Here’s our weekly Roundup.

On display this week were two stark examples of cause and effect: The vacuum of political leadership, and its consequence.


Queen St Saga

Last week the council launched a surprise and very quiet consultation which proposed changing the design of improvements to give in to the group pushing for it to be more focused on cars.

On Wednesday the outcome of that was announced. The good news is the council aren’t going ahead with the proposed changes

More than 900 people have taken part in a survey conducted by Auckland Council that shows a majority support the council’s planned design for the northern end of Queen Street, between Customs and Shortland Streets.

The survey, conducted last week, came about after a group of Queen Street stakeholders expressed concerns that the design might negatively impact businesses in the area.

In the survey, people were asked if the original council design or an alternative plan suggested by the business group aligned better with the principles created in the Wai Horotiu Queen Street Pilot with the Queen Street community.

Those principles prioritised improved access, movement, environment and people’s experience.

A total of 57.5 per cent “agree” or “strongly agree” that the Customs to Shortland Street enhancements (Zone 1) deliver on the overall principles, and 54.8 per cent either “agree” or “strongly agree” that the Fort Street pocket park (Zone 2) meets the overall pilot principles.

Respondents also showed a clear preference for the original design for the Customs to Shortland Street enhancements (Zone 1).

One of the incredible things about the consultation is that it seems no one knew it was coming. Councillors and the Mayor appear to have been as surprised by it as everyone else was. Meanwhile it appears the group pushing for making Queen St worse was claiming they had agreements with council officials to change the street. This begs a few questions

  • Why do we have council officials undermining every council strategy and plan by giving in to those wanting cars prioritised on Queen St. Especially so immediately after the council won a court case over it.
  • What would have happened if we and others hadn’t noticed and encouraged submissions and the consultation outcome went the other way?

When we’ve got these plans and strategies in place, getting them implemented with the right outcomes shouldn’t have to rely on advocates being in constant watchdog mode for surprise consultations as a result of rogue employees.


Onehunga Bullies

The low traffic neighbourhood trial around Arthur and Grey St in Onehunga has come to an abrupt halt.

Following a meeting last week where the local board decided to continue the trial, some locals took it upon themselves to damage the installation with a forklift. But instead of standing up to these bullies who think they can take things into their own hands, the local board have stopped it.

Over the past 72 hours, the instalments – wooden crates, traffic management signage, metal dividers – in the Low Traffic Area around Arthur and Grey Streets were illegally moved and damaged, causing serious road and pedestrian safety issues and with significant costs involved in reinstallation and temporary traffic management measures.

The temporary installations, aimed at slowing traffic and making it safer for people walking or biking around the Arthur and Grey Streets neighbourhood, have been divisive since being installed in April of this year.

“There was a concerning escalation of criminal activity by a minority which has resulted in serious public safety issues, including a number of reported near-misses involving cars and pedestrians. In the face of threats to continue this dangerous behaviour, the board felt the only response was to call an end to the trial,” says Maria Meredith chair of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board.

“It was clear to us that there was an increasing social cost falling on local board members, the teams working on the project and indeed a widening divide within the community.”

This is now the second time we’ve seen vandalism bring street changes to a halt, with the same thing happening a few years ago and which resulted in Auckland Transport stopping the entire cycling programme.

Giving in to these bullies isn’t going to make things safer for those on the street and video shortly after the damage already showed vehicles speeding through the area. The only thing it achieves is to further embolden them, and will make the next trial or cycleway that much harder as these antics will continue to be repeated. It also further empowers the status quo warriors in agencies like Auckland Transport who don’t want change.

I can understand why some of the local board wanted to back down on this. I understand some of them were getting personal threats. But the wider issue is the lack of leadership, especially from the top. Mayor Phil Goff has been completely missing in action. He should be leading the discussion about why we need safer streets and why we need to reduce the amount of driving we collectively do. Politicians like him leading that high-level strategy would help put more context around why changes are needed, so trials like this don’t come as such a shock to some people.


Budget

Yesterday the government delivered their latest budget. The most significant transport announcement was that the government would spend $1.3 billion on rail. This is made up of:

Rolling Stock and Mechanical Depots: $722.7 million

  • Train (Locomotive and shunt) replacement
    • Replaces the remaining 40 (of 65) new mainline freight locomotives for the South Island.
    • Replaces the last 20 (of 50) shunt locomotives.
  • Wagon replacement
    • Replaces the last 1,900 (of 3,004) old wagons (Note: around 1,500 of these will be assembled at Hillside, once the facility has been built. KiwiRail needs to purchase around 400 from overseas now to maintain existing capacity prior to wagon assembly beginning).
  • Wellington metropolitan rail safety improvements
    • Equips the KiwiRail locomotive fleet entering the Wellington metropolitan area with modem vigilance, condition monitoring, and movement authority control system (which has already been funded for Auckland freight trains and is operational on Auckland metro trains).
  • Mechanical maintenance facility upgrades
    • Final investment to build a new South Island Mechanical Maintenance Hub at Waltham, building on the $39 million invested through the COVID-19 Recovery and Relief Fund in July 2020 – supporting approximately 300 construction jobs (over 3 years), as well as supporting existing KiwiRail jobs and apprentices. The Hub creates an improved working/learning environment, which will help increase participation of female apprenticeships.
    • Funding to complete upgrades on smaller regional depots (eg, New Plymouth, Kawerau, Palmerston North, Westport, etc). This work supports some local construction and trades contractors.

Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP): $449.9 million

  • This investment is for maintenance and renewals across KiwiRail’s 3,700 km national network.
  • It supports the continued employment of KiwiRail’s current workforce of around 4,000 and (subject to finalisation of the investment programme through the RNIP) is expected to help support a further 150 new KiwiRail jobs (eg, engineers, track staff, trainees, etc.) across Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • As the funding is for an ongoing renewal and maintenance programme, it will also provide a pipeline of works for the engineering and civil construction sector. We expect this to be of a similar scale.

Core Asset Management: $87.3 million

  • This initiative provides an instalment of working capital into KiwiRail, ensuring core freight, tourism, and property services can be maintained until, and positioned for, the commissioning of the new replacement assets. This funding also includes a new freight ICT system, which will offer a better customer experience (eg, real-time freight tracking) and allow a more efficient allocation of rolling stock.
  • This funding, in the short term, will maintain service continuity and reliability.
  • Longer term, this initiative, together with the broader Budget funding (rolling stock and network investment, etc.) will also maintain and:
    • improve the safety environment for the public and KiwiRail staff
    • improve customer experience
    • increase productivity.

Domestic Rail Workshops: $85 million

  • Construction of a local wagon assembly facility at Hillside, Dunedin will support up to 150 construction jobs and up to 45 operational KiwiRail jobs, including apprenticeships.
  • An estimated half of the new operational staff will gain skills and go through apprenticeships or training programmes. Indirect benefits include downstream employment (service and training support).
  • In addition, the assembly facility will permanently improve KiwiRail’s maintenance capacity, enabling faster safety and efficiency upgrades over the next few decades

AT Daily Fare Cap

From Sunday Auckland Transport will have a $20 daily fare cap in place:

This means you will be able to travel all day on trains, buses and inner harbour ferries tagging on and off with your AT HOP card, and never pay more than $20.

With the fare cap it’s now not necessary to pay in advance for a whole day of travel. The system is automatic, so as long as you tag on and off with your AT HOP card, you’ll not be charged more than $20 no matter how many train, bus and inner harbour ferries you take in the same day (to the last trip in the evening – even if that trip runs in the early hours of the next day).

The only exclusions are mid and outer-harbour ferries, SkyBus services and Waiheke ferry serivce. Bayswater, Birkenhead, Northcote Point and Devonport Inner Harbour ferries are included.

Customers can still purchase the AT HOP Day Pass if they want to for $18.

A daily fare cap is good but it’s set so high I would be surprised if it benefited more than a handful of people – which leads me to think it’s more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. If AT were serious about fare caps it would be set based on the longest journey you make within the day and/or be capped for the week or month. It’s also a bit silly that there’s still a pre-purchased day pass that’s cheaper. At the very least they should cost the same.


Sorry it’s been a bit of a negative wrap-up today. I’m not normally a fan of advertising on the side of public transport, but here’s a tweet I saw this week which I thought was a brilliant way of showing the spatial efficiency of public transport where in the space of five cars you could move at least 120 people.

Finally if you want more of a look at the progress of the Karangahape Rd CRL station, Seven Sharp got a trip underground (FYI CRL people we’d love one too).

Have a good weekend.

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80 comments

  1. On the daily cap, isn’t it so high because of some kind of limitation on the HOP system?

    Is there any sign at all of WK/NZTA’s national ticketing programme so we can be dragged into the 21st century for contactless payment etc?

    1. The lack of a cap was blamed on some kind of limitation, work was done to implement a cap, it could have been set at any level.

      1. The work done would cost a lot more than the daily cap will ever save in fares, completely pointless unless they aim to reduce later.

        “which leads me to think it’s more of a marketing gimmick than anything else” – surely suggesting it could cost more than $20 to get around on a weekend would be negative marketing.

  2. I send my condolences to the family of the person killed yesterday – by our lethal transport system and negligent authorities – at the corner of Stanley St and Alten Rd.

    The truck should have had safety curtains.
    We should not have truck and trailer units of that size on local city roads.
    The City Centre Masterplan – which addressed this very spot – should have been implemented instead of buried by the same Council officers and AT officers who have delayed getting the cars out of Queen St.

    We will continue to lose our loved family members, because Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport, the Ministry of Transport and Auckland Council are all averse to prioritising safety.

      1. Until the official version is released it’s probably not fair to include my twitter-informed perception beyond the summary I put above.

    1. Heidi
      It’s hugely ironical that the Mayor has publicly castigated Tony Gibson at Ports of Auckland regarding their safety record (and it has been appalling) when he hasn’t made a murmur about AT. If you draw a circle from where I live, there have been as many people killed on the roads (Lake Road, Taharoto Road) in probably a similar geographical area as the port occupies and over a similar time frame as has happened at the port. It’s a disgrace.

    2. Just to be clear Stanley Street is a state highway so is under the full control of Waka Kotahi – The CCMP can say whatever it wants about this corner but AC/AT have aboslutely no power to implement anything here even if they wanted to.

      1. Disagree. These organisations call each other partners. They are all subject to the same GPS so they need to prioritise safety and improve travel choice in this unsafe corridor. They discuss, negotiate, seek resolution of different priorities through other means.

        It’s Auckland Transport – not WK – who’ve claimed A4E and CCMP can’t be properly implemented until there’s more road capacity added in this area. It’s Auckland Transport who’ve applied “death by business case” to A4E.

        It’s Auckland Council officers – not WK – who have delayed and undermined the CCMP, and slashed the ADO. And at the Herald’s evening meeting about the port recently, did the mayor sell the winning vision of the Grafton Gully boulevard to help beautify the area and bring safety to a situation that puts people and trucks into the same corridor? No, he did not.

        1. I was merely stating a fact, not a subjective opinion with which there was scope to disagree.

          You’ve correctly identified the main issue however, which is that AC/AT have promised something (in A4E) over which they do not have appear to have full control of to implement. This is one of the tensions that the resource management reform is seeking to address – certain strategies prepared under the LGA can often have little or no influence on other strategies/ plans prepared under the RMA/ LTMA. Unfortunately, this means that the CCMP can currently be better thought of as a wish list at this stage.

        2. Fair enough. 🙂 But I suppose the point of difference is that I believe AT and Council have not done what they could.

  3. “But the wider issue is the lack of leadership, especially from the top. Mayor Phil Goff has been completely missing in action”
    I would go further here and not only be pointing fingers at politicians but also AT senior staff. Where was Shane and senior safety AT staff offering support of this? Where were senior Waka Kotahi safety experts speaking out in support of these changes? All articles I’ve read have no-one from these organisations speaking in support of the changes.

    1. This week the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki local board learnt the lesson that you can’t govern without “social license”. Senior politicians already know this.

  4. Can you remind me which is the ‘group trying to make Queen St worse’? Is that the bunch collecting Council salaries that add another colour of paint markings every 3 months? Is it the people dreaming every weirder blocks, sticks and sheets of plywood? Is it the people who forced noisy empty buses down Queen Street? Or is it the people trying to stop them? I am confused. Maybe the Queen Street retailers should all buy themselves cowboy hats and a fork lift and take direct action, that seems to be the only thing that works.

    1. Go home Miffy, you’re drunk and its not even 9am.

      The facts are pretty clear. People buy stuff, not cars. Everyone going to those stores are walking in.

      Pedestrian counts indicate 20k a day over the past few months and the last data I saw was something like 8-9k vehicles per day on Queen St, but that was pre-Covid. So cars make up 1/3 of the people there.

      Queen St is about 30m wide
      Pre covid you had 10m for footpaths on both sides, with 7m for parking on both sides and the remaining 13m for 4 vehicle lanes.
      So we had 1/3 for pedestrians who make up 2/3rds of all people using the road. And we had the rest for cars and buses and trucks.

      Post covid you have 9.5m for three lanes and the rest is for pedestrians and some random loading bays to service businesses and whatnot.
      It is now a fair allocation of space for the number modal share of users.

      One group supports the fair allocation of public space for the benefit of the public and one group opposes the fair allocation of public space in favour of private vehicles.

      Seems pretty clear to me which group is which.

  5. All good the money for Kiwirail but does it mean they will carry more freight. Old wagons are being replaced with new home grown ones. Old locomotives replaced with new ones. More jobs and money for contractors. A bit of spare capacity for extra trains to be run from Tauranga to Southdown would have enhanced their reputation during the recent covid induced supply chain problems. But a pretty intensive scrapping process was underway. We don’t want them operating unsafely but we should expect them to have the capacity to bridge the gap when the country needs it. It was windfall opportunity there will be others. Flat footed.

    1. Don’t buy new rolling stock for 30 years, end up with a whole lot of life expired scrap and no reserve capacity. It’s going to take billions and years to undo the damage from the 1990s.

      1. Two more things coal being trucked from Auckland Port to Huntly not enough wagons. Another container ship coming to Marsden Point. Even if containers are trucked to Whangerai rail station it still an opportunity for Kiwirail and some pay back for the Govt investment in rail can cater for freight flows outside the normal.

        1. Add in the bulk transport of quarry metal from Huntly to Auckland via Stanley Street when there is a railway connection (ref cycle accident).

  6. It sounds like blatant corruption. If an organisation can’t simply follow their own designs and guidelines and are giving in to some external group then what else do you call it. I don’t know of many other organisations where you can so easily go outside the policies and procedures.

    That Queen St render is fanciful, cars still blocking bus route and in reality that will be bumper to bumper and the happy cyclist stuck in between diesel fumes.

  7. Where to now for LTN,s?,it seems that anything that threatens car domination is vigorously opposed until maligned proponents are forced to give in.The lack of senior support for the Onehunga trial was telling ,never heard a word, above local councillor, she copped plenty for it too.
    It is interesting that where LTN,s have gained traction overseas,they seemingly have heavy weight political support, totally lacking here.
    Onehunga supposedly can celebrate getting back to “normal “,with no clear solutions to the ever increasing vehicle traffic,and hard to imagine any solutions being proposed by board members, councillors,given they will be left hung out to dry at the slightest public protest

    1. It’s what I’ve been saying for years. Lack of leadership from Len and Phil means nothing changes. Anytime there is an opening, they are there. Anytime people complain about projects meant to improve road safety stuff, it’s crickets from them.

      There is no political will for change, so change never happens.

      1. I think I am right but correct me if I am wrong. I think with the Supercity, the mayor do not have lot of power to improve the city as there are lot of red tape in the way. Before the supercity the local council mayors around Auckland was able to make the change in their district. Waitakere district council for example was building a lot of cycleway and this has been slowed or stopped after the supercity.

        The current council structure is clearly not working.

      2. Red tape disappears when political leaders make it happen. Council demands AT to sort out the safety problems and cut emissions. AT tries to do just that, the entitled drivers revolt. Council sits by and says nothing. I don’t expect AT to do much in future. Why bother when it is not worth the hassle with no support from Council and the Mayor who is AWOL when it matters.

        1. Yes. I think AT staff learnt a lot from doing this project too, and I’ve heard they presented well at the public meeting. There seems to be some internal work for making something like a guidance document for LTN’s, too.

          But there’ll be internal friction now between those who are inspired to do more, and the management who’ve seen the lack of support from the mayor, who seems to think it’s not his place to get involved with small or local matters. He’s wrong; he needs to lead the key projects that will lead the city towards meeting its goals.

          This political bias towards large projects is why we get insufficient programmes of the small projects that would really transform our city.

  8. Yep, I fully support Queen St changes, put in feedback to say I preferred the original concept. However me and the rest of the family will be cycling
    and scooting on the footpath. No way in hell I’m putting my 7 year old and 5 year old in between the cars and buses. A safe comfortable space for us to mooch around town that doesn’t any people walking would have been nice.

  9. The only way to get senior exec leadership to support these types of mode change projects is for Government and Council to link funding for all projects to delivery on mode change. No mode change – no maintenance, no new roads, no new intersections optimisations, etc…
    As an AT staff member, why would you put your hand up to lead one of these projects knowing it’s going to create a shit-storm, you have limited political and executive support, media bias and you’ll likely be thrown under the bus by your senior managers to protect their career. You can still get paid the same to go and build some signals in the whop whops or reseal one of the hundreds of AT owned car parks or change some parking restrictions from P10 to P15 or come up with lines on a map showing networks that will never get built.
    Pull away the funding from the easy projects that provide limited benefit and suddenly staff have no choice but to do the thing the policies/strategies direct them to do if they want to get paid.

      1. In saying:

        “you’ll likely be thrown under the bus by your senior managers to protect their career”

        this is a criticism of senior managers – who are not “structural”. They’re people with responsibilities, and they’re not delivering on them. Auckland Transport are supposed to be the transport experts. If these managers were supporting their staff, and were ensuring only quality transport advice was given to Auckland Council and fed back to government, the whole situation would be different.

        I’ll give an example below.

        1. I see what your saying but It would be a very brave senior manager who was willing to do the right thing or let their staff do the right thing if it meant picking a fight with the community and they had no political cover when they did it. To me that’s structural.

        2. I’ve heard people who’ve worked overseas say how surprised they were that officers front the public meetings at all. Our politicians absolutely need to step up. And I’ve witnessed on a few occasions our politicians themselves picking the fight or inciting the push back, throwing the AT staff under the bus. Including in this Onehunga situation.

          There are staff in AT I think are saints given what they put up with.

          Trouble is, while AT have produced some excellent material for educating the elected members about safety, for example, AT’s basic approach to traffic modelling and travel demand management clouds all the advice they give, which means the elected members in turn have to do their own research into good transport practice. Or, more usually, don’t.

  10. It seems much of the KiwiRail investment is not new, but rather part of what was already announced in previous budgets. Since the cost is spread over several years that is reasonable, but it would be good to know what’s new and what’s simply being announced again. It certainly is not true that there is $1.3 billion of investment in rail on top of $1.2 billion announced in the last budget. Rather than $2.5 billion over so many years, it is more like $1.6 billion.

    1. Good point. I don’t recall the domestic rail workshops and the apprenticeship schemes from earlier announcements. I think they’re new? And good, logical steps.

  11. In the Council announcement about the Onehunga Low Traffic Neighbourhood, one thing was particularly galling: the level of ignorance about the direction traffic volumes must take and how to achieve this. The announcement included the following misconception:

    “It’s a sad fact that as intensification increases, traffic is going to get a lot worse in our neighbourhood streets.”

    This is absolutely not a fact, but a myth, and Council should be required to correct it. It demonstrates a vacuum of understanding about transport, about climate, and about how Councillors have committed to action.

    Intensification only involves worse traffic if our planning is substandard. Good planning means intensification can instead reduce traffic – through bringing the amenities needed for a 20 minute lifestyle within walking and cycling distance of residents.

    Auckland Council had committed to doing so:

    They unanimously voted to reduce traffic by 12% by 2030 and achieve a compact urban form – these complementary measures are both needed to reduce emissions. Subsequently, Auckland Council unanimously voted to ensure they were on track in 2024 to achieve these goals.

    There are many tools to reduce traffic while intensifying; low traffic neighbourhoods are an important one.

    The Council statement about Onehunga is starkly at odds with Councillors’ wishes.

    I believe the Mayor needs to provide a statement of correction. And he needs to seek to understand why the officers tasked with writing the media release remain unenlightened on this important issue.

    I believe he’ll find that Auckland Transport management have done insufficient work to understand it themselves.

    1. I don’t think council spokespersons were wrong.

      Intense housing by Kaianga Ora (for one) and private developments around my way is seeing residents cars spilling out on to the main roads.
      This is typical suburban Auckland. People are logically still driving so the more dwellings/residents, the more cars.

      It appears a myth that whether parking is provided or not as in many of these places, that cars disappear.

      Housing intensification and traffic intensification are firmly linked by my observations and issues as the council mentioned are no surprise to me.

      1. As I said, “intensification only involves worse traffic if our planning is substandard.”

        Our planning is substandard. Indeed, it is deeply, deeply flawed, and to provide a better future and meet our commitments, it needs complete overhaul. Your observations aren’t wrong, but they’re not based on what is possible with good planning.

        New housing with limited parking in car dependent outer areas of Auckland isn’t going to work. Not because of the limited parking, but because of the car dependence. We need the money wasted on sprawl roads to be spent on regenerating the arterials through these car dependent areas, using road reallocation to the sustainable non-car modes. And we need to collect parking levies and parking revenue to fund more bus services. With frequent services on prioritised routes, intensification – with low parking supply – in these car dependent areas will indeed lower traffic levels.

        1. Yes – we are getting a lot of intensification on our street due to the zoning now in place, but during the new network planning the bus routes and stops were changed so that these same streets are now further from PT.

      2. “It appears a myth that whether parking is provided or not as in many of these places, that cars disappear“

        The removal of carpark mins or at least lessening them is one factor in making cars less impactful / less dominant. It seems it’s the easiest because it all on private land / new development changes. Rather than (god forbid) change public spaces.

        It is however you’ve observed, not the only factor.

        1. Here is the big missing piece — the council actually has to manage on street parking.

          So what will happen is: developer is able to sell units with not much parking since people can park on the street anyway. Then a lot of people will figure out the hard way there is actually not enough room on the street for everyone. Chaos will ensue. Berm parking has now de facto added extra on-street parking capacity so this process can continue for a while.

          When we roll this back, people will ask what they are supposed to do now. Many have no meaningful way of getting around without those cars. We will have no answer for them.

        2. You are ignoring that if on-street parking is freely available, people will just park there if they have no off-street parking. So more cars choking up narrow, suburban streets and creating all sorts of safety issues. Just ludicrous that council can wilfully ignore these impacts without appropriate mitigation e.g. charging, time limits, yellow lines

    2. That quote comes from the article on the trial being ended, and I think in that context it is right. If we get intensification without any progress on low traffic areas or public transport or cycling, etc., then exactly this will happen. Traffic gets bad, and more people start finding alternate routes through small streets. It is maybe not a fact but it is very predictable.

    3. “And he needs to seek to understand why the officers tasked with writing the media release remain unenlightened on this important issue.”

      Heidi, you know there’s as much chance of Goff following up on this issue as snow on Christmas Day. No doubt you have read this piece by Todd Niall

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/125105408/climate-change-auckland-mayor-phil-goff-says-2030-target-tough-but-achievable

      Goff identifies the shorter term fix to reducing emissions as the CRL and light rail. No wonder emissions are rising. It begs the question why Auckland is a member of the C40 Cities when we don’t appear to be learning anything and aren’t learning anything? An innovator city – what a joke.

      Congratulations to Paul Winton for introducing some reality to the article.

      1. Goff is keen to reduce emissions as long as it does not involve any difficult decisions or opposition. He says CRL and LR and intensification will help but didn’t mention Mill Road or Penlink or Drury. Basically he’s hoping electric cars will do it but they are very slow to get market share.

        1. And electric cars will continue to be slow to gain market share because by world standards the NZ tax on petrol vehicles at 15% is so low. Forget any comparison with Norway because it’s like comparing lemons and marbles. We have the lemon where driving is encouraged by almost every mechanism possible: low purchase tax, low registration fee, low parking charges, enormous amounts spent on roads and road widening, very cheap imports etc; and on the other side expensive public transport; poor investment in this and other mode shares and unsafe active modes.
          Norway is the marble where the hard decisions have been made. The tax on petrol vehicles is huge so that a petrol Golf and an EV Golf have a similar price. You have to sell your apartment to pay the tax on say a Chev Comaro.
          Any one for a luxury car tax here?

    4. Council is just virtue signalling. They want the credit of looking like they are doing something with all their policies, while not actually doing anything.

  12. So will the community in Onehunga who gave all those positive comments in the “qualitative monitoring” be allowed to “negotiate with Council to implement an alternative plan”?

    I’m sure a 48 hour survey of whether the public want to remove the scheme or replace it with an alternative plan that makes it permanent would produce interesting results.

    Or are these options only available to certain groups, in certain circumstances?

    1. Could the community in Onehunga sue over having their LTN taken away from them? If businesses can sue for a decrease in traffic, surely residents can sue for an decrease in safety.

  13. So the budget allocation for rail is basically just maintenance funding? Not a single item of new infrastructure for $1.3b. Very disappointing.

  14. I’m wanting to come to Auckland for a visit – fly into AKL, and then tour around all the exciting new housing developments in the East, in the West, in the South (are there any in the North? I’m not sure). In other words, Hobsonville, Mt Roskill, Grey Lynn, Stonefields, Three Kings, Point Chev. As I can’t bring my bike up on the plane, and the rail network does not go to all these places, any suggestions on how I best get around best over 2-3 days? Serious question. Answers appreciated.

    1. Bus. Get an AT hop card and the app. I’m not sure about Stonefields and Hobsonville but the rest have good bus links.

        1. Register with Zilch and get one of their EVs from AKL. Drop off in the city or back at the airport. Works a treat, great value for less than a day, pricier than a standard rental for longer periods. But you get to zip around emissions free in a Kona or i3 or Ionia.

      1. “I’m not sure about Stonefields and Hobsonville”

        Stonefields and Hobsonville both have bus services. Use the AT Journey Planner. Enjoy unlimited bus & train travel for a maximum of $20 per day with a HOP Card

    2. Average human, if you’re a confident rider, one good option might be to rent an e-bike while you’re here… esp as you could plan a route out along the NW cycleway and down Waterview Path/ along Te Auaunga to string together a bunch of those locations.

      Ferry to Hobsonville and back is a lovely trip (but do check the timetable, they can be sparser on weekends).

    3. Use the Lime Jump rental ebikes with a $15 24 hour “lime pass”. Won’t be able to go everywhere but Pt Chev and Grey Lynn are definitely in the zone.

  15. What are they doing with the storm water with these changes? They seem to be building a whole new curb, won’t that be extremely expensive for a temporary solution?

      1. https://i.imgur.com/a9pcYEY.jpeg

        You can see the existing channel (that drains into the stormwater system) just to the right of the new pavers. So it looks to me like they won’t be interfering with the stormwater system at all.

        The pavers appear to be bedded in weak concrete sitting on top of polythene (the black plastic sheet visible), which sits on top of the surface of the old parking bays. So at a glance it looks very permanent but it should be possible to put back to the way it was with little effort.

    1. And Cambridge needs it. I was shocked when I went through there recently on an Intercity Bus how bad the congestion was. Also shocked that Cambridge popn now more than 20K.

  16. So in London the low traffic neighbourhood schemes had the same issue as Onehunga. I didn’t think starting it pretty much in the March madness period and post Covid pick up time would go down well as the trial would get blamed for any extra congestion.

  17. I wonder if the approach to the LTN’s was less than optimal.
    Perhaps an approach where the legal frameworks made it much easier to apply street calming like https://goo.gl/maps/hW6Z3eVLNqPitQWu5
    Where if enough people on the exact street were in support, and it were in line with an overall LTN master plan then the calming would be put in place. Much more community driven.

    1. I’d prefer chicanes like that to speed bumps, and LTN’s can make good use of them. When trying LTN’s tactically, that’s the sort of thing that could be added in at the next stage. In some places, traffic speeds are the biggest problem, and these are good for that. Where traffic volumes are the problem, they are insufficient.

      Jack, it would break your heart if you got to interview the local children and parents who were given freedom by this LTN. What went on here may not have been optimal – highlighting barriers and the upskilling required was part of the point of a trial – but it involved a whole lot of hard work, and some pretty fine leadership and respectful conversations from the team on the ground.

      Hopefully what is actually going on here will be written about by someone. I have seen as much misinformation on this topic as I’ve seen in the last four years about Light Rail on Dominion Rd.

      1. Sorry, I was just using the chicane as an example. A full road block, or one way only would be options too in the tools available to street members ideally

        Yes, and while some people might decry waste etc. they should see what the government funds in terms of research at Uni’s. this is essentially the same thing. All worth it in the end, even if this crazy research into the inner workings of math for example doesn’t seem worth it, or in this case a different way of managing traffic. The research will be invaluable in the end, people without exposure to the research world wouldn’t understand I guess. But on the chance that these things work the money and resources saved would so far outstrip the cost of the research. (And in the case of LTNs would be almost guaranteed to work)

        “Jack, it would break your heart if you got to interview the local children and parents who were given freedom by this LTN.“
        Did you interview any people willing to be quoted on this? Might be worth trying to write something and get it out in the media.

        If AT could come up with a “traffic master plan”, to manage demand, and increase the efficiency of our roads through mode shift. Could be frames as “busting congestion”, just spitballing. I really think there is some solution to make this city’s transport much better. Just have to find the political framing and figurehead to get support. Which it seems AT and Goff don’t want to do.

  18. I’ll admit that the issues around the Onehunga trial have deterred me from getting substantially involved in changes for our neighborhood. Not interested in painting a target on my back for Facebook-enabled bullies with too much time on their hands.

    I think we’re facing three problems in steeply ascending order of thorniness: a) council and CCO lack of backbone in the face of noisy public opposition, b) genuine frustration by people who feel forced into driving everywhere by the wider way Auckland’s transport system works (or doesn’t) who thus experience LTAs only as added hassle, and c) the combined effect of a broken housing market and precarious employment that reinforces genuine car dependence and is way beyond what council can address through transport levers.

    Happy Monday!

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