It’s Friday again! Maybe today we’ll finally have a government again. Roll into the weekend with some of the articles that caught our attention this week. And as always, feel free to add your links and observations in the comments.

This Week in Greater Auckland

Catch PT to Malls

Following the issues at Newmarket last week, Auckland Transport are asking people to use PT instead.

Black Friday shopping? Give public transport a go this weekend and avoid wait times

Auckland Transport (AT) is working with malls and shopping precincts across Auckland to encourage shoppers to give public transport a go this weekend as Auckland heads into what could be its busiest shopping weekend ever.

AT’s buses, trains and ferries offer a quicker, cheaper, and congestion-free option for Aucklanders. They allow shoppers to travel without the waiting times that they can endure in cars.

AT’s Stacey van der Putten – Executive General Manager Public Transport Services – says while many shoppers will continue to favour their cars, this is a great time to try public transport, if possible, to avoid being stuck in long queues this weekend.

“We are working closely with mall owners and shopping centres ahead of the weekend as we know they are expecting huge numbers of customers. Clearly, at this time of year, and for the weeks leading up to Christmas, parking spaces in and around malls are in very high demand.

We wrote to them this week to encourage them to proactively manage their parking spaces. Our letter also asked for malls to have clear signage for parks, as well as dedicated staff to assist customers with travel and parking options.”

“Auckland Transport Operations Centre (ATOC) is working with malls and shopping centres on how traffic flow can be improved to enter car parks. This week, more work has been done by ATOC to manage the issues that arose at Westfield’s Newmarket parking building last weekend.”

They should implement some pop up bus lanes (or extend existing bus lane hours) around Auckland to support buses and improve their reliability to help make PT more attractive and easier to use.

Cycling gains momentum, especially in Wellington…

Here’s a great piece in the Spinoff about how Wellington’s bike network rollout is “ambitious, fast, and surprisingly cheap”:

As recently as 2021, Wellington had just 23km of cycleways, mostly along coastlines. In the past year, Wellington has debuted four new bike lanes. Another six bike lanes are currently underway, which will bring will bring the cycle network to 73km.

Within a decade, the council wants to have 166km of connected cycleways criss-crossing the capital city.

Incredibly, so far the Wellington cycle network is coming in under budget and ahead of schedule. That’s almost unheard of for a transport project in New Zealand. The first two bike lanes cost $750,00 per kilometre, well below the national average of $1.6m per km, and were completed in less than half the typical time.

Another nice story from Wellington looks at the benefits of bike lanes (and cargo bikes) for those whose days involve piecemeal journeys:

“Bikes are made for jump-on, jump-off, park-right-at-the-door trip chaining, and the increase in separated cycleways over the past few years, and cargo and eBike options have made biking safer and more accessible for all.”

Wellington City Council’s monitoring showed 230,000 people were counted on bikes in the city in October this year. This compared to 118,000 in the same month five years ago.

…and even in Auckland!

AT is currently asking for feedback on a project to improve local cycling connections through Māngere West, looking to deliver in 2024. This is part of AT’s wider programme to improve access to the airport, and the design draws on earlier feedback and collaborative forums with locals.

The route plugs a key gap between the Ngā Hau Māngere bridge, and the path to the airport along SH20B. The design includes a protected two-way cycleway, and traffic-calming for safer cycling around the back of the town centre. Feedback closes Monday 4 December.

A draft map of what the future cycling network could look like in Māngere. (The current consultation is around the pink path through Māngere West.) Map via AT.

Meanwhile, work is finally under way on the two Inner West projects that made it through the circus of delays, on Great North Road and Point Chevalier to Westmere.

Stormwater separation works under way in Pt Chevalier, as part of the major street upgrade that will include separated cycleways. Two local cafes have front seats on the action and locals are encouraging people to keep visiting in support during the works.

And the Glen Innes local cycling links are coming along, with works on Taniwha St and Pt England Road to go with an almost Dutch-looking roundabout…

Taniwha St roundabout in Glen Innes, shown in August 2023; image via Twitter.

But wait, there’s more!

Auckland has two new EcoMatters Bike Hubs, in Onehunga at the train station, and Pakuranga in Lloyd Elsmore Park. Both are open Thursday–Sunday from 10-2, like the bike hubs in New Lynn, Glen Innes and Queens Wharf. (Henderson’s is open Fri-Sun 10-2.)

And there’s more to come: Forrest Hill in December, Grey Lynn and Manukau early next year!

Onehunga EcoMatters Bike Hub opening. Pic via Nicholas Lee.
Pakuranga Ecomatters Bike Hub opening. Pic via Ecomatters Instagram.

While we’re talking about bike hubs: thanks to reader Vinny for the reminder about the pilot micromobility hub in Glen Eden, which is running info events at the train station today, 4-6pm, and Saturday 10-12am.

Stage one is secure parking at the station for bikes and scooters, with outlets for ebike charging and high visibility wayfinding. Phase two will be a small network of shared escooters, bikes, and powered bike parking within three minutes walk of the station. More info at Bike Auckland and this story from Healthy Families Waitakere.

Speaking of local cycling booms: research from the US highlights the growth of local cycling with more people working from home, and quick tactical street changes.

Auckland Transport hasn’t updated its cycle counts since June – and our bike counters are mostly on commute routes, which means we lack crucial data on neighbourhood cycling. But based on our observations, it’s shaping up to be a bumper summer out there.

Aucklanders clearly want to bike, even without safe infra – and that courage should be rewarded, with even faster delivery of safe networks for all the others who are equally keen but fearful of traffic. And the growth of micromobility shouldn’t come at the expense of pedestrians, as this footage from the busy NW cycleway shows. We’re gonna need more/ wider/ separated lanes.

Bike Logistics

Truth in advertising corner

The UK has banned advertisements by Toyota for showing driving that disregards the planet. Will NZ take the hint on this? We’ve had some real shockers on our screens too.

Remember that Hyundai ad that ran alongside news footage of disastrous flooding in 2022, showing the car literally carving off whole chunks of our coastline?

Speaking of the climate…

The incoming government’s mixed messages on support for cleaner transport are having an impact, with Hyundai NZ reviewing its national strategy:

Hyundai NZ executives have observed that if abolition of ‘ute tax’ is carried out, NZ will be the first country to have enacted then repealed a low emissions support process.

More Night Trains

From Europe

In an open letter addressed to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, Executive Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, and Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, ministers, members of the European Parliament and industry representatives are asking for the urgent implementation of a European strategy for developing a comprehensive night train network.

As more and more travellers are looking for climate-friendly means of transport, night trains are becoming popular once more. In what the letter calls the “renaissance of night trains”, people are rediscovering night trains as a comfortable way of travelling throughout Europe, seven out of ten reportedly considering shifting to travelling by night train.

Shanks’s Pony never went out of fashion

Here’s a delightful read by novelist Emily Perkins about the joys of walking.

…these are the walks I’m talking about – not long hikes, nothing where you have to plan, look at a map, or carry water. Not power walks, not walking to tick exercise off a to-do list or count steps. Not even walks to get somewhere – though walking is always more fun than waiting for the bus. But walks out my front door – on my own, with a mate, with music or a podcast or silence – just a little walk, maybe half an hour or longer, enough to turn the day around.

Related, enjoy this vintage bit of fun from 2007 as we foot it into the weekend. (Song by Age Pryor, video by Taika Waititi.)

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  1. I read the start of the bike hub paragraph and thought, when does the Shore get one! And then by the end of the paragraph I was smiling because the new one coming to Forrest Hill is so close to me.
    Probably need one for western shore, but I’m sure they know that.

  2. I’ve noticed more neighbours cycling but I do think it’s hamstrung by a lack of bike racks at local shops.

    Does AT have a programme to support shops getting bike racks installed?

    1. Why do private businesses need to turn to the public purse to deliver something that benefits them. It feeds the narrative that AT should provide parks for shoppers’ cars. Convince the businesses that they derive value from bike racks and they will do it – eventually.

      1. Actually, this IS more complex than that.

        a) most shops – particularly the town centre ones that we want people to bike to – don’t have private land out front! Their property goes up to the footpath. So any bike parking they’d put out will be on the public road.

        b) if shops put bike parking wherever they wanted, they could easily block the path for pedestrians, especially those who are less mobile. We don’t want car drivers to do it, we don’t want shop keepers doing it either (even for a good cause).

        So I do think this is a matter where retailers and AT need to work together.

        1. And c) It doesn’t “feed the narrative that AT should provide parks for shoppers’ cars”; it helps elevate the issue that AT is doing so, throughout the city, and that rebalancing this will enable modeshift from driving to biking.

    2. It’s just perspective, I see any immovable object I can put a chain around as a bike rack, just take a google earth trip around any Dutch city for inspiration. Having a bike stand helps as you don’t rely on the rack to hold the bike.

      1. I remember, at least in Amsterdam, the authorities were strict about bikes being left outside of racks. One perk of cycling not being popular in NZ is that we can still leave bikes wherever we want

        1. I remember as kid I was able to park it against a lamp post , phone box, rubbish bin and with the peddles upright in the Gutter , which was clear of the footpath . And some people had bike stands attached to their bikes .

        2. Not thaaaaat strict, if you park where there’s a sign telling you not to then, yeah, you might have to catch the bus of shame to the bike depot to recover your taken bike

    3. Yes my local (original) shop areas have virtually zilch and is a barrier even to me thinking I’ll just ride there to do such and such. Being looking at Newmarket, though and they have many. One thing they are doing right.

      1. Yes bike racks are invitations/welcome signs. We asked our local business association to add bike parking and they were opposed whilst also moaning about bikes being left leaning against posts, bins etc

    4. I live in Berlin at the moment, and there is a thing here where shops have bike racks outside of them, with the shop’s branding incorporated. Like a sandwich-board but it’s a bike rack. In my street the bookshop has one, the apothecary, the clothing shops, etc. They are non-permanent street furniture – as in, when a rack is empty you could take it away in a trailer. But when a bike or two is locked to it, it becomes very secure.

  3. Do those figures per km for the cost of a cycleway include street upgrades ala Frankton road?

    $1.6m/km seems outrageously high.

    1. Yes, they do – plus, they include projects like Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive with major bridges, or the seawall path between Wellington and Lower Hutt, which basically bunged erosion protection for the motorway and rail line into a “cycleway” project.

      Most “gold plated!” screams of newspaper editorialists about expensive cycleways is just using the fact that other sh*t gets done at the same time as an excuse to bash what they don’t like. They rarely (if ever) complain the same way when a motorway project goes millions over budget…

  4. The section of the NW cycleway / shared path referred to has been similarly congested during good weather and jogging / dog walking hours for plenty of years. I think the biggest change more recently has been the inclusion of ebikes and scooters that travel much faster than a typical analog bike.
    The intersection where the crash between a lime and fast scooter happened has always had bad visibility. I’ve had plenty of near misses there with bikes / scooters / dogs / walkers / runners, emerging without looking and with no warning.
    The design of Aucklands cycling infrastructure I assume should be to Austroad standard but I think there are plenty of places where visibility and width/runoff area do not suit what should be the design speed. There is also a preponderance of poles, sharp edges and things you wouldn’t want to collide with.
    On top of this many of those riding ebikes and scooters overtake without looking ahead or on blind corners, and don’t shoulder check before returning left.
    Then there are morons who weave all over the place, U-turn without checking, don’t keep dogs on a short leash, or otherwise treat the space as a playground rather than thinking about road rules.

    1. “where visibility and width/runoff area do not suit what should be the design speed.”

      I looked at that section several times with AT for Bike AKL, including in the specific location of the almost crash above. There are some very fiendishly difficult (close by) private property lines in that area – some you may not expect, it looks like a road, but is actually a private accessway).

      And of course there are big and hard-to-move noise walls that block some sightlines. The noise walls were added at the last minute to the original project when the locals complained about the noise of the motorway after the vegetation had been cleared. An interesting case of psychology – they noise had always been there (vegetation blocks zilch) but once they could suddenly see traffic whizzing by, there was an outcry – and to their credit, NZTA quickly added noise walls to the cycleway project. But that made some sections even more constrained. I see no easy solution that isn’t going to be more expensive than the original path. There just isn’t the space to do the walk / cycle separation of the sections east of Bond Street without either acquiring properties or taking space from the motorway lanes.

      1. For what it is worth, proper cycle lanes on Great North Road – and maybe one day on New North through Kingsland, sigh – will provide added routes meaning this won’t be the only safe option west-east in the area.

        1. I imagine it will become my preferred route usually, due to all the amenities along the way. However, by then, modeshare will need to be much higher too, so, the NW will still have high numbers.

          The money going to fund the excessive Notices of Requirement list should be shifted towards these sorts of property purchases, and away from the “refuse to reallocate road space” type projects.

        2. The other additional option is build another cycleway on the northern side of the motorway too. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    2. The last National Party government widened the NW motorway for cars and trucks (didn’t that go well). Maybe the new one will widen the path?

      1. The irony is that they also did a lot to upgrade / add cycle paths. National was a big part in how cycleways became an add-on to many transport projects. Often as a fig leaf, true, but still often very useful in practical terms.

        I worry that the newest iteration of National government won’t even do that kind of “trying to have it both ways” approach, because some in that government seem to have classified bikeways as a culture wars subject where they (believe) they gain more from opposing that just treating them – at least on new builds – as a fact of life.

  5. On bike parking: absolutely no-one has been able to answer the simple question for me of whether there are bike racks at Mt Smart Stadium. This is an important question for me and my kid attending the football there tomorrow. Bike Auckland and AT don’t answer on Twitter.

        1. Or you could apply for resource consent to not provide bike parking. And the unitary plan only applies to new developments instead of existing

    1. Looking on goggle earth there are lots of objects a bike could be chained too, light poles, mesh fences etc. I wouldn’t let poor provisions or bad communication hold me back.

  6. My hope for today is movement towards selling Downtown Carpark, to return more of our city to us.

    Let us start to consider turning carparks into apartment blocks. We need new thinking if we have more urban carparks than two real Australian cities.

    Lest we continue to be a big geographical area with small town ideas.

    Bikes and trains are awesome things, that seem to be moving in the correct direction, but downtown, on the flat, I just want to walk!!!

    If Precinct will do what they have shown they can do, surely we can allow them to make downtown a little more pleasant for city centre residents and visitors alike?!?

      1. Lol. Even with the twice-removed nature of an article by a journalist describing it, rather than being there … that sounded… tetchy. I must admit I love reading Mike Lee getting shut down!

  7. Great to ride the recently completed Taniwha bike paths in GI. Took a while but the road has been resurfaced and decent sep bike paths both sides of what was a very wide previously under-utilised road.

    Very much looking forward to the Apirana Ave changes. Seriously dangerous 500m section at the mo for cyclists. Road surface is very rutted / uneven thanks to the buses and trucks. Buses pull out often with no warning.

    There’s a LOT of new residents moving into GI, Pt E and Panmure with all the new housing which is great. A lot of them are young so hopefully they’ll get out biking for fun and commuting.

    1. Though gutted to go along there at the weekend and find the cycle way entirely blocked in more than one place by vehicles that have driven up the access ramps and parked completely across the lane.

      1. That is a real problem – if we don’t enforce parking, all design doesn’t work. And Auckland is SH*TE at enforcing parking rules. It’s all about how parking fines are revenue gathering, never about creating a culture of human dignity where car boxes can be left littering every across our public land.

  8. Re- “the growth of micro-mobility shouldn’t come at the expense of pedestrians, as this footage from the busy NW cycle way shows. We’re gonna need more/ wider/ separated lanes.”
    I couldn’t agree more! There is very little appreciation for the differences in using micro-mobility. Brace yrself for some critique.
    David Seymore decided to pull a stunt like that in an election campaign video. Yes he wore a helmet but was unsafe in everything else during his demonstration ride! But because the NZ transport industry has for decades successfully restricted ‘cycling for utility transport’ from NZ public space, mainly by making it unpleasant for ‘utilitarian’ cyclists to be present in public space, very few recognized that, including himself, that his behavior [as a cyclist] was inappropriate.
    NZ’s emergence from this paridighm is proving to be a ‘lumpy and unpleasant’ experience for everyone involved in this transformation of NZ’s social and public environment.
    Different machines require different riding equipment and techniques to suit a variety of terrain, and NZers come in all shapes, sizes and physical capabilities. Sadly, it is a concern that those Nzers whose lives can be most transformed by the latest cycle and micro mobility technology continue to get the raw end of the deal because those who consider themselves most capable and therefore most entitled to use the new transport machinery and spaces are pushing ahead at the expense of other groups of NZers’ user-rights. Cycling is only ‘unsafe’ for less physically capable riders because those who present as being most physically capable often also feel over-entitled to exclusive use of large sections of these spaces.
    Cycle mobility cannot be organized as a ‘one size fits all’ zone, without generating social and physical inequality and conflict. For example, currently, only small personal mobility vehicles can legally use the pavement. But on the shared infrastructure and roads, it is not recognized that some cycle models such as cycles designed for speed and racing sports venues should not be a vehicle choice to use on a public shared cycle way either. This misgiving does not include skate boards, or motorized mobility scooters
    This is because it can be difficult to travel at slower speeds on a cycle designed for a sports/racing/off road trail activity, which often come with features, like very narrow, or overly wide large wheels, or power systems, or a frame designed to pitch the rider into a hunched position, or occupy a large/fast footprint, where it is more difficult to see where they are going or to manoeuver around obstacles. etc. Using one of these machines on a ‘shared pathway’; or even on an open road shared with larger motor vehicles is unsafe. This is particularly when sharing lanes with busses.
    No wonder that “cyclist hatred” has developed within the bus driving community! When traveling on a bus approaching Kingsland underpass I watched a number of these cyclists on these machines doing outright dangerous riding and causing the bus driver a lot of distress. There was space where the cyclists could have used the pathway but they chose not to do this and were instead weaving at speed around the bus and other vehicles.
    Likewise, when watching the example in the video clip the cyclist, because of her poor choice in cycle technology, is weaving amongst other shared pathway users; because the machine model she chose to ride leaves her with a reduced ability to give way to others, and the danger of colliding with others is exacerbated by being in convoy with a camera person. The corners are hard for her to negotiate because of her poor choices in technology, and not entirely because of the pathway design.
    Watching the video clip example makes me realize that the machine she is riding needs to be ridden at speed to maintain riders’ balance. This means that it is a poor choice of vehicle and not necessarily appropriate to be ridden in this environment. Attempting to ride it on a shared pathway sets a bad example, and is inappropriate conduct.
    These models of cycles are designed to be ridden at break-neck ‘sports’ speeds should be restricted to sports training venues/events…and not be ridden in the shared pathway environments.
    For the smaller/slower machines such as scooters, small bikes and mobility machines wider shared footpaths are needed.
    It is nonsensical to validate ‘sports orientated’ riding in public spaces by describing it as “fast” and “confident” cycling, especially when these cyclists are using inappropriate vehicles. This activity can seem more like and example of “arrogant and disrespectful” cycling behavior, especially when they refuse to temper their riding styles, and place themselves in a situation where it is difficult for them to slow down, or ride powerful machines en masse and crowd out others when sharing the same space. People who approach cycling in public spaces with a ‘cycling warrior’ mentality present almost as much danger as other vehicles on the road when they attempt to share the same space as slower, utilitarian cyclists and pedestrians, and add fuel to angry support for social policy which leads to restrictive regulations which negatively target other people who present no such hazard, and have a right to use this infrastructure as well.
    If yr using a micro-mobility device there is no harm to yrself in giving way to someone traveling in the opposite direction or if walking stepping aside to allow someone using a mobility device to pass, or checking to make sure the way is clear before you back out of yr driveway.
    It is a good sign that most people are becoming much better behaved towards each other when in these spaces than in the past. We need regulations to validate good behavior.

    1. Developing a new social contract of how to use these new mobility devices in spaces shared with other users will take a bit of time, effort and stress along the way, but we just have to get on with that – making the paths better and encouraging good travel practices. Chris Bishop did his bit, proving the only way to get to Cordis on time was hiring a scooter, although showing that travelling with everything but his laundry basket and sleeping bag was a bit too much.

        1. Possibly that is why he’s a ‘Minister outside cabinet’ there to help manage the angst being thrown at the incoming government about their approach to ‘climate change’….):^(>

      1. Get the popcorn out for the clashes with the Mayor.

        For all his faults, Senior Brown isn’t exactly an advocate of the cars-first ideology of people like his namesake. He wants time of use charging, retention of regional fuel tax, greater bus priority and heavy rail Avondale-Southdown.

        Simeon? Meh.

  9. Great start at Pt Chev – separated Stormwater and wastewater for cleaner harbour, safer and more efficient road speeds and intersections, renewing aged road pavement – oh, and some stuff for walking and cycling.

  10. I decided to catch public transport to Newmarket to buy a number of things at the Black Friday sales, some of them were heavy. After the recent traffic debacle and given we are encouraged to use public transport I assumed the Westfield mall would offer a bag storage facility. I approached them and was told they didn’t. Surely shopping centres should provide bag storage facilities like they do in many overseas malls, which would make using public transport a more attractive option?

    1. hmmm Yes and encouraging PT will be interesting to a first time user. Train will be no problem this weekend (at Newmarket) but buses without priority may not be so fun, but I think a lot faster & better than being stuck in a carpark.

  11. “We wrote to them this week to encourage them to proactively manage their parking spaces. Our letter also asked for malls to have clear signage for parks, as well as dedicated staff to assist customers with travel and parking options.”

    Well done Stacey. If Westfield cause the problem then they should be the one to fix it.

    How is it that if you arrive at a mall in a car, then you can park for free (but it costs the mall owner a substantial amount to provide this “free” service.) But if you arrive on a bus, or train, that costs them nothing there is no recognition of this. What about the fare being reimbursed, in whole or in part, against the price of any purchase.

      1. So true! ever looked at suburban bus stops and timetables, if you can get hold on one…The ‘outgoing’ bus stops are often much more comfortable to wait at. Some even have shelters! But, often the return journey, unless the bus stop also facilitates outgoing journeys, is more difficult and the bus stops on that route less conveniently placed …..LOL….

    1. RE- “Our letter also asked for malls to have clear signage for parks, as well as dedicated staff to assist customers with travel and parking options.”
      Has anyone in the business community thought about how starting a system of bike valets to encourage people to cycle for local transport may work?
      Some of these initiatives are already being done but are still too few and far between to be effective in delivering a service that can be taken seriously for many cyclists, and micro-mobility vehicle users, even when the attempt to provide these services is made. Service providers are failing to gain the customer confidence and community support because most are falling into the “green-washing” category too much.
      A decent bike is expensive to replace if it gets stolen or damaged, especially if its an ebike. For example I will not use some bike stands because they are designed in ways which damage the bike. Even if this is not often a reality, it only has to happen to someone once to put them off using their bike to do the shopping.
      NZ Bus companies have made it clear that they are only going to go so far to support people using bikes or micro-mobility vehicles, or even in their support for people who live with reduced mobility when they attempt to use their services. If the only transport available is a bus this means that people who use their machine to get to work need safe long term parking to put their vehicle in for a few hours, and people who need to use their vehicle after they reach their bus journey destination are currently out of luck, in part because there is inadequate protection at bike parking areas, they are often poorly located, and the service delivery model for hiring machines is obtuse and “broken”, especially in NZ’s main urban centers.
      Sorry, but NZ’s micro-mobility hire business operators need to get out of the zombie apocalypse and go back to business service delivery school to grow some brains before they really send the business into the ‘ill repute’ zone.
      AT and NZ bus service providers also do not view this matter as having any relevance to their service provision model, but do advocates of active transport need to wait for AT ‘permission’ to start providing these services?
      If a bike valet, and micro-mobility hire services were placed strategically, for the convenience of users; like in a mall and not where people have to park their micro-mobility vehicles in insecure locations, and walk miles to the shops to do business, it would encourage people to patronize the surrounding businesses.
      With mindful management these services need not necessarily be delivered free of charge, or have to resort to “over-securitising” their equipment and price gouging their customers, which is a pathway that current service provision has taken, to be effective and could be a valuable community service and employment scheme?
      Right now the big downside about the business of providing micro-mobility vehicles is obtuse regulation and customer service models. For many people who would otherwise use this service, there is a shopping list of barriers restricting customer accessibility, and service management. The enterprise could do with some serious access to professional business coaching and market research.

  12. So in summary, courtesy of the coalition deals:

    – 13 new RoNs, 4 major PT projects, LGWM and ALR cancelled, reduced spending on cycleways and more development of Marsden Point, new 4 way highway to Auckland across the B’s (NZF)

    – replacement of regional fuel tax and fuel excise taxes with time of use charging, starting with EVs (ACT)

    – consider private funding/PPPs to accelerate new transport infrastructure.

    1. Will those RoNs become RoCS (roads of coalition significance.) If so they will be aptly named because these ROCS will be millstones around our necks for years, with none of them having a BCR anywhere near 1, let alone being a positive contribution to the economy.

  13. Rode a night train Salzburg to Milan. A great trip. It doesn’t suit everyone. Although arriving in Milan at around 8am refreshed and ready to go is great; hanging around to catch a 9pm train in Salburg isn’t.

  14. As those people question is Heavy Rail possible to replace Northern Busway on the North Shore? Answer is yes! It’s capable to run through existing Northern Busway. Problem with Heavy Rail has been the hill climb from Sunnynook – Redvale, that has all been solved now!

    If there was to be North Shore line in future, We’d definitely would need Dominion RD Heavy Rail line & Onehunga line extend towards to the Airport since there’s no direct way by any mode from the North Shore anymore. In the Jacobs ‘SMART indicative Business case Onehunga-Airport’ dated back 2016 shows the ‘costing estimates’. What I’ve noticed in the costing for open cut trenches and Bridges/support structure doesn’t add up. For starters where would the trenches be placed on the line? Also the support structure and bridges don’t stack up either, it shows huge costings for them, there’s the question of what support structures are needed and what exact bridges are going to be replaced on the line. The station at Bader Drive & John Goulter is huge and needs to be revisited. Lastly the subtotal contingency plan was enormously high $746 Million with overall total cost at $2.8 Billion and had brought biases to true costings of Heavy rail’s costing Onehunga-Airport’. If it excluded the subtotal contingency plan, would have been $2.1 Billion overall, along with investigations to true costings of open cut trenches, Bridges/support structure and stations located at John Goulter & Bader Drive. Meaning Heavy Rail from Aotea Station would be cheaper than Light Rail Metro.

    The North Shore Heavy Rail Line should be to to constructed after before Dominion RD Heavy Rail line & upgraded Eastern Approach Tunnel at Britomart before we go deciding to build a Heavy Rail line through since there’s other parts of Auckland who need build a Heavy Rail first, along with it, there only space for one more line to accommodated in CBD link. We should be focusing on building a Dominion RD Heavy Rail line due to patronage capacity on the Double Decker buses on Dominion RD reaching maximum capacity, should be categorised as ‘Main Priority’ solving issue! Another problem, is that we need ‘Second City Rail Link’ in Auckland and upgrade the ‘Eastern Approach tunnel at Britomart’ to accommodate more Heavy Rail, even if you went for Light Rail, you’d would have to build second tunnelled line through the City too since Light Rail different form of rail compared to Heavy Rail, either way means rail second form of rail would need to be constructed. Also NorthWestern Rapid Transit is capable of handling a Heavy Rail line as shown below:

    From Triangle RD NorthWestern Cycleway entry/exit 19 M elevation
    SH16 Massey Exit elevation 40 M/Massey Station minus -6, equals 34 M elevation
    Distance: 689 M
    Gradient: 2.15

    SH16 Massey Exit elevation 40 M/Massey Station minus -6, equals 34 M elevation
    Kuaha RD 38 M elevation
    Distance: 1030 M
    Gradient: 0.38

  15. What this boils down to is that we have another government in power which has different perspectives on what and who “matters” among NZers. Even if when it comes down to vehicle ownership, if car ownership is made more difficult for the average person to sustain it doesn’t change anything in achieving the “green initiative” goals. It still means that the goal of having ‘fewer’ cars on the road is achieved, [in theory anyway]. Car ownership does not magically transform from being a ‘privilege’ to a ‘right’ just because more NZers will need one in order to meet their basic transport needs.
    As far as the ‘human rights’ of people who need to get around to earn a living or maintain their standard of living, they are just expected to ‘suc it up’.
    There is no absolute essential priority to provide public, or even mass transit options beyond the need for employers to enable workers to commute to the job. Even then, if workers are housed close to workplaces and because of automation fewer are needed there is only so much incentive to provide ‘affordable’ housing for some, and no absolute necessity to provide it for everyone.
    Too much is placed on an assumption that the new government, or its supporters are really interested in providing for every NZer.

  16. If yr interested in how this works Google this. And note the density of traffic in this country….and how many people drive cars….
    “North Korean authorities try to stop rise in street prostitution in cities
    As the country’s economic crisis worsens, sources say young women are turning to sex work to support themselves.
    By Chang Gyu Ahn for RFA Korean

  17. Re Glen Eden project. I saw that. Its a start but its still only half a service for a limited time. To be effective the service needs expansion and not only within transport hubs like rail stations. That is a service for commuters who do not need to use their vehicle at their PT destination. No service is provided for the latter group. Also at that location they will not cater to a potentially larger group likely to cycle to the local shops.
    Parking a bike at a small shopping center that you live nearby to is different for someone who also bikes to the “local shops’ if you live near a large shopping mall. Bike and micro mobility users need a valet service in the mall pedestrian entrance to ensure security and convenience.

    1. To emphasize the point, here are some observations about PT service provision in Auckland.
      The services that people who use cycles and micro-mobility vehicle are very different from those needed by motorists.
      Unfortunately business entities which attempt to provide services from a place of wilful ignorance often have no incentive to provide customer needs based services. Their preferred business model does not place customer needs above their own convenience in profit-seeking from service delivery. Shoddy or inadequate service delivery becomes the customer’s problem.
      When these business monopolies capture the market for provision of essential services, they gain the social support to be able to get away with being enabled to cherry-pick their preferred customer base, and can get away with providing shoddy service simply because other, more capable providers cannot get hold of the financial backing and resources to set up alternative services which they may perceive to impact their market share.
      We are seeing the results in our PT system. Sure we get ‘pilot’ services run by educational and scientific institutes, which are created with the best of intentions, but most of these perish “invitro”.
      These service providers are also left free to rationalize incidents of customer harm away by responding to customer complaints from behind their administrative mills and protect themselves from exposure by feeding the public carefully crafted ‘victim blaming’ doses of word salad. In dire instances they will just drop the fall out consequences upon individual employees, or franchise/contract holders.
      This means that ‘vulnerable’ passengers become a business ‘liability’ to serve. They can follow up passenger harm incidents by training personnel in ‘profiling’ to enable them to identify ‘undesirable’ clients, and alter their terms of service in ways which withdraw services to customers who are identified by front-line service personnel as ‘difficult to serve’.
      What we have is service provision by monopoly. Even if there are individual bus operators they all have to agree to provide services on the same terms, like a franchise. Services provided by AT are inadequate for many customers, but not as many as it would take to let this hurt their monopoly over PT services provision. This has been demonstrated by their reaction to ‘anger’ expressed by customers. Relying on the fact that there are a small number of customers who will deliberately break the rules or become aggressive, they can treat any customer poorly, and frame all customers who complain as ‘aggressive’; and respond to their complaint as unjustified, and still mostly get away with abusing any customer they want to for whatever reason. Whether the customer was abused or abusive has little impact on the acceptance of the business narrative of “vulnerable service provider Vs aggressive customer” which is almost universally accepted into MSM reporting.
      AT only has to provide for enough customers to stay in business. As a PT monopoly, AT effectively ‘owns’ the customer. This gives them the ability to use any argument, including fake social conscience arguments to gain entitlement to state funding to provide concessions for customers less able to afford services [in part to prevent them from fueling start up enterprises like electric scooter use and hire services or discourage social movements forming around activities like biking and micro-mobility use]. These monopolies will use social policy resistance and law-fare measures to keep control of their access to public funding and market share. Gaining control of this funding does not mean that they have to provide adequate customer services to the recipients to get the social Kudos required to maintain a positive public image.
      This also means that they can ‘bulldoze’ any rival offers of better more comprehensive services off the market by depriving them of the resources they need to obtain a market share.
      If they can’t be bothered providing services to people who use active transit modes then they won’t, and worse, they will likely try to sabotage any attempt by that group to provide their own services for as long as is necessary. In this view, someone being enabled to use cycling and micro-mobility vehicle is a threat to this monopoly.
      The AT business model aims to maintain control over how much and which services customers will be able to receive. So customers get services that are convenient for the provider to offer, and not necessarily the services they need.

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