Here’s our roundup for the week.

Nice little kotare

Too good a photo not to share. (Also: time to bring back the “best kept street” awards? Which would you nominate?)


It ain’t safe to walk – and not just in the city centre

Why did the RNZ reporter cross the road? And more importantly, how long did it take? In a great video report, Louise Ternouth looks at how frustrating it is to get across town on foot.

Featured are a couple of notorious missing-leg intersections, one where Hobson St crosses Cook St, right outside RNZ HQ – and an equally stressful one on Symonds Street, which again requires three crossings in order to get to the other side.

Auckland University population and environmental health professor Alistair Woodward said it was taking a huge toll on pedestrians.

“It’s very stressful, but you know it’s worse than that: last year there were 30 percent more deaths and serious injuries amongst pedestrians than there had been the year before. The wellbeing of pedestrians in the city is a very serious issue.”

Auckland Transport is looking into fixes for the specific examples raised, but “could not provide any further details or when pedestrians could expect to see any physical changes begin.” This reminds us of the promised safety works for the city centre streets where speed limits were kept at 40kmh (Hobson being one of them). Whatever happened to those?

Crossing advice on Hobson St, where it can take five minutes and three sets of lights to get to the building in the background. Not very Vision Zero, not very Access For Everyone, not especially vibrant or welcoming either.

Carbon pricing –  not a primary policy approach for addressing climate change

A piece in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences of the USA questions the reliance on pricing carbon as a key lever for climate action.

Why carbon pricing is not sufficient to mitigate climate change—and how “sustainability transition policy” can help
by Daniel Rosenbloom, Jochen Markard, Frank W. Geels, and Lea Fuenfschilling

Carbon pricing is often presented as the primary policy approach to address climate change. We challenge this position and offer “sustainability transition policy” (STP) as an alternative. Carbon pricing has weaknesses with regard to five central dimensions: 1) problem framing and solution orientation, 2) policy priorities, 3) innovation approach, 4) contextual considerations, and 5) politics.


Musical Chairs

Sir Brian Roche has announced he’ll step down from his role as Chair of Waka Kotahi in a year’s time. Announcing a whole year before his term ends is a bit odd. Does he have wind of a structural upheaval that he’d prefer not to be part of?

Meanwhile Auckland Transport is looking for a new Independent Director. Applications close on the 20th of June (that’s this Sunday), and the position is to be the Audit & Risk Committee Chair as well. It would be fantastic to see someone at the table who is across the risk of not investing in modeshift, and the potential cost of continuing to facilitate a car-dependent transport network. Who would you like to see on AT’s board? We’ve got a few ideas.


Giddy up!

Most Kiwis reckon NZ is not moving fast enough on climate action. NZ Herald reported on a survey by insurer IAG New Zealand, which found that:

… most didn’t think the country was on track.

Just 23 per cent thought the current response was moving fast enough, and only 37 per cent were confident that New Zealand would be able to reduce the impacts of climate change.

The survey showed that people are starting to get genuinely worried about the effects of climate change on them and their communities. It also revealed that most of us have a very good understanding of the potential changes ahead, and how those will impact us.

Nine in 10 thought climate change would increase coastal inundation due to sea-level rise; 85 per cent thought it would lead to more frequent and intense storms and floods; 88 per cent expected more frequent and extreme droughts; and 83 per cent anticipated more frequent and extreme wildfires.

Funnily enough, responses to the recent RLTP consultation agree wholeheartedly. It’s almost as if there’s a massive cultural shift happening, that our public agencies and political leaders will do well to capitalise on.

All this made us think about how much has changed in way we talk about our impact on the environment. There’s a steady stream of media about individuals, families and households who’ve lowered their emissions by reducing their household waste, their meat consumption, and their car trips. This article on Stuff is an excellent example. Hopefully, what what looks like the start of a cultural shift can be recognised by Central and Local government as strengthening their mandate to make real steps towards meeting the country’s emissions-reduction targets.


After a crash, what?

A crash on Great North Road in the wee hours over Queens Birthday weekend left one person dead and another two seriously injured, after a vehicle mounted the kerb of the footpath and took out a traffic signal pole.

A full week later (this photo was taken 12 June 2021) and the pedestrian crossing here was still out of action, creating a 700m detour for pedestrians to the nearest controlled crossing point. Many chose to dash across in a gap in the traffic.

Pedestrian crossing [temporarily?] removed, one week after a crash. (Photo supplied)
Adding insult to death and injury, this crossing point was only recently upgraded from a previously unsafe and barely accessible design that was a struggle to navigate for anyone using wheels, whether wheelchair, pushchair, scooter, or bike.

A pole blocks access to the crossing point on Great North Road at Alford Road (Photo from 2015, before this layout was upgraded).

It’s a reminder that Great North Road is four lanes of fast traffic severing a growing residential neighbourhood from a park and other amenities. AT’s info page for a raised crossing on Alford St – notes there have been requests for a reduced speed limit and traffic calming in the immediate area, but is unable to deliver them:

“The new area-based focus recognises that traffic-calming changes on one street will lead to increased traffic on surrounding streets. We therefore can’t simply reduce the speed in one area, without treating the area as a whole.”

Maybe it’s time to treat the area as a whole? Or the city as a whole?


Farewell to Parking Minimums

More Councils are removing parking minimums:

Porirua City Council is following the lead of Wellington and Hutt city councils by removing minimum parking requirements from its Operative District Plan, dodging what it calls a “perverse outcome” to its goal of improving housing stock in the process…

A report issued to councillors indicated some housing developers were “holding off” on moving forward with projects, because the Operative District Plan still had minimum parking requirements specified in it.

“This is a perverse outcome that works against council’s goal of increasing housing supply and helping to alleviate the housing crisis,” a council report read…

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the variation to the Operative District Plan.

Auckland Council could do the same.


Opening the Golden Mile to People

Wellington continues to generate a lot of urbanism, infrastructure and transport news. The capital hit the headlines in a big way on Wednesday with the announcement that Let’s Get Wellington Moving had opted to remove private vehicles from the Golden Mile – the continuous stretch of road  from Courtney Place to Lambton Quay.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving partners announced on Wednesday it had selected the most radical option for revamping the key stretch of road between the Beehive and the end of Courtenay Place, after public support for the move late last year.

The revamp will close the road to private vehicles, widen footpaths by up to 75 per cent, and create bus-only lanes – one in each direction – along the entire stretch of road…

Programme chairperson Siobhan Procter noted there had been strong opposition to the plans from some Golden Mile retailers, but an independent survey had found only 22 per cent of people accessed the area using private vehicles.

These contributed 23 per cent of the area’s retail spending, compared with 32 per cent for public transport users and 35 per cent for pedestrians and cyclists, the survey found.

“There is very little risk of any downside to retailers,” Procter said.

Talkback opponents reacted predictably with outrage but also artwork. They sure know how to threaten us with a good time…

If people-friendly streets are a “plague”, they’re a global one. Check out the plans for Oxford St in London.

Render of the proposed pedestrianisation of Oxford Circus. Photo sourced here.

Greater Auckland in the news

Matt’s sort of currently on paternity leave (congrats!), but still manages to find time to give great sound-bites:

And after the EV rebate scheme was announced, Heidi, along with Paul Callister, argued that we should be subsidising e-bikes, not e-vehicles.


Weekend reads

Dr Kirsty Wild lays it out in the Spinoff: the current debate over bikes is not about lycra, it’s about power – and it’s time for the bullying to back off:

Auckland’s Climate Plan, Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri, has committed to increasing cycling seven-fold by 2030 to stay under 1.5 degrees warming. Cycle lanes will be essential. Dehumanising stereotypes won’t help.

Dr Wild is also quoted in a piece in the Guardian about whether Aucklanders are in a ‘love affair’ with cars – or more of a shotgun marriage:

“Car trips can have quite a negative impact on people’s mental health, for the people taking the trip and for the neighbourhood that people take a trip through,” says the lead author of the report, Dr Kirsty Wild from the University of Auckland. She says that after just 15 minutes in a car “transport satisfaction” drops, and after 40 minutes “life satisfaction” drops.

The same piece quotes Bike Auckland’s Barb Cuthbert on the painfully slow delivery of Auckland’s cycle network:

“The reality is we’re not going to get anything on the bridge for another five years,” says Cuthbert. “What Auckland Transport have been doing is popping a bit of a cycle lane in a park and calling that 0.5km of cycleway. That is not a change agent. What really matters is a strategic cycle network.” Cuthbert says until there is real progress there will be more direct action as there has been in Wellington where unauthorised pop-up bike lanes put pressure on the council to fast-track cycleway projects.

Meanwhile, across the ditch, Sydney’s pop-up pandemic bike paths are so popular that many are now overtaking the previously busiest routes. Melbourne is likewise cranking on with its plan for 100km of pop-up bike paths, albeit running into a few head winds.

And, as with everywhere they’re installed, the new protected lanes are freeing people to ride who might never have previously thought about it:

During the induction tour at my new workplace I laughed out loud at the idea of riding a bike to work. But then came a perfect storm of motivating factors…. [what] pushed me over the edge was the completion of a fully separated bike lane on a street near my apartment. That meant I would only need to expose my under-protected, breakable skeleton to cars for six blocks in my whole 6-kilometre commute.

Check out the  five coolest things happening in urbanism… in Europe. (Turning brownfields into “ecodistricts” is turning our heads!)

On theme for GA this week.

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87 comments

    1. Cars are great. Huge commutes because transport planners give you no choice to use your car every day is not. I could have far more interesting hobby cars if the option was there to not drive one every day.

      As for being ‘anti-car’ in general, they grant a huge amount of liberty and movement to people who may not have access to the same transport options as others already have, either through just non-existent alternatives to simply not having the luxury of time that others have. Being ‘anti-car’ is just as unhelpful as people insist you have to have a monster truck for the one week a year you might tow a boat and you need to be able to park it in the middle of Aotea Square 24/7 because reasons.

      1. I think its probably time for a post on “the value of cars” or something to that effect. Just because they’ve been misused / overused doesn’t mean they are valueless, in fact there are vast quality of life and economic improvements they inherently provide that no other solution could practically for certain use cases.

        Making more efficient use of the streets by turning over space and adding bus and bike lanes and more pedestrian space and preventing rat running will be plenty enough “stick” and “anti car”.

        1. Also really important to understand too, given the new incentives for vehicles; if you’ve got the funds to make a switch, great, but if you’re going to keep driving, you’re still part of congestion in bad areas, and the only difference is it’s costing you far less than someone who can’t switch and who has to pay for petrol and all that clutch/soul-destroying idling and inching forward.

          EV or not though, it’s all logs in the logjam, no matter which way you’re propelled. The only thing that solves this is making mass-transit more accessible and, as my bitching about the North West Quarter would suggest, I am immensely pissed about how badly this being handled in our rapidly-growing area.

  1. The Emissions Trading Scheme is deeply flawed, it is incomplete and also subject to politics but it has a much greater chance of working than the bullshit being proposed in the paper linked above. The concept that ‘we are out of time and must do whatever works’ is code for ‘we want to use this crisis to advance our transformative agenda’. They are saying why waste a crisis. Cap and Trade systems like ETS are in my view 2nd best to a simple carbon tax. But even cap and trade will get us there with the least pain so long as the carbon price is realistic. But somehow we are losing our way. The Climate commission is helping, they are selling pain instead or relief. Time to get the enthusiasts out of the picture and simply adopt a complete ETS. (or dump it for a carbon tax, but it is probably too late to change horses now.)

    1. “cap and trade will get us there with the least pain so long as the carbon price is realistic” – unfortunately not. There is an extensive discussion of this in the CCC report. If the cap bites too hard, we would see very high carbon prices which would lead to excessive tree planting and sudden damage to industry, while still hardly affecting drivers at all (e.g. if the price went up from $40 to $100, that would add 12c/litre to petrol).

      As far as I can see no country in the world is following an “ETS (or carbon tax) only” approach, those countries that are actually cutting emissions are all following a blended approach.

      1. Richard Prebble was right about the Climate Change Commission, it is socialist quackery (yes, yes I know but like a broken clock, even Richard Prebble is right sometimes). To be carbon neutral we either reduce with the lowest pain or we reduce with more pain than was necessary. The second option has a greater risk that the populace loses interest and our politicians give up. By far the cheapest way to be carbon neutral is to increase our foreign aid budget and pay developing countries to reduce carbon, the planet doesn’t care where it occurs. But that approach doesn’t result in the changes to lifestyle the fundamentalist greenies want, so we wont do that. Instead we have the CCC looking for some of the most expensive and invasive ways to reduce carbon like a Stalinist state.

        1. I’m definitely someone who would like to improve our lifestyle while also saving the environment, not wasting a crisis as you say. I am however willing to decouple those two things.

          Would paying other countries to reduce their emissions actually work? If we can’t reduce our emissions then why can they? If we want to pay to replace a coal power station then we could do huntly. The world doesn’t care where the coal is burnt.

          Why developing countries? Wouldn’t it be best to give the money to either the highest emitters or the highest per capita or some other metric? In which case we’d pay China or Qatar. Would sending money to these to countries really have a larger impact than spending the money in NZ? Would they spend the money on what we told them to?

          It would also kinda suck if we payed other countries to build low carbon, livable environments while we are stuck stressed in traffic and pollution. But that’s back to not wasting a crisis.

        2. I would argue the right wingers would have more of a meltdown than the lefties over sending significant amounts of money overseas as foreign aid to reduce co2 emissions.

      2. Do you think we should send money to Vanuatu to preserve rainforest how would we know if it would be spent on what it said it was going to be spent on. That’s what Prebble is advocating in lieu of reducing emissions here. Sounds a bit dodgy to me. We will have enough problem ensuring emission payments aren’t rorted in this country without exporting it somewhere else. I have never liked the concept of the emission trading scheme and never really understood it either. Maybe I am too lazy to take the time to understand such a complicated thing. I expect most would be the same the only ones who do are motivated by the prospect of profiting from it. Just like the share market. And at the end of the day the best thing is to just get rid of all those dirty noisy internal combustion engines and the environmentally damaging and wasteful oil extraction industry. Also coal.

        1. I would prefer a carbon tax so all of our money could stay here and be used to improve our lives. But if we are to have an ETS the advantage is you can internationalise it and reduce carbon emissions wherever it is cheapest to do so. The opportunity cost is lower in less developed countries and providing jobs there to review and audit makes a lot of sense. The Climate change commission would say this if they were allowed to, but they are specifically not allowed to consider those options.

      3. @Miffy
        “…like a broken clock, even Richard Prebble is right sometimes”

        Yes, but that broken clock is right twice a day, as far as Richard Prebble or yourself?

        “almost never” is the most charitable description of accuracy I can attribute.

    2. Except no one has the guts to make a carbon tax happen.

      It is simpler, more effective, but political suicide because everyone is addicted to carbon and the impact will be huge.

  2. Circle of life: What goes on 4 wheels in the morning, 2 wheels during the day, and 4 wheels in the evening?

  3. The Waterview crossing was being worked on around 9:30pm last night when I cycled past.
    There has been ongoing debate about the costs of the Auckland Harbour cycle bridge and its low BCR. Also the cost of it vs the insufficient amount of money for Team NZ, and the lack of maintenance on existing roads.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckland-harbour-cycle-bridge-cost-far-outweighs-benefits-according-to-waka-kotahi/3ZZSAO3HC45CSFCCHMEUHXOOCQ/
    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2106/S00136/auckland-cycle-bridge-at-the-cost-of-regional-roads.htm

      1. They will just do what they did for CRL. Claim there are ‘wider economic benefits’ and fund a project that shreds money on that basis. Then when the costs blew out they went back to the company they used who miraculously found even more ‘wider economic benefits’.

        1. Nah, they just wont update it, and will make no mention of it.

          CRL’s BCR doesn’t really have the most legitimately in my mind. The carbon price they’re using is too low and the usage projections too low, combined with the significantly higher maximum capacity that will take a while to be realised. But what would I know.

          Do they do BCR’s realised? Eg 10 years after opening do they reflect and recalculate the BCR based on actual data / updated updated projections? It would be interesting to see. I feel the busway for example will be doing very well, but some other projects wont have.

  4. “She says that after just 15 minutes in a car “transport satisfaction” drops, and after 40 minutes “life satisfaction” drops.”
    Exactly how l feel, excessive car use harms the environment and the soul,it’s an addiction that has no real upside.

    1. Doesn’t it depend on the type of journey, though. The drive down to the mountain to go skiing is a way better experience than sitting in traffic waiting to get over the Harbour Bridge to get to work. Similarly cycling into the teeth of a howling gale with rain lashing at you is likely to make you pretty envious of people in warmer and more sheltered transport options.

  5. Another thing to note is that this is the last week for the Waka Kotahi consultation on a new Setting of Speed Limits Rule. Consultation closing at 5pm Friday 25 June.
    https://www.nzta.govt.nz/about-us/consultations/land-transport-rule-setting-of-speed-limits-2021-consultation/

    This new draft rule accepts that requiring all speed limit changes to be made using the clumsy, slow and expensive bylaw process was probably a mistake. So they are dropping that requirement.

    The problem is that they are arguably replacing it with a new system that is almost as clumsy, slow and expensive. A requirement on both Waka Kotahi and the local council style Road Controlling Authorities (including AT) to produce another planning document every three years. Speed Management Plans sound superficially like a reasonable idea but local government is already overburdened with planning documents (particularly transport planning documents) and so adding another one on top of the pile with a particular focus on setting safer speed limits as well as engineering proposals to reinforce driver behavior change around speed limits seems like it might just be a waste of time and money that could be spent on actually doing the engineering and assessing the right speed limit for each road.

    It is hard to see how there is much need for each council to write their own plan only to have them all be approved by Waka Kotahi against how well they comply with the Waka Kotahi speed limits guidance document. How different will the plans end up being if they all have to show they align with what Waka Kotahi says anyway.

    The whole need to publicly consult about speed limits is also arguably a thing that should be done away with for decisions about what is a safe and appropriate speed for a particular stretch of road. In reality this is more of a science than an art and to the extent that it is also an art it is one that should only be practiced by qualified artists. Arm chair experts are pretty much always just to fall into two groups – those who hate the idea of being told to drive slower and those who are “thinking-of-the-children” and want the speeds to be even lower. Doesn’t it make more sense to just have good national guidance and then let the experts at each council apply them to the roads they are responsible for. The sort of thing they do with vehicle standards and the design of traffic signals – just because the public use transport infrastructure doesn’t mean their opinions on it are more important than expert advice.

    Good to see the proposed rule make it clear that the intention is that all schools will have lower speeds.

    Anyway one week to go so if you are interested in speed limits or just get a kick out of transport legislation check out the consultation.

    1. I always thought the council should be allowed to lower speed limits as much as they want without consultation. Where is the risk in that? If people don’t like it they will be voted out.

  6. Next year Te Huia should run to Hamilton for the field days. I went two years ago nightmare trip home. Lets apply a bit of pressure to make this happen.

    1. Hopefully the bus replacing rail is finished by then or it could be Te Huia to Pukekohe!
      Seriously though If you have working infrastructure it would be good to time it for future events so best of luck with this. Maybe sponsors could help. “Catch the train to learn to dig a drain” or “Use Rails to help protect your crop from Hails”

      1. The main issue with Te Huia is that it’s just way too slow. Why go through all the effort to get a train when driving is faster even in traffic? In the long term wee need to look at track realignments and better locos

        1. As someone who has both driven and caught Te Huia, it definitely is not slower than driving in peak periods. The actual issue is a lack of services. I can drive back any time I like. If i catch the train I have to wait or rush for one of two departures.

        2. Looking at the popularity of Saturday services so far I don’t think the speed is an issue. People are quite happy to pootle along if it is part of the day’s outing. They can also go from the Strand on weekends which helps.

          The bigger issue appears to be the distance Mystery Creek is from the rail network.

        3. Apparently there are now 86 trains a week running between Auckland and Tauranga, up from 72 in early April. Surely, with that traffic alone, track realignments would pay for themselves very quickly even if they only cut 10 minutes off a trip. Maybe time for a bcr!

        4. 0.5 trains per hour, huge traffic.

          Nah that actually is quite a lot for nz and I’m most sure if they bi directional or one way

          from the rail plan it sounds like improvements are on the way ish. Double track, speed upgrades, curve easements.

          Hoped one day soon electrification which will enable a big boost in traffic too.

        5. It’s two or three an hour at peak times, which is close to the maximum capacity of the single track line.

  7. “Farewell to Parking Minimums”
    Went for a nice walk through my subdivision this morning enjoying all the cars parked on footpaths, over driveways and blocking shared lanes due to their being inadequate parking. Sort of does the complete opposite of the claim that it makes it easier to walk.

    1. Short term vs long term.
      Improving the other networks of the city will decrease the need for everyone in a house to have a car, and will happen over time. But that kind of change cannot happen overnight.

      Its the exact same short term thinking that claims that adding more motorways will reduce traffic on local streets in Auckland. Sure, assuming all other things stay the same then that will happen. But that is an insane assumption, proved wrong extensively by this point.

      Me and my 4 flatmates owned zero cars collectively, but finding a flat was hard enough, the one we ended up with had 3 car parks and we had to pay all those hidden costs, land used, unused internal space in the form of a double garage etc. Not really fair to enforce those costs on everyone. If home buyers want car parks then they are allowed to include them. Its just no longer enforced and imposed on people who don’t want or need it.

      1. You’re sitting on a gold mine then: put up a sign saying “ Car Parks for rent” – and then money to subsidize your rent will come rolling in. $40-50 per week per car – $150 a week in total to ease your rent? Not to be sneezed at….

        1. Ahhh yes, it was in such hot demand in a random dead during the day suburb, competing with a free good in the on street parking.
          There was a vast oversupply because of the enforced minimums back in the day.

    2. Removing parking minimums is necessary but not sufficient to make a place walkable. It also requires enforcement.

    3. So you actual complaint is not the parking minimums but the lack of enforcement and the entitlement of drivers. Gotya

    4. Are there not enough carparks? or too many cars?

      Very few “subdivisions don’t have at least one off street park (if not two) and enough space on-road for extra cars and visitors. The exception are city fringe apartments.

      How many people are choosing a house because of its desirability (location, quality, etc) but that’s not fit for their purpose (numerous cars)? These people are asking for their lifestyle to be subsidised by using public space for storing their private vehicle.

      Regardless, just because people park on footpaths and driveaways doesn’t mean its because its a lack of parking. People do this already because they think its a right.

      The issue is a lack of self-reflection combined with little to no enforcement. It isn’t because a by-law says a developer doesnt need to provide parking if they don’t want to.

      1. The worst road in question has 50 two story 4 bedroom houses with 9 on street parks all down one end of the road.

        Each house has 2 parks, one in the garage and one on the driveway, however due to modern houses having very little storage the majority of people use the garage as storage. Once you account for the average house having two or three cars it doesn’t leave people with many options.

        It is indeed an issue with people, however when it comes to designing cities how people behave needs to be taken into account.

        You can go to pretty much any new residential development that isn’t completely unaffordable and see that this is pretty much current practice and inline with “best practice”.

        1. Obviously car parking isn’t very valuable to people if they are willing to select houses with fewer car parks than they have cars. Would you force those people out of home ownership by banning those houses?

        2. Its very simple:
          – If you have 2 cars, buy a house with 2 off street car parks
          – if you don’t buy those car parks, or use it for something else, then park on the street
          – but when everybody does that and you can’t find a park, don’t complain
          – and don’t complain when you get a ticket for parking on a footpath. Suck it up, because its a product of the decision you did/did not make.

          Don’t blame it all on “design” because there are plenty of existing houses in Auckland which allow you to park 5 cars, let alone two. You just wanted the best of both worlds.

        3. “Once you account for the average house having two or three cars it doesn’t leave people with many options.”

          There is the problem. They should buy a house that can cater for these off street, or get rid of a car or two.

          If they doubled the car-parking space in developments, people would still fill them and we would end up having the same argument that there are too few for the demand.

          Its like roads – cars will suck up whatever capacity you provide. It doesn’t mean its the right thing to do, to accommodate it.

        4. Sailor Boy, who said anything about banning anything? Are you sure you responded to the right post?

          KLK. It sure does seem pretty simple. But reality seems to imply the majority of people take a rather optimistic view on these things and get themselves into trouble. If you maintained consistency in your approach and applied it to road safety you would be completely against vision zero as if everyone simply did what they are required to do there would be zero issues. Again however, generates a different result.

        5. Regarding sucking up any carparks. On my side of the development that was done under Manukau City Council it has 14 3 bedroom homes with the same off street parking but 14 on street parks.

          My side was no more expensive than the other side, however we have zero issues with people parking on the footpath and have space for visitors most of the time.

          It certainly hasn’t encouraged anyone to rush out and buy a 3rd or 4th car as implied.

        6. “If you maintained consistency in your approach and applied it to road safety you would be completely against vision zero as if everyone simply did what they are required to do there would be zero issues”.

          Yes, I left out the enforcement part that we have in road safety. And that would be pay-for-parking where demand outstrips supply (and perhaps even a zoned system more broadly). And penalties where ignored.

          The cost of off-street parking is part of your house price/rent. Need more space? Pay the commercial rate.

        7. “It certainly hasn’t encouraged anyone to rush out and buy a 3rd or 4th car as implied.”

          Maybe not current owners, but I am sure it attracts new entrants to the area, looking for yet another location where the cost of part of the lifestyle can be subsidised by taking public space for private use.

        8. Yes and as I’m pointing out people are essentially being forced to use public space such as footpaths for private use as they are presented with no other options.

          As noted, this is how Auckland and other ‘progressive’ cities are doing things hence this is becoming the only thing on offer unless you are able to buy the section and design your own home, something that is getting progressively harder to do.

          In terms of people rushing in to buy houses on my street and paying top dollar so they can use thr on street parking when they buy their 4th car. I’ve been here for 5 years amd that doesn’t seem to be happening. Sure price have doubled buy then so have the houses with 1/5th of the on street parking. It really doesn’t seem to be a factor the typical person thinks of when buying a house or finding a flat.

          Just touching on safety again. If you were to be consistent you would ignore the safe roads, safe cars and safe speeds aspect as use enforcement as your only tool for road safety handing out fines to those people who break the rules and crash.

        9. “Yes and as I’m pointing out people are essentially being forced to use public space such as footpaths for private use as they are presented with no other options.”

          You can’t possibly be serious. They have absolutely no option to choose a different house that better suits their car and storage requirements?

          You have this backwards. People are taking the space because we have let them, not because we have banned off-street parking, have a by-law that requires them to convert a garage to storage or restricts the locations in which they live.

        10. “Sailor Boy, who said anything about banning anything? ”

          Houses without car parks are currently banned across about 97% of Auckland’s urban area. The council have *already* decided to try and ban these. When you talk about ‘design’ it’s a very obvious code for ‘legal mechanisms to force my design choices onto others’.

        11. “If you were to be consistent you would ignore the safe roads, safe cars and safe speeds aspect as use enforcement as your only tool for road safety handing out fines to those people who break the rules and crash.”

          Its a bad comparison because in road safety, most people have an implicit want to comply because there are dire adverse consequences: a crash and the cost of repair, harm, injury, death. I’d argue penalties for non-compliance are far less of a deterrent than the threat of those outcomes. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need rules and penalties to keep the outliers in line.

          Parking over a footpath has few consequences, if any, at the moment. There isn’t the same natural deterrent between the two.

        12. KLK, are you seriously unaware of the housing crisis that’s been going on for some 15 years or what modern land developments look like.

          I suggest you going and try having a look a new or redeveloped parts of the city and you will see the majority of people aren’t spoilt for choice. If they were they wouldn’t be buying small houses with inadequate storage or parking. I’m also pretty sure people don’t buy houss with the intention of parking on the footpath just like they don’t cycle down the road with the intention of running a red light or crashing into the kerb.

          Sailor boy, there is quite a difference between excessive parking requirements and none at all. Most things can be designed to achieve a balance and so I would have thought doing the same for parking isn’t out of the question.

        13. “If they were they wouldn’t be buying small houses with inadequate storage or parking”

          Who says its inadequate? You? Why? Because people choose to utilise not just the space they paid for, but the external public space nearby at no cost? Why wouldn’t they if there are no consequences?

          They retain a car they can’t store on-site because they can store it off-site for free. Its got nothing to do with the parking provided as part of the house. Its the choice they were incentivised to make.

          Even in a housing crisis most developments come with adequate parking for 2 cars. You said that and I agree. You also said households go outside that number and thats where the trouble starts? Why on earth would you buy more cars than you have spaces for? Because you have an expectation society will provide that for free. We need to reset those expectations with costs for that external parking.

        14. Always ask the question “then what do you want people to do instead”. Try to find an honest answer.

          Don’t park your car on the berm. So where then? Most areas don’t have parking garages nearby.

          The sequence of events is not hard to understand. (1) Council undercuts private developments with free on-street parking. And now on-berm parking. (2) People will rely on being able to park off-street. This is not a good idea, but remember, Homo Economicus doens’t actually exists in real life. (3) Developers know this so they build less parking than needed (in other words, more houses on the same area). How much extra money would they get for that extra parking spot anyway? This also explains the lack of parking garages despite obvious demand. (4) If too many new developments happen in a small area you get chaos.

          People won’t keep buying cars until all those spaces are full. That is a ridiculous idea. They will have approximately one car per adult in the house. Most of Auckland is almost impenetrable without a car so it is unlikely to be much less. We have approximately 1 car per person over 18 over here. People also don’t sell their cars if it turns out there is not enough parking. That is why you get chaos in the first place.

          (btw, note that things like storage or laundry rooms doesn’t show up in real estate brochures as bedrooms and bathrooms, so that is dead money for developers and you generally don’t find them in houses over here. Many houses indeed have the washing machine in the garage)

          Clearly step (1) is the root problem. The council will now have to phase out this free on-street parking. What they can do is banning overnight parking on the street unless you have a permit. To have some transition time those permits can be cheap in year 1, but during the next few years the price will go up in a few steps until it reaches some final price. So people get some time to adapt.

          In some areas this can go quickly. Takapuna happens to have a brand new, and mostly empty parking building.

          Or maybe the council can use that time to actually do things like building bike lanes or upgrading public transport.

        15. KLK, have you ever heard of work vehicles? Or households that have more than 2 people of driving age?

          These things are freak rear situations.

          Anyway lets agree to disagree. I think good design takes account of human behavior, you think we should design for an idealised future where people conform to your desires.

        16. The council can stipulate the minimum number of on site parks but if they then provide abundant on street parking it is no wonder those garages get increasingly repurposed as additional living areas, enclosed recreational areas, or non vehicle storage.

        17. …you think we should design for an idealised future where people conform to your desires.

          Chirping, instead you advocate for a future where we legally enforce your desires? If we’re advocating for a future where people have more freedom, and where people do less “conforming”, then surely removing parking minimums is good?

          Good design accounts for the future, as the assets and design will be around for at least 50 years, probably much much longer. Optimising for today would be silly as it would mean unoptimal design for the vast majority of the life of the area.

        18. “.. You think we should design for an idealised future where people conform to your desires.”

          I think nothing of the sort. I could care less how people live unless they want others to subsidise it. You seem to think you know what people “need” in terms of parking and storage. And it’s more than they are willing to pay for, apparently.

        19. KLK. I think you really need to get out there and see how developments and things are done these days.

          In most cases you don’t get to decide how much storage space your house or apartment comes with, neither do you get to decide how much on street parking there is. And some pretty simple observations and listening to people lets you know the majority of people don’t think of these things when buying, at least not for their 1st home.

          If you happen to be building your own house in the country or are making your own development you can choose these things, however most people are not in that position.

          When designing these things you also need to take account of the fact they aren’t going to get demolished in 5 years but rather form a constraint for the next 100 years or more.

          Also note, taking account of something doesn’t mean providing for or endorsing adverse behavior. It just means you don’t totally ignore it.

        20. Chirping, I am on extensive search for a new house at the moment. I must have viewed houses in every suburb within about 20kms of the city. I would suggest you get out and have a look around too. There is way more on offer than new developments you keep lamenting, new and old stock, in the same price point. Many with parking for more than 2 cars. And that’s choice.

          The original premise was the people parking on footpaths is a result of abolishing MPRs. Most developments – even the ones you hate – have parking for 2 cars, which covers the average Auckland household. The issue is that demand exceeds suppy for a free public good, off street parking. And that’s because people consider it a right to use that public space for their private vehicles, even repurposing private parking (storage) because they know they have this option. You say they need it, I say they have been offered it so are not suprisingly taking it and not having to make compromises as a result.

          If they had to pay for that extra space (off street) – as they would if they instead chose a bigger house to accommodate those “needs” we’d really see what they need and value. They would have to make a choice between house size, number of cars, location, how much they hoard. You don’t seem to want them to make those compromises. You just think if everybody parks a car on the street, its because they are forced to. I’ll challenge that every day of the week.

          Where you certainly have it wrong is that I don’t think people have or need extra cars. I couldn’t give a toss. I’ve never made a single statement on how people should live, only that how they live should reflect what they are prepared to fund. You however continually insist you know best what people need and that regulations should enforce that. So you limit choice. Ironic.

          I would like to see paid parking on streets all over the city and then I think you would see, very quickly, how much of these cars and extra stuff is really just discretionary. But as thats not happening anytime soon, I’d just be really happy if people don’t shut out new residents from the same bludge (see new apartments in the city with no carparks), don’t park on footpaths when the inevitable happens and the free good runs out and that AT go hard on enforcement on those who think they can subsequently park wherever they like, because the council did not subsidise more parking.

        21. KLK. I suggest you limit the amount of imagination you use when reading peoples posts. Most of your retorts appear to be based on some fictional claims you’re pretending I’ve made. Being a little less abusive would also be nice.

        22. “I suggest you limit the amount of imagination you use when reading peoples posts”

          At least I read them properly in the first place. A bit late to back out now mate.

        23. KLK, when you use your imagination to pretend people said something they didn’t it really doesn’t matter if you read properly or not.

        24. Who needs imagination when its there in black and white? I can only respond to what you write Chirpy. If you have misrepresented yourself, it’s up to you to correct it or clarify.

          You stated views, you made claims about how I see design (amongst others) and suggested I get out and “see” things. All fine.

          I responded and you claimed offense. If you are indeed offended by people responding to your posts with their own views, then you are probably in the wrong place.

        25. KLK.
          You claimed I hate new developments, yet I never expressed any hatred. I simply mentioned the differences between a the part that has adequate parking and the part that doesn’t.

          You claimed I know what people need which I never did. I simply said what people are actually doing and have complained about.

          You claimed I said that you said people need extra cars. I never did such a thing, you did however say people would get more cars to use all the parking available.

          You also claimed I said we need regulations to enforce what I think people need. Yet all I have done it point out the issues that are occurring through poor design.

        26. Sorry to call BS, but lack of legal on-street parking is not the only cause of pave-parking.

          We have a modern ‘slow traffic’ mid density development nearby with all the symptoms you describe, but my street has no parking restrictions and was wide enough for two full hard shoulders and traffic lanes.

          I say ‘was’, because AT in their infinite wisdom put a median strip down it, increasing the perceived safety of higher vehicle speed and encouraging faster driving in a residential neighborhood.

          The result is a rash of pave-parking and berm-parking as drivers recognize the risk to their (largely uninsured) private property.

          The hard shoulder markings moved over by half a median strip, inviting the berm parking by implying it is required.

          The pave-parking follows on, since you quickly run out of berm outside your house and don’t want to start a feud with the neighbors.

          For most, it’s a judgement call that pedestrians are less of a threat to the car than other drivers.

          One adorable resident had planters reserving his driveway as an open space in front of the garage/living space, whilst parking his doublecab ute over the footpath. Straight-up freeloading is perfectly natural human behaviour, if you allow it.

        27. “Sorry to call BS, but lack of legal on-street parking is not the only cause of pave-parking.”

          And your reasoning is that all legal on-street parking was removed from your road which has resulted in people parking on the berm and footpath? That sounds more like you agree that inadequate parking results in people parking on footpaths etc.

          In regards to the flush median, it sounds like you must live on a main road as their purpose is to help vehicles turn in and out of access points and to help pedestrians cross busy roads. They are seldom used for separating high speed traffic.

      2. There has been an unintended consequence in the Wellington region,developers were sitting on empty land ,until parking minimums were abolished

        1. Roeland
          Takapuna no longer has a near empty parking building as parking permits have been introduced to much of Takapuna around the town centre. Locals can buy as many passes as they have vehicles at $70 per vehicle per year. This begs the question as to why every car space in Auckland cannot be charged.

          I doubt whether the car park is profitable though as the parking is so cheap. “Until 30 June 2021, Pay with AT Park and pay only 50c per hour, max of $8 per day.”

          You can sell anything if you make the price low enough.

          This project really is a blight on all that were involved. It was promulgated on the basis that the town square would be redeveloped and despite this being a shovel ready project, not any sign of a shovel.

          I suspect that the delay is that AT have been unable to sell the Gasometer site and so the funds are not available. The word ineptitude comes to mind.

          We are lucky though that in the immortal words of comic Rowan Atkinson, “Toka Puia – more than a new car park building”

        2. I think you’ll wind up different people depending on the price point.

          I mean, obviously you should charge much more than $70 per year. If that price already has an effect then that tells you something.

        3. There’s a rumour circulating that AT intends to sell the new car park once it is performing well. That rumour comes from the Takapuna Residents Association, an organisation whose sole purpose seems to be to keep Takapuna as a sleepy beachside suburb – presumably like it was before the advent of the harbour bridge.

          For those interested in expressing a view about the future of Takapuna here is the survey they are running. The local postal code is 0622.
          https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ilovetakapuna?fbclid=IwAR15FRAaecvc1tr0wxw4wyD7Vut8iz7UxFeuKfyr3VS_dqAfKTkaO7-pnto

        4. Wow, that survey was something else.
          Leading questions, emotive answers – the writers were certainly flying their colours clearly.

        5. What’s the point of doing a survey as a residents association if you don’t get the answer you wanted?

          These surveys are always gold though. It’s a lesson in how to not make legit surveys.

    1. the Herald will carry on doing what they need to do, appeal to their reader base and appeal to their sponsors.

  8. Our State broadcaster can go one worse! They are actively promoting utes by giving one away.
    https://www.facebook.com/sevensharp/videos/seven-sharp-giving-away.

    This is the easy sort of thing that a govt Minister can and should fix. This sort of stuff (my apologies for mentioning the word Stuff because they seem the only media outlet to treat climate change seriously), where a State owned enterprise is actively promoting fossil fueled vehicles makes a mockery of the govt’s commitment to achieving transport emissions reductions, and is probably part of the reason that only 37% of those surveyed thought NZ would achieve its targets.

    It’s interesting to watch the video on this facebook page where Jeremy Wells aligns himself with the views of Mike Hosking and takes cheap shots at pedestrians. How can TV1 masquerade this as a current affairs show?

    1. TV1 is a commercial entity highly dependant on advertising income, so is not much different from NZME
      Commercial realities ensure that those who buy the most advertising also buy editorial influence.
      Influencing to maximise the preferential passage for their heavily promoted inefficient polluting lumps of iron, and plastic, is just them being commercial.

  9. Thinking about the cycle bridge over the Auckland harbour seems to be stuck on one solution, a high bridge.
    Other solutions need to be brain stormed.
    The big problem seems to be maintain a shipping path under the bridge for tall ships.
    One solution could be a floating pontoon from the shores to the existing bridges piers, using the piers only as anchors.
    The gap which could be as little a 50m or less could be bridged with a swinging pontoon or a raft on an arm, that moves back and forth like a horizontal lift.
    A low bridge could be near the shore for ferries and leisure boats so the opening would only be need for yachts and large boats.

    Boat harbours use floating pontoons so the engineering is already used but it would need to be scaled up to give a 6 metre wide path and more robust for a more exposed site

    There must be examples around the world that have solved a crossing like this.
    Does anyone know of examples?

    1. We could just not maintain the option to have tall ships under the bridge.

      It’s a huge public opportunity cost, for almost no payoff. Some yachts and the sugar refinery, and not much else. It doesn’t have to be a meter above the high tide, but 5-10 meters which would allow barges, tugs etc under if they have to (like they have lately) and be much more manageable. The only reason the bridge was that tall was they were planning on making a new port up the harbour. But they didn’t and cant any more, so it’s unnecessary.

      1. Um… National defence. Warships are armed and disarmed at Kauri Point. Cutting that off would require moving that facility which would be extremely difficult politically and quite pricey.

  10. It’s so odd reading the fear of being a pedestrian on Aucklands streets. I am a pedestrian and I quite happily and comfortably coexist with motor vehicles, except when they park over footpaths.

    It’s the tits on e scooters and bikes on footpaths that worry me, cycle lanes being there or not,

  11. “Hopefully, what what looks like the start of a cultural shift can be recognised by Central and Local government as strengthening their mandate to make real steps towards meeting the country’s emissions-reduction targets.”

    Nope, certainly not recognised at a local level.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/125482159/auckland-transport-plan-tweaked-but-carbon-emissions-barely-fall

    Sadly there is no leadership at a local level (Auckland Council/AT) to address the problem and emissions and congestion will continue to grow.

  12. The good news story (and one to surely gladden Efeso Collin’s heart) of the week is that not only white people clad in lycra, but also brown people clad in leather, can openly flout Auckland’s road rules.

    For most of us this will come as no surprise, as motorists of any gender can openly flout the rules by driving and texting; drive in bus lanes; drive through red lights and park wherever they choose.

    Unfortunately all of this behaviour is to the detriment and safety of those who aren’t in a motor vehicle.

    And the message that Efeso Collins and most of the councilors have missed is that there are a growing number of people who are concerned about the deterioration of Auckland’s environment and want mode shares that lessen our impact on that environment. However, if as a councilor you are sitting on your hands doing nothing, then to deflect the argument to something else might seem a good tactic.

  13. Aftermath of todays tragic tornado the overhead is out so maybe trains are only running from Panmure and Penrose. No sign of any rail buses at Papatoetoe at 4 pm although a decrepit looking Kiwi coach line bus came through about lunchtime full up with what I suppose was passengers off the Te Huia wonder how they will go home. The station security didn’t know when the overhead will be repaired or if there will be rail buses tomorrow. One dead unit is sitting at Papatoetoe station. However the 349 Puhinui shuttle was still in its endless loop both at lunchtime and 4 pm I will be glad to see the end of that one when Puhinui station reopens apparently on the 26 th of July. My condolences to the family of the deceased and also to the people who- have had their homes damaged.

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