It’s Friday again, here’s our roundup of some of the things that have caught our attention this week.
PT back to normal from next week
We might be waiting till Monday to find out if the country moves back to Level 2 however Auckland Transport have advised that full PT services resume from then.
Our trains, buses and ferries will be back to running on a normal timetable from next week! Remember to maintain physical distancing when travelling and of course, stay safe and be kind. For more information visit: https://t.co/cHYGxQBTKM pic.twitter.com/BaV71zzZYQ
— Auckland Transport (@AklTransport) May 7, 2020
Auckland’s Innovating Streets application
Yesterday the Council’s Emergency Committee endorsed the first batch of projects that will go in the application for Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets fund.
Councillor Chris Darby says, “With generous and creative government funding, we can fast-forward plans to enliven streets for people by providing room to move safely and enjoyably.
“The lockdown has seen Aucklanders rediscover the delight of walking and cycling and now’s the time to lock in some of the good habits we took up during the lockdown.
“With massive growth in online retail during lockdown, local retail centres need engaging points of difference. Just as we successfully re-imagined High St to make it safer and more appealing for people, we’re now looking towards enlivening the high streets in our local centres.
“Innovating Streets is just the tonic, providing playful interventions like play-street programmes, ‘Slow Sundays’, low traffic zones, pop-up bike paths and car calming around schools.”
The list of projects in the application are below.
Auckland Transport led projects
City Centre projects
- Cook Street, city centre, walking and cycling improvements
- Queen Street Access for Everyone pilot
- Project WAVE (Wynyard Quarter)
- Safe School Streets Pilot – Owairaka District School and Sunnyhills Primary School
- School streets road closure and rapid active mode shift programme
- Collingwood Street safety improvements (Ponsonby)
- Rubber roundabout trial – Queen Street/Victoria Avenue/Court Street intersection (Waiuku)
- McCrae Way Shared Zone (New Lynn)
- Ranui Town Centre safety improvements
- Matakana Valley Road tactical urbanism upgrade
- Otara Town Centre pedestrian improvements
Panuku Development Auckland led projects
- Temporary Oratia and Ratanui Link- pop up walking, cycling and bus priority (Henderson)
- Onehunga Mall crossings, shared spaces and intersection treatments (Onehunga)
- Huron and Northcroft streetscape improvements (Takapuna)
The Otago Daily Times published a great opinion piece this week by Dunedin mathematician Gerrard Liddell. It’s worth reading the whole thing.
The pandemic has given us a chance to reflect on the amenity of our roads.
Young and old, fit and frail have been able to enjoy our roads unthreatened by vehicles. We can hear each other and the birds that have returned.
Our children have been able to use their ride-ons, scooters and bikes. Whole families have space to walk together.
We had forgotten how much we had lost since fossil-fuelled vehicles decided they did not want to share the road. Motorists concocted the term ‘‘jaywalking’’ to alienate others from their own road and marginalise them to narrow footpaths off which they must give way almost everywhere to vehicles. Overseas visitors are appalled at our subtribe of drivers who charge at dilatory pedestrians, treating other road users as little better than potential road kill.
We presume that one person in a car (the median occupancy) is entitled to take up the space of six cyclists or more than 10 pedestrians, yet we begrudge pedestrians the space to walk four abreast or cyclists to ride three abreast.
I as a motorist have never paid for this exclusive use of the road, compromising the safety of all others. I only pay part of the cost of resurfacing, the veneer of bitumen. I have paid nothing for disturbing others’ peace and taking their space.
It is my and others’ even heavier vehicles that damage the roads, and so it is only just that I contribute to this cost.
CRL TBM named
I’m not a huge fan of competitions to name things like TBMs but it’s a thing and City Rail Link have announced the result of theirs.
City Rail Link’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will share the name of one of New Zealand’s most inspirational leaders, Dame Whina Cooper, a woman who spent most of an illustrious life leading the fight for social justice and land rights for Māori.
Dame Whina Cooper’s name topped a nationwide poll ahead of internationally recognised Antarctic scientist, Dr Margaret Bradshaw, and the world’s first elected openly transgender mayor and Member of Parliament, Georgina Beyer.
“The project is both proud and honoured that our TBM will carry the name of a woman of such mana – Dame Whina Cooper,” said City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney. “We were looking for the name of a New Zealand woman who inspired – brave, compassionate and fearless – and all those outstanding leadership qualities are well and truly represented by the very remarkable Dame Whina Cooper.”
A more urban Tauranga
It’s great to see Tauranga is looking to change its destiny and density.
Tauranga City Council has unanimously endorsed a business case to promote higher density living, a multi-modal transport programme and social infrastructure proposals for the Te Papa peninsula.
The peninsula runs from Greerton to Tauranga’s CBD and the Te Papa Indicative Business Case recognises the potential of the area to provide economic and social benefits for the local community, the wider city and the region.
The Bay of Plenty Times revealed today the proposed plan was expected to cost $450 million over 30 years.
In a press release today, mayor Tenby Powell said: “This is the time to change the way we grow our city, to plan ahead, encourage change and promote the opportunity to live and move around differently.”
The business case, developed by Tauranga City Council in partnership with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, recommends an integrated land use transport strategy.
The Te Papa area is shown below and makes a lot of sense as the place to focus this change in Tauranga. Cameron Road which runs through the centre of the area is ideal spine for a high quality PT route supported by increased density along with safe ubiquitous walking and cycling infrastructure.
Looking at some of the details, I came across this graphic which I like as highlights that you won’t just wake up one day to find apartments everywhere, as you’d think from what some opponents like imply, but that it’s long term process.
Go for it Tauranga and good luck.
Puhoi to Warkworth
Earlier this week I highlighted the troubles with the Transmission Gully project. The other PPP project is Puhoi to Warkworth and they’ve recently just a new flyover video giving an indication of the scale of it. There are some mighty large and steep cuts in there. I also continue to find it funny that they talk about a Kauri Eco Viaduct that is being built in a place they cut down many Kauri trees.
Even putting aside any COVID-19 induced delays, it is hard to see how they’ll hit the goal of the road being open in late 2021.
The final stretch of the footpath extension has been going in at High Street this week
Nelson have been doing a good job in their response to COVID-19 already and that looks set to continue this weekend as they introduce an area wide speed limit decrease. I’m surprised AT haven’t done this too, especially given it’s meant to be happening permanently next month anyway – why not start a few weeks early with temporary signs.
The speed limit in Nelson’s City Centre will decrease to 30km/hr to provide a safe environment for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery phase. For details go to the Our Nelson websitehttps://t.co/l8ppTU6fX9 pic.twitter.com/RMOAjwDIES
— Nelson City Council (@nelsoncitynz) May 5, 2020
We’re not endorsing bus drivers do this but I bet that driver won’t park in a bus lane again.
When you park in the buslane, we ask you to move once….not twice!pic.twitter.com/6I2rlBmWSf
— MonkeyWrenchGang (@M_WrenchGang) April 29, 2020
Have a good weekend.