Tauranga could learn from Auckland example
After Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers wrote a lot of tripe (you could say Alternative Facts) how Tauranga should be an example of how Auckland should cater for its growth an article from the Bay of Plenty Times came out soon after highlighting how NOT to do growth in said City (Tauranga).
From the Bay of Plenty Times
Benefits of $225m Tauranga roading project lost after 8 years
Rush-hour congestion on one of Tauranga’s busiest roads is returning to levels not seen since the second Harbour Bridge opened eight years ago.
Predictions made in 2006 that Hewletts Rd would be congested within 15 to 20 years of the completion of the $225 million Harbour Link project have come true almost twice as fast as expected.
Tauranga City Council transport manager Martin Parkes said it was safe to say that traffic had increased to the point where travel time delays were probably back to pre-second harbour bridge levels.
“The investment lasted about eight years,” he said.
The original prediction for 15 to 20 years was based on little change in people’s travel habits.
Mr Parkes said most people still preferred to use their cars for commuter and recreational trips, with Tauranga the most car dependent city in New Zealand.
Ninety-seven per cent of all work and recreational trips were in private cars. “That is very high.”
It needed to be fixed by more people using public transport and cycling or walking until Tauranga got below 90 per cent over the next five to 10 years. Other major centres were a lot less, with Hamilton close to 90 per cent, he said.
Mr Parkes said traffic counts were going up on many parts of the city’s roading network, with only the older parts of the city remaining much the same.
New Zealand Transport Agency’s acting highway manager Mark Haseley said the agency had been aware of congestion around Hewlett Rd for some time and was working with the council to find the best way to deal with it, especially since it was the gateway to one of New Zealand’s most important ports.
The poll result at the top of the article is not surprising although rather sad. This is especially when all widening and building more roads will just make congestion even worse than currently. It is called induced demand.
Tauranga’s issues with transport is also compounded by the fact it has a high retiree population. A population that needs mobility but wont be found with the car and wide roads. Their mobility is found in a decent transit and active modes system which Tauranga lacks but Auckland is fixing. Fortunately Tauranga’s wide roads and somewhat linear geography make it very easy to retrofit bus lanes, some bus stations at key destinations and priority measures to form a basic Rapid Transit Network to move workers, seniors, children and tourists around without relying on the car. Your basic Rapid Transit Network is a basic triangle linking Papamoa, Tauranga and Mt Maunganui with a spur following SH29 to new developments out in the south-west while two others would link Waihi and Te Puke to the basic RTN.
Freight is also a big factor in Tauranga with Port of Tauranga shifting a lot of goods in and out. The best solution is not wider roads for more trucks but duplicating rail lines between Auckland and Tauranga, and Tauranga and Te Puke to allow more freight to be shifted by rail. The more freight shifted by rail the less need for more trucks on the roads through urban centres. As a bonus beefing up the rail network in the Western Bay of Plenty also allows the formation of both a basic high-capacity commuter rail network AND inter city rail between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
So could Tauranga learn from Auckland?
Yes it can. Get your Unitary Plan done and lay down the basics of your Rapid Transit Network now as Auckland is doing. Trust me your residents, workers, industry and tourists will thank you for it for a very long time.
Also how to use residential land efficiently:
— Sprawl Repair (@SprawlRepairMnl) November 29, 2015