Here’s our roundup for the week
Climate Change at Council
Yesterday at the Council’s Planning Committee, All Aboard presented on the need for action on climate change and that if they don’t, legal action might result. Stuff reports:
Climate change lobbyists are warning Auckland Council it could face legal action if its decisions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions fall short of promises made.
The message came from Lawyers for Climate Action during a presentation to the council’s planning committee on Thursday.
Auckland Council has made bold commitments to halve emissions by 2030 and for the city to be net carbon neutral by 2050, but is making a tentative start to rolling out its own initiatives.
“We don’t want to sue people, it’s time-consuming, and expensive and disruptive – but we are very committed to seeing this country achieve its climate goals,” Jenny Cooper QC told councillors.
The presentation was made by members of the All Aboard coalition, Paul Winton of 1point5.org.nz, David Robertson from Generation Zero, and Cooper from Lawyers for Climate Action.
It wouldn’t be the first time legal action has been taken about the climate. Just this week in Paris:
A Paris court has convicted the French state of failing to address the climate crisis and not keeping its promises to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
In what has been hailed as a historic ruling, the court found the state guilty of “non-respect of its engagements” aimed at combating global warming.
While in the UK last year:
Plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport have been ruled illegal by the court of appeal because ministers did not adequately take into account the government’s commitments to tackle the climate crisis.
Yet some councillors still seem stuck on carparks
Councillor Josephine Bartley bristled at what she described as “anger coming through” at what the council had done, and said councillors already get hate for doing things such as removing car parks.
Simon Wilson summed things up this way.
Climate action advocates incl @paulwinton warned @AklCouncil today that poor communities need better PT, cycling/walking, becos current decarbon plans will see them miss out on shift to EVs etc. Many Crs said but hang on we need to help poor communities. Frustrating discussion. pic.twitter.com/2xCdyy0gRr
— Simon Wilson (@simonbwilson) February 3, 2021
When it comes to transport and climate change, these two images seem to describe what’s going on quite well.
Daily Cap Fail
Auckland Transport’s fare increase goes live on Sunday and sees fares increase an average of 4%. However ,it seems one of features of the change, the introduction of a daily fare cap, could take another year.
A plan allowing Aucklanders unlimited travel on public transport for $20 a day is on hold while technology problems are resolved.
The daily cap, which would have capped daily deductions from AT HOP card accounts at $20, would have allowed unlimited travel without having to buy a day pass in advance.
The deal was one of several changes, alongside an average 4 per cent fare hike, due to take effect on February 7.
But Auckland Transport said it could take up to a year for the French technology firm Thales to make the plan workable.
The council agency said the existing One Day pass will continue, reduced in price by $1 to $18.
“This means customers still have the option of all-day travel for no more than $18 but have to make the decision prior to travel to receive the benefit and purchase the pass,” Colin Homan, the group manager of integrated networks, said.
Stuff understands the workaround relates to removing travel to and from Waiheke Island from the cap coverage, in the same way that it is excluded from the daily and Auckland-wide monthly passes.
Rainbow Crossing for Karangahape Rd
AT are finally going to install a rainbow crossing on Karangahape Rd.
Auckland’s first ‘Rainbow Crossing’ is coming to Karangahape Road.
It will be installed in front of St Kevin’s Arcade, hopefully in time to mark the end of Auckland Pride Month.
The design will include the colours of the Progress Pride Flag, a more recent design created by international artist Daniel Quasar.
John Nottage, co-chair of Auckland Transport’s Rainbow Network says that including the colours of the Progress Pride Flag, will potentially make it the first in the country of its type.
“This version of the flag includes a five-coloured chevron on the original Rainbow Flag to place greater emphasis on inclusion and progression.
“The black and brown stripes represent our often-marginalised LGBTQIA+ communities of colour, along with the colours pink, light blue and white, which are used to acknowledge our transgender community.”
Rainbow crossings were proposed on the Karangahape Rd at least as far back as 2014. It’s just a shame it’s taken so long.
Te Onewa Northcote Point Wharf reopens
Northcote Point wharf has finally reopened after being closed for almost three years.
Northcote Point wharf has reopened after a blessing this morning and services have re-started after a two-year closure.
The wharf has also been renamed to Te Onewa Northcote Point, making it the first dual-named wharf on Auckland’s ferry network.
In 2018, routine maintenance found some structural deterioration of the wharf which meant Auckland Transport (AT) had to close it on a temporary basis for health and safety reasons. Structural assessments of the wharf confirmed that the wooden structure elements under the deck needed to be either repaired or replaced.
The $2.6-million work to renew the 60-year-old wharf started on site in mid-July 2020, with construction finished before Christmas, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19. Final commissioning works and the installation of CCTV, an emergency help point and a public address system has now been completed.
Te Onewa / Northcote Point wharf is open. STF & other Auckland Transport contractors have done an amazing job.
The structure has been upgraded with new shelter, seating & artwork added.
Thanks to mana whenua for working with us on this project the pōwhiri this morning. pic.twitter.com/NY5FrtllLy
— Richard Hills (@richardhills777) February 4, 2021
I do hope a few more people use it this time. Before it was closed only about 155 trips a day used the wharf. Perhaps with ferry fares now integrated into HOP that will help.
AT are going to be upgrading the town centre in Avondale.
The Avondale Town Centre is set to become a safer destination to visit, shop and work – with construction about to start on a new concrete footpath, street lighting and bike parking.
Auckland Transport (AT) is upgrading the town centre footpath in stages, starting with construction of the first half of the upgrade from next week – which should be completed by mid-March.
The work, estimated to cost $720,000, involves removing and replacing the slippery pavers with a safer, concrete surface, as well as upgrading the bike parking.
Auckland Transport and the Whau Local Board are co-funding the upgrades, with the upgrade originally scheduled to take place in 2019 – but was delayed due to the Covid-19 Emergency Budget.
Link Bus Sign Changes
AT are making some changes to the signage on link buses.
We’re trialling some changes to the way we display signage on our InnerLink services, to help you get where you need to be. Our destination signage will now include an ‘A’ or ‘C’ for the direction of travel.
— Auckland Transport (@AklTransport) February 4, 2021
I wonder how many people, particularly those who are young even know which way is clockwise and which is anti-clockwise.
Finally, quick before and after time lapse showing the before and after impacts of implementing a low traffic neighbourhood. This is what our neighbourhoods look and feel like if the transport budget was spent to reduce travel and significantly improve walking, cycling and public transport as the Climate Commision suggest we need to.
#LiveableStreets have massively improved the lives of residents in Bethnal Green. This time lapse shows the change from a year ago! Many thanks to councillors for making this happen @MayorJohnBiggs @Tarikahmedkhan @Dan_Bromley_N @Kevin_J_Brady pic.twitter.com/rqKFvoz0Qa
— CleanBethnalGreen (@BethnalCleen) January 31, 2021
Have a good long weekend.