Header image: bike parking at Western Springs College. Source – Greater Auckland

This is a guest post by Dr. Timothy F Welch. Tim is a senior lecturer in architecture and planning at the University of Auckland.

Busting 5 myths about auto-centricity

Whenever it’s suggested that steps should be taken to reduce automobile use and provide better facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, a host of long-standing myths resurface to cloud the conversation. While pervasive, many of the most common myths are quickly dispensed with through common knowledge. Others require more up-to-date data to show how ideas such as the electrification or automation of our vehicle fleet are not feasible within our lifetime. In no particular order, these are five of the most pervasive myths about reducing auto-centricity.

Myth 1: Slower speeds will ruin your commute

One of the cornerstones of Vision Zero is slowing down cars. Reducing speeds is logical because most of our roads are designed to increase the mobility of vehicles over access and safety, allowing cars to move along the street far too fast.

We have designed our roads to accommodate the worse actors amongst drivers. Most roads are designed to accommodate speeds of 80kmh, regardless of the official speed limit. This design encourages speeding. Moreover, those speed limits are set using the 85% rule – which determines a road’s speed based on how fast the fastest 15% of people drive on the road.

These high speeds are potentially fatal for everyone outside the car. The goal of reducing speeds is thus a small step in making cities less dangerous for those that choose not to travel in a motor vehicle.

The amazing thing about reducing traffic speed is small speed changes can have a massive impact on safety. Reducing speeds from 50kmh to 30kmh (a 40% reduction) reduces the likelihood of a collision between a car and person being fatal from 80% to just 10%. It also significantly reduces the possibility of a crash as slower speeds make cars more responsive to braking and give the driver and person outside the vehicle more time to react.

Death and injury risk percentages at different speeds. Source: Auckland Transport

Despite the grumblings of drivers, slower speeds have a small impact on travel times. Reducing speeds from 50kmh to 30kmh adds just 48 seconds of travel time per kilometre. For the average Auckland commute of 11.9km, this speed reduction adds a little over nine minutes to an average 23-minute commute. Slower speeds reduce crashes, lessen inefficient queuing and bunching and makes walking and cycling more attractive. As a result, travel times become more reliable, so on average, your commute is barely impacted by slower speeds, but your city is by far a much safer place.

Impact of lowered speeds on journey times. Source: Auckland Transport

Myth 2: Taking away parking in front of shops will kill business

A common argument against reducing on-street parking is that it will kill local businesses. This is a common misconception among shop owners. Research across the globe has shown that business owners overestimate how many people drive to their store and vastly underestimate how many people arrive by foot, bike or public transport.

Studies have shown that not only do more than 95% of people who shop at local stores use active or public transport modes, they also spend more per visit and visit more often – in some studies but these groups have also been shown to be responsible for more than 90% of a store’s revenue. More recent evidence suggests that bike lanes and pedestrian facilities are a boon to local businesses, even when that requires the removal of a car lane or on-street parking.

Parkdale Cycling Study. Source: TCAT

Myth 3: Electric cars will save the planet

Much has been said about the future of transportation with electric vehicles. But, electric cars are still cars. Increasingly they are just as big as vehicles with internal combustion engines. There is nothing about them that reduces the demand for more road space.

Electric cars won’t save the planet.

Fully electric cars make up less than 1% of New Zealand’s vehicle fleet, and globally just 2% of new cars sold are fully electric. Even if, from this day forward, every new vehicle sold was electric, it would take us well beyond our 2030 emission mitigation commitments to see substantial reductions on total carbon emissions from the transport sector. Electric cars will do nothing to avert a climate catastrophe.

NZ’s light fleet mix in 2019. Source: transport.govt.nz

The quality of life in our cities, aside from a potential reduction in air pollution, is not markedly improved by the adoption of electric vehicles. Roads chock full of fast-moving, heavy metal objects are uninviting for the majority of potential users. Buses stuck in traffic are inefficient.

Beyond the challenges of getting to a meaningful level of electric vehicle adoption, the way raw materials for EVs are mined, distributed, assembled into cars and then disposed of at the end of the vehicle’s life is highly unsustainable. If we want to address our climate and congestion crisis – cycling is potentially “ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities.”

Myth 4: Self-driving vehicles will revolutionise our transport system and cities

Self-driving cars are cool tech but fall short of the flying cars we were promised decades ago. There is real technological promise in allowing cars to move safely at high speeds very close together, virtually eliminating the need for more roads and wiping out vehicle-related fatalities.

But there are two problems with self-driving cars. To reach the efficiencies envisioned by automated vehicle enthusiasts, nearly the entire fleet or at least close to 90% of it, would need to be self-driving.

Mean travel time for different AV penetration rates under heavily congested traffic. Source: https://etrr.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12544-019-0375-3/figures/3

The reality check comes in the (necessarily) slow rollout of autonomy. If things continue to progress at the current speed, just 10% of vehicles will be self-driving by 2030. It’s a long road to a fully autonomous fleet from there.

Even if we do get to a point where all cars are autonomous, would anyone want to live in a place where the roads are filled with packs of high-speed robot cars? What would our cities feel like then? Would our urban streets become just a conduit for going somewhere else quickly?

We also have an car fleet conundrum. Virtually none of the electric cars being developed and sold today have the technology to be self-driving. This means that we expect to replace our entire fleet of vehicles with electric vehicles, and then in very short order, that entire fleet would need to be replaced again by electric self-driving cars. Such rapid fleet turnover is historically unprecedented, incredibly expensive and quite wasteful.

Myth 5: Adding road capacity reduces congestion

The last myth is perhaps the most widely understood yet universally ignored.

In 1992 Anthony Downs coined the term “Triple Convergence” to explain what happens to added highway capacity. It was a restatement of an older term also first brought to transportation by Downs called ‘induced demand’.

As Downs explained, when new highway capacity is added, people see the potential time savings and change their behaviour to take advantage of the faster travel times. This behaviour change includes switching back to driving from another mode, driving on the expanded highway rather than local or arterial roads, or travelling at peak hours rather than during less congested off-peak times. In the long-run, peak hour congestion will return to the level it was before the road expansion.

Predicted Traffic and Actual Traffic After a Road Widening. Source: https://transportist.org/2015/03/02/elements-of-access-induced-demand/

When roads are expanded, they also have the potential to induce shifts in land use. When combined with the effects of triple convergence and the natural growth in population, studies have shown the 80% of new highway capacity is consumed within 6-8 years.

A more efficient way to manage congestion is to reduce driving. This can be done on the supply side by offering more efficient public transport and better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. On the demand side, though politically unpopular yet, effective market-based solutions like charging the full social cost of driving can be used.

For almost 150 years we have had one of the most efficient, sustainable, accessible and safe modes of transport available. It requires no fossil fuel to transport individuals across a city. It has virtually no negative impacts on the climate, does not make the air dirty, it doesn’t clog streets, nor does it demand city altering infrastructure. It is perhaps the most equitable form of transportation and it compliments rather than competes with public transport.

If you want to help make our transportation system sustainable, your next car should be a bike.

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77 comments

  1. I’m not sure where you got the 11.9km in 23 minutes commute time but it’s highly inapplicable to Auckland as most commutes would not be that distance on local roads of 50km/h. If it takes 23 mins to drive that distance it suggests that the vehicle is already traveling less than 50km/h most of the time and so the difference in travel time for a 30km/h speed limit is much less than the 9mins you estimated (48s×11.9km=~9.5mins) as for a lot of that commute they would probably already be traveling at or close to 30km/h.

      1. It’d be a good one to look into further, Tim, because our average travel speeds – particularly in commuter traffic – are very low.

        The Household Travel Survey could be a lot more useful if it separated data about the travel habits of the different lifestyles enabled by different levels of proximity to amenities and sustainable travel choices, too. Even splitting Auckland’s data into city centre, city fringe, inner isthmus, outer isthmus, outer areas, new sprawl would be really useful.

        1. Yes, that would be very useful. It’s possible if you get your hands on the micro-data from the survey. However, the sampling is still pretty course so getting statistically representative data at that level is tricky.

    1. Some AA reports show that some of the arterials average rush hour speed is well below 30, onewa road was 16km/hr average from memory. I’ll try find it when I get back to my laptop

      1. Here we go:
        Motorway average speeds in peak were 43km/hr:
        https://www.aa.co.nz/assets/Congestion-Monitoring-Collateral/AA-Auckland-Congestion-Report-2018-FINAL.pdf?m=1563753571%22%20class=%22type:%7Bpdf%7D%20size:%7B535%20KB%7D%20file

        And tristram ave arterial was 13km/hr average in peak in 2017 with many arterials under 20:
        https://www.aa.co.nz/assets/Congestion-Monitoring-Collateral/AA-Auckland-Congestion-Report-2017-FINAL.pdf?m=1522882971%22%20class=%22type:%7Bpdf%7D%20size:%7B704%20KB%7D%20file

        There are a lot of trips that would be straight up quicker on a bike in terms of pure travel time. Not taking into account any of the other benefits.

        1. My new to me car tells me that the nearly 90000km that have been done were done at an average speed of 32km/hr. Probably Japanese km but it tells you about many of the myths promoted by car manufacturers…you know open road, pretty girls zipping around empty cities in the Golden hour.

    2. From personal experience over 392km of slightly off-peak commuting from West Auckland (via SH16 am) to the Shore & back (via SH20 pm) on a mix of suburban, motorway and semi-rural roads my average speed was only 33km/h

  2. Timothy, great to see an academic write about the myth that replacing ICE vehicles with EVs will be the answer for everything. I always look to what is happening in Norway. ICE vehicles are taxed like there is no tomorrow (and that may prove true) and still somewhere between 30 and 40% of people buy ICE vehicles. With our reluctance to apply a substantial fee, NZs uptake of EVs is likely to remain low. Price parity is still years away and most Kiwis don’t buy new anyway.

    1. I am pro-EV but I haven’t seen anyone claim they will be the answer for everything. Market share in Norway last month was 89% EV, 4% hybrid, petrol/diesel 6%, that’s pretty good.

      We will be applying fees to ICEs, $3K or so to the buyer and potentially another $3K to the seller if they don’t meet the clean car standard. I don’t know if that’s going to be enough to clean up the fleet but even getting this much is a big achievement. The car sellers are fighting it in select committee right now.

      The proposal on the table by the government is to reduce all driving by 20% – which would mean reducing driving per capita in Auckland by much more, I think Matt said 45%? – and also get 30% of the fleet to be electric by 2030. Even those two aren’t enough to meet climate targets, it needs to be all levers at once.

      Don’t forget to submit on the Emissions Reductions Plan! Closes in a week’s time.

      1. “I haven’t seen anyone claim they will be the answer for everything”

        Common as muck, Robert, noticeably amongst transport planners, including those leading some pretty big projects in Auckland.

      2. They aren’ t being touted as the answer for everything, but they are being pushed as the main transport reduction method in NZ and at COP26.

        The 2050 Net Zero plan relies on 50% EV light vehicle imports by 2029 and 100% by 2050. Analysis shows that we will still be at about 80% petrol imports for the rest of the decade.

        COP26 almost concluded with the transport solution being just EV vehicles with nothing related to active and public transit modes. It was added, in a singe sentence at the last minutes.

        It seems that many people are expecting EVs to be ‘the’ solution. They are certainly part of the mix of things that need to be done, but there is a lot we can start doing now that will set us up for faster and more sustain emission reductions.

      3. Robert
        I was not counting a PHEV as a true EV. Sure the government has a plan to reduce driving by 20%, but when?
        In Auckland AT still has a target of 1% reduction by 2030 and is making no discernable moves to change.

        Stats for the month:

        BEVs: 8,116 (up 3.1%, at 70.1% market share) + 1,090 “used” + 348 new vans
        PHEVs: 2,226 (down 6.2%, at 19.2% market share)
        Total: 10,342 (up 0.9%, at 89.3% market share)

  3. Impact of lowered speeds on journey times. Source: Auckland Transport

    Increases of time per kilometre for a given change of speed limit:
    80 to 60 – 15 seconds
    70 to 60 – 21 seconds

    Maybe there’s some effect not explained here, but shouldn’t the larger decrease in speed result in a larger increase in travel time?

    1. The calculation is straight up ‘how long does it take when you do the speed limit for a kilometer’.

      80km/h 45 seconds
      70km/h 51 seconds
      60km/h 60 seconds
      50km/h 72 seconds

      AT has got a typo on their 70 to 60 change, which should read 70 to 50 for a 21 second difference.

      Alternatively a 70 to 60 change should be listed as a 9 second difference.

      They really should have made more of the fact that these are best case scenarios with a flying start and no braking or stopping.

      1. Agreed

        And over what distance?

        Obviously the shorter the distance the less the difference!

        A classic stats made to measure the argument.

        The other thing failed to mention in this post was commute times must add in preparation for a ride, changing after a ride, showering after a ride at work at least.

        1. Preparing for a ride -is pretty much the same as preparing for a drive. Changing after a ride/showering can be cancelled out by the showering before the drive ( as most people would do this)

        2. No it’s not Vinny, I do it myself.

          Get dressed, get in the car, go to work. Ride, different set of clothes, both ends, nothing major but it all adds time.

        3. The distance is a kilometre.

          Multiply the time differences by the number of kilometres you travel to see the maximum possible change in journey time, assuming your vehicle accelerates instantaneously and does not need to slow or stop during the journey.

          Normally the nearest we get to instant acceleration is called a crash.

    1. Myth 6: Bikes are a replacement for all car users, journey purposes, loads and distances.

      There, fixed it for you, Miffy.

    2. No, Myth 6 is: Traffic engineers follow the Engineering NZ Code of Ethical Conduct.

      4. a. i. ensure that your relevant knowledge and skills are kept up to date

        1. What do you think should come first, children hardening up and wearing rain coats or them hardening up and just riding on unsafe roads to get to their schools?

        2. Riding to school on rainy mornings always used to be more fun because then you could do more skids on the wet asphalt. Powerslides were best – at speed. And that impressed everyone – the girls, the boys, the teachers if they caught you, although possibly not so much the drivers of cars nearby…

        3. Would you settle for dry mornings?

          On average 136 rainy days per year in Auckland , leaving 229 possible dry riding days.

          2/3 of school days are potential bike days, even if you are made of salt.

        4. My anecdotal evidence is commuting on my motorbike. Got actually properly wet 3 times a year max, and never got me undies wet. Might get some small patch of drizzle far more often, but that wouldn’t through a t-shirt. And I was commuting much further distances, about 1/2 an hour on the motorway.

          I did find myself checking the forecast really often for the first year or so, but after that I realised it was pointless.

          The problems that rain cause commuters on bikes weighs heavily on the mind, but in reality there are much bigger concerns. Get a cheap plastic rain coat. Take a fresh pair of pants in a plastic bag in your backpack and you will never have an issue. I can’t convey how small of a problem the rain is.

        5. Having commuted on a bicycle for a while I can confirm that.

          A peculiar feature of Auckland climate is heavy showers. You need some flexibility to wait until a shower blows over, or perhaps to go a bit earlier to avoid it. Use the rain radar, not the forecast.

          A group of people who does not have this flexibility are school kids. (and presumably many people with fixed working hours). At the start of this term they would have been absolutely soaked half a dozen times within a couple of weeks.

        6. If you quote that website you have to do it properly.

          — “Cycling with children isn’t practical”
          — “This is a problem of public infrastructure. […]”. That sounds a lot like Auckland, doesn’t it?

          Rain doesn’t tend to be a big problem, although I have heard some schools are ill equipped to deal with it. Eg. students need to be able to hang their jackets in a way they will dry.

        7. I get asked all the time: ‘what happens if it rains?’
          Answer: ‘I get wet’
          And if I’m lucky my 5yo daughter pipes up and says ‘we won’t melt’.

          When did the narrative in NZ get flipped? We’re supposed to be rugged, farming type individuals (we’re not at all, but that’s the view) – are we afraid of a little rain? How come the guy on the bike is the hipster weakling and the guy sitting on his can in the ute is the tough guy?

        8. “What happens if it rains?” “I get wet.”
          This is certainly one of the options, but not the only option, and it is really unappealing for the bike-curious.
          The other is that you wear wet-weather gear. I bought a set of road-worker hi-vis overtrousers and coat. The hood is big enough that it fits over my helmet, and it closes in front of my face. I get some raindrops around my eyes. I’ve riding in subtropical downpours and not got wet. I’ve seen people get more wet between parking the car and their final destination than I’ve got in doing an entire trip by bike in wet-weather gear.

        9. Or you take the car. Just because you buy a bike to commute, doesn’t mean you are compelled to sell your car.

          Its about choices.

        10. That literally was the case until about the 90s when cars got dramatically cheaper due to Japanese Imports

        11. “Riding to school on rainy mornings always used to be more fun”

          Summer mornings arriving at the school bike shed and smelling the new-mown grass. Maybe not fun but so evocative. At the age of 14 I was clocking up over 80 km a week with cycling to school and a paper round 6 afternoons out of 7. I was a skinny but very fit teen.

          Now I am neither.
          Must get out on the e-bike this weekend.

    3. Bikes can be a substitute for cars in many cases. Most of our daily trips are under 5km, which is very doable by push or e-bike. Cargo bikes can carry kids, groceries, etc.

      Bikes can’t replace every car trip, but we should be investing in infrastructure that makes it easier to use a bike in place of a car.

  4. Thanks Tim, great advice!

    Getting rid of my car back in about 2006 or 7 was a really good decision, and I used the $1800 (I think it was) to buy a bike and trailer. Financially of course I’m way better off. The kids grew up knowing how to get around the city without being driven, confident on public transport and (for one in particular) a strong cyclist. My husband got rid of his car more recently – 2 and a half years ago.

    The best thing has been not having the hassle of car ownership, and the time it took to organise registration, WOF checks, repairs, insurance etc.

    Since we’ve been totally carless, we’ve used CityHop three times and a taxi maybe once but apart from that the bikes and public transport system has been all we’ve needed. In fact, the only thing that’s been difficult has been family members needing Covid tests when they’ve not felt well; which is about the density of certain amenities needing to be closer than others.

    1. I admire your dedication to not using a car…but if you told me I wasn’t free to jump in my EV and easily explore all the corners of this amazing country and go on hikes at the drop of a hat, pretty much live out n the trails in the Waiktaks at weekends and was essentially bound to Auckland indefinitely I’m not sure what I’d do. Each to their own however 🙂

      1. “Bound to Auckland”.

        Does that mean you are bound to NZ? I mean, you can’t take your EV on a plane when you go to Oz. So i guess its just domestic travel for you……

    2. That’s all great FOR YOU and I respect your personal choices. But you spend hours of your life trying to make driving harder for other people.
      Why would you not respect other peoples choice to drive their cars?

      1. Driving has been prioritized for about a century.

        This means that anything done to make walking and riding easier will almost certainly make things a little harder for drivers.

        On the upside, this almost never results in drivers being killed under the wheels of a bicycle.

  5. I committed to cycling where possible, even if impractical about 10 years ago,it is very liberating,the regular,car commuters struggle with the logic some times. It has dictated my employment as well, l set a boundary of 1 hour or less by bike or PT, for work,much to the frustration of employment agencies, that kept offering me “great” roles with utes and phone’s (supposed perks).
    The employer gets an employee,who arrives at work,energized,in my case anyway,and the household welcomes some one home ,slightly smug,knowing that his /her commute has beaten car commuting,hands down,and any employment negativity,has been expelled by the commute.
    So yes,your next car should be a bike,the benefits go far beyond,the actual person on the bike, one day the world will wake up to that.

  6. “The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remain pure in heart.”

    Iris Murdoch, late British-Irish novelist

  7. The above assumes things carry on as they are but congestion charging is already flagged for Auckland in 2025, and the draft emissions reduction plan is for a 20% reduction in overall VKT (requiring more in cities), and for remaining light vehicles to be 30% zero emissions by 2035.
    More important bike myths include:
    “I couldn’t cycle in bad weather”. You get wet, sometimes it hails but I shower after my commute anyway so it doesn’t matter. Auckland isn’t that cold and exercise keeps you warm. Even in the middle of winter all that is needed is a rain jacket to keep the wind out.
    “Auckland is too hilly”. Its not. Most bikes have many gears, my summer commuter bike doesn’t and I’ve ridden it all over the city.
    “I’m not fit enough”. After 2-4 weeks of daily cycle commuting, most people will notice a large change. It becomes much easier and the improvement in general wellbeing feels great.
    “Its not safe”. There are certainly places in the city where bravery is needed. When cycling on the road you need to be alert, anticipate vehicles pulling out or turning in front of you, prior to roads on the left look behind for vehicles that might pass and turn in front of you. There are times when its best to own the lane and it helps if you’re fit enough to maintain a similar speed to traffic. Cycling close to parked cars is a bad idea, care is required if lane splitting and generally riding sensibly obeying road rules is best. However there is an expanding network of shared paths and cycleways which are much safer. I chose to live near a cycle path.
    “There is too much glass causing too many punctures”. Puncture resistant tyres solve this and they can be bought cheaply online, e.g Schwalbe marathon plus, Continental Gator Hardshell. Many bike parts can be bought from Aliexpress.

    1. The only real barrier is safety. Even though you will usually be fine, you are at all times, and very obviously, only a small mistake away from getting killed. Most people will not ride a bicycle under those conditions. The “Strong and the Fearless” are only a small minority.

      (There is also actual safety, you are at least 10 times as likely to die if you cycle to work vs. driving to work. Ensuring that as many people as possible are always inside a car was a main way of reducing road deaths in the past decades.)

      There are others, like cultural: is it seen as inappropriate by the rest of society to ride a bicycle on the road? Do car drivers get away with intentionally tapping you if they get angry? Does your favourite radio station organise bicycle hate weeks?

      Something that really surprised me here is how annoying it is to park a bicycle over here. The previous 2 places where I lived (city apartment, and sausage flat) had no way of storing one at all.

      1. The lack of adequate protected cycling infrastructure to make all types of riders feel comfortable is a real issue. Lots to be done to make it safe and inviting for more people to want to make the switch from car to bike.

        The 10x more likely to die from cycling stat is astonishing if accurate. I’ve studied travel stats for over two decades and haven’t come across a number like that – do you have a source?

        1. I don’t have a definitive source, but you can estimate the spread by looking up the amount of fatalities and compare it with the bicycle mode share.

          Eg. here it seems that cyclists make up about 10% of deaths for a mode share of appx.1%.

          https://www.transport.govt.nz/statistics-and-insights/safety-road-deaths/

          There was a research paper a while ago but it unfortunately compared risk per unit of time, instead of distance.

          But really, I think there just are too few cyclists to do any meaningful statistics. Large areas have no cyclists at all so we can’t possibly know how dangerous they are.

      1. Yes and this is especially obvious in Auckland. The areas where cycling is popular are Grey Lynn and surroundings, the Devonport peninsula, both quite hilly.

        On the other hand South Auckland is flat, yet according to the Census, cycling is exactly 0 to within error margins.

  8. The headline image reminded me of one of the strangest recent infrastructure decisions ever made by a publicly funded organisation.

    If you choose to read the latest 2019-2020 MOTAT annual report:

    https://www.motat.nz/about/corporate/annual-report

    page 23 has a piece about sustainability. Some good stuff about changing light fittings and reducing waste, even re powering coal fired visitor attractions to something else? Anyway, the large headline PR quote dominating the page completely kills any green credentials the museum seeks by saying:

    “The carpark will add an additional 370 parking spaces visitors (typo) to MOTAT, Auckland Zoo and Western Spring Park, making it easier for people to commute to the precinct: Environment and Sustainability Manager”

    So, you’ve got a leading science and technology museum (their words not mine) “continuing to focus on and promote technology that is beneficial to the environment”.

    Based on this gazette, if you leave the future of the environment to MOTAT, we are stuffed.

    1. And it’s part of a bigger problem. This subject really makes me angry. The carpark undermines Auckland’s climate-appropriate transport planning, and it’s really bad for safety in this location, where the last thing the students of the schools and the families visiting the precinct sustainably need is more traffic movements.

      Council gave money to Motat to build a walking and cycling path through there when in fact Motat should have used the money they’re spending on building the carpark to build the walking and cycling path themselves.

      Council claims Motat doesn’t have to follow the Auckland Council policies on climate and transport. Yet it seems the conversation hasn’t even been had, and they haven’t even asked Motat to do so.

      As a city becomes more compact, the number of carparks at each public facility should be dropping. The Parking Strategy aligns with this, with parking supply being a tool to reduce vkt. But several Council organisations at the precinct have ignored this general requirement, and have been part of the decision-making, and welcomed the extra parking.

      1. They should have put the money towards an extension of the old tram from Wynyard via the old routes to MOTAT.

        Ok, thats probably a bit expensive….

    2. To play advocate of the devil:

      The advantage of being in a big city is that you can draw visitors from a population of more than 1 million people. In Auckland, if you don’t have a big parking lot you throw that advantage away.

      You can also hope public transport improves, but given how the trams to Mount Roskill idea has panned out I guess they can read the writing on the wall…

  9. This article is particularly true for electric bikes – I have yet to encounter a better form of private urban transportation.

    Here are two links:
    1) ‘The new family car – a cargo bike’ – good article on urban transport in Auckland published in 2020.

    “Having an electric cargo bike – and electric really is essential when you are carrying two human beings – has meant we were able to live car-free in Auckland for 18 months.”

    https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/the-new-family-car-a-cargo-bike/

    2) Cycling Fallacies – a very useful source of information on the 45 most common myths and objections to cycling (they add new ones every so often). https://cyclingfallacies.com/en/

    1. Great website, thanks for sharing, George. I got an ebike in December and it’s replaced all of my within-auckland car trips. It’s also so much more fun than driving, and I’ve noticed that I’m planning where I go and how I get there to suit the bike, rather than the car. So that’s another factor in the ‘your next car should be a bike’ argument: you end up making different travel decisions depending on the mode you have to hand. We might think we need a car to do (a) and (b), but if you choose to go by bike you do (c) instead and find it’s just as good.

  10. Salesman, “Your Worship, Shane,l have this product, that can meet your climate change obligations for eternity. It will also reduce vehicular movements,road deaths and injuries,make your communities more liveable,improve your good citizen’s physical and mental health. I can do all this,within your existing budget”

    His Worship,Shane,pens poised” Where do we sign, just before we do,are there any downsides?”
    Salesman “Good question, l’m glad you asked,it will work straight out of the box,but if you want the full benefits,it will require some roadspace reallocation and your Good citizen’s to use their cars less”
    His Worship,Shane ,putting pens away”Er we’ll get back to you”
    His Worship muttering under his breath”Bloody snake oil salesman”
    Shane”Yeah,l was certain,he was a road builder”

  11. Yep – Bikes are the future. Distant future for Auckland.
    Comment on Self Driving/Autonomy – you need to revisit the 10% by 2030 comment. The world has moved hugely since the Feb/2020 Cruise/Uber foray in to Self Driving.
    Im not a fan – but steering wheel as an option is coming at us fast.

  12. “That is because the catalyst in the car exhaust works best at 110 Kph (sic)”

    Your catalytic converter won’t convert BS…unfortunately.

    “Whenever I arrive in my Aston, heads turn”

    Whenever I arrive on my unicorn heads turn…but they are marvelling at the unicorn rather than the ego of its rider.

  13. Too much to address there, so I will leave it at this.

    You wouldn’t believe how many heads turn as I cruise by with two kids on my cargo bike!
    If you want to see impressed people, get your self a cargo e-bike. And you can really hear all the nice comments because there is no window blocking the sound.

    But really, it’s totally fine to like driving and have nice cars. The idea is to also give people the space and safety to do other things too.

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