a 20 minute gap off peak. Even the antique signalling system of a blind, deaf and drunk switch operator slumped in a garden shed in Taumaranui that AT appear to use should be able to manage an extra 30-40 seconds wait off peak.

    2. Around 12mths ago I got the bus to Otahuhu to get the train downtown and there were 3 of us rushing to get the train , as we got there the doors closed and we pushed the green button ad had the same problem , doors wouldn’t open . But luckily the TM/Conductor saw us and then went through a 90sec process of resettig everything to reopen the doors .

      But when we got aboard he told us he had to notify driver to hold off from departing then go through the process of reopening doors . So it sounds like the TM on that service didn’t no how to do it

  16. The roads/streets are for use by people. Thee is a road reserve between the properties on either side. Not all those who live or work beside these road reserves need to travel far, so walking is probably adequate or for shopping expedition going further using the bike is far quicker than the car and when walking is uncomfortable it is far better. I have 2×4 gallon containers on either side of the carrier so can carry home a pretty good load.
    So establishing that the roads are for everyone to use it is up to the users to interact safely, that means that vehicles need to move at speeds that are appropriate to the environment. Vehicle pilots need to ensure that their way is clear and remember that pedestrians have right of way.

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