RIP Eastern Motorway

In ATAP (the Auckland Transport Alignment Project) one of the ideas that was investigated was the reincarnation of the Eastern Motorway, this time called the Eastern Strategic Corridor. It came about as a result of a push by the NZCID (now just called Infrastructure New Zealand) in their report titled “Transport Solutions for a Growing City“. We covered it back in May last year and it had some useful things about the need for better public transport, smarter road pricing, and alignment of transport & land use etc. Most interestingly the NZCID commented on the AWHC in its report, remarking that as it stands provides low value for money, and that it needs …
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Do motorways inevitably generate economic growth?

There were a number of odd things in the report released several weeks ago by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID), a lobby group. Matt has already reviewed the report in detail. Perhaps the oddest part of it was this sentence: Motorway capacity is essential because motorways generate economic activity. NZCID presents this as a factual statement – or perhaps an article of faith? – but does not attempt to justify it or offer much supporting evidence. From an economic perspective, this is an odd statement because transport infrastructure does not and can not generate economic activity. Roads are a means to an end, rather than an end …
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The end of Auckland’s old growth model

The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one of the core problems facing Auckland. That is, the city’s land-use and transport plans are not always well aligned. That’s illustrated nicely in their maps of intensification opportunities around rail stations – red circles indicate places where apartment and townhouse development is generally discouraged under the draft Unitary Plan. In short, we’re fixing our city’s rapid transit network – and it’s long since time we did that! – but we …
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Transport system more like Vancouver, Vienna or Zurich, Yes Please

One of the aspects I thought odd about the NZCID report released the other day was the revival of the 1965 De Leuw Cather motorway network plan and a comparison of Auckland’s motorway network to the motorway networks of “other liveable cities”. Here’s what they say: The comparative decline of Auckland’s once ambitious motorway system, which for half a century has enabled the city to function in spite of deferred investment and poor public transport, can be seen in comparison to other liveable cities. Figure 31 superimposes to scale the motorway networks of various comparable metropolitan areas with populations between Auckland’s existing 1.5 million and its 2045 future of up to 2.5 million (Brisbane, Portland, Vienna and Vancouver each have urban populations of around …
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NZCIDs Transport Report

Yesterday I highlighted the crazy road obsessed plans of the infrastructure lobby that were hinted at in a report they were about to release. That report has now come out and so I thought I would look at it in a bit more detail. While there is much to be concerned about, there are some things we agree with too. First a few general comments The press release talks about the report as being a way to provide independent input into the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP). This is quite funny as the majority of the graphs, and figures they quote come are cut and pasted from the Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, NZ Transport …
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NZCID’s scary views on transport in Auckland

I don’t think New Zealand’s infrastructure lobby has met a project it didn’t think should be bigger or more expensive and later today they’re holding an event to release a report on Auckland’s transport system that they’ve titled: Transport Solutions for a Growing City. At the event they’ll also have talks from the Employers and Manufacturers Association and the AA. Here’s the banner for it They describe the situation as this. Auckland’s transport system is under pressure. Peak traffic congestion is rapidly extending into commercial and recreational periods, undermining competitiveness and liveability. Public transport is increasing, but not fast enough to reduce pressures on the road network. Auckland and Central Government are …
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How business groups view transport

Yesterday the Auckland Business Forum sponsored four pages of op-eds in the business section of the Herald about the need to improve transport for businesses. Unfortunately it ended up being a bit of a case of who left the gates to Jurassic Park open and let the Roadasaurs out. You can see all four pages below. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Perhaps the most hilarious of the pieces comes from the head of the National Road Carriers – a trucking lobby group – who effectively suggests that a Mad Max style apocalypse is imminent unless we take quick action to speed up the movement of trucks. When trucks …
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Rapid transit has passed the acid test

I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its peer cities.) I noticed three things from the article: We’re still having to scrimp and save and struggle to get good public transport projects built This is in spite of the fact that the projects that have been built (against the odds) have been runaway successes Many of the people who were urging caution back then are still around, but they haven’t acknowledged the evidence and changed their position. On …
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More motorways and blaming cyclists, transport BAU

Responses from two of the country’s biggest transport lobby groups yesterday highlight what could probably be described as the business as usual approach to transport in NZ. First we have the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development, the lobby group for those that build and finance infrastructure and who have never seen a project they didn’t like or one they didn’t think should be bigger and more expensive. Not content with having managed to get the East-West link moved to near the top of the queue are already calling for a second East-West link in the form of the destructive motorway from the Airport to East Tamaki. “Transport agency proposals to …
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Cut projects or Increase Funding

The issue of how we fund transport projects has been in the news a lot recently with discussions of the council’s Long Term Plan (LTP). The Herald have been running a campaign basically suggesting the council finances are perilous and almost saying are bankrupt and trying to shift a lot of the blame on to the City Rail Link. The part about the council’s finances being in trouble was well debunked the other day by David Shand who was a member of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance and chaired the 2007 Independent Commission of Inquiry into Local Government Rates. Aucklanders should have an informed debate about the state of the …
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