Traffic in Auckland – no one loves it. Every objective we have for transport is hindered by the one common problem: we have too much traffic. It’s taking a toll on our health, and it’s keeping people stuck in congestion without transport options. Wherever the location, and whether the problem manifests as an issue of safety, access, air quality or congestion, the solution lies in reducing traffic.

Too much traffic means many people who drive are unable to make the shift to other ways of travelling, because congestion is slowing down the buses, and the traffic volumes make cycling dangerous. This locks people who don’t drive in an unsafe system with low amenity. Our children are particularly disadvantaged, with low independent mobility affecting their development.

In this post I look at dynamic lanes, and how their technology could be assisting modeshift, but instead is being applied to increase traffic.

There’s a paradigm shift needed; if we aimed to reduce traffic, consistently, across all the work programmes, benefits of improved access and mobility, of public and environmental health, would come thick and fast. Without making this paradigm shift, however, we can expect to see failure in:

  • The Connected Communities programme for arterial roads
  • The Cycling Programme
  • The Safety Strategy and Vision Zero
  • Access for Everyone
  • The Road Network Optimisation programme
  • Accelerated Modeshift to the Sustainable and Healthy Modes

Indeed, everything impacted or enabled by transport planning needs traffic reduction:

  • Children’s Independent Mobility
  • The Compact City Strategy
  • Auckland’s Carbon Emission Reductions Targets
  • Physical Activity targets for Public Health
  • Liveability
  • Universal Accessibility
  • Healthy Streets
  • Value-for-Money
  • Local Board plans for vibrant, connected communities
  • Air Quality goals
  • Objectives to reduce Auckland’s reliance on fossil fuels
  • Leaving a responsible legacy – infrastructure with as small a maintenance burden as possible
  • A transport network that supports a healthy economy
  • Quality Land Use goals

One factor that impacts traffic volumes is road capacity. No project should increase road capacity, and overall we must act to reduce it, because road capacity has a big effect on traffic volumes.

Credit: Numtots

Unfortunately, Auckland Transport is still trying to fix congestion problems by providing more road capacity. Even when a project doesn’t involve physically widening roads, Auckland Transport still attempt to “ease congestion” at each pinch point by increasing capacity.

Dynamic Lanes are a superb example. They are a tool that should be used sparingly, as they introduce ambiguity and danger, but can be useful if this danger is mitigated with other safety improvements. They can be used to promote our city’s goals, or to hinder them.

Used positively, dynamic lanes offer up road space to other uses, and therefore increase access. Imagine a street with 4 general traffic lanes, which sees heavy flows in one direction in the morning, and in the other direction in the evening. Dynamic lanes could allow the street to reduce down to three lanes, with a neutral effect on capacity. This provides a whole lane of road space that can be reallocated to different uses. Cycle lanes, for example, might be possible within the road corridor if this reclaimed road width can be added to other space available. This provides another link in the cycling network, improving transport choice and physical health.

Used negatively, however, dynamic lanes are used to simply increase road capacity without having to increase road width. This induces more traffic and creates congestion elsewhere.

The proposed Redoubt Road Dynamic Lanes project is an example of the tool being used poorly: In this location, there are three lanes, two heading west in the peak morning direction, and one heading east in the peak evening direction.

The Dynamic Lane here will repurpose the central lane so it can swap direction, meaning that both the peak morning and evening flow will have two lanes.

This creates road capacity for the evening peak without having to build a wider road. And for people stuck in the mindset of wanting to increase road capacity, this seems like a benefit. It may be only incremental, but because this is being repeated all over the city, the cumulative effects are substantial. A U-turn in thinking is required.

What Redoubt Rd needs is viable sustainable transport options. This is, after all, a key route for residents to access Manukau City Centre and the Manukau Train Station. That certainly means making space for protected cycling. And it probably means road pricing, to enable an improved bus service to flow.

I asked Auckland Transport about the project, specifically what effect it would have on traffic volumes, and therefore on modeshift, safety and climate change.

The work to install dynamic lanes on Redoubt Road will be kept inside the existing road corridor and is about making better use of this space. 

No answer was given about analysis of traffic volumes; I can only assume that as usual, any modelling assumed the effective road capacity increase doesn’t increase “person-trips” nor affect land use.

As you may be aware, the larger Mill Road corridor project (which includes this section of Redoubt Road) is proposed in the medium to long term.

The Redoubt Road Dynamic Lane is certainly not as damaging as the boondoggle that was part of the original Mill Rd project:

But it’s still a solution stemming from a delusion that we need to increase capacity.

The Mill Road corridor project will include appropriate facilities for walking and cycling. Also, there are currently no appropriate bike connections at either end of this 350 metre section. The Mill Road corridor project will address these connections.

And this is where the delusion is most damaging. Establishing a cycling network requires

  • traffic volumes to be reduced, to ensure wherever cycles and traffic cross, there are as few traffic movements as possible. This dynamic lane project is part of a mindset that is doing the opposite, and
  • adding cycling infrastructure in all projects, to create a network over time. Auckland Transport was criticised in the Road Safety Business Improvement Review for not:

leveraging the annual AT major road Capex programme and the annual AT maintenance programme to deliver important low marginal cost road network safety improvement over time

The revised Mill Rd project would be successful if it improves safety and adds bus priority and cycling infrastructure. If it adds any general traffic capacity, it too is part of the problem.

The dynamic lanes are an opportunity to improve customer experience within the existing road space. They are expected to improve travel times for people in buses and general traffic. With an added benefit of potentially improving bus operations on Manukau Station Road.

Initial improvements in travel times in buses and general traffic for this stretch of road will likely be lauded as a success, but induced traffic causes a gradual worsening of travel times over a wide area. Of course, the network will see other changes, good and bad, so the long term effects will never be clear, nor fully attributed.

The dynamic lanes on Whangaparaoa Road and Panmure Bridge have had no adverse safety effects. Safety is a key priority for AT with independent safety checks undertaken and close monitoring of the lanes to continue throughout.

Let’s have a look at the Whangaparaoa Rd dynamic lanes project. It repurposed a median strip into a dynamic lane, doubling the road’s capacity in each peak direction.

The corridor was, and remains, deficient for walking and cycling. There isn’t even a continuous footpath, access to bus stops is via a muddy berm, and there’s a complete lack of crossing infrastructure for 1.9 km. The project page shows how low the safety standards were:

Part of the monitoring will also help determine whether the change in layout results in more gaps in traffic for safer pedestrian-crossing opportunities.

Amenity for cycling was reduced by the project. Bike Auckland covered the topic well and concluded:

“we believe AT is actively promoting an unsafe environment for cyclists.”

I wonder if, in monitoring safety, they’ve counted the number of people walking – this is an effective way to track changes in safety for people walking.

However, that project was designed before the change in government, before we had a progressive Government Policy Statement on Transport, before Safety became the top priority at AT and before the Council declared a Climate Emergency. It was a regressive project that would never be approved today.

Or would it? What is disappointing about this new Redoubt Rd project is that it shows that little has changed. The lack of cycling amenity is an egregious matter of safety that needs addressing, and is of a higher priority than traffic flow. Auckland Transport claim to prioritise safety over traffic flow, but they are doing the opposite here. Continuing with quotes from AT’s response about the Redoubt Rd project:

This section of Redoubt Road is currently at a standstill and enabling buses and general traffic to flow reduces unnecessary CO2 emissions.

Reducing CO2 emissions through road capacity expansion is a myth that has been debunked:

This myth is busted: adding more capacity might reduce idling a bit, but it will actually induce more driving, which will lead to higher, not lower carbon emissions.

Auckland Transport is being irresponsible to promulgate it, and this needs to be clarified if the Climate Action Framework is going to direct any meaningful action in reducing transport carbon emissions.

The Whangaparaoa Dynamic Lane project saw a 58 per cent increase in people movement with an annual saving of 83,500 hours and a reduction of 845 tonnes in CO2 emissions.

I’ve asked for more detail, as the analysis needs scrutiny. If these people were on buses, the lane should be a bus lane to lock in the improvements. How many extra private vehicles did this 58% increase in people represent? Studying a short length of freely-flowing road just after the capacity has been added doesn’t show the full picture. AT would need to measure the CO2 emissions throughout the network, and especially at other pinch points where congestion has been made worse. Also, what land use changes will this spur, encouraging sprawl and discouraging good density?

There is simply no room for pretending that projects that induce traffic are part of meeting our emissions reductions goals.

Reducing traffic with evidence-based techniques puts our road corridors and public infrastructure to the best possible use, giving us the best value for our investment. Reallocation of road space to healthy modes, bus priority, safe walking infrastructure, safe speeds, protected cycling, low-traffic neighbourhoods, investment in bus services and reduction of car parking work as a system together to reduce traffic. These changes make the city more liveable and healthy, and give people efficient and safe options to get around that don’t require them to hop in a car and worsen everyone else’s problem.

Cities change constantly, and no matter how car dominated or sprawling they are, their transport systems can be improved with good planning. These two videos of the same street in Amsterdam show the change from the car-domination of the 1960’s to the bicycle- and people-friendly success of today. And even sprawling Indianapolis is taking big strides on its journey towards having a functioning transit system.

Auckland can tackle its traffic problem. We can create a low-carbon and healthy transport system, to improve our lives and to set our children up for success. We just need Auckland Transport to make the leap into the 21st Century, and stop focusing on easing congestion at the pinch points. The way to ease congestion fundamentally is by reducing traffic itself.

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  1. I asked Auckland Transport about doing a ⬇️ that is doing a bus lane, general lane, general lane with Redoubt Road given the 35, 325 and 366 travel down Redoubt Road.

    The answer I got was depending who answered the question.
    If it was anyone else the answer was yes
    I got the road engineer it was an emphatic NO

    I’ll leave the rest to you

    1. To get their multi-modal, safety-focused, modeshift-oriented narrative into practice, AT need to remove the power from the traffic flow obsessives.

      All the other programmes are being undermined by this.

    2. Ben, since the roading engineer will be the one with the best understanding of safe engineering, it will be their answer that is most likely correct. There are very stringent rules around safe road design that are unlikely to be understood by anyone who isn’t a roading engineer. Perhaps you could ask the engineer to specify why their answer was no, then look at solutions that work with whatever reason is given?

  2. Could smart dynamic lanes be somehow used on motorways to let long distance buses through? They sometimes get caught up in peak traffic flows.

    1. I agree all the 4 or more-lane roads should have 2 bus lanes, not just for long distance buses, but for buses to and between suburbs. It makes no sense to have such poor use of space as we have at present.

  3. How do you qualify your opinion that Redoubt is a poor use of dynamic lanes?
    It seems like an ideal location. Short, congested section of straight road with no road widening. Making best use of existing road space. Buses are getting stuck in that traffic so helps PT. This is not meant to solve long term problems of lack of cycling infra. It’s meant to maximise movement of people within existing road space.

    To be honest I don’t give a stuff about car drivers. It’s there choice, but their choice shouldn’t impact PT users. I think the extra lane should be a bus lane in whatever peak period direction, but I don’t think the patronage justifies it currently.

    It is crap for cyclists now, and will be crap for cyclists after. Putting in a cycle lane here is next to useless. It would be stupid to build cycling infra here that connects to nowhere. The cyclists get 1km of some sort of facility and then thrown back onto road with the rest of the cars. Not only would the infra not be used by non-existent cyclists, it would increase congestion and increase delays for bus users, moving people away from PT. I think cycling infra should be completely connected and extended outward from the existing network in central Auckland. Not building bits and pieces over time that could remain incomplete for decades.

    Agree on supposed emissions reduction. I don’t really care about emissions, but it’s just marketing.

    Having said all that, Whangaparoa was a trial, but this time around they should to do it properly, not some half-pie job passed off as a trial. It needs wider footpaths and at least 1 or 2 pedestrian crossings along there. Except that won’t happen because mill road is coming and no one wants to do a proper job at great cost, when it’s all getting ripped up in few years.

    1. In a word, Ari: The network.

      They didn’t put in a dynamic bus lane, yet that was a choice they had. I’d be writing about it quite differently if they had. On Whangaparaoa they’d even had the Local Board requesting express buses.

      What they did was put in a dynamic lane that will affect the network with the traffic it induces. So there’ll be less congestion here, and more elsewhere.

      The Dutch didn’t plonk cyclelanes in the midst of high traffic, they devised an entire system, with the reduction of traffic volumes at the core of it.

      That’s what these AT traffic engineers are missing. Our rates are being wasted as these different programmes tug in different directions. A consistent approach would have safety for vulnerable road users attended to first, then amenity for PT and active modes improved, with bus priority. A dynamic lane might be part of that.

      Instead, they just focused on traffic flow.

      1. Fair enough.

        A consistent, network-wide approach requires having a strategy.

        AT has never had any semblance of a strategy, other than “maintain the status quo” .

  4. “Auckland can tackle its traffic problem. We can create a low-carbon and healthy transport system, to improve our lives and to set our children up for success. We just need Auckland Transport to make the leap into the 21st Century, and stop focusing on easing congestion at the pinch points. The way to ease congestion fundamentally is by reducing traffic itself.”

    Nail on the head. Reducing road traffic not congestion should be AT’s primary goal.

  5. Goodness me, this is getting to comedic levels of hatred for cars. Essentially the message is that we need to create as much congestion as possible to force people out of cars.

    1. Auckland might have similar amounts of roads and motorways as other cities, but what we don’t have is the actual arterial road widths that other cities have. Our idea of an arterial is a road with a lane each way and a median strip. Overseas arterials have 2 lanes if not 3 each way. No need to block up the motorway when you have actual arterial capacity. Those cities are then easily able to turn a lane here and there into bus lanes/cycle lanes etc because they still have capacity to spare – if not on that arterial then on the next one parallel to it.
      Vancouver is held up as a poster child city…guess what? Every second road in and around the city is what we would call an arterial or better.
      Yes congestion does have a quality in reducing car usage. This should be only undertaken in those areas (certain areas in town centres) they shouldn’t be used to stop the movement of people around the whole city. Remember too that Auckland isn’t static, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Good PT is absolutely needed, but you’re still going to need capacity for other vehicles on the road. When Auckland hits 2 million (Very soon) it’s only going to have around 25% or so more road capacity than it did when it was 1 million!

      1. OMG, someone I agree with.

        Unfortunately many people don’t seem to care about other peoples needs and are only interested in their own agendas.

        1. ‘Unfortunately many people don’t seem to care about other peoples needs and are only interested in their own agendas.’

          You are right, it’s human nature. However, this applies equally to those who see their their ability to drive wherever they want as conveniently as possible as more important than local residents mobility within their neighbourhood.

          Personally I think it is more important my kids can get around safely in their neighbourhood than people from other suburbs can use it as a through route on whatever important or trivial trip they are making.

        2. I somewhat agree with you Jezza.

          With properly designed arterial roads that allow for multiple modes and a reasonable proportion of the demand you wont get people making rat runs through local neighbourhoods and therefore your “kids can get around safely”.

          Unfortunately, the war on cars doesn’t seem to take balance into account and they seem to want to make every road the same slow and low capacity mess. This will only encourage people rat run making it more dangerous for your kids to get around their local neighbourhoods.

      2. You’re right, however I disagree that other western cities have ‘capacity to spare’. Six lane roads in other cities fill up with traffic no problem. We have our own six lane arterial (Pakuranga Road), any suggestion of taking a couple of these lanes for buses is very controversial.

        There are pros and cons to our lack of arterials. Dominion Road is a hell of a lot more pedestrian friendly than say Pakuranga Rd or Te Rakau Drive.

        1. AKLDUDE – I never said it was. My point was where other cities would have an arterial road we have roads like Dominion Rd. I’d far rather have Dominion Road in my neighbourhood than say Pakuranga Road or the Maroondah Highway in Melbourne

        2. So what. We’re not exactly going to run ‘slum clearance’ through that area like back in the day.

          The closest similar example to where I live is Onewa Road. Congestion is really bad, but as long as we can keep 2 bus lanes open it is at least possible to get to the city and back on a bus. With just 2 car lanes you’d be just SOL.

        3. @Richard it takes two sides to fight a war. Car lovers and the elected representatives who pander to them aren’t interested in dialogue, just maintaining the status quo and the perceived convenience of driving. There is every possibility that “the war on alternatives to cars” will be won, in which case everyone will ultimately lose. There is no getting away from the energy, environmental and geographical profligacy of moving that amount of mass around just to get you to the shops. Even if cars go fully electric.

        4. Not at all true bjfoeh.

          There is no “the war on alternatives to cars” and you would be hard pressed to find any evidence to suggest there is. Other than the introduction of helmet laws, any degradation in the provision for alternatives seems more from inaction than action.

          When it comes to the war on cars however there is plenty of evidence however.

          You can look at the introduction of speed bumps everywhere which both slows travel and doubles fuel consumption, you can look at the proposed speed limit changes which reduce the posted speed on many roads by 40% even though they have zero reported crashes over the past 20 years. You can look at how rail frequencies have been increased with no consideration for grade separating level crossings, rather they simply close them resulting in greater segregation of communities, increased congestion and longer journey times. You can look at the removal of left turn facilities resulting in increased congestion. you can look at the removal of lanes at signal controlled intersection which again increase congestion. You can look at the removal of parking requirements in residential areas resulting in the need for vehicles to illegally park. And then for the privilege of this car users get to pay ever increasing amounts of tax to subsidies the very work that is making things worse for them. Meanwhile the roadsides remain as dangerous as every with new hazards being added to the roadside on a daily basis while the road itself crumbles away.

        5. Ah Richard…surprised you’re allowed to drive anywhere other than in a straight line with those blinkers on.

        6. Joe, I assume you can’t challenge any of the points I raised given you resorted to going straight to personal attacks.

        7. “Richard: people “need” to illegally park?”

          Unfortunately this is the way we are going. When it comes to modern subdivisions there is a significant shortage of parking due to the requirements being relaxed, and potentially soon to be removed. This leaves many people with no realistic choice but to illegally park.

        8. Still a bit confused why people would need to park illegally. Surely they could park in designated public parking, or on private land/ driveway/ garage if they are visiting.

          Just because people will park illegally when public parking space is scarce, doesn’t mean they need to.

        9. ” Surely they could park in designated public parking, or on private land/ driveway/ garage if they are visiting.”

          Sounds like you need to go visit some of the new developments that have been made based on the Unitary plan. They have neighborhoods where there is zero on-street parking and each house on average having one off-street park whilst owning 2 vehicles on average. This has resulted in neighborhoods where people are required to park on berms, footpaths or in some cases on the road blocking other people from being able to leave their homes.

          It’s a result of poorly thought through initiatives to reduce the number of trips made by car. This is why the idea of removing parking requirements completely is a recipe for disaster no matter what flavor of transport you prefer.

        10. It isn’t a war on cars to try to limit the negative consequences of cars while still retaining the benefits of the mode for those that need it. I’ll provide some responses to Richard’s questions, in the help they’re helpful for people who are still reading.

          “Speed bumps”: There are far better alternatives available which slow the traffic to safe levels without the downsides of speed bumps, such as Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods. This blog promotes those alternatives. I’d consider speed bumps as a last resort to try to slow drivers who persist with unsafe speeds; unfortunately AT seems to use them as their “go-to” favourite.

          “Speed limits”: Ours do not meet international guidelines and contribute to our safety crisis. AT should be moving away from looking at a street’s history of crashes to looking at the fundamentals of what’s appropriate to enable healthy use of each street. Would the 50-100 km of new roads built each year need to establish a CV of crashes before they’re allowed safe speeds? Hopefully we can lower the limits to safe speeds on many streets before there’s even one crash. Auckland drivers can adjust and understand the slower speeds that are expected of them – at which research shows they can see more in their peripheral vision, and react in time to prevent hitting people.

          “Rail frequencies have been increased with no consideration for grade separating level crossings, rather they simply close them resulting in greater segregation of communities, increased congestion and longer journey times”: Absolutely we need more funds for this. At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that motorways and heavily-trafficked arterial roads have segregated communities. And that low traffic neighbourhoods will use the technique of filtering traffic so the rail lines may sometimes be the ideal place to provide over or underpasses for active users while stopping cars. The fundamental unit of movement is walking, and our priority needs to be to improve access by walking across all these lines of severance.

          “The removal of left turn facilities; the removal of lanes at signal controlled intersection”: Widened intersections are one of the worst blights on our urban form that the unbalanced transport planning has created. It has increased danger for all road users. If driving was an appropriate mode for a large part of the population to be using it wouldn’t require the massive, ugly, dangerous intersections Auckland has today.

          “The removal of parking requirements in residential areas resulting in the need for vehicles to illegally park”: Enforcement is required. But where would the cars go? The market would respond by providing some properties at a higher price with more offstreet parking. People would also respond to less parking availability as they have done in places where enforcement is provided, by rationalising their car ownership decisions, finding pay parking nearby, and/or shifting modes. Driving isn’t a good mode if it has an equipment storage problem that requires us to give up the public realm.

          “For the privilege of this car users get to pay ever increasing amounts of tax to subsidise the very work that is making things worse for them”: Car users are responsible for paying for infrastructure and systems to keep other road users safe from the dangers posed by motor vehicles. They haven’t done so. They are responsible for paying for the cost of mitigating the pollution and emissions they cause. They haven’t done so. They are also responsible for paying for the social cost of the deaths, injuries and illness driving causes. They haven’t done so. Driving is the most subsidised mode.

          A rebalancing of the network so that cars don’t dominate or degrade people or place isn’t a war. We’re trying to give people more choice, safety, freedom and quality of life. People who drive are important – they’re our people, our loved ones. Most of them want the drudgery taken out of driving so that when they do drive, it’s a pleasant experience. And the thing about a good transport network is that it achieves this. What’s absolutely clear is that the direction our transport planning has taken has not provided this, and that it is a fool’s journey to try to ease congestion with a new highway here, and a wider intersection there, an extra lane or a dynamic lane here. All it does is increase traffic across the network, increasing congestion at other pinch points.

          What’s becoming more and more clear to me is that the people resisting change from the capacity-expansion approach are not advocating for drivers – because drivers are not served by this conventional, failed approach – but are advocating for the status quo transport industry.

        11. Thanks for your response Heidi.

          I actually agreed 100% with your 1st item, but then it digressed into anti-car mantra which needs to be discussed on an item by item basis with this not being an ideal environment to do so and hence I wont go into it.

          Everything you said has merit and I’m not saying its wrong, just that I don’t agree entirely.

      3. Many of the two land roads with median were previously four lanes until the median was painted in the middle. A number of these were arterials that previously accommodated tram lines.

    2. It’s less a hatred for cars and more a love for people not dying while trying to live their lives.

      1.People’s lives take priority over metal boxes.

      2. People’s right to move around their town without dying takes priority over peoples right to move around alone in metal boxes.

      3. Public space is limited and metal boxes with one occupant are the absolute worse possible option to make best use of that space.

      4. In order to make best use of public space, metal boxes have to give up space to make way for modes that are more effective at moving people safely.

      It’s all pretty logical.

      1. Wrong. It is a hatred of cars from a group of people who want to dictate and prioritise mobility modes. These people tend not to be car drivers or users.
        You seem like a hater with your silly human lives vs metal box assertions. People should have right to move around in the mode of their choice, including by car.
        Limited public space is why we have specialised parking buildings. Reassigning space on transit routes for non car modes is all well and good when space is available. Much much better to make more non car transit routes like bike and walking pathways and rapid transit rail and busway routes. We have this and they work great.

        1. One way to determine if “we have this and they work great” would be to look at a map of Auckland’s network of off-road or protected on-road bike pathways. The percentage of Auckland properties the network accesses is tiny. We do not have such a network.

          To determine if we have a walking network you need to understand what walkability is. It’s much more than the existence of footpaths. Or even frequent safe crossing infrastructure, which is missing from much of the city. Walkability includes a safe and healthy environment that has amenity and interest. We don’t have such a network – this is why our rates of walking are so low.

          Our network of rapid transit is improving, but certainly doesn’t have coverage of the city, and the approaches to the stations are deficient.

          In short, “people should have the right to move around in the mode of their choice” but currently we don’t.

          Let’s work together to gain access by all the modes.

        2. “Let’s work together to gain access by all the modes.”

          I agree, why why write an article demonize one road to such an extent it seems there is zero tolerance for its existence? Its like reading an article from Mike Hosking regarding bikes.

        3. Ok I wasn’t going to say anything further but it’s been a slow afternoon. I live in Grey Lynn and work in Market Place, a measly 1.5km trip. You have some weird claim that the desire for better mode share is driven by people who hate cars and don’t drive them. I can safely say I do not fall in that category.

          I have used 5 different modes to get to work on many an occasion. Walk, Bus, Cycle, Drive and Scooter. You are right that people should have the right to move about as they feel, you missed a key part that says ‘In Safety’ after all, that is a fundamental human right, more important than how we travel but that we travel safely.

          Of the 5 modes, I would choose cycle. It’s quicker, cheaper, better for the environment and healthier. However, last week I got knocked off by a careless man on Ponsonby Road where there is no cycle infrastructure. There are 4 lanes of traffic and 2 lanes of on street parking, for people to store their preferred mode at the expense of any cycling infrastructure. My question to you, how would you cycle to Market Place from Richmond Road safely? Being as everyone should have the right to travel by their preferred mode and being that you believe we should simply make more non car transit routes as you call it. How would you make it a level playing field so you can use your car for the trip, I can use my bike as our given right, and we both can have the same chance of getting their uninjured?

      2. Unfortunately that’s not true Ari, sure that gets used as a disingenuous argument however its rather easy to see through.

        If safety was the concern people would actually talk about how safety can be improved, or maybe even mention how the dynamic lanes will actually reduce safety.

        A classic example of this is as follows:
        “The Redoubt Road Dynamic Lane is certainly not as damaging as the boondoggle that was part of the original Mill Rd project:”

        This is despite the fact the Mill Rd project significantly improves safety and significantly improves walking, cycling and PT provisions. It seems because this project adds one more traffic lane that all its benefits should be thrown out with the bath water.

  6. Heidi, how many cars do you think we need to get off the roads? NZ has 4.2m vehicles and 1.8m households, so 2.3 vehicles/household. A reduction of 25% to 1.7 vehicles/household would take traffic back to levels last seen in Auckland 10 or 15 years ago (although things were already pretty bad then) – not counting future population growth.

    That would involve taking 350,000 vehicles off the streets of Auckland.

    1. It’s a guess, of course, but that’d be the sort of number I’d use. The more analysis I see, the more I realise that Auckland’s transport system will largely need to be decarbonised by 2030. A drop in vehicle numbers, electrification, and people leaving their cars at home (as they adjust to the idea of not having one at all) will all contribute. At some point, I imagine there’ll be a substantial shift: car ownership will be seen as a drag on freedom, and being comfortable with the PT system will have more ‘social standing.’

    2. Heidi, can I suggest that no one was closer to sustainability issues than John Mauro and here are his departing words. They don’t paint a good picture of Auckland leadership.
      Asked whether it was politicians or the bureaucracy, Mauro thought it was both.

      “We’ve got some good champions in our local elected officials, but there doesn’t seem to be a critical mass of people wanting to drive the ambition.”

      Nothing will change until we want to change. At least as long as our officials are still controlling the narrative.

    1. miffy, while you are being so helpful do you and Mrs Miffy have any space in your backyard for a nuclear power plant?

      1. That would be a Non-Complying activitity in my zone so it would require an application and a resource consent. What i find interesting is you are allowed to make that application if you wish and the council has to assess it. But if you want to subdivide off an existing second dwelling where the sites are smaller than the current minimum size requirements then you will find some numbskull made that a Prohibited Activity so you are not allowed to make an application and the Council is legally not allowed to assess it.

      2. In Blacktown Sydney you are able to have a 7kw Solar system installed on your roof and will be aid 21c/kw for your surplus, while you will pay 26c/kw if you use more than you generate.
        Guess they are more serious about alternative energy than I thought.

  7. Excellent post and shows the disconnect within AT and a large part of it, I suspect, is unconscious or the system/tools are not fit for the job. So many isolated little jobs and projects looked at with narrow vision.

  8. 1) Without congestion tolls, a freed up RMA & high population growth peak traffic/traffic will continue to grow

    2) The proposed solution is absurd. The traffic signals at each end are the capacity constraints. All the dynamic lanes do is provide slightly more efficient queuing.

    3) The current 3 lanes should be reduced to 2 lanes and fully protected cycle lanes, a flush median and ped islands.

    4) Auckland Transport clearly doesnt have proper processes in place to ensure pedestrian and cycle planners have input into projects

  9. Auckland is growing, can we continue to move the present car ownership ratio per household let alone allow the ratio to expand further. Continuing on the present path is not an option from either a practical viewpoint of continual expansion of the roading corridors or the environmental or carbon footprint.

    The option is to make the alternatives to the private owned vehicle more attractive.

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