Month: July 2013

Submission sent on New P/T Network (Southern Auckland)

Submission Sent to AT for Southern P/T Network

 

I finally wrote up and sent my feedback to Auckland Transport using the Online Feedback Form (no need for a 104 page monster this time round) today.

You can see what I exactly submitted on in the PDF embed below

I made no mention around the Te Mahia Station closing issue (which I support in closing) as that I will bring up at the Papakura Open Day this Saturday with the transport planners.

My primary feedback was around the good quality of the work drafted up by Auckland Transport on the Southern Public Transport Network proposal, and around the 365 and 371 bus routes which I would use once on stream.

I did suggest some changes to Routes 371 and 365 so that it takes into account Takanini Village and the proposed Glenora Road Station as potential stops. Some other changes and mention around off-peak frequencies were mentioned as well.

I did make a push for the Manukau South Rail Link again as part of the frequent transit network from Pukekohe and Papakura so that Southern Auckland gets a dedicated rapid and direct service to our biggest employment centre (in the south). The reasoning around that was a train from Pukekohe to Papakura to Manukau via the south link is faster than buses which would get caught in bottlenecks along the Great South Road (as well as stuck with 50km/h limits to the train’s 90-110km/h limits) and as hinted with speed limits actually faster than the bus. That also means faster than going to Puhinui Station by train and going through a clumsy transfer onto a Manukau Train from Britomart on a cold winter’s morning 😛

So let’s see where this feedback goes once AT starts its considerations on it all post August 2 (when the feedback closes)

You can see the Southern P/T Network over at AT’s webpage: New Public Transport Network

 

 

 

Auckland Updates

All Quiet (on the Western Front) at the Moment

 

All is quiet at the moment in regards to the Unitary Plan and transport issues in Auckland after some recent fanfare in both departments recently. Needless to say there is still quite a bit of activity going on behind the scenes.

Unitary Plan

There is a workshop today around: Universal Design, GMO‘s and noise (wonder if we can file a noise complaint against grandstanding councillors wasting our time); with the RUB workshop held on Monday gone.

I have heard word that the Councillors and Local Boards now have access to ALL of our submissions ranging from pro-forma to 104 page monsters along with comments from the Planners in them (red pen anyone). Those submissions have not been released into the public domain as of yet.

Rather than idly speculator I have sent an enquiry back to Council on the updates in getting the submission released. Will know more as soon as it comes through.

Further updates or happenings with the UP

  • Still waiting on enquiry into the RUB workshop and interim direction setting given from it back to the Auckland Plan Committee (July 25)
  • Active consideration being given around Manukau
  • Active consideration in having two workshops open to the media (in some shape or form)

Transport

Pretty much quiet here too along this front. In saying that we do have the Auckland Transport consultation period under way for the Southern Auckland New Public Transport Network – which is pretty good.

At the same time all eyes are watching ATB’s launch of their Congestion Free Network which I commented on here: “ATB’s Congestion Free Network” yesterday.

This piece from Radio NZ‘s Morning report sums up the situation. Listen especially towards the end of Todd Nial’s piece on the hurdles ATB and Generation Zero face at this point in time with their proposal:

Alternative public transport plan proposes more for less

 

Again and still, all eyes front to see where this goes.

 

And as always anything else that comes my way I will publish up ASAP.

 

 

ATB’s Congestion Free Network

An Ambitious Idea – But at What Cost?

And by cost I am talking economics of Opportunity Cost.

 

English: Section of State Highway 1 in South A...

I have being quietly observing Auckland Transport Blog launching their “Congestion Free Network” proposal (in coordination with Generation Zero) with two main posts coming out thus far:

From what I am seeing the proposals are pretty good and stuff I can support. Support in the fact most of those ideas put forward by ATB have ended up in a submission or presentation of mine since 2010 (Eastern Highway since 2006).

I also note that ATB and Generation Zero will be campaigning hard especially towards to mayor as we have now entered the formal stage of the Local Government Elections. Although word of advice, that might be a fat-load of good as the proposal needs to go to the Auckland Transport Executive where they will either make or break the idea.

 

The New Zealand State Highway Shield. New Zeal...

However a caution is also added to the Congestion Free Network Campaign. Leave the Southern Motorway upgrade between the State Highway 20/1 (Manukau) interchange and Papakura interchange alone. That project has been earmarked as a priority one project by the Prime Minister and is sorely needed and welcomed in the South.

I need not remind people of the bottlenecking and frustrations to commuters and freighters that require State Highway 1 from Manukau heading south every single waking day!

With Manukau and the South due to grow significantly under the Unitary Plan we need State Highway One to be at its functioning best which it is not now! State Highway One is also the sole route out of Auckland heading south so it carries inter-city traffic as well.

So NO TOUCHING the State Highway One upgrade in the south ATB unless you seriously want to go and annoy the bulk of Southern Auckland.

In saying that as a conciliation prize if the Southern Motorway is upgraded quickly it will stave off the Mill Road project which is THE REAL PAIN in the South’s backside.

All eyes are watching

English: Looking roughly eastwards at the sout...

 

 

Statement on the Unitary Plan RUB Workshop today

Unitary Plan – Rural Urban Boundary Workshop

 

Council has released its usual media statement following another Unitary Plan Workshop today. This one on the Rural Urban Boundary.

From Auckland Council

Workshop debates greenfield development and rural urban boundary options

 Councillors and local board chairs today came to grips with where rural urban boundaries (RUB) may extend to cater for urban growth of both housing and employment over the next 30 years.

 

 The Auckland Plan proposed that up to 40 per cent of new dwellings (around 160,000 dwellings) should be planned for in new greenfield areas and coastal towns and villages.

 

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Penny Hulse, told the Unitary Plan workshop that the objective of the RUB was to provide certainty, for urban and rural dwellers and developers, on where development could occur over its 30-year life.

 

 “It is about long-term planning, and being clear about where we are going and how it all fits together, rather than an incremental approach” she said.

 Greenfield RUB areas currently under investigation in the south, north and north-west have a potential capacity for around 90,000 dwellings and 35,000 jobs. These areas include Warkworth, Silverdale, KumeuHuapai, in the north and north-west, and Drury – Pukekohe in the south, and also incorporate around 1300 hectares of new business land.

 

 Today’s RUB workshop considered issues such as infrastructure (transport/roading, stormwater, wastewater, parks and schools) as well as environmental protection.

 The Deputy Mayor said it was excellent to have the area knowledge of local boards to guide the discussions.

 “When you start to get down to the nuts and bolts of the draft Unitary Plan, and all its components, local knowledge is invaluable if we are to arrive at well-considered solutions for population growth across all of Auckland,” she said.

 

 Elected members gave interim direction for staff to do further work on potential changes to provisional RUB boundaries. This work will contribute to the upcoming mapping workshops.

 

 

—–Ends—–

 

A bit generalist and the next Auckland Plan Committee that would discuss this is not until July 25. I will see if I can flesh out some of those interim directions and see which way things are heading – especially for the Southern RUB.

The Southern Rural Urban Boundary being only 5 minutes away from me and of a very hot button issue here in the south as the three options go under consideration.

More as it happens.

Also there have been some developments with Manukau as the Second CBD concept. I need to work through the processes here. But, once I have something solid on the Manukau concept I will let readers know

 

RUB Workshop Today

Change of Unitary Plan Workshop Dates

 

I noticed an “alert” from Councillor George Wood late last night signalling a change in the Unitary Plan Workshops. This Wednesday was meant to be the Rural Urban Boundary Workshop but, has moved to today (10-5) and is still a closed session. Wednesday will be the workshop on Universal Design.

 

Also as a reminder I will be in Town Hall today attending the briefing on your Rates for the 2013/14 cycle. I will write the commentary up on this later tonight.

 

Rates, Rates and oh the Rural Urban Boundary

Otherwise it is all about the rates

 

Do I really want to talk about the issue that has people frothing at the mouth most on a beautiful Sunday morning in Auckland. Yes I do. It is about those things we call Rates – you know, the money from us that funds Council activities.

As the Council year finished on June 30 we have the new cycle under way. This means the next round of rates instalments is on their way to your letterbox (in August). It also means the next round of rates rises or decreases are on their way as we hit the second year of the transition system (which includes the cap of 10% max rise and 5.56% max decrease).

Tomorrow morning there will be a briefing and a Q&A session on the next round of rates instalments. I will endeavour to have the report and commentary up later that night on the latest for the now current Council financial cycle.

Remembering from the 2013/14 Annual Plan discussions that rate rises were averaging 2.9% – below the 4.8% forecast in the 2012-21 Long Term Plan.

 

Rural Urban Boundary

As mentioned earlier in the week on Wednesday the Council and Local Boards will be discussing the Rural Urban Boundary at a Unitary Plan workshop (closed session). While I am not keeping up with state of play for the north and north-west RUB, I am definitely keeping up with state of play for the Southern RUB.

As mentioned in my “Pukekohe Area Plan Maps and Information” reblogged post earlier this week; Franklin Local Board has been working with their community and will be advancing their proposal for the RUB at the Wednesday workshop.

While the green-zone buffer has moved from Paerata to Drury, the “corridor” concept seems to have been stuck to and is what is being advanced. This is similar to what I believe most in Southern Auckland submitted on in general as a RUB option – including myself.

I do really hope as the most practical and “sustainable” of all the Southern RUB options that what FLB have proposed is what will be in the final Unitary Plan when it becomes operative. In saying that I can think of two spanners that can be thrown into the works that would screw the Southern RUB preferred option up:

  1. Dr Nick Smith and his Housing Accord – Special Housing Areas (unless they go inside the RUB preferred option)
  2. Karaka Collective if their option is left out and they decide to challenge it in the Environment Court

 

As the preferred RUB option proposed by FLB and Southern Auckland submitters staves off THAT bridge, there might be some pro-Weymouth/Karaka Bridge supports aggrieved by this situation. This will be a case of watch and see as the Southern RUB preferred option moves through the Unitary Plan processes.

Talking Auckland will be keeping a special eye on the Southern RUB as it does progress through the Unitary Plan.