Think Regional, Act Local
In my Future of Papakura and the #UnitaryPlan I outlined the choice Papakura faces with 7,000 homes as well as supporting businesses forecast in the Recommended Unitary Plan. I also outlined how the large area of Future Urban Zone in Franklin to the south of Papakura also has bearings on the Papakura area as well.
A clear example of Franklin’s FUZ area having consequence on Papakura (as well as Papakura’s own consequences from the Unitary Plan zones) is transport. Papakura is the technical end of the metropolitan area of Auckland before you start hitting rural Auckland further south. This delineation of metropolitan and urban is marked by Papakura Station where the electric trains stop and start their Southern Line journeys (for Pukekohe you need to transfer to older diesel trains) as well as the Southern Motorway going from three lanes each way to two lanes each way south of the Papakura motorway interchange. Papakura also marks the southern most area the more frequent metropolitan bus services go before you start hitting less frequent feeder busses within Papakura and “shuttle” busses to Pukekohe.
Where Franklin’s Future Urban Zone comes into the mix is that through time all that FUZ will develop into residential and industrial facilities bring the metropolitan area south. If our public and road transport system (which effectively stops at Papakura) does not follow that metropolitan growth south we face a situation of Franklin using Papakura transport facilities causing acute competition that annoys everyone. Already Papakura faces this to a degree with Pukekohe residents driving to Papakura Station to catch the trains to avoid a cumbersome transfer between the diesels and electrics. The consequence is an overfull Park and Ride with cars spilling out into the side streets. This problem will only get worse if we do not get the electrics all the way to Pukekohe as well as three new stations to service the new metropolitan areas between Papakura and Pukekohe.
Thus Papakura has a choice of working alongside Franklin to advocate to get the transport facilities upgraded to benefit both areas or Papakura could be adversarial against Franklin and we get absolutely nowhere for both areas.
At the local level (so Papakura) I would like to see Papakura evolve towards the 8-80 City model where the area is safe for both eight and eighty year old residents to navigate around while enjoying a high standard of amenities. It does mean flipping the transport hierarchy upside down to something like this:
And I would encourage this through incentives rather than outright punitive measures.
The Papakura Greenways project (Have Your Say on Papakura Projects + More South Auckland Project Updates) is really good example that would move Papakura towards the 8-80 model with cycling and walking both safer and of higher amenity that it currently is. Back up the Greenways with the non arterial roads having their speed limit lowered to 30km/h and the safety and amenity for those eight and eighty year olds also improves.
So if you support Papakura moving towards a safer community for our young and old, plus bus lanes down the Great South Road, an expanded park and ride and feeder busses to Papakura Station ask yourself who do you want advocating to Auckland Transport and the Council’s Governing Body to make it happen.
For my family I would want to see the transport facilities expanded to both cater for the growth here in Papakura and in Franklin next door while also having the Greenways project advance so that we can walk and cycle around our community with ease.
The choice of a moving Papakura could not be more stark.