Last week the Auckland Transport board met for the last time of the year and as usual, there was some interesting items in the various reports.
This is where most of the interesting items come up but all we get is the subject.
Items for Approval/Decision
- Approval of Agreements to Grant with KiwiRail for use of the Rail Corridor
- Auckland’s Low Emission Bus Roadmap – Version 2, Addendum: September 2020
- Annual Public Transport Fare Review (FY2020-21)
- On Demand Transport Solutions: Next Steps
- Safe Speeds Programme – Tranche 2 Options for Speed Limit Review
- Auckland Integrated Fares System Agreement Extension for AT HOP
I fear that with COVID having severely impacted on fare revenue that we could be in for a bit of a shock with the fare review.
The business report contains updates on things all over the organisation and the updates below are just a few of the items that I thought were most interesting based on the order they appear in the report.
Redoubt Rd Dynamic Lanes – AT say that during the first week after it launched drivers are seeing a six to seven minute travel time saving. It will be interesting to see how long that lasts
Dairy Flat – Last month AT celebrated finishing a $10 million roundabout and other safety improvements on the Dairy Flat Highway and Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection. What stands out is that this was in response to “a 1,000-strong community petition to AT to lower the speed limit“. It really shouldn’t take a 1,000-strong petition to get safety improvements made.
Notably, other petitions for safety improvements, such as this 3,000+ to improve Oteha Valley Rd, where two people not in cars have died in separate incidents, was submitted two years ago and I don’t think anything has happened
Bike Racks – this is an exciting update as we need a lot more bike parking around the city
Parking Services is targeting the delivery of 184 new bike parking spaces across both End-of-Trip (EoT) facilities and outdoor bike rack shelters in the 2020/2021 financial year. Bike Auckland has been consulted and have provided excellent technical feedback on both the location and design and AT will continue to work with Bike Auckland on this project in the future. Due to resource consent requirements, an implementation date has not yet been determined. Bike racks currently being planned include:
- Fort Street – double stack bike rack: this bike rack will have 20 spaces with installation likely in early 2021.
- Toka Puia EoT facility: this bike rack will have 84 spaces, including 28 for e-Bike charging. This became available to the general public from 27 November 2020, including changing rooms, water bottle filling and two repair stations.
- Aotea Square/Queen Street Road Frontage – double stack bike rack: this bike rack will have 40 spaces with installation likely in in early 2021.
- Britomart Station, Chief Post Office (CPO) – double stack bike rack: this bike rack will have 40 spaces with installation likely in in early 2021.
Toka Puia is the new carpark in Takapuna, previously known as the Gasometer site, that will replace the surface level Anzac St carpark so it can be developed as well as turned into more public space. I happened to check out the bike parking earlier in the week and it’s an impressive facility, though there are no safe routes to it.
The entrance is from Huron St and down a ramp so you can ride straight on in (I did). Also notice they’ve included some water fountains. On the inside there is heaps of space and a row of these have power points for charging e-bikes. There are also showers behind the orange doors. There are also two stands with tools for on repairs.
I’m not sure if it’s part of this programme or one to improve busway stations but AT have also been installing new covered bike racks at Smales Farm and Constellation stations which is in part to deal with overflowing bike parking. This is the one at Smales and there is more parking behind where I took this photo and the old rack have been moved and are still available too.
As for the comments about the proposed parking at Aotea Square, Britomart and Fort St, I’m hoping they’re suggesting something like this, which is in Wellington
Property – This is not something that often interests me but the report does include this comment “Settlement has been reached for the sale of the Mill Road and Penlink properties to Waka Kotahi for $95.9m“. Waka Kotahi are now delivering these projects as part of the NZ Upgrade programme and I did hear at one stage they were wanting AT to just give them the properties.
Mangere East and Manukau Cycling business cases
AT currently have consultation out for cycling improvements in Mangere. Now they’re starting the assessment work for two more areas in the south.
The Auckland Cycling Programme Business Case identifies Māngere East and Manukau as priority areas for investment in cycling, recognising the opportunity for cycling to play an increased role in meeting people’s transport needs in these two areas.
AT is procuring professional services in November 2020 to deliver two Single Stage Business Cases (SSBCs) – the Māngere East Cycling SSBC and the Manukau Cycling SSBC. Each business case will identify a preferred cycling network and recommend a set of cycling improvements to encourage increased cycling in the two project areas. Development of the two SSBCs is anticipated to begin in Q1 2021, with the SSBCs being finalised in late 2021/early 2022.
The two business cases will be delivered under the umbrella of Waka Kotahi’s Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland programme and will emphasise strong stakeholder and community engagement. A set of tactical improvements is included in the scope of the SSBCs to inform the development of cycling interventions and provide a platform for engagement in the two areas. The Manukau Cycling SSBC will be developed in partnership with the Panuku-led Transform Manukau programme, while Kāinga Ora will be a key stakeholder for both business cases with significant investment planned in Māngere and Manukau. The Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Manurewa Local Boards will be engaged throughout the development of the SSBCs.
Street Lighting – For a number of years now AT have been replacing streetlights LEDs and are targeting to replace 25,000 this financial year and they’re on track having replaced 7,947 from the start of July to the end of October. Once those are fully installed, they’ll be saving $3.6 million annually. Perhaps more interesting, AT have 121,055 streetlights across the region and 73,991 (61%) are now LEDs.
Victoria St cycleway – The implementation of the Victoria St cycleway in places is quite poor and AT are going to be using video analytics to “measure it’s effectiveness“.
Following the opening of the new cycleway on Victoria Street West (by Victoria Park), computer vision builds have been refined for the new cycleway. Previously we had been counting both pedestrians and cyclists travelling in both directions on the shared path and the road. We are now able to isolate the cyclists only travelling on the new cycleway in any direction. The data collected will be used to measure the effectiveness of this cycleway by comparing the cyclists counts on the road versus the cycleway, as well as to classify the types of users using the new cycleway
Bus Red Light Running – Like with the Victoria St cycleway, AT are also going to use video analytics to monitor red light running by buses.
Buses running through red lights are a serious health and safety issue on the transport network, however monitoring and identifying individual buses and their drivers in the past has been challenging. AT has CCTV cameras specialised for image analytics for red light running buses, but these cameras are not available at all intersections and lights. AT staff are sent out to some intersections to monitor driver behaviour, however
this is resource intensive.
The Red Light Running Bus report was developed to enable the Metro Service Performance team to see clear and actionable CRM insights around red light running. The text mining output quantifies how many red light running bus incidents have been reported over time, measuring the frequency and trend. With this information, the Metro team can be confident in which bus company they should raise identified issues with. The other detail extracted provides enough information up front for a bus company to pinpoint which bus driver schedule has the highest red light running record. This information has allowed the AT Metro Operations team to engage with the bus companies around targeting behaviour change and improvement with these drivers.
Due to the accuracy of the output of this data (100% precision), the AT Metro Operations team has asked for this proof of concept to be automated and productionised so that it can be used as part of their daily reporting and monitoring processes.
If you’ve read the papers, is there anything else that stands out to you?