Vandals on Rail Network Risk Their Lives

The is a saying for that and it begins with ‘D’

From Auckland Transport

Graffiti attacks on trains are dangerous 

Auckland Transport is warning that someone will be seriously injured or killed if foolish young people continue to graffiti trains. The warning comes after an incident yesterday. CCTV footage shows a group of youths wearing balaclavas spraying paint on a train as it slowed and stopped before entering the Parnell tunnel.

Auckland Transport, Manager Rail Services, Craig Inger says being anywhere near train tracks, at any time, is stupid and dangerous. It’s also costly, with ratepayers and taxpayers forking out tens of thousands of dollars a year to cover up the damage.

Improved security at railway stabling yards has seen the problem move onto suburban rail lines in recent years, he says. Mr Inger adds that the region’s new fleet of electric trains are also faster and quieter than the old diesel units and this poses an even greater risk.

In an unrelated incident yesterday, a young man was struck while trespassing on tracks near Orakei station. CCTV footage shows him running away after the incident however services were delayed, and thousands of customers inconvenienced, until Police and the rail operator, Transdev, investigated as it was initially thought to be a fatality.

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Auckland Parking Strategy to be Adopted

Consultation at Community Level to be ongoing

From Auckland Transport:

A fresh look at parking  in Auckland

Auckland Transport has adopted a parking strategy which will mean a consistent approach for the first time for parking across the region.

The document allows for a case by case approach to parking taking into account local issues and the views of local boards and the community. Consultation with the community will continue as parking measures are introduced.

In May 2014, Auckland Transport released the Parking Discussion Document for public consultation. The Discussion Document set out key parking issues in Auckland, provided suggested approaches to meet these issues and sought community feedback to guide the development of the AT Parking Strategy. As part of the consultation process, there were 22 workshops with local boards, industry groups, business associations, and Auckland Council.

More than 5,500 submissions were received, a quarter were about the overall management of demand parking, 18% were about parking on residential streets and on park and rides and 11% were about parking on arterial roads. Half the submissions came from central Auckland or from CBD fringe suburbs such as Parnell, Ponsonby and Newton.

Auckland Transport’s Parking Services Manager Russell Derecourt says there has been pressure to find a solution to commuter parking issues in residential streets. “The problem involves commuters and service vehicles parking long term and taking parking from local residents.”

Mr Derecourt says Auckland Transport has been talking with residential groups and will, in conjunction with local boards and the community develop a consultation programme.

In addition there is the issue of managing space on arterial roads and traffic conflicting with kerbside parking.  In Auckland, 60% of bus trips, 40% of car journeys and 35% of trips by goods vehicles are on arterials.

Chief Strategy Officer Peter Clark says there is a need to manage parking on arterial roads to optimise the number of people, services and goods moving on those roads. “Auckland Transport recognises that we need to take a measured approach in town centres to take into account local characteristics and develop solutions that meet local needs, we will do this in consultation with local boards, business associations and the local community”.

He says park and rides in the right places have proven to effectively extend the potential number of users for public transport and get people out of their cars. There are currently around 5,500 park and ride spots and 80% are full by 8am with parking overflowing into local streets. Further opportunities for park and rides will be reviewed taking into consideration appropriate land use in a rapidly growing city.

The AT Parking Strategy contributes to the achievement of Auckland Transport’s strategic themes and Auckland Plan outcomes. It also outlines the guiding principles and policies for the management and supply of on-street and AT-controlled off-street parking in Auckland.

The AT Parking Strategy and the submissions document can be found here: www.at.govt.nz/about-us/transport-plans-strategies/parking-strategy

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I am inclined to have any Park and Ride not serving a rural catchment (so between Otahuhu, New Lynn, and Constellation Drive) attract a $2/day flat fare especially when there are feeder buses to be feeding those particular stations. Those Park and Rides with rural catchments (so Papakura and Swanson) should remain free owing to lack of feeder buses in the rural catchment.

High house prices: a blunder of our governments

Ben Ross - Talking Auckland:

The comment by Frank McRae was to the point of some hurdles we still face in the residential division of Auckland.

Of note that workshops and mediation for the Residential Zones in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan start in late June and late July respectively

Originally posted on croaking cassandra:

That was the title of an address I did to a group of several hundred investment management professionals in Auckland this morning.  The organisers wanted snappy titles: mine was inspired by the book, The Blunders of our Governments that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

The essence of my story is in this summary I gave them for the programme.

High and rising house prices in Auckland hog the headlines.  The tax regime and bank lending practices are largely irrelevant to what has gone on.   Instead, increasingly unaffordable house and land prices result from the collision of two, no doubt individually well-intentioned, sets of policies.  Tight restrictions on land use crimp the supply of the sort of properties most people want to live in, while very high target levels of non-citizen inward migration persistently boost demand for housing.  One or other policy might make sense, but together they represent a blunder that is enormously costly to the…

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