Tag: ATB

The Push for a #MovingAuckland

Generation Zero Writes

 

(In the Herald that is)

And so an “opinion” piece crops up in today’s Herald on Auckland Transport Blog and Generation Zero’s Congestion Free Network alternative – a proposal TotaRim Consultancy Limited supports.

The piece in the Herald today is fitting with ATB due to give a technical presentation to the IPENZ transport chapter at the old Auckland Regional Council (now BECA) building tonight. I have RSVP’ed to the event tonight and will be in attendance observing the presentation. Commentary will follow tomorrow on the presentation.

The following opinion piece written by Generation Zero leader (one of many) Sudhvir Singh opens as follows:

Sudhvir Singh: Generation Zero’s transport vision

Adding more services to public system will encourage Aucklanders to use it, writes Sudhvir Singh.

 

The Auckland city rail loop is one step towards a balanced transport system.

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The Auckland city rail loop is one step towards a balanced transport system. Credit: NZ Herald

Auckland’s transport plan provides us with a once-in-a-generation choice between two competing visions: to keep pursuing the failed model of motorway-driven sprawl, or to develop a quality, compact city with a balanced transport system.

 

Generation Zero, with the respected authors of Auckland Transport Blog, have developed a fully costed, visionary alternative to the current $60 billion transport plan: the Congestion Free Network.

 

We propose the staged investment in public transport corridors all over the region, with high frequency all-day services. These corridors would include electrified rail to Mt Roskill and Pukekohe, busways to Silverdale, Kumeu and Botany, rail to the airport, light rail along Dominion Rd, an extensive ferry network and even rail to the North Shore. And all of this at only 40 per cent of the cost of the current transport plan.

 

A full regional cycling network would complement this system, as well as focused upgrades on specific local roads. This would provide Aucklanders with genuine transport choice.

 

By contrast, the council’s current plan to deal with Auckland’s growth over the next 30 years is set out in its Integrated Transport Programme (ITP)…

You can read the rest of it over at the Herald site.

 

I did though tail off that excerpt with the mention of the current 2012 Integrated Transport Program that I have written off before and even called it a lemon.

Through that short reaction alone you can see why I would support a #MovingAuckland as part of a #BetterAuckland via the Congestion Free Network idea.

Bold, visionary, sorely needed and a gut-ser (in the mountain of NIMBYism from my parents’ generation (the main but not only source) as well as Right Wing sources that will soon come up against the CFN concept) needed for Auckland. I applaud what is being advanced here.

 

I have sort responses from Auckland Transport and the Office of the Mayor on the Congestion Free Network proposal. Responses have come back from Auckland Transport on the CFN idea.

Basically in regards to the city and its transport, any CFN concepts are most likely to be further researched and incorporated (whether in parts or as a whole) into the 2015 Integrated Transport Program. The 2015 ITP draft is due out for release for “our” consideration and consultation this time next year.

As for the Office of the Mayor, a response is on its way.

 

And so like #SuperManukau, the Congestion Free Network idea ( #movingauckland ) works its way slowly through the wheels and cogs of Town Hall.

 

More as it happens

 

 

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...

 

 

The Reality of Parking in the CBD

Even a Parking Operation Admits on Public Transport

 

And

 

The Logic I Use When Travelling into The CBD

 

This morning while reading the morning Facebook comments (politicians and councillors are usually online making their statements for the start of the day) I saw this from Councillor Cameron Brewer in regards to CBD parking:

Don’t ever say I’m never nice nor helpful: ‘Mr Brewer, chairman of the Business Advisory Panel, said the council had “done well” to reduce its charges in its three main parking buildings in the central city.’
My friend Alex Swney in the CBD is hoping the private car parking providers will follow suit. In the meantime it’s much cheaper to use council’s Civic, Downtown, and Victoria Street car-parks. That’s my public service announcement for the day…

The article in question from the NZ Herald was this one: Big cities mean big parking bills

As a result I packed the following quip:

Mr Ryan has hit it right on the money – and it is the truth – not that Transport Blog would ever recognise it:
“”The reality is that until Auckland’s public transport services are improved, motor vehicles shall still pour into the city each morning at increasing rates, and these commuters do need to be catered for – and that’s where the private parking companies have a significant role to play.”

 

That spawned off a few questions in Twitter and Facebook while I was away in Manukau however in reply I posted the following over at ATB’s “The cost of parking:

 

Devils advocate time 😀

Popping my head in here after my Twitter and Facebook remarks I would have to be somewhat “brave.” However while I shall reply to my remarks sometime today (or tomorrow) – actually no I can answer it right here below and it seems to (in my eyes) reinforce the point I made that caught the attention of a few here.

I have noticed the quotes quoted above but the most prominent one has been missed – which was a statement from Mr Ryan which gives further weight to the argument of his quoted above:

“”The reality is that until Auckland’s public transport services are improved, motor vehicles shall still pour into the city each morning at increasing rates, and these commuters do need to be catered for – and that’s where the private parking companies have a significant role to play.”

Whether increasing rates or not is playing around with statistics and something I am not interested in for this part of the debate. Mr Ryan has stated (could be that it is an admission) what is basically the truth of the current situation we face in the CBD. Heck I can vouch for that on more than one occasion both when working for a public transport company (now self-employed) or having to go to the CBD for say the Unitary Plan forums last year.

With work in a particular transport company, the position I was in often required me to start or finish outside of public transport hours, so that meant having my parking paid for and a trip in and out of the CBD from Papakura.

The other case was The Unitary Plan forums last year at Town Hall. I had a choice; train or car. I took the car from Papakura to the CBD, parked, attended the forums and went back home again. Why? Because I am a liberal and “operate” in a way that is sensitive to price and time considerations against me. That means I will choose an option that is the least expensive, the most efficient, the easiest to complete, and most efficient in relation to time spent travelling – when about to undertake my travels.

And so all costs (including time and money) considered it was the car that was used as it filled the criteria above when making my travels (and no I don’t like being coerced either into one option when it is more expensive than the other)

So that meant travelling up and down State Highway One and parking in the AT Civic Parking Building – because to use the train took double the time and 1.3x the cost as it would have by car (and also I think the main forum was on a Saturday which drops the trains to Papakura every half hour to boot)
So I can clearly hear what Mr Ryan is saying in his: “”The reality is that until Auckland’s public transport services are improved, motor vehicles shall still pour into the city each morning at increasing rates, and these commuters do need to be catered for – and that’s where the private parking companies have a significant role to play.” remarks.

He knows and I know that until P/T is improved (and yes I would assume safely that he knows it is being improved constantly) this is the reality of the situation.

So basically I re-highlighted Mr Ryan’s statement on P/T and parking buildings as well as the “logic” I use when deciding to make trips in this case the CBD but also when travelling through wider Auckland. The logic was simple; price and time and which was better when choosing between private and public transport.

 

After that I went for the full comprehensive argument in regards to the transit situation:

If you want me to extend this argument to a more fuller comprehensive situation then lets look at a few comments in Facebook

Again in regards to Cameron Brewers remarks and link to THAT Herald article

We paid $24 for just over an hour, at the parking building across from the gallery. Yes, we could have taken the train in – but the Orakei car park is full by 0800. Incidentally, one of the reason’s Liability Len’s inner city loop will fail to achieve the necessary patronage is the lack of suburban car parks.
Yep – can vouch for that when the Papakura Park and Ride is full.

However this comment lead me to this which has obviously caught the attention of a few here via Twitter and Facebook

That is correct —-. The rail situation is compounded by the following (and excuse me if I am repeating)
1) Lack of Park and Rides especially at the big stations
2) Lack of feeder buses
3) Lack of cycle lockers
4) Stations in the wrong place

Now all this I am trying to bring to AT’s attention next week at the RPTP hearings (wish me luck there) but until then what Mr Ryan said is true and absolute reality

Mr Ryan has hit it right on the money – and it is the truth – not that Transport Blog would ever recognise it:
“”The reality is that until Auckland’s public transport services are improved, motor vehicles shall still pour into the city each morning at increasing rates, and these commuters do need to be catered for – and that’s where the private parking companies have a significant role to play.”

The article can be found here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10861778
You can figure out what would have caught the attention from the above remark (which was made before the post here went up).

If you are trying to understand the “logic” in the quip then sorry not going to explain here – catch up over a coffee, soy latte or an iced drink if you want to understand me and it.

However to me and others I share conversations with it shows the situation which Mr Ryan has stated but Transport Blog did not pick up on (and if so not well enough). This is especially that one could interpret Mr Ryan’s remarks on a read between the lines support in getting p/t to be better (and most likely (if fleshed out fully) as part of a fully integrated transport system – public and private)

Look I would love for the CBD to be free of parking buildings but our P/T system has a very long way to go before that could either be viable. So for now and to me – CBD parking buildings – the necessary “evil”

 

So basically we have the following:

  1. A basic admission of truth from a private parking operator in the CBD
  2. The logic I use when travelling
  3. The Reality on the CBD and Parking

 

And I will use a car if it is more efficient in time and money compared to the nearest public transport option okay? As I said I am a (social) liberal and am sensitive to time, price and efficiency considerations; thus if private transport meets my travelling criteria OVER public transport – then so be it. This is why (and said above) I advocate for a fully integrated transport system catering to both public and private transport options – because I know and experience the reality of the situation and sympathise with other citizens in the same boat as me (which might be the bulk of Auckland).

 

However some (as I do use and will advocate for private transport (as well as public transport)) case me off as the villain due to that (private transport) use and advocacy. As if I care about them. My care is to the citizens and visitors of Auckland and having the full suite of private and public transport options available to them. It is why I advocate the split and private/public integration. And as am example all things considered with Port of Auckland staying put for now I advocate for: The Eastern Highway but; in the same regard advocate for the North Shore, Botany, Airport and South West (Rail) Lines as part of the full integrated transport suite. Oh and as for the Second Harbour Crossing, that would be heavy rail only tunnels – for now.

Also working with politicians on both sides is a must and something I strive to do – both at Central and Local Government Level as it is also a must in getting Auckland moving (forward).

And so this blog will continue to push on

 

BR:AKL’s full integrated transport suite: starting to turn a good transport system into an advanced integrated transport system – one step at a time 😀