In April last year Auckland Transport proposed a range of safety improvements to Tamaki Dr in both Mission Bay and St Heliers. This was done using the same process they’d used for similar changes in town centres in other parts of the region. The proposals certainly weren’t perfect, for example in places AT proposed removing an existing cycleway and there were many other aspects where AT ignored their own design rules.

But St Heliers was different. Even what was proposed was quickly opposed by locals furious at the idea of change and for not being treated specially by AT. The opposition quickly boiled up to anger and that was highlighted at a public meeting on the 15th of April where worried about the safety of their staff, AT didn’t show up. Though I also understand they were told not to show up by a local politician who then used that to rally against them.

Of course the locals claimed it was all a civil meeting and the reporter who helped fan the flames of opposition reported “One young man got up to speak in favour of the changes, saying he did not want to be living with the consequences of being hit by a car in future“. What he didn’t report was the abuse he suffered afterwards, especially from older residents. It all sounded more of a lynch mob than a public meeting.

But AT didn’t get much support from its owners either with Mayor Phil Goff shamefully throwing them under the bus, seemingly more worried about future electoral results than staff or public safety.

Subsequently AT withdrew it’s proposals and pledged to work through the issues with the locals.

Yesterday they finally announced the outcome of that work and frankly it’s embarrassing. It starts:

Auckland Transport (AT) will be releasing a new proposed safety plan for St Heliers Village.

Following the negative response from hundreds of St Heliers locals over a proposal to install 12 raised pedestrian crossings in the village, losing over 40 carparks in the St Heliers Business district, the plan has been revisited.

A key part of that change was to form a working group with the St Heliers Business Association and the St Heliers/Glendowie Residents’ Association representatives to deliver on improvements to the village that were evidence based.

This process included Councillor Desley Simpson and Colin Davis of the Ōrākei Local Board who have business improvement districts as part of their delegated responsibilities.

AT’s Group Manager Network Management, Randhir Karma, says “In working alongside these community representatives for a number of months, we have shaped a new proposal which we hope better reflects the needs of the local community, but which also meets our safety objectives.”

AT’s working group immediately raises red flags due to how limited it seems to be. Residents Associations in particular have time and again been shown to be far from representative of the views of all locals. But more importantly where are the other voices. Where was the youth representative (or anyone under about 60), or the representatives from the disability community or road safety advocates. Tamaki Dr is also our most popular cycling route, where were active mode representatives.

It seems AT not only did AT stack the court against themselves, they actively excluded segments of society who wanted to participate – as per the example below. That’s shameful from a public organisation.

After the creation of the working group I tried to get a Youth of Ōrākei representative (Ōrākei Youth Board) onto the group. This was strongly opposed from the St Heliers Residents/Business Associations. This is what happens when you close off discussions to fit your agenda.

The lack of perspectives can clearly be seen in the design AT are now consulting on. Councillor Desley Simpson praised the process that led to it calling it open and transparent. The process is so transparent you can see that when they created a list of constraints it started with “LEAVE ALL PARKING IN PLACE” and everything followed from there.

Back to the press release, they say:

The safety improvements now proposed include no loss of carparking in the area, and some small bus stop changes to make outdoor dining less affected by bus fumes.
Pedestrians benefit from four new zebra crossings at key points within the village and the resurfacing of footpaths as soon as funding is available.

While the seaside wooden boardwalk remains dedicated for pedestrians, cyclists benefit from a widened and lengthened shared path on the seaward side of Tamaki Drive (separate from the boardwalk).

It is envisaged that this shared path would be approximately four metres wide enabling sufficient space for cyclists but also allow for pedestrians and those exiting their vehicles, including those with push chairs and wheelchairs, to safely navigate their way without negatively impacting any carparking.

The usual white line will be painted down the middle of the shared path for the further protection of walkers and other vulnerable people.

Under the proposal there are also two new raised pedestrian crossings (similar to those outside Kelly Tarlton’s) to meet the 30 km/h speed reduction approved by the AT Board and due to be implemented in 2021.

THE USUAL WHITE LINE !!!!

AT claim to be a “Vision Zero organisation”, they even say it on the consultation page. Did no one in the organisation who signed off this press release or consultation stop to think about this. Afterall, this is what happens to ‘white lines’ painted on shared paths on Tamaki Dr – though granted that’s not a 4m wide path.

The path will be widened to 4m but even then it means the cycleway half is still just 2m wide. That’s far to narrow for a bi-directional path. In fact in ATs own Transport Design Manual the section on cycling says:

4.4 Shared paths
A shared path is not a approved type and may only be used where numbers of cyclists and pedestrians are low enough to avoid frequent conflict.

A town centre on the busiest cycle route in the city is not a low volume area. It also goes on to say that the preferred width of a path is 4m and that it needs a preferred width of another 1m if the path is kerb side with parking alongside it. There is no buffer zone on the path above meaning the cycleway is in the door zone. This version from Carol Green would be a more accurate representation.

It’s not just design manuals that are ignored, so to are other plans like their parking policy and the Tamaki Dr Masterplan, which includes on the section for improving the seaside villages:

in the context of a wider parking plan for the Tāmaki Drive Masterplan area, reduce parking along and adjacent to Tāmaki Drive over time to improve people’s ability to safely cross the road and enjoy the coastal setting

It isn’t like there already isn’t a heap of parking in the town centre, as can be clearly seen on the plans now out for consultation – they’re even adding more in on Goldie St. With all that parking, AT also need to answer why they haven’t already implemented changes in parking management, including possibly charging for it, to ensure it’s being used efficiently.

On their consultation page AT say “The new proposal is based on evidence where speed data, crash data, pedestrian surveys, and best practice in road safety are well considered“. Considered but ignored it seems.

And of course all of this outcome is also coming out of AT’s limited safety budget, of any budget it’s the one that needs to be bold and evidence based.

I would say that AT should be giving this community what actually seem to want, nothing, spend the money in places that actually want change. However, at the same time I don’t think AT can just abandon areas with known safety issues.

What I think frustrates me about all of this is not so much the actual details but the processes and capitulations AT and the council have made. The Council tasked AT with improving road safety but then tried to do that based on the evidence, the council refused to back them. For their part, AT don’t always get designs right but there’s an element of “you’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts” when it comes to designs. As a Vision Zero organisation they can’t just abdicate their responsibilities just because some locals don’t like them, especially when the changes will likely be in place for decades to come.

For some time now, AT have been able to deliver fantastic some plan and strategy documents but at some point they need to stop talking about the future and start designing for it.

Consultation on the plans is open till Monday 2 November.

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78 comments

  1. I feel betrayed. Our kids don’t matter to the old, they don’t matter to AT, and they don’t matter to our mayor. And I know I’m not alone.

  2. “I would say that AT should be giving this community what actually seem to want, nothing, spend the money in places that actually want change”: I think this is the correct thing to do if it is coming from the safety budget. Do other places first, then when the St Helliers brigade drive their people movers through those suburbs and say wow this is nice and complain that their area hasn’t received upgrades, then AT has some bargaining power. In the mean time most of the safety outcomes can be achieved by a few 30 km/hr signs and a speed camera or three.
    I get the feeling AT are learning though. The council (and AT to a lesser extent) are starting to make a lot of changes in our area (and so they should with all the housing being built). They must be liking the positivity from the locals, to my knowledge there hasn’t been any backlash whatsoever and these are proper significant changes not just a few speed bumps.
    AT could start consultations everywhere and just do the ones that appreciated and keep the others in a continuous state of fake consulting.

    1. Yes they should of done nothing then when a couple of their resident association oldies get bowled over by another one of them driving to find a park in their giant SUVs because it wasn’t safe enough they might see things differently.

      Perhaps after a few close calls with scooters and bikes nearly hitting pedestrians they will then demand the shared paths be removed.

    1. Wow. I bet you wanted to say something like, “Are you this senior and so lazy you haven’t even read the document? Or do you know full well what it actually says, but are quite happy to spread misinformation in order to block progress?”

      How do we support the poor staff in AT who are trying to use AT’s guides and plans to do good work, and get stymied by these people at the top?

      Doing nothing just ends up supporting the dysfunction that’s keeping our people sick, and causing deaths.

    2. The CE certainly thinks the guide is for existing streets, as he wrote in the foreword:

      “The Guide is a practical tool to help transform Auckland’s streets into more efficient and welcoming spaces that accommodate all users and meet the demands of a growing city.”

      You don’t transform a street when you’re building it from scratch. I wonder why the CE’s take is different from his senior staff member?

      1. “I wonder why the CE’s take is different from his senior staff member?”

        Is it because he chairs the Active Modes Steering Committee and is responsible for AT implementing the recommendations of the Howard safety audit, and thus deeply understands how overdue this “transformation” is and how lifesaving it will be?

        And if so, when and where does the transformation start? (Clearly not in St Heliers this year.)

        1. Is this an active steering group that he chairs? Steering Groups usually lead to a permanent committee or group of some kind, which he has presumably appointed?

          At this stage, every project I see suggests it’s sabotage, not just incompetence, that’s fumbling the active transport progress.

          The government should be interested in such poor performance.

  3. Sick of rich suburbs stopping any sort of progress, bit it densification, safety measures, climate damage reduction, active mode use etc etc. BUt, i’m more sick of AT and the Council pandering to them. The money, time and effort being used to appease the likes of Takapuna, Devonport, St Helliers and Missionbay could be sunk into turning places with Council/Panuku interests like Onehunga Wharf and Avondale into beautiful, walkable, livable places. Ring fences these faux villages, give them all the car parks they need but no more investment and let people decide once other places are bought up to the same level of investment where they want to spend their time and money.

  4. Representative Surveys aren’t cheap, but they’re the only basis on which the claims AT can rest. Consultations ought to be seen as opportunities to provide freeform commentary to generalised and generalisable conclusions.

    That being said, there must also be some way of recognising that sometimes people are wrong and that they’re making decisions on the behalf of unrepresented and unconsidered future generations. The only real solution to that is a kind of inefficiency, i.e. an initial team is charged with developing the plan on the behalf of the future, a second with interpreting the surveys, a third with interpreting the consultation/s and a fourth with actually synthesising the final programme (subject to a directive to consider the future). This way no-one is in charge of making sure their own work survives to the finished product.

    (That being said… I expect you can find some minimum wage door knockers to get people to agree to an online survey. The reality is people care quite strongly about anything to do with AT so they’re all too happy to say “I’m interested”. However, it has to be door knockers. If you try and survey people in the street you’re going to mostly find people who are outside the reference zone. Or, at least, you were pre-Covid in a different part of Auckland, but I really don’t think this would change too much. Very demoralising. There’s even a good name for this survey unit with a sizeable budget attached… AT Local.)

    1. Doorknocking to ensure the consultation is only local is not the answer because without demonstration and clarification of rights, responsibilities and goals first, ignorant and selfish local resistance would still prevent implementing the city’s goals.

    2. It would be almost impossible to get a fair representative outcome. You would need to apply some kind of weighting to different groups; the people who live in St Heliers, the people that run businesses there, the people that walk or cycle through, the people that drive through, etc. And then there are also the people that would do any of these things in St Heliers if the place was different (basically the entire city / country / world would need to be sampled). This is the reason why we have an elected council to represent the views of the entire city. Unfortunately the elected don’t get much say on AT and also they like to try and appease everyone (even those that are unlikely to have voted for them in the first place).

      1. “like to try and appease everyone (even those that are unlikely to have voted for them in the first place).”

        This is the job of an elected official you don’t just please people who voted for you, you do what is best for the community that you represent / what they want. Over large areas there will be differing voters and they should all be treated like their voice is heard and have their projects run under the same prioritization scheme as everyone else.

        it would be really poor form to only put money into areas that voted for you for example, even if they didn’t really need it more than some other area. I believe its called pork – barreling or something like that.

        Not saying I support the new plan from AT but just picking at that last comment.

        1. Surely it would be poor form to get elected on promises of PT, walking, cycling, etc and then do the opposite based on the views of people that didn’t vote for those things (and were outvoted).

      2. The purpose of consultations is NOT to decide which groups matter. The purpose of consultation is to find out what people THINK. You then take those opinions nad make tradeoffs.

        Consultations do not generate remotely meaningful insights into what people think so the whole process falls apart at the first step. This is what surveys fix.

        This is ALSO why the proposal specifically separated the people who actually rationalise all the different views into a programme from the people who (a) determine the future’s interest, (b) determine what the surveys say and (c) determine what the consultations on the survey outcomes say. Basically, it’s to avoid the IKEA effect whereby people become convinced something’s worth more than it is, just because they helped make it.

    3. As a regular user of this area I’d hope they are door knocking at my place in Mt Wellington as well.

      St Heliers doesn’t belong to local residents only, it is used by many residents across Auckland. At least I assume the local businesses there have been happy to take my money over the years?

      1. It is important to remember that I propose changing how consultations are used rather than getting rid of them altogether.

        The thing with surveys is that they’re expensive but given that we’re trying to make decisions that can last for decades (or more), the value adds up. But given the major issue with consultations is that they’re hijacked by unrepresentative groups claiming to represent the local communities, I would keep the survey arm relatively tightly focussed. Or, rather, the door knocking part.

        I must also add that I was overly fixated on the nature of a specific survey… roaming the street would actually be quite appropriate for capturing users of [place] (anyone in, say, St Heliers is by definition using it). The survey I had in mind had a different concern (which would be something to watch out for… surveys under this retooled AT Local defining the population of interest in “convenient” fashions).

  5. St Heliers has a public beach and waterfront that is an asset to the whole of Auckland, not just the local business association and residents association. I’m all for local input into local plans but the plans still need to deliver key strategic objectives. I want to cycle here with my kids and the current state and proposed design does not deliver that for me.
    Also NZTA should refuse to fund this proposal in it’s current format. It looks to me like the only benefit the design will deliver is speed reduction and you can achieve that by just throwing down some really cheap asphalt sinusoidal speed humps at less that 80m spacing and be done with it. Speed reduction achieved and no need to set foot back in there until the locals are ready to look at wider benefits.

  6. AT should not spend a penny from their safety budget on this absurdity. The risk to any reputation they have as road safety experts and their commitment to Vision Zero is too great.

    But they are not wholly at fault here. The process has been manipulated from the start by the Mitch McConnell of Auckland Council, the local councillor. AT need to quietly back away and spend the money in communities grateful for safety action, and never allow themselves to acquiesce to such a stacked deck working group again.

    AT must deliver for the whole city, not just the rich people in any local area.

    As for the businesses there, I will certainly never visit, I mean why would I want to dine in a cafe with a stack of parked cars between it and the view, also knowing that the owner actually fought for this, for the naturally beautiful place to be so dominated by traffic? Could I trust any restaurant owner with such a twisted sense of its USP to be running great place to eat?

  7. Yup, definitely a shambles. When I saw that, I couldn’t believe it. Parking before people? Why bother at all? Just spend the money somewhere else.

  8. Seems the design breaches the Vienna Convention in terms of safety through the action of Dooring:

    Dooring is a traffic collision or crash in which a bicyclist (or other road user) rides into a motor vehicle’s door, swerves to avoid or is struck by a door that was opened quickly by an occupant who failed to check carefully for approaching traffic.[1][2]

    And:

    Many countries are aligned with the Vienna convention which states: “It shall be prohibited to open the door of a vehicle, to leave it open, or to alight from the vehicle without having made sure that to do so cannot endanger other road-users.” (Article 24 — Opening of doors).[5]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dooring

    It could be concluded that the actual act of dooring or any design that leads to an increased risk of dooring will run foul of the Convention. And in this case the shared path which is still inside the road corridor is right next to parked cars thus heightens the risk of a cyclist getting doored, or a passenger from a car dooring a cyclist.

    This is compared to the dooring risk being removed in the original design as the car parks were removed, and a grade separated cycle way was put in place. Aka Safety through Design.

  9. AT seem to fall into this weird world where the public hates them for the changes that they’re not actually making.

    It takes a special level of dysfunction to get criticised for “focusing only on walking and cycling” when you’re not actually building any cycleways or making streets safer for pedestrians.

  10. So there’s going to be new angle parking on about 25m of Goldie St, opposite ample FREE parking. The kerbs will be moved and the grass verges will be cut back. Instead of implementing AT’s own Parking Strategy.

    Using Safety Funds for this Car Dependent thinking just makes me vomit.

  11. St Heliers and Mission Bay deserve careful consideration given the asset they represent for Auckland and wider New Zealand – prime waterfront, excellent accessible beaches – of course being so close to Auckland Central they must be safe and easy to access via Active Modes. So key at this stage to see the evidence base and propose best, proven, practice examples to mitigate the safety issues and risks!

  12. That tweet is a bit sus – the photo of the ‘shared space’ is from the other side of Mission Bay, that’s miles away from St Heliers and quite different to the layout of the area in question. I’m also sure the original AT plan also disregarded the Masterplan. Seems a bit like the Linear Park plans, really – it existed on paper, but it was easier for everyone to pretend it didn’t.

    The most logical option is to remove all the seaside parking and extend the footpaths around the beach areas and construct boardwalks on the other side of the sea wall where there is no beachside. Conversely, there is little reason for the footpath on the opposite side of the road to be so wide in many places and so constrained on the seaward side.

    The real inconvenient niggle with Tamaki Drive is that a huge number of people who go there drive, but it would be an infinitely more pleasant place if it actually got the attention that other beach-side suburbs around the world got. The area around where that photo was actually taken is a prime example – it would be a great location for a boardwalk extension. Further along past Kelly Tarltons is much more pleasant.

    1. I think it’s more that the photo in the tweet shows how effective the “usual white line” is at keeping foot traffic and two-wheeled traffic out of each other’s way, i.e., not at all.

      Some amazing pics over here of opening day of the Tamaki Drive bikeway, where it was already obvious that painting a line on the footpath wasn’t going to cater for enthusiastic uptake: https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/bringing-history-light-auckland-bikeway-pioneer/ And that was 44 years ago. A lifetime!

      Speaking of lifetimes: how tone-deaf is it to propose a design on Tamaki Drive that not only mixes two-wheeled travellers with pedestrians, but puts them right into a (new) door zone? Know your history, Auckland. https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/coroners-inquiry-into-jane-bishops-death/

      1. Yes, it’s a location as similar as possible (the St Heliers footpath is currently narrower so it wouldn’t have been reasonable to use that). Yes, it’s slightly narrower – it’s 3.15m instead of 4m, using a quick measurement on Google. The dooring risk in the tweet would be just as real but less frequent, because there are often fewer parked cars there. So overall, it’s a similar design: similarly low amenity and safety levels. Similarly unacceptable.

        1. I prefer my option of running light rail down the space currently occupied by footpath and building the boardwalk extensions out five or six metres into the water.

          I dare the St Heliers village crowd to tell me trams would not add character to a seaside village.

        2. They would definitely add character to the village. Not sure they could be justified though given half the catchment is water. Dominion Rd buses carry nearly three times the passenger volumes of Tamaki Drive buses.

        3. That’s not a bad effort considering there are no bus lanes east of Kelly Tarltons and literally none at all in an east-bound direction. I think you could justify the boardwalk to create the extra walking and social space easily already, and we should definitely be looking to add more space from Kohi > Mission Bay, but it would be nice to see some plans take shape for dedicated bus or other transit lanes for Tamaki Drive, even if just to unlock some of that sweet NPS development.

        4. It takes the Tamaki Link 27 minutes to cover the 9km from St Heliers to the CBD. It takes the 25 buses 39 minutes to cover the equivalent distance from Mt Roskill yet they carry nearly three times the passengers.

          Route 70, the busiest outside of the busway has dreadful bus priority. I think bus lanes have a very minor impact on the TMK patronage, catchment is a much bigger reason.

          I agree though a boardwalk would be a valuable addition to Tamaki Drive.

        5. Specifically? On the non-beach stretches, most notably from the city-end of St Heliers to the yacht club, and then again from the edge of the strip of Kohi beach around the point to the edge of Mission Bay – and then again, on either side of Romfords and along to the point with Kelly Tarltons.

          Why? More space. Changing the use of the area – it’s not just water then clogged pedestrian space then parked cars. It’s a high use area and creating more public amenity would be a great first step to changing people’s ideas of what the space can be. Currently it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than the mess that it is. If that frees up space on the landward side of the seawall to be redistributed or more creatively used, then that can only be a good thing.

    2. Clearly the sea-side parking needs to go, for so many good reasons, including that it blocks off the area’s greatest asset to very little benefit. But also in order to make more space for movement and separation of modes for safety.

      So from the seaside: Footpath, single bike lane protected with tim tams or curb, two traffic lanes, parking, single bike lane, footpath, dining. If AT insist on turning lanes then land side parking is removed. Trees. Raised crossings.

      Done.

      Four traffic lanes is unsafe, unjustifiable, and absurdly ugly and cluttered.

      1. If you put the inland single bike lane between the footpath and the parking, will you not still get “dooring”? I think cars parking along here are more likely to have passengers actually getting out of them.

        How can that problem be avoided?

        1. a gap

          or, other option is a two-way seaside lane, which does cut down on intersection conflicts, though adds risk of bike head-ons. Needs decent width.

        2. No bike head on in NZ has ever been fatal. Plenty of cycle vs car crashes at intersections are. This isort of route is the poster child location for a two way cycleway.

        3. fatal is not the only concern; there was very nasty bike-bike head-on recently on Ian MacKinnon bi-directional cycleway.

  13. It’s probably high time for someone to form a legal action non-profit group that starts taking legal action against Council and AT for blatantly disregarding their own policy and the will of the people and sabotaging safety improvements and exacerbating climate change. This is becoming sickening.

  14. Are Takapuna residents ever listened? Workers free all day street carparking is being restricted by AT so that its brand new carpark building (yet to be opened) will be filled.
    But the loss of 26 carparks in Hurstmere Rd + 350 in the Anzac St carpark will mean the complete deathnell of Takapuna retail & cafes

    1. The Anzac st car parks are being more than fully replaced by the new building. I dont know why anyone would want to drive down Hurstmere road. If the cafes and retail want more customers then there should be more walk in customers added with the new high density housing that’s being built, and the locals should support more bike lanes. Bikers are much more likely to shop locally to where they live and are much less likely to go to big malls which is what Hurstmere road is competing with. Workers free all day carparking is a complete waste of any parks, as has been demonstrated by empirical evidence, see another blog post on here recently.

    2. If your business needs on-street car parking out fron then move to a suburban strip mall. You shouldn’t be in a major urban centre.

    3. You are getting a whole CAR PARKING MULTISTOREY BUILDING built less than 300m away. One of the fastest approval-to-construction projects I have yet seen in Auckland. Cry me a river about your car parking loss when ratepayer having to subsidise such expenses for cars.

      And don’t give me the “its not out the front door” bullshit either. You walk from further to a shop when you drive to Albany mall.

  15. Hopefully bike Auckland can get it done again. Same as the new Tamaki drive section that looked like hot garbage initially. Now its one of the best designed paths in Auckland and I cant wait until it opens.
    It would be a much stronger case for a solid bi-directional path through this town if the rest of the path from there to the new Tamaki drive section was a good bike path as well. A few smart cuts to parking and the median and you could end up with a really solid solution.

  16. Did you guys not see that the previous Wellington mayor lost his job over cycleways?

    If Greater Auckland had generated a hall full of young people wanting cycleways in response to the one stacked with residents and ratepayers, maybe you would have had a shot. They didn’t. They lost.

    Righteousness wins you nothing – except a reputation for preaching to the converted.

    AT is a political organisation – run by a Board and answerable to Council. Council is full of politicians. You can hold up standards and designs and talk about the end of the world through global worming all you like, but you do what the Mayor says.

    You guys should try working with the Orakei Local Board. It’s not sport for the righteous or weak.

    Suck it up Matt.

      1. Where were they during local council elections when it mattered to Auckland Council? Democracy rewards those who turn up.
        And it’s the same in central government elections too: the Greens need to make sure they actually get to exist in Parliament, let alone expect more of the policy pie than they are already getting.

        1. Ad, in the last election, Auckland DIDN’T vote for the anti-cycling mayoral candidate and DID vote for the pro-cycling mayoral candidate. Goff has campaigned on getting the bike sheds full again, and he constantly talks up his sustainable transport credentials.

          And the result wasn’t even vaguely close. Aucklanders want a safe network where their kids can cycle.

          Local Board feedback to budgets and plans? – Safety is a top consideration. Sure, the OLB was out on a limb as one of the least safety-conscious, but this isn’t their transport network. This is ours.

          AT’s own surveys show that the vast majority of people want safe cycling and even if parking has to be given up for cycling, twice as many want this to happen as don’t. Nor are these one-off surveys. When we vote and when we are surveyed, the same results keep popping up.

          You can’t claim there’s a difficult political situation of winning the people over because there’s not. The people are won. The difficult situation is finding a polite way to say to the local vocal entitled minority, who are used to having everything their way, that people have a right to be safe, and driving and parking wherever they like is not a right.

          When the CEO was asked: “How will AT prioritise the programme and needs of the city wide present and future residents over local resistance during consultation, in the light of the Island Bay Cycleway decision?” he replied:

          “The Island Bay decision is interesting but needs to considered in the AT context with the Mayor and the Governing Body having a clear expectation of AT that it will take local communities on the journey and work with the likes of business associations and residents associations to ensure the broad acceptability of projects, whether they be cycleway infrastructure, safety interventions or other projects.”

          That’s where he went wrong and why this is a shambles.

          If the Mayor and Governing Body is saying anything but: “Make it safe. Follow our Plans. Use the Island Bay decision to fulfill your legal requirements to provide a safe network. We cannot let people die just because some other people don’t want change,” then it was AT’s role and responsibility to argue back. They are supposed to be professionals, and supposed to be the safety experts.

          Don’t you dare say everyday people have to “support council” – we’ve already done so.

        2. Surveys are useless.

          If the mayor and AT asked people if they wanted better roads and more parking they say yes too.

    1. Er – the Orakei Local Board blocked youth representation to ensure they got the outcome they wanted. There’s nothing democratic about that, I’m not sure why anyone would bother working with OLB.

        1. They’re also required to work with AT one would presume, there’s little evidence of the OLB working with anyone.

          A government that is elected by a considerably larger proportion of the population than the OLB requires AT to provide a safe road network. I’m quite happy for OLB, which is elected by less than 40 % of the local population to be overridden on matters of safety.

    2. Those “young” people who have been overwhelmingly supportive of more walking and cycling improvements are too busy raising families and working to pay the rates that pay for the massive maintenance bill on the outsized roading infrastructure those guys built in the 20th C to be able to come out to every damn public meeting to fight for the things our CCOs should just be getting on with.

        1. Most of the OLB look like that “Auckland 2040 but-will-be-dead-by-2030” group of recent years. A cocktail of Creme-de-menthe, purple rinse and an ACT membership never bodes well.

          What a wonderful group of citizens. Giving back to future generations like their parents did before them.

        2. You’d have to be pretty naive to think young parents aren’t considerably busier than the average retiree.

  17. Lots of people live to far away from this lovely beach to be able to take their kids to it by bike or walking so being allowed to drive here and having somewhere nearby to park shouldn’t be seen as a crime. Looking at the aerial view plans though there does seem to be heaps of angle parks in the other streets so insisting on keeping the seaside parking is clearly dumb if it comes at the expense of safer facilities.

    If the locals and businesses are concerned there is not enough parking, well then I ask the bold question – Does anyone know what that Vellenoweth Green is useful for? It doesn’t look like it is laid out with any sports fields so is maybe just a nice big public lawn sort of space. I wonder how densely it is used given that most people would go to the beach or the public grass next to the beach rather than sitting in this Green. So would it really be so bad to slice off about 20m or so of the Goldie St edge and make a new public car park with space for two rows of angle parked cars. Letting all those of us who are too poor to live within cycling distance from here to be able to come to this beach and as well as putting in good quality active modes facilities like everyone writing here wants.

    1. Additional parking simply means more people drive, putting more cars on the road, adding danger, preventing people from cycling, and slowing everyone down. The way to manage parking is to price it – this means some local people would walk or cycle instead, and some people from a bit further away would take the bus, leaving the parks available for those for whom it would add too much time to do anything but drive.

      If we each walk or cycle to the things we can, bus to things a bit further away, and just drive to the things that are cumbersome to get to otherwise, it’s cheaper overall. The alternative is adding parking to each amenity, which is a big cost in land value, and widening roads to accommodate that extra traffic, is very expensive.

      And then there are the carbon costs… the carbon credits we’re going to have to buy stretch to the billions of dollars.

  18. Interesting. The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires that an assessment be made of the hazards and mitigation measures put in place to minimise their impact. Anyone who influences the design is deemed to be responsible for it and therefore has a legal obligation under law to try and reduce harm as much as possible. How could an option that clearly increases the risk of harm ever have gotten this far?

  19. Exactly. They are the ones that represent Howick.
    There are plenty of cycling wins coming up – like the big one through to Orakei. Find the ones you have a shot at winning, and celebrate those.

  20. Why couldn’t they put the cycle lane on the seaward side of the 4m path? Surely that’s better, as pedestrians who travel at lower speed would have more reaction time in terms of opening car doors? Also, injuries likely to be far less serious in general for walking pedestrians versus cyclists.

  21. Note also the bus stop being moved away from crossings. desire lines from the beach to the bus stop will have people crossing the road away from the pedestrian crossings.

  22. Yeah, never really got why they were doing anything in St Heliers. Is there a big safety issue here?, and if the locals don’t want it – move on. Bigger fish to fry surely e.g. death traps like Porchester/Popes intersection…

  23. So, local residents pack out a local hall for an AT consultation session to hear the plans and express their views, and because they go against the Greater Auckland “wisdom”, this is an outrage.

    Hey you know what? Why didn’t you show up? Why haven’t you petitioned your local rep on Council or AT itself to have your voice heard? Perhaps that would have been more useful than endlessly opining on minute detail on a website and actually, you know, achieved something.

    The local population skews older. They experience considerable aggro from lycra-clad cyclists all the time, and have developed a hostility towards them. They have reduced mobility compared to the standard population, so carparks are important to them. They hear a plan that improves amenity for cyclists and reduces parking and of course they’re against them. Meanwhile, the suburb has to accommodate the rest of Auckland hitting it up in the warmer months, very few of whom can cycle or waste their entire day bussing.

    Seriously, get some local knowledge, get a grip and enough with the tanty. This is exactly what locals wanted and what consultation is designed to reflect. Your cycling utopia will have to wait.

    1. Nothing wrong with expressing their views but when they shout, down, abuse and show no respect to any dissenting views in the the room I see no reason to show any respect to their views.

      Some of the behaviour in that room would have been disappointing from an eight year old, coming from a group of mature adults it was absolutely pathetic.

    2. ” Why haven’t you petitioned your local rep on Council or AT itself to have your voice heard?”
      I know right? If they played their cards right, Greater Auckland could, through years of tireless activism, get the government and AT to adopt Greater Auckland’s policies on the future rapid transport netwrok, safety strategies, parking strategies, and land use policy. Oh wait…….

      Consultation should not reflect what the richest, most powerful, and most agressive residents want. It should reflect what the wider community wants. Local consultation should never override the basic principles of regional or national strategies or the basic right to human life.

      You and your bully mates in St Heliers will have to stick with the current road layout. Hey, at least they’ll get to keep being aggro towards cyclists.

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