Kia ora, hope our Auckland readers are hanging in there – halfway through week five!

The week in Greater Auckland

In case you missed it, here’s what we published this week:

Monday’s post was by John Polkinghorne, discussing why urbanism is important and relevant to everyone.

On Tuesday we had a guest post by William Hall that pondered commuter rail from Wellington all  the way to Levin.

On Wednesday, Heidi wrote about the increase in deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s roads this year, and what is (or isn’t) being done about it.

Yesterday, Jolisa delivered a critique of plans for safety upgrades in Mt Roskill which fail to deliver safe outcomes for cyclists.

CRL Mt Eden Station designs

Renders have been released for the Mt Eden Station. What do you think?

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Images from Twitter.

Plan Change Declined for the Dome Valley

The Dome Valley is found to be inappropriate as a landfill for Auckland:

Waste Management’s application for a plan change for a landfill precinct in the valley has been declined in a unanimous decision by Auckland Council appointed commissioners.

Fight the Tip executive member Michelle Carmichael said this was only “part of the battle” amid an ongoing appeals process against a resource consent granted for initial landfill proposed…

“The panel states in their decision that the precinct would have given an unacceptable signal that the site is generally appropriate for landfills going forward, and that they think existing Unitary Plan rules are more appropriate for the site.”

Waste-to-Energy Plant Proposed in South Canterbury

A solution to our problem of creating too much waste is being proposed in South Canterbury. This solution doesn’t create the landfill problem, but meets resistance nonetheless:

A consortium of local and international businesses aims to build a waste-to-energy plant in South Canterbury, capable of preventing 350,000 tonnes of rubbish from going to landfill each year…

Spanish recycling services company Urbaser, Chinese environmental management firm Tianying Incorporated and New Zealand’s Renew Energy have established the joint venture called South Island Resource Recovery (SIRRL) to look for possible sites near Waimate in South Canterbury.

SIRRL said the project would cost $350 million to build, would create more than 100 direct and indirect jobs and could generate 30MW (megawatts) of electricity for the local network, which could also be fed into the national grid.

“New Zealand is in the middle of a landfill waste crisis, as was seen with the 2019 Fox River landfill environmental disaster,” SIRRL director Paul Taylor said.

“Waste disposed at municipal landfills grew by 48 per cent between 2009 and 2019.

“The proposed plant can run alongside New Zealand’s essential waste minimisation and recycling efforts and, at the same time, produce renewable energy to benefit the local economy,” he said.

Ryanair on rails

Any train fan in the audience will know about The Man in Seat 61, who’s been studying train routes worldwide for decades. Head over to the website to dream about epic overland travel like Moscow to Beijing or  Anchorage to Fairbanks (Alaska). Now, there’s a new low-cost London-Edinburgh train, which has ambitions of competing with Ryanair and Easyjet.

Are we approaching ‘peak car’?

This article at Bloomberg highlights the slowdown happening in the global automobile industry, and argues that it’s a necessary and inevitable re-balancing.

Global automakers are slashing production forecasts…

The prospect of fewer cars rolling off production lines may be troubling. However, this is what was supposed to happen, even before the shock of the pandemic. “Peak car” was imminent, if not already realized. In that context, having fewer vehicles  isn’t necessarily a bad thing — and, perhaps, should be considered the new normal.

Take a look at what was happening before Covid-19. The market was inundated with vehicles – buyers were being lured into showrooms with incentives, price cuts and techie features. Automakers were facing tough emissions regulations, the threat of technology and trade frictions that were raising the cost of cars.

There’s an encouraging plug for massive industries like the automobile industry to pivot away from business as usual:

The massive production cuts may now paint a stark picture of what could lie ahead for the global economy. But that’s only if companies keep doing what they’ve always done. The coronavirus outbreak — and accompanying supply chain shortages and shutdowns — has now forced automakers into what they had previously been unwilling to do. That’s a good thing. With all the latest clean air goals, who really needs so many cars, anyway?

So what would post- ‘peak car’ mean here?

Those quiet lockdown streets give a hint. If you’re enjoying the freedom, Efeso gets you:

Perhaps the utes will get smaller, too?

Image Credit: Liz Allen, via Twitter

Meanwhile, Europe’s great cities are being liberated from cars more permanently

David Belliard. Credit: JOEL SAGET / AFP

Published on Wednesday, this interview with Paris’ adjunct mayor for transportation and public space, David Belliard has some fascinating insights into the background of the city’s ambitious plan to reclaim space from cars, for people.

Starting in the ’90s, the negative externalities become more and more obvious, in terms of deaths and injuries on the road, danger for children and older people, and air pollution. The right-wing mayor started creating bike paths. But when I arrived in 2001, 2002, I bought a bike at once, and it was war. It was really difficult to ride in Paris, and I never felt secure. They built bike paths, and we called them “death paths.”

Belliard argues that redistribution of public space is about social justice.

The redistribution of public space is a policy of social redistribution. Fifty percent of public space is occupied by private cars, which are used mostly by the richest, and mostly by men, because it’s mostly men who drive, and so in total, the richest men are using half the public space. So if we give the space to walking, biking, and public transit, you give back public space to the categories of people who today are deprived.

We can expect to see other cities start to get serious about meeting their climate goals and commitments in the same way.

In Barcelona, municipal authorities are offering all-inclusive, 3-year public transport tickets to residents who trade in their ICE vehicles. The scheme is part of a range of physical and legislative controls that are reducing emissions in the city.

T-verda or “T-Green” Ticket. Credit: Polis

In Barcelona a large effort is underway to encourage drivers to replace car travel with public transit. Since 2017, the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona has provided over 12,000 metropolitan tickets to those that gave up their private vehicle.

Since its creation in 2017, Barcelona has awarded more than 12,000 T-green tickets, precipitating a reduction of 10,613 cars and 1,735 motorcycles across the metropolitan area.

This ticketing system has been supported by the introduction of the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) Rondas BCN, towards the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020…

As the LEZ came into force, the city saw a rapid rise in request for the public transport ticket. During the month of November 2020, over 729 applications were received.

Auckland committed to plans for a LEZ, too. Four years ago, which is easily enough time to implement them.

Auckland is particularly good at plans and commitments, and trumpets them loudly sometimes.

New Zealand’s Climate Performance

As Tim Jones pointed out on twitter, New Zealand’s climate action is highly insufficient.

New Zealand in the Climate Action Tracker

Decision-makers need to understand that our response has been “critically insufficient” in terms of taking a fair share. We will thrive as a society if we make the systems change needed to achieve our fair share of the globe’s emissions reductions target. But it requires leadership, starting now. Which is why the Government really should have got organised earlier on an emissions reduction plan…

The Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan

Radio New Zealand interviewed the founder of the 1point5 project, Paul Winton, on why the Government has needed to delay publishing its Emissions Reduction Plan by five months.

A climate campaigner says there’s a bunch of good reasons for the Government to delay its plan to tackle the climate crisis – the main one being what he calls the ‘staggering ineptitude’ of government agencies to get started on the work.

Cyclone Paths on Planet Earth

Stunning work.

Cyclone paths on Planet Earth. Credit image: Val Brigatti via Twitter.

Four most important charts in science

While we’re in the ‘isn’t that interesting’ section of the weekly roundup, four inspiring charts:

The week in flooding

Let’s head to France this week, where thunderstorms have unleashed nearly a foot of water in some parts of the country.

Checking in on Christchurch

This is a good point from Sophie McInnes. Why does cycling consistently get represented in the media as (a) costing a lot of money and (b) taking money away from roads and bridges?

Wellington’s accelerated cycleway program

Speaking of money spent on cycling, this week Wellington City Council announced a draft plan to roll-out of 147kms of cycleways over the next decade. That’s a 630%  increase on the 23kms Wellington has at the moment. That’ll get Wellington moving!

We like the way Mayor Andy Foster is talking about the planned network.

“This updated bike network plan identifies routes that would make it easier for children to ride to school, people to get to work on time, and be safe for older and less confident riders. These routes take people directly to shops, schools, and through major suburbs.

“This is a good move from a transport perspective but also from an economic one as it will be easier for people to shop and do business,” says Mayor Foster.

The plan still needs to be approved by the Environment and Planning Committee next month, and if it is, will go to public consultation in November.

Brooklyn Bridge cycleway opens

Sounds like some of Wellington’s cycling network will be constructed as low-cost, tactical solutions that will be made temporary later on. That’s the approach that’s been taken with the new dedicated bike lane on Brooklyn Bridge. What’s the chance those concrete barriers are moved out by another car lane width, by mid 2022?

It looks… narrow. But those concrete barriers seem nice and solid, so, compromises?

Might be a good opportunity for NYC to reinstate these nifty police vehicles, to take advantage to the bike lane to get ahead of gridlocked bridge traffic.

Brooklyn Tunnel police, NYC. Via Twitter.

The Vibe still Vibin’

An Innovating Streets project, ‘The Vibe’ in Thames, is a top-line selling point for a local cafe. Positioned right next door, the business has clearly benefited from its proximity to the section of closed street. The listing tells would-be buyers  –

A very popular, centrally located cafe and arguably in the best position for the exciting “Vibe Hub” providing stimulating opportunities, atmosphere, and increased foot traffic.
Flanked by amazing murals, the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre, and is the first port of call for travellers using the bus terminal on Mary Street.

Increased foot traffic, good for cafe business? Who knew…

‘The Vibe’ public space in Thames, with The Villager Cafe behind. Image from Harcourts.

What’s your favourite public transport livery?

This compact double-decker tram caught our eye this week.

Kia pai tōu rā whakata, ka kite i a koutou a tērā wiki. Have a great weekend and see you next week.

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  1. Mt Eden station renders look as if someone wanted to design a multi-storey car park but were advised it might be a good idea to insert a couple of train platforms. With half the surface allocated to the movement and storage of motor vehicles, it demonstrates a complete failure on the part of those responsible for its design to understand the requirements of an urban rail connection. Its location, well back from both bus-routed arterials, suggests a failure to comprehend the physical connectivity required for inter-modal transit. Back to the drawing board, please.

    1. I don’t mind parts of it, and the feature wall inside will be a stunning installation. But the entire thing could use a hell of a lot more landscaping to make it more of an urban oasis.

      The car thing is totally untenable though. Surely they should be prioritising buses along that entrance access and not allow private vehicles in at all.

    2. Clean green NZ.

      So the designer sticks in two token trees stuck in a sea of concrete and not a blade of grass

      It looks like a train station anywhere with brutal slabs of concrete. Can’t complain too much about a new shiny train station, but a little bit of acknowledgment that it is 2021 and we are a south pacific country would be nice rather than a design that could have been built anywhere in the world in the last 50 years.

      That entrance way will be hot in summer and windswept and wet in winter.

      1. Is there a lot of people living and working in the area. Looking at the map it shows passengers will have to travel Via Newmarket and Parnell to access the city centre. So its not even on the main line.

        1. Royce makes a good point on how daft this station is.. The main mt eden station is actually below ground level. All those pictures are of the big entrance building for the weird second platforms that are probably never going to be used cos they don’t go to or from the CRL.

          They should have cut the crap and just built a single entrance where the ventilation building is. Everyone will have to walk past that to get to the entrance then walk back to the platforms again.

        2. Okay so it serves both lines that’s good although there are a lot of sets of points involved. I haven’t spent to much time studying the ins and outs of the CRL as I don’t want to be emotionally involved if it doesn’t work out quite as its expected too. I assume that there wont be any sets of points in the tunnel itself. They seem to be a point of failure.

        3. Royce, there are multiple sets of points within the tunnels. All 3 directions are fully grade separated from each other. No at grade crossovers, just splits and merges.
          Here’s kiwirail’s engineering track plan if that helps.

          By far the highest capacity rail junction in the country.

          My only concern is that there is no crossover between the up and down CRL tunnels like they do on crossrail for instance, so they couldn’t close one tunnel for maintenance for a week over Christmas or something, and still maintain decent frequencies. They’d have to go around the other way through Newmarket.

          I think the 2 extra platforms are valuable. Eventually some extra capacity will be realised and relied upon by running trains crosstown. Even if thats not not needed on day one or even for a long time. Although they probably will have that crosstown line, it’d look bad if they didn’t use this expensive infra they built for it.

          And here is the rest of the engineering diagrams if you’re interested.

        4. Jack , there have been three crossovers that already been installed by KR , 1 at the Britomart tunnel entry 1 at Boston Rd by the prison and the last between Mt Eden and Kingsland , so they should be able to do the track maintence in the CRL tunnels late at night or weekends when it’s slow .

        5. Ha, the infrastructure builders don’t care about services, they just build things. I’ll beleive it when I see the trainsets ordered and the funding allocated to running it. Maybe ten or twenty years later when everything is chockers.

          Like the Rosedale station they are building on the northen busway extension, NZTA didn’t fund any buses to actually run to it, not part of their project, they just build things.

      2. I’m not really sure why the designers think that anyone will be arriving / departing from Mt Eden via a car. Surely a bus interchange would be a logical thing – but a car-pickup point? Makes no sense.

        Thinking back to when I lived in the UK, every time I caught a train from the city, I walked / tubed to the nearest train station – and when I was at the destination (inevitably, in the country) I got a cab or was picked up in a car. But last time I looked, Mt Eden is not a country destination. It’s a fairly busy edge of city station. Buses needed, not cars.

      3. And the whole station looks like it’s being built on a flat plane with none of the hill that is already there , so are they going to landscape the portal face ? or is it just going to be the piled that are holding up Flower St or will they plant a hanging garden down the face .

        And none of it looks like what they 1st proposed .;-

    3. Bike parking looks generous, but there’s no shelter and it seems to lack surveillance and security.

      I wouldn’t leave anything but the most knackered hack tied up there.

  2. Car production is being cut because manufacturers can’t get the chips they need. The Economist last month suggested a cut in annual car production of five million “all for want of their tiniest components”.

    There’s not yet any reason to think production won’t return to previous levels as new chip production capacity becomes available.

    1. In fact there is grave concern that owning an electric car is so much cheaper then an ICE that ownership will drastically increase with more cars on the road, not less.

      See UK Government research into road pricing.

  3. In today’s news on Stuff ‘Auckland eyes up Paris-style street dining, as experts predict ‘long-term’ level 2′. “Work is under way to allow Auckland restaurants and cafés to follow London, Paris and New York in expanding onto the street in anticipation of Covid-19 restrictions lasting at least until the end of the year.” Councillor Michael Hills notes buy-in from Auckland Transport will be essential.

    Since much of the opposition to Living Streets has been lead by small business people who see change as a threat to their business, this is a way of gaining support for repurposing space by other small business people. Admittedly land owned by the council is going from being used by businesses for cheap carparking to being used by them for cheap dining facilities, but some space may also be available to the general public.

    1. And the way these places have Street dining , a lot of them seem to take up more of the footpath so they only way pedestrians can get pass is use the road . If they want outdoor eating why don’t they create a courtyard within the boundary of their property . Some places can do why can’t others ? .

  4. Re: Peak Car
    Yes, maybe in some european cities. That’s about it.
    And while Covid left the impression in some bubbles on how great car free cities look, the only lasting impression Covid will have on the general poulation is that it is better to sit in your car than in a bus/tram/train, where you have to share the ride with other potentially infected people. So the mode-shift is happening, towards cars.
    And don’t forget about the EV replacement program, where all the car makers are salivating at the prospect of governments subsiding car purchases by the billions to replace unclean cars with slightly less unclean cars.

    Re: NZ insufficient climate plans
    That’s what happens when there is no democratic party pushing for climate policies.

    Re: WLG bike network
    Wait until they have to replace a car park for a bike lane.
    As pointed out already the Mayor is not behind these plans, he is happy to take political capital out of it but doesn’t want to invest any. And if no one is pushing for it, it will just get consulted on and then consulted on again and again. The story of LGWCM (Let’s Get Wellington Consultations Moving),

    1. The ODT notes that in Dunedin bus patronage is now higher than pre-covid thanks to low and flat bus fares.

      “Significantly higher passenger numbers in Dunedin in June and July, compared with the corresponding months in 2019, were encouraging, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said.

      There was plenty of room to grow and flat $2 fares had been popular, he said. People also wanted routes and timetables that were efficient and regular.

      ‘‘Once again, the St Clair-Normanby service is by far the most popular,’’ Mr Hawkins said.

      ‘‘It’s no coincidence that it’s also one of the most frequent.’’”'town

      1. Well that was pre lockdowns so I don’t think that means a lot. Having seen Dunedin’s buses in action, they are empty as a general rule anyway, so significantly higher numbers might mean 8 per bus rather than 6.

        Regardless, Auckland is where Covid lives thanks to our governments myopic planning leaving MIQ’s in Auckland, Dunedin on the other hand hasn’t seen the virus for 18 months so it’s no surprise they don’t see risk in PT.

        But, what if we don’t eliminate in Auckland? That is looking possible. Then what for the rest of NZ, as Aucklands lockdown can’t remain for much longer.

  5. Here is a paper worth reading for an external view on New Zealand’s housing policies.

    And here is a paper that details Western country housing shortages do not just prevent many from ever affording their own home. They also drive inequality, climate change, low productivity growth, obesity, and even falling fertility rates.

  6. Waste to power plants have number of issues but I’d hate to see the decisions made without proper analysis. This should be led by government, not commercial interests. Some issues I’ve thought of are:
    1/ Yes reducing how much waste we produce, and recycling everything we can, in New Zealand, is ideal. Although people are working on this, it hasn’t received the focus and resource it needs, so let’s ramp up on that.
    2/ Meanwhile we’re still producing lots of waste. Or is that relevant? What is the lead time for a waste-to-power plant compared to implementing container return schemes and recycling plants – if there was sufficient focus and resource?
    3/ It seems that waste-to-power plants influence policy and practice by being hungry for waste. Can we consciously avoid that somehow? Perhaps by going slightly smaller scale, and replacing the waste stream, as it reduces, with the material from existing landfills, as we tidy them up? Smaller scale plants would be less cost-effective so wouldn’t be a commercial operator’s preference but may suit the country better.
    4/ The feedstock is bulk materials handling. Should the location be chosen to reduce truck traffic, ie near Auckland? And on a rail line?

    1. Both Sweden and Denmark have power plants converting waste into power. Both have now drastically cut the amount of waste produced, due to the amount of recycling (highly successful uptake) and both are now running short of required amounts of waste to burn. UK is keen to export their waste to Sweden, but I think perhaps the Swedes are not so keen to import another country’s crap…

      It’s quite possible Auckland would have a worse problem – as it is smaller and NZ is longer and more drawn out. We’ve got terrible recycling rates at present, but conceivably may get better. I’m guessing that probably Auckland would not want to take Westport’s or Greymouth’s overflowing waste?

      1. Thanks. Be better we take theirs than they take ours, given the quantities involved. But what do you think about the problem of the existing landfills? It seems to me our work must be:
        1/ excavate all of the dodgiest landfills that are polluting or most at risk of polluting, given an extreme weather event.
        2/ halt all new landfills
        3/ halt all export of recyclables since the quality of the recycling is so dubious
        4/ work on excavating the remaining landfills with any risk of exposure or polluting, given earthquake risk or risk of insufficient funds to manage in future.

        If someone has a plan for achieving all that, soon, without a waste to power plant, I’d love them to provide a guest post. Or alternatively a plan for achieving that with a waste to power plant – but only if designed entirely around the country’s long term environmental and social needs.

  7. “Parts of France have seen close to eleven inches of rain” according to the BBC.

    It would have been reported in France in mm. The BBC (a UK government organisation) saw fit to covert it to inches in spite of the UK having been metric for decades.

    …and we wonder why change is so difficult.

        1. Clowns indeed.
          Ironically, rain is the one thing I think is understandable being discussed in old units over in blighty; very few people _actually_ measure it, and therefore it’s simply a verbal tradition handed down over a long time, used in the “I reckon that was about XX inches” while staring out the window at the incessant rain….

        2. In my horticulture training, rain gauges were part of the kit provided by the education establishment…

        1. Why do we have fixed charges at all?
          The size of power infrastructure depends on usage.
          Obviously the cost to produce electricity scales with use.

          There might be some cost associated with number of connections I guess, but when you don’t have power “connected” the exact same infrastructure is there connected to your house, and you don’t get charged.

          What costs don’t change with relation to power usage?

          It means the marginal cost of using more power is lower because you already had to pay a lot of the cost. The parking minimums of power usage?

        2. The clown show in NZ, more broadly, is declaring a climate emergency and failing to act accordingly.

          Solar (without storage), in the NZ context is not an overwhelming argument. You have it (with battery) and I have (without) it but the consumer pricing structure of electricity in NZ generally does not reflect the supply and demand aspects of matching generation with consumption every second of the day, every day of the year.

          And as for our minister of energy; she seems very poorly equipped for the job. Here’s a proclamation from July:

          “New Zealand has an abundance of renewable energy that could be used to produce hydrogen, potentially for export”.

          Away with the fairies.

        3. “Why do we have fixed charges at all?”

          To pay for the distribution system provision and maintenance which needs to be sized for maximum demand whether used or not.

        4. “To pay for the distribution system provision and maintenance which needs to be sized for maximum demand whether used or not.”

          Exactly, so it scales with usage! peak usage, but we could have variable rates to deal with this issue.

        5. Peak usage is expressed in units of power but the consumer is charged for units of energy. The fixed charge reflects the infrastructure (lines, substations, transformers etc) to provide for maximum power whether used constantly, intermittently or not at all.

          You’re not going to get a grip on this until you differentiate between power and energy.

        6. Jack, someone with solar panels who is exporting energy to the grid and importing energy from the grid is very much using the grid, and should be charged for using it, even if their net energy use is zero.

          These changes are regressive and remove the incentive for reducing energy use and for producing energy, but the solution is not to do away with the fixed charges altogether.

        7. I understand, unless you mean there is even more to it
          energy = energy
          Power = rate of energy usage (lines + transmission infra sized to max possible point + some safety factor and exists no matter what time of day it is)

          Having some flat charge that everyone pays regardless of when they use energy doesn’t encourage people to shift energy usage off peak. Pushing the peak power higher, and meaning we have to build more infra, and charge a higher flat daily fee to use it.

          Having variable rates for lines / transmission, (set such that the same amount of money would be collected in total) would mean we would be able to shift (or encourage shift) this energy usage to minimize the future peak power demand, and therefore have a cheaper system in the future, through delaying or preventing spending on more infrastructure than would otherwise be needed.

          The people using power at peak are the ones who cause more spending on distribution + transmission and should contribute more to its construction + maintenance. The solution to lines sitting unused for large parts of the day is not to charge everyone the same flat rate for every second of the day (daily rate, but $/time could be thought about as some fraction of a cent per second).

          I’ll write a simplified example. If I only use energy off peak, and you only use energy on peak, but we pay the same total amount for lines / transmission charges then that is unfair. I would have been ok with there being (say) 1/2 as much infra, instead I have to pay for this half extra of the infra that only benefits you. Its effectively subsidizing peak time usage from the off peak users. If you were charged extra for your peak time usage then you would shift some of your energy usage a bit to more off peak, lessening the total need for infra, and lowering the total costs. Because of the current setup, even if there was the slightest benefit to me shifting all my usage to peak times then I’d do it instantly, and cause more infra to be built, and all of our daily flat lines / transmission charge to go up.

          Long winded explanation for why, yes, even though the lines sit there all day they should not be flat daily rates. Its the exact same with congestion charging, and motorways. Raise fuel taxes (or rates) on everyone to build more lanes, only needed at peak times (but exist at 3am), or congestion charge to place the charge on those who cause the need for more lanes to be built.
          (not that we should build more lanes, but anyway)

          And this is totally aside from having variable rates for the energy generation itself, which we should absolute do more of for climate and other infrastructure cost reasons.
          96% renewable at 1am, last night.

          “Jack, someone with solar panels who is exporting energy to the grid and importing energy from the grid is very much using the grid, and should be charged for using it, even if their net energy use is zero.”
          For sure, and that would be totally unfair for someone to do that. But that’s not what I would suggest. The lines / transmission charges could be paid on the consumer end of things. You can sell your energy on the grid, some consumer pays for that + the current lines cost (plus whatever, it would be through some retailer). As soon as the energy leaves the “gate” onto the grid, it would have to be paid for somehow and if you brought in energy to your home from the grid at some later point, you would be paying the lines charges on that energy imported at that point.

        8. TLDR
          Long winded explanation for why, yes, even though the lines sit there all day, they should not be flat daily rates.

          Its the exact same with congestion charging, and motorways. Raise fuel taxes (or rates) on everyone to build more lanes, only needed at peak times (but exist at 3am), or congestion charge to place the charge on those who cause the need for more lanes to be built.
          (not that we should build more lanes, but anyway)

        9. “$1.80 a day fixed charge — $54 per month. That would seriously hurt small households.”

          It also hurts those who are gas/electricity. That wasn’t one of my smartest moves.

        10. The electricity industry have fixed charges because they have been allowed to get away with it since the 80s/90s ‘reforms’. For a while, one of the newer power companies had a variable price only but now it has been leant on fallen in line with the rest. It can be done in NZ. I don’t go to the gas station and get charged a $10 infrastructure fee. The supermarket doesn’t have a fixed charge to pay for “the distribution system provision and maintenance which needs to be sized for maximum demand whether used or not.” It’s regressive and anti energy conservation.

        11. Poor analogy, Zippo.

          You can have electricity without the fixed charge provided you collect your electricity from the supplier’s retail outlet, just like you do at the supermarket and the petrol station, neither of which offer a continual 24/7 delivery service at whatever rate of supply that you choose.

        1. As a kiwi living in the UK involved in Aeronautical engineering at a high level, the crap spouted on here is atrocious. NZ is far more backwards at times.

          Most Brits are the same as us with measurements etc. It’s the older generations just like in NZ that still think in old money (although I bet you weighed your newborn in stones/pounds even though you did not understand it).

          Also outside of space (where a yank screwed up big time at Lockheed), all aviation is imperial except fuel quantities.

        2. The UK is a laughable mess when it comes to measurements, selling fuel by the litre but still using mpg, all the roads stuck in an imperial timewarp, still using horsepower even for electric cars. Ridiculous. And no one uses “stones” in NZ anymore, only the Poms cling to that archaic unit.

        3. Zippo I still ask my Doctor what my weight is in Stones as a person that was brought up in that period it is easier to understand than Kilos or the American way of LB’s . And I still have a set of scales that do all 3 .
          And when it comes to timber sizes I still think in inches . As some sheets of MDF are made in the old imperial measurement .

        4. Zippo , And if you buy a trailer they come in Imperial sizes i.e 6×4 , 8×4 because if you stick a sheet/s of gib board say in you have room to get it out if it was 1200 wide it would damage it as it may be on an angle or possible get jambed after loading .

        5. america is moving to metric …. inch by inch

          seriously though – the youtubers from usa seem to be going metric (and then the translation to lbs etc)

        6. David L – an imperial sheet of ply at 8′ x 4′ is 2440 x 1220, so if you are buying a NZ standard 2400 x 1200 sheet, it will fit fine into your trailer without breaking.

          But America is very silly. They still retain Imperial feet and inches, but they have now metricised the inch, so instead of half inch and quarter inch and three eights of an inch, they now label that as 0.5inch, 0.25inch, and 0.375inch, mixing a base 12 system with a base 10 system – and if you include yards as well, mixing in base 3 as well. Confusing!!

          However, the nuts and bolts manufactured in the USA are still marketed as half inch, quarter inch etc, so that while the specifier may note that a 0.375 hole is required for a bolt, the bolt and the nut are still sold as 3/8″…. it really does seem simpler the way we do it, where an 8mm bolt needs an 8mm hole and uses an 8mm spanner.

  8. Waste minimization, separation, compostables and recycling are great, but realistically there will always be a waste stream that needs to be disposed of. As far as I’m aware, burning rubbish also requires burning fossil fuels, in order to burn it hot enough. Disposal at sea isn’t an option so some type of landfill is required. A site is required north of the city, where should it go?

  9. …there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine righteous persons who need no repentance (St Luke)

  10. So our Govt ministries, dep’t and agencies are moving so slowly they haven’t being able to come up with anything and action on mitigating climate change has being put back 5 months. From time to time we hear calls for a 5 year term for our parliament surely that would just slow things down even more. The answer should be for the wheels to move a little bit more quickly especially seeing as climate change is an emergency.

    1. Having Shaw in Cabinet would’ve been a good start. I know it’s behind a paywall but Rod Oram is also good on Newsroom:

      “The Government offers a lame excuse for its decision to delay the Emissions Reduction Plan. It says the country is too focused on eliminating the current Covid surge to think much about climate now.
      That’s utter nonsense. Many people and organisations have been very deeply engaged on climate for years. Particularly last year and this year as the Climate Change Commission prepared then delivered its draft and final recommendations to government.
      Civil society is doing its job. We’ve provided invaluable evidence and insights to the Commission and the Government, in and out of successive lockdowns. We’ve shown we can do more than one thing at a time. People are ready right now to respond to the draft ERP.
      But the Government is failing to do its job. It can’t even deliver the plan on time. Its Covid-obsession isn’t the problem. Its lack of political integrity, skill and will is. Not to mention its inability to get the best out of our public sector.
      The Government’s also failing to confront vested interests. It can’t bring itself to tell them: “We won’t protect your cosy status quo. Get on with making your future, and help New Zealanders make theirs.”
      If the Government hopes the rest of the world won’t notice it’s missing in climate action, it has no sense of purpose or history.
      A paltry New Zealand performance in Glasgow would be obvious to other nations, particularly those who have suffered far more from Covid than we have.”

      1. Here’s an organisation that isn’t engaging:
        Earlier today, the Motor Industry Association (MIA) took aim at the proposed Clean Car Standard, saying it “ignored well thought and considered advice from the industry.”

        According to the Association, in introducing the Land Transport (Clean Vehicle) Amendment Bill the Government “has demonstrated an appalling lack of understanding of how to effectively reduce emissions from the light vehicle fleet and will instead impose unwarranted and significant costs onto consumers.”

        They were given strong polluting targets and still they bitch. And for some inexplicable reason (apart from the teachers and nurses vote) second cars were given a fee rebate. You don’t know how lucky you are mate.

        1. The feebate might not be perfect but this reaction from the MIA does suggest it’s going to be effective. A good sign, I’d say. Lol.

        2. Out of interest, I tried to find that “well thought and considered advice from the industry”

          Not sure if anybody has a link, but I did do a quick trawl through the MIA documents online. Found this:

          That document seems too recent, but if that is the gist of their advice, I am not too impressed.

          It seems to be very imprecise and suggesting little change before 2050, just hoping that Hydrogen or biofuels will mean BAU for ICS vehicles.

          I do think E-Bikes and electric Motorbikes/Scooters should be in the mix, though I guess that it might be a bit of a red-herring as if E-Bikes were subsidized, then many people might just buy one for the weekends and keep using the polluting ICE car, so not reduce emissions significantly

  11. So “that would be the day” if Kiwirail was selling some tickets between Auckland and Wellington for $30 and 60 percent for less than $60. I wonder what would happen if they did. Probably need a bigger train as long as the Govt would pay for it.

  12. Great tweet from Councillor Efeso Collins.

    For climate action, we need to reduce car use to a third of what’s currently considered “normal”, by 2030.

    So often the starting point for that conversation is “omg but how will we cope?” – when, as Cr Collins shows, it could also be “whoah, how awesome for our kids!”

    1. Just so happens I am reading a piece from Bernard Moitessier, A French solo round the world sailor. With plenty of time on his hands he spent much of it contemplating the world and saw the “Monster” in modern society. He held imaginary conversations on his epic voyages. I like this one,
      “If we listened to people like you, …., we would not have got beyond the bicycle”
      ” That’s just it, we would ride bikes in the cities, there wouldn’t be those thousands of cars with hard, closed people all alone in them, we would see youngsters in arms, hear laughter and singing, see nice things in people’s faces, joy and love would be reborn everywhere, birds would return to the few trees left in our streets and we would replant the trees the Monster killed. Then we would feel real shadows and real colours and real sounds, our cities would get their souls back, and people too” B. Moitessier 1974

  13. Why does cycling consistently get represented in the media as (a) costing a lot of money and (b) taking money away from roads and bridges?

    I will take two guesses: (1) moral judgement — it is wrong to spend money on cycling. And (2) people have no intuitive understanding of the difference between 50 million and 5 billion (in fact the former sounds bigger) so they can get away with it.

    1. Roeland,they always inflate the figure to make it look evil,$226 million over 10 year’s, is such an insignificant figure, and you can guarantee, the “consultation ” will ensure all of the 10 year’s will be used to get anything going.The Extinction Rebellion cause have the right idea,blocking the M25 in London,lots of grey hair there,making removal of “said protesters” the political argument that it should be.

    2. It is more basic then that.
      Most media is very heavily dependant on advertising income.
      When did you last see a weekly, or even twice weekly newspaper supplement around advertising for cycles or walking footwear?
      When did you last see a television commercial advertising the same?

      1. A lot of the motoring advertising has evaporated. That said, newspapers like to produce content that their readers agree with. Hence the Herald having lots of stories about the need for more roads, and Stuff stories not being very sympathetic to cyclists.

    3. So many journalists become cynics, or perhaps rather the job tends to make become increasingly cynical over time. Always necessarily on the look out for vested interests, spruikers, and grifters. It’s important they are sceptical, but cynicism is its debassed embittered dark side, not productive.

      There seems to be something inherent to the simplicity of bikes and bike enthusiasm that just cranks so many of them up, fires up their scorn. They just hate it, are suspicious of it, they especially hate people expressing a simple joy.

      How can something so simple, kids do it, possibly be valuable, there’s gotta be a trick here?

      1. I guess some of this comes from the old, ” if it bleeds it leads” school of journalism. Positive stories and a positive framing of how our cities could look like don’t get any headway sadly.

  14. So in this article we have two solar farms one is described as 85 GWH and the other 52 GWH. So we have a tesla with a 70 KWH battery it can use all the power in the battery in one hour if there is a constant load of 70 kilowatts or it could run a one kilowatt heater for 70 hours. But then its empty. But a 85 GWH solar farm can just keep making power as long as the sun shines. Surely the 85 GWH must have some time unit too it. Would it be 85 GWH per annum.

    1. Yes, there needs to be a time unit to make sense of it. I guess it is per annum but reporters are notorious for being ignorant of matters technical; almost as bad as politicians.

      1. So a GWH is 1000 MWH and a MWH is a 1000 KWH so 70 GWH would be 1 million times as much as the 70 KWH which can be stored in a Tesla battery. Is that right. How many solar farms would we need to charge a national Fleet of 3 million cars. If I am right these farms are producing a considerable quantity of power.

        1. Insufficient information to answer the question. An anticipated average annual energy output of a solar farm is a function of the number and standard rating of the individual PV elements, the location, the variability of weather, the orientation of the array, the efficiency of the inverters, power point trackers, wiring etc, etc.

          The energy required to recharge an EV battery is a function of the depth of discharge, the desired proportion of full capacity, line losses etc and, of course, the frequency of recharging.

          If you want to recharge an EV at night the number of solar farms (absent a storage system) is infinite. Wind generation is a much better candidate for EV charging as generation is distributed around the clock and EV charging can be arranged to take place when the is a surplus of power.

  15. Regarding the picture right at the top, of the thousands of cyclones/hurricanes per year, can anyone explain why they are all concentrated around south-east Asia and south-east USA, but there is almost nothing in Africa and South America? Is that just a lack of data being collected, or is it really true that those places just don’t get big wind like we do?

    1. The ocean currents off the coast of Chile and Peru are very cold, there are penguins on the equator on the Galapagos Islands. Cyclones require warm water to generate sufficient energy.

      It’s still possible to get strong winds without cyclones, NZ and Britain being obvious examples.

    2. Expanding on what Jezza said, to be classified as a cyclone, a storm must have a high enough wind speed, a low enough pressure, and a warm enough centre. A lot of the southeastern pacific and southern Atlantic is too cold to support those air temperatures.

      Cyclones take a long time and a lot of heat to get that big. They are formed because evaporation occurs so fast and so much air rises that wind has to be pulled in to fill the void. Cyclones generally form in the tropics and the trade winds blow them east to west.

      Because cyclones are fed by evaporation, they weaken over land, so if they form too close to land, they never gain the strength to become a cyclone.

      Based on all that, cyclones start as storms on the western side of a hot body of water, they get blown across more hot water until they grow in strength to become cyclones. The wider and hotter the body of water, the more likely it is that each storm that forms becomes a cyclone. The warmer the water, the more storms that are generated to begin with.

      1. Thank you Jezza and Sailor Boy, really helpful and excellent answers. I guess that the follow-up question then would be – if the northern Pacific is evidently warmer than the southern Atlantic (penguins on the Galapagos!!), then why is that? Perhaps it is deeper water? But I would not have thought that the reach of the sun into the ocean would not have had that much of a difference with the vast depth of the Oceans. Perhaps it is also related to the sub-surface ocean currents, like the much reported Gulf Stream. Perhaps I should just go and google for myself.

        1. It is mostly to do with ocean currents, check my first link. I believe that the prevailing wind also contributes a smaller amount.

  16. Great video of the new 2.4 metre wide two way cycle path on the Brooklyn Bridge!

    As detailed by Simon Wilson in his 6 August (Premium) article about the Auckland Harbour Bridge, there is room to put a 2.4 metre path on the outer side of each clipon and still retain two lanes on each clipon.

  17. Great to see NYC liberate a lane on Brooklyn Bridge. And great to see LUMO doing what rail companies all over the world should have been doing to counter budget air-travel: Budget rail-travel of course. So much for NZ to learn from this weekly roundup.
    But I have to take issue with David Belliard, adjunct mayor for transportation in Paris: “Starting in the ’90s, the negative externalities become more and more obvious”. Actually the negative externalities of road transport have been obvious to some of us since the early 1970s.

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