Today, Auckland Council’s Environment and Climate Change Committee is meeting.

One item on the agenda is titled the Regional Streets for People Programme. This low-budget Councillor-initiated programme deserves scrutiny because it offers opportunities for jump-starting climate action AND it reveals systemic barriers to progress.

The programme aims to encourage low-cost climate action projects in a wider area of Auckland, and the list of potential projects is good:

Small pilot projects like these make a big difference locally, and also lead the way to better practices in larger programmes. But limiting the budget and having to choose between them in the midst of a climate emergency while  roading projects like motorway widening, Penlink and Matakana Link Rd are still progressing at full tilt seems, well, dysfunctional.

And a closer look at the memo reveals some problems – which can be solved. The programme risks being:

  1. Stifled by Auckland Transport, to retain car priority,
  2. Compromised due to misconceptions about managing public sentiment,
  3. Wasted, in terms of being able to inform wider transport planning,
  4. Funded only by taking budget from an existing emissions reductions project with a long term commitment.

Problem 1 – Attempts to retain car priority

These proposals aim to achieve benefits like improved safety, reduced speeds in busy centres, better space for walking and biking, reduced rat-running, lower emissions. AT evidently wants them to achieve all this while retaining the classic requirement for keeping driving amenity good, too. From the table of criteria:

Proposals will need to demonstrate that they will achieve modeshift to active modes without a significant increase in distance travelled or congestion by general traffic, that will result in a net increase in network emissions.

The criterion subscribes to the myth that local congestion, or an inconvenience to a driver, will result in an increase in network emissions. Council will need to work with AT on the wording of the criterion to ensure it reflects up-to-date technical understanding, but the wider problem remains: Our transport agency should be leading on this, using evidence, not circulating misinformation.

Local, temporary congestion acts as a mechanism for reducing traffic and creating modeshift. Unless AT step up to understand this, an opportunity will be lost; that of the Regional Streets for People Programme expanding to support area-based approaches. The evidence from many cities (eg Utrecht, Amsterdam, Ghent, Barcelona) and of course Rachel Aldred’s work in the United Kingdom, has established that changing traffic circulation patterns gets people out of cars and lowers pollution and emissions. This is because there are twin effects from changing the traffic circulation:

  • It should make local streets more pleasant, so it is easier for more people to walk or cycle.
  • It may also makes some car journeys a little longer.

When both aspects apply, the effects compound beneficially, meaning you might as well walk or cycle for short trips, because it’s more convenient than getting in the car. Creating healthy streets by limiting rat-running and putting traffic back on the main roads where it belongs is more important than avoiding local congestion at all costs.

The message to people concerned about congestion needs to be:

Hang on in there: the longer term effect of these changes is a reduction in congestion levels throughout the network.”

It also helps those who absolutely need to drive.

None of this is news to Auckland Transport, and they shouldn’t have added the requirement to the criterion.

This climate action delay is perhaps Auckland’s biggest stumbling block to a safe low-carbon transport system. I pity the Auckland Transport staff facing local board or public meetings, attempting to explain to concerned residents how modeshift works, knowing that the organisation does not, ultimately, support them.

One of the proposals is for Clevedon.

Problem 2 – Managing public expectations

The criteria table also shows that projects must have strong local board support.

A year ago, I might have agreed, but we’ve learnt a lot in that time. Loud complaints can happen anywhere, even where local boards are supportive, and resolving the problems requires Council and AT holding firm on longer-term important goals.

I’ll use the UK’s Gear Change, One Year On review as an example. Rather than relying on the local authorities to champion the schemes, the Department for Transport requires them to:

We will reduce funding to councils which do not take active travel seriously, particularly in urban areas. This includes councils which remove schemes prematurely or without proper evidence, and councils which never installed them in the first place. As Gear Change said, an authority’s performance on active travel will help determine the wider funding allocations it receives, not just on active travel.

This stronger stance has come about because advocates have taken legal action when authorities had removed progressive interventions in the streets…

… despite officer advice, the equalities impact assessment, and public opinion all favouring the filter remaining in place.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson explains, in his foreword to the Gear Change review:

I know many people think that cycling and walking schemes simply increase car traffic on other roads. But there is now increasing evidence that they do not… If you make it easier and safer to walk and cycle, more people choose to walk and cycle instead of driving, and the traffic falls overall… as the benefits of schemes increase over time, what opposition there is falls further. That is why schemes must be in place long enough for their benefits and disbenefits to be properly evidenced… There was intense controversy… now… opposition to the LTN has evaporated, and so has some of the traffic.

The paradigm shift we need in Auckland is: when you require Councillors and local boards to stay the course, there’s no need for advocates to take legal cases.

This takes leadership. And we are running out of time.

Another proposal is for Surfdale.

Problem 3 – The opportunity for improving wider programmes could be lost

Proposals will also be judged on the:

Extent to which proposal identifies a route to delivery of permanent solution, the importance of the associated permanent project in the current AT, AC or CCO, local board work programme/strategy and ownership within the relevant organisation of learnings to take forward.

The “path to permanence” concept needs clarifying, as misunderstandings are a major stumbling block. This Regional Streets for People Programme will trial ideas to see if they create modeshift, improve safety and reduce emissions. If they are successful, they deserve an upgrade through the routine renewals and maintenance programmes.

If, to be approved, each project has to demonstrate that it fits within the status quo programmes – which have delivered the high emissions system we are trying to change – how can it inform or indeed transform those programmes? These projects will only achieve modeshift because they require a paradigm shift in thinking and approach.

Perhaps the proposals should be required to show they can highlight potentially climate damaging practices within conventional programmes or strategies. And maybe they should demonstrate how they could save money for AT, AC or local boards through good alignment with the Investment Hierarchy:

Problem 4 – The Budget was taken from an existing emissions-reduction project

The size of the programme’s budget – $3m – is small. This amount is less than the cost of a single business case for many larger programmes (orders of magnitude less, in many cases).

So it is awkward that the programme swipes its budget from another low-budget emissions reductions project:

I understand how this arose. There’s been general discontent about two things:

  1. The lack of progress on delivering a better transport system in general, leading to competition between Councillors and local board areas for funding.
  2. Mismanagement by both Council and AT of the Queen Street Valley work.

But shifting budget from one needed programme to another is generally a way to waste time and resources on planning. Conversely, given the state of the climate emergency, trimming $3m from any of the projects that increase road capacity would have been a win-win.

And creating a Low Emissions Area in the Queen St Valley is something Auckland committed to four years ago, as part of our C40 membership. It is a part of the City Centre Masterplan. It featured at the very top of the C40 Network’s Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration:

The QSV Low Emissions Area is an important programme, because it has a natural advantage when it comes to easy wins in decarbonisation. City centres, by virtue of being places where people gather, are effective public showcases for benefits of change, thus building confidence for change elsewhere in the city. Can it be sped up?

And how much would it cost to implement all the proposals in the Regional Streets for People list?

How to resolve this?

The Mayor needs to address each one of the above problems.

For this programme, some closer consideration of the objectives is needed. Here are my recommendations (bold font indicates my additions. I’ve also rearranged them into public-facing and internal objectives, instead of primary and secondary.)

  1. The programme objectives relating to benefits most visible to the public are:
    • Reduce transport emissions and improve air quality co-benefits by encouraging mode shift to walking and cycling through the creation of more people-friendly streets
    • Ensure a broad regional spread of projects outside of the city centre
    • Support Māori outcomes, for example by encouraging active Māori participation, and improving low carbon access to marae, kura, kohanga, papakāinga, employment and services.
  1. The programme objectives relating to benefits for internal processes and systems are:
    • encourage the use of trials and tactical urbanism techniques that can be rolled out rapidly, repeatedly, and at relatively low cost.
    • learn how to respond to local enthusiasm for people-friendly streets and to thwart vocal minority opposition to progress – that can arise anywhere – through demonstrating local and international success to communities, by undertaking interventions in areas where there is strong local board support and community support, and where there is not.
    • explore innovative practices and whether they can reduce transport emissions, contrasting them with existing practices.
    • explore innovative practices and whether they align well with the investment hierarchy, contrasting them with existing practices.
    • use the findings from this exploration to highlight current programmes and strategies that need review due to their inclusion of practices that fail to reduce emissions, or are unnecessarily costly.
Another proposal is in Matakana.

Decisions Today

There’s a related item on today’s agenda: the approach and governance structure for the Transport Emissions Reduction Plan. This plan (TERP) is the critical piece of work needed to “repair” the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP 2021) which – because it failed to meet the emissions objectives set – is being taken to judicial review.

The TERP governance paper presents an obvious tension between the proactive and heel-dragging partners which parallels the tension in the new programme I’ve discussed above. Examples of problems are:

  • the equity implications of change are treated with kid gloves, with far less caution given to the equity implications of not changing,
  • there is an effective blueprint for analysis paralysis – in both business case and consultation overkill
  • there are the usual claims of limited funding, despite decarbonisation being a way to save money, and
  • stakeholders’ importance is overblown, whereas the words children, youth and rangatahi are all missing.

In particular, paragraphs 5, 33, 34, 39, 50, 55, 70. Today, I think Councillors should push back on some of these paragraphs.

I also think it would be great if they could scale up the Regional Streets for People Programme. This is one way to harness tactical and immediate action in a wide swath of the city, to demonstrate transport transformation and inform the TERP work. This is needed to mitigate the minimum 15 month delay due to the RLTP failure, which could be the difference between:

  • Auckland leading and inspiring the world on how to turn car dependent sprawl around, potentially contributing significantly to global efforts to limit warming, and
  • Auckland failing, with inadequate emissions reductions, mounting carbon credit costs, and lost trading partners due to inaction.

The risks of inaction on transport this year are far higher than the risks of ploughing ahead with change. No one wants to leave an increasingly dangerous, expensive and barren world.

Won’t somebody please think of the children?

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  1. We need to be banning medians on all roads tbh, AT seem to think they are compulsory on even single lane roads for some bizarre reason. It’s just wasted space that could be used for cycling infrastructure. I live in London and I can’t think of any road I cycle on that had a median reserved purely for traffic to turn across the road

      1. Is it the same as the Design Manual on shared paths, which says they shouldn’t exist but they build them anyway?

      1. If you think Goff is bad I have two words for you – Leo Molloy.
        I voted for Goff, not because he was the “best” but because he was the least worst.
        Politics is invariably about choosing the least worst.

  2. A lot of really good small projects that AT has not been able to fund yet. I think Heidi is right on the button. For Problem 1, being likely to contribute to emission reduction should be enough. Being able to prioritise when not all projects can be funded does require some differentiation, though.

  3. So this isn’t a healthy situation at all. The “Context” section says that the programme is for trials to encourage walking and cycling outside the city centre.

    AT is trying to prioritise traffic flow even in a programme with this purpose?

    That’s the clearest indication we’ve had yet that prioritising traffic flow over walking and cycling must be rife throughout the organisation.

    More and more people are asking for AT to be defunded, and to bring transport within Council. Is this the solution?

    1. Restructuring would achieve nothing if the same people are there blocking change. Faster way to improve is the removal of key dinosaurs in AT management. Do it now.

  4. The list is representative of the city’s general need for improvement. The state of our footpaths and streets is poor, resulting from a focus on reducing congestion and travel times. At first glance it seems surprising that AT bothered to leave themselves open to criticism for a programme that’s only worth $3 million; you’d have thought they’d go under the radar on this, and reserve their ammunition for the projects with bigger budgets.

    We can only surmise that they either really don’t understand this or they really want to stamp their values on everything. From my understanding, I imagine it’s the latter. They’re not dumb, they’re practised in establishing rafts of criteria they can point to that supports them to make the decisions they want.

    I suspect you’ve caught them out unexpectedly. They were probably hoping no one would bother looking at a $3 million programme, but knew – with climate change – that the programme could easily be the start of something big.

  5. Dear author you just praised UK on their “Gear Change, One Year On”. This would be also good to comment on how they tackle and claw e-scooterists on the go. I seen videos from London, it’s so bizarre and disgusting.

  6. Proposals will need to demonstrate that they will achieve modeshift to active modes without a significant increase in distance travelled or congestion by general traffic, that will result in a net increase in network emissions.
    OK,if that’s the criteria, it needs a time frame for changes to work,there has been very little tolerance shown so far,for any projects like this

    1. Yes, and a methodology for determining the “network” impacts… which would be a very expensive piece of work. Even getting cordon monitoring around a project is costly.

      Imagine if Major Projects and Intersection Improvements and Road Network Optimisation had to prove they didn’t increase traffic and emissions in the network.

  7. I guess it depends if you are for or against climate change. The Council and Waka Kotahi could narrow every arterial road to one lane and paint the intersections blue and leave an enormous queue of cars, vans, trucks and buses emitting more CO2 to travel the same distance as before. Then we need to account for the emissions of all the wooden planters and concrete lumps they stick for a few weeks then abandon. Alternatively or governments could stop wasting political capital and actually focus on climate change. Maybe allowing the carbon price to exceed $50 per tonne would be a useful start.

    1. …or by taxing vehicles based on their weight and size. Bicycles and eScooters go free, of course. 2 tonne Utes pay double the fees of a 1 tonne ute. Allow only those micro-cars from Japan to come here as used-car imports. Ban the import of all ICE vehicles, immediately, and close down the importers of Dodge, RAM, Hummer etc. We simply don’t need them here.

      1. While it might be fun to think up rules to apply to others you might find none of those actually achieve your objective. Banning the import of ICE vehicles will mean we keep older less efficient vehicles going like Cuba had to. Taxing by weight and size rather than taxing fuel means you will encourage large families to own many cars rather than one that suits their needs. Similarly utes. Some people need a tow vehicle so maybe they will go for a full sized truck instead. We have a problem where we burn too much fossil fuel so that is the correct place to tax. None of that other crap makes any sense. It just annoys people and reduces the chance of Governments actually addressing the problem.

        1. I agree overall miffy. I dont think your examples are that great. But it is usually better to change the market producing the poor outcomes rather than try and play policy whack a mole with the outcomes.
          But I think a key part of the market is pricing the space taken by vehicles. It’s treated as a free good at the moment. But is in huge demand in the city. There are proxies that are charged, eg large vehicles tend to use more fuel. But thats not as good for actually charging for the size directly. There are a few other externalities that we should charge for too.

        2. If there was a world space crisis then that might be a good way to help relieve it. We could tax vehicles by the metre and lots of people would but 4.99m vehicles instead of 5.1m vehicles. The problem with all proxies is if we don’t know why someone made the choice they did in the first place then we have no hope of using policy to make any improvements, other than directly charging for the externality. Yet we have a Climate Commission doing the wrong thing really well working out how many cows we can have. And a Green party playing politics bribing inner city twerps with subsidies for EVs paid for by anyone who will never vote Green. The net result is the climate is stuffed and is now never going to recover.

        3. We do have a space crisis in Auckland. Might not be a global issue, but still has a huge negative impact on the city and her people.

          As for the carbon price, I read this from ANZ, might not be the most reputable source, but interesting anyway.


          NZ’s carbon price is pretty much on par with the EU’s carbon price. But overall their emissions are falling.

        4. That is a good summary. For too long our price was held down below the market price. Now it has risen and is expected to break through the $50 per tonne artificial ceiling price. If James Shaw releases units to keep the price below $50 then we are basically giving up on a market system and we will have no hope of achieving our goals. But remember only half of emitters are in, the rest were given a sweetheart deal. The first step to cutting emissions is include all sectors, the second step is let the market determine the price. Every other measure people put forward is just moving the deckchairs. Problem is none of the political parties actually care about any of this, they all want to pander to potential voters.

      2. Average, somewhere in what you say may be part of the answer. The car market is price sensitive. Hell, we had thousands of farmers driving millions of dollars of machinery to protest a $3000 price increase. These are the same farmers who do not want to pay any carbon price.

        Across the ditch there are different registration rates based on engine size.

        I suspect that it will take a range of measures to move kiwis vehicle buying habits.

    2. Yes, the powers that be are not very serious.

      Look at the 3 modes of PT in Auckland. Fares up reduce in the last 18 months.

      Ferries unreliable, services cancelled routinely. Crew shortages, vessels knackered.

      Buses, 1754 services cancelled in the past week because of driver shortages. Who knows how many for other reasons.

      Trains unreliable, cancellations and go slows to the point where AT are writing very unhappy letters to Kiwirails. CEO.

      Yet apparently, our government and council are serious about climate change. Yeah right!

      1. Keith
        These figures are a little old, but AT operates car parks (other than parking buildings) with a book value of $334 million. They produce a miserable return of $2.8 million per year, or 0.7%.

        If AT set out to only recover the long term costs of capital (5%) this would put another $14 million in the coffers every year. Maybe the increase in cycle lanes could move from 5km to 10km each year?

        Or more importantly perhaps, there is an excellent argument that we have too many car parks and this year we aim to decrease them by 5% city wide. City wide so it’s an even parking field. Let the local boards decide. And next year another 5%. It worked in Paris, and they want to remove half of them.
        I will send AT a copy of the AT Parking Strategy so that they know how to apply demand pricing, or I can explain it to them. It’s a simple plan and the beauty of it is that the extra revenue from demand pricing can be used for street beautification in the changed streets.

        1. But this has nothing to do with making PT an attractive alternative to the private motor vehicle. I mean it’s already behind the 8 ball with slowness and inconvenience before the almost now factored in unreliability set in.

        2. “…..a book value of $334 million. They produce a miserable return of $2.8 million per year, or 0.7%.”

          So like every other car-park operator in the CBD. Land-banking the capital gains with some token income to cover costs.

      2. Keith the only thing that AT owns is the trains and all the services are contracted out including their trains to different suppliers and most of the trouble is that bosses get paid the top Dollar and all the slaves get paid squat and if they reduce the bosses pay and put some of that into the workers they then might find staff .

        1. True. But what I’m saying is what should be leading the charge in luring motorists out of their cars to combat climate change is not bikes but a modern 21st century coordinated, second to none public transport service.

          What we get is Mr Fullers patched up old ferries, unable to retain staff to operate them, NZR ‘s rails and infrastructure from the 50’s and bus drivers been paid crap money, working split shifts, all trying to survive in Aucklands chronically dysfunctional unaffordable housing market.

          Luxuries are thinking about climate change.

          Our elected officials and their bureaucracies really cannot do worse!

        2. Keith , the Mr Fullers is Scotsman and if you remember what use to go around was how tight they are with their money , as they don’t like spending anything .

    3. Miffy, it might be a start, but it seems unlikely to be the full answer. What would lifting the price to match Europe mean? An extra 15 cents per litre? And fuel use might decrease by 3%?

      1. The first step is to include all sectors of the economy. Farmers got themselves a carve out and when the do join the ETS it is at a 50% discount. At the moment I think the carbon price component of petrol is only 11 cents per litre and it looks like James Shaw is going to sell credits to stop the price getting higher once it hits $50 per tonne. I mean WTF?
        In a practical sense everything else is bollocks. If the Climate Commission say you can only have 214 cows on your farm then you will have no incentive to breed your herd to have lower emissions and every incentive to squeeze everything you can out of 214 cows including using palm kernel, petro-based nitrates and larger cows that might belch more. Rules absolutely dont work, pricing the externality does (or would if they would let it).
        Until they let the ETS work I am trying to stop caring because it is all a waste of effort.

        1. The ETS should definitely include more sectors in the economy, but even if it included them all properly, it still has limitations. Perhaps have a read of this, miffy:

          “Commissioner Catherine Leining shares why the Emissions Trading Scheme – acting alone – will not be capable of delivering a successful low emissions future.”

          Some excerpts:

          “The ETS is a blunt instrument. It incentivises emission reductions when doing so is profitable – regardless of other consequences to society, the economy and the environment…

          It is obvious that price is not the only driver of change in markets.

          Many already profitable emission reduction opportunities – such as efficiency improvements in energy, industry and agriculture – face barriers to implementation that are not about price alone. Emissions pricing will not fix split-incentive problems between home builders, landlords and tenants to improve energy efficiency.

          It will not help educate people about reducing emissions, provide technical support, overcome high up-front costs for new technologies or override entrenched habits and social norms.

          Emissions pricing will not coordinate transformation across sectors and supply chains or large-scale, long-term research and investment for innovation across the public and private sectors.

          It operates in the context of commercial investment horizons and discount rates that serve private rather than public interests and do not safeguard future generations.”

          How do you think the ETS will assist Aucklanders in achieving the safe active mode infrastructure they need before they can safely cycle places, or let their kids safely walk places? It’s too blunt to have any effect.

        2. I am going to get on my stool here and defend the farmers here a little.
          Pricing these externalities is the way to go and methane, and all parts of the supply chain should account and pay for their emissions. However the current calculations of co2e based on GWP100 effectively subsidies long lived gasses at the expense of short lived gasses. co2 will keep warming for 1000’s of years, while methane has a half-life of 12 years. They get averaged over 100 years (assuming no co2 warming after that time) and methane looks like its the worst. The measurement standard was chosen at the big international conferences and is a result of oil producing nations lobbying. I guess we are lucky in a way the middle eastern states were pushing for GWP20. Fuck knows why we agreed to use GWP100 though.

        3. Heidi we don’t know yet what the ETS will achieve because it is only in the last few months that the price has been allowed to rise to a level that will incentivise change. So far it has been all about carve outs for favoured industries and an artificially low price carbon price. We may as well not have had an ETS. Was Catherine Leining part of allowing all of that nonsense? The low quality overseas credits was predicted and allowed to occur. She is right that it will lead to issues around equity and it will do nothing for Te Tiriti issues. But why would anyone expect it might? They are issues for the Government to address separately. If someone should be allowed to pollute because they are poor or allowed to pollute as an article 2 right then the Government can take steps to address that through compensation.
          But it is self serving for her to argue we need a Climate Commission to decide things like the number of cows or pigs or the cladding for houses. Particularly given that the Commission has no idea what costs those people face or what benefits they accrue.
          If we want to be carbon zero then the only practical way is through pricing to achieve that. But it seems that the climate crisis as now being exploited to meet other aims. We are screwed.

        4. The ETS is complete BS. The carbon is invariably priced far too low and the worst emitters are usually given some free allocation. When carbon pricing does become challenging, often the biggest emitters cry that the cost is putting their business at risk and suggest that a waiver might be a better outcome than workforce redundancies.
          The US RINS are exactly like that. US Farmers are getting a subsidy to farm corn and then dumping Ethanol while US refiners are negotiating get out deals.
          A better system is a GHG reduction mandate like in the Nordic countries and coming more to the EU (RED 2). Once you set up a robust system, you can adjust the GHG reduction level to fit the targets needed for compliance to agreed future levels. You can also increase the pain level of non compliance.
          Sadly National think the ETS is the market solving the problem (it isn’t), Labour are too scared of voter backlash to be bold and that only leave Julie Anne Genter to champion the cause.

        5. I will just say it directly so someone can correct me:

          The ETS is like (actually is?) a sovereign issued currency pegged to GHGs (How do you fairly convert between CO2, methane, fluorocarbons, water vapor 😉 etc?);

          Subject to taxation (if you emit you must buy them);

          Meant to be deflationary (emitting GHGs is meant to get more expensive over time).

          The government is fully in charge of making sure this parallel currency functions as a sinking lid on emissions. Would they actually do that?

          Would a government that tried, get hammered out of office by the affected parties?

          Why not just tax GHG emissions directly?

          Is that harder?

        6. Kevin S I think a carbon tax is actually better. It means all the cash raised can be spent in our country which makes it easier to raise the tax as the Govt can provide offsetting tax cuts elsewhere.
          The problem is it doesn’t allow you to mitigate offshore if that mitigation is cheaper, like growing trees in the Solomon Islands. But a carbon tax allows the Govt to raise it until they get the right result. Problem is we were going to have a carbon tax right up until some idiot farmers named it a fart tax and a National MP drove a tractor up the steps of Parliament. What the farmers actually wanted was a system that left them out.

        7. I have read that 2008-2016, the NZ govt allowed the purchase of fraudulent carbon credits from Ukraine and Russia.

          That is the cynical context in which the ETS has been operating.

          There will have to be a lot of complex rules about qualifying for carbon credits, this is where gamesmanship will corrupt the stated intent of the scheme: lowering emissions and sequestering carbon “efficiently”.

          I doubt that linking emissions with sequestration by a trading scheme will lower emissions as fast as pricing carbon emissions and subsidizing sequestration separately.

  8. A lot of those rural or semi-rural schools really need safety improvements. Clevedon, Matakana etc are all experiencing sprawl growth and subdivisions. Historically not many children lived within a nice walking / cycle distance, but that will and is changing. Hopefully the streets around them have some changes.
    I guess a problem, potential problem is some of the rural land uses around the schools and villages require trucks and often large amounts of trucks going through or past the schools and villages. So speed reductions will be very important around these locations, as often there aren’t alternative routes for these trucks to go.

  9. Interesting that this looks to have been modelled after the Innovating Streets for People programme that’s been running out of Waka Kotahi for a year. Love to know what’s been learned from that programme that could reshape the local version?

    Also $3m over 3 years feels like peanuts in the grands scheme of things. How many projects, total, are we talking about here – a dozen? Of course each project is worthy and if they all hit the ground successfully and stay in place, that’s a great start. Anything less, starts to feel like climate-washing eh.

  10. “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”
    Heidi, I love your optimism. With the current world state and an accelerating decline I can’t see how anyone could not be concerned about themselves. Drought, major weather events and inundation are already happening. Sure we may have to wait for mass migration and vast population areas to be submerged, but who knows how long?
    At least there is a positive side, the areas that have already burnt can only burn once. Of course the downside is double, tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere and the huge loss of plants that absorb carbon.

  11. “Compromised due to misconceptions about managing public sentiment”. This sounds similar to the new consultation on LRT. One of the goals of the new entity is to sell the idea of LRT to the public. Anectdotaly, most people I speak to, seem to be in favour of LRT and indeed many are perplexed that there hasnt been more progress or even actual construction underway by now. More consultation at this stage, when supposedly the project was shovel ready, runs the risk of people coming to the conclusion that the organisations and bodies running this are out of touch and unlikely ever to deliver. We also seem to overstate the scale of projects. It would be interesting to review processes overseas to see if for example projects for placing street furniture are so involved. Does this complexity also scale up to make a new section of LRT line far more complex here than in a city where that mode is more routine?

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