Tag: transportation

The CRL and That Poll

Debate has Cropped Up Again on the City Rail Link

 

Thanks to Bernard Orsman from the NZ Herald and Horizon Research (a polling company), debate has flared up again on the City Rail Link. Is there any thing new in this debate? Currently no so I wont bother going into it much unless you like to go around on a Merry-Go-Round with the emergency stop button absolutely stuffed beyond repair…

 

Here is The NZH article from Orsman however:

Aucklanders want Govt cash for rail

By Bernard Orsman 

5:30 AM Monday Nov 19, 2012

Survey finds most want loop link built now and see direct funding as best way to pay for it.

A majority of Aucklanders want the Government to make a significant contribution to the $2.86 billion city rail link, a poll has found.

The poll, by Horizon Research, also found that 30.4 per cent of Aucklanders support tolls to help pay for the rail link and 24.9 per cent support targeted rates for those who benefit most.

They are more lukewarm about a regional fuel tax, asset sales, higher rates and a higher departure tax as funding mechanisms.

This is the first poll on funding options for the rail link since Mayor Len Brown issued a discussion paper in February on new funding sources to stop dodging what he said were the tough decisions to get Auckland moving.

Mr Brown has encountered a brick wall of resistance from the Government for the 3.5km underground route from Britomart to join the western rail line at Mt Eden. The Government refuses to back the project beyond designating the route and successive Transport Ministers have said there would be no tolls or a regional petrol tax. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee declined to comment on the poll.

Mr Brown has established a “consensus building group” costing $1.1 million under the guidance of environmentalist and political activist Guy Salmon to try to persuade the Government to support one or more funding options.

The poll, of 1099 Aucklanders, found that among those who supported the rail link, 64 per cent wanted it built as soon as possible, 22 per cent by 2020 and just 3 per cent did not think it needed to be completed by 2020.

The poll also found that 75 per cent of Aucklanders wanted better integrated bus and rail services.

Last night, Mr Brown said it was no surprise Aucklanders overwhelmingly continued to support major transport projects, including the rail link, and wanted them built as soon as possible.

However, the left-leaning Mr Brown continued to rule out the sale of core strategic assets – “they bring in tens of millions of dollars a year, taking pressure off rates” – but would not rule out using the proceeds of non-core assets, such as surplus property, to fund transport.

The poll was taken between October 31 and November 12 and has a margin of error of 3 per cent.

The NZ Council for Infrastructure Development has proposed a regionwide toll on every on-ramp to the motorway of $3 in peak hours, $1 in the off-peak and $2 at other times.

Getting around Auckland

Main findings of survey
* 75 per cent support for improved bus-rail public transport
* 64 per cent support for city rail loop
* 14 per cent opposition to city rail loop

Of those who support the rail loop
* 64 per cent want it built as soon as possible
* 22 per cent want it built by 2020
* 3 per cent do not think it is needed by 2020

Funding options
* 56.2 per cent significant government funding
* 30.4 per cent tolls
* 24.9 per cent targeted rates
* 17.6 per cent asset sales
* 16.9 per cent regional fuel tax
* 8.3 per cent higher rates
* 7 per cent higher airport departure tax
Source: Horizon Research

 

If I feel like on Wednesday I will sum up the arguments on Facebook and post them here at BR:AKL.

But in the mean time, go enjoy dinner or what ever meal of the day is next when you read this folks as you are not missing any thing new – yet!

 

Although whoever commissioned Horizon Research for the CRL poll – I am not impressed with given Horizon’s dodgy Colin Craig polling in the past…

 

Oh and I have sent this to Communities and Residents Auckland via social media on the CRL:

By the way, has Communities and Residents passed a resolution or motion yet on either supporting or being FULLY against the Auckland City Rail Link?

Getting a bit of crossed wires and messages here folks and that will create confusion with the voters next year

 

Let’s see what I get from that department…

Papakura Station – Refurbished

Opening of Papakura Station Platform Three

 

Over the weekend rail Block of Lines, the rail engineers had “commissioned” platform three at Papakura Station after an extensive revamp. This revamp included moving the old heritage Papakura Station Building and Signal Panel to the Platform Three location and sprucing the building up for a new lease of life. Platform Four at Papakura Station should have also been commissioned but will not be in use until the Electric’s start running from late next year.

 

I have some photos of Papakura Station taken from the over-bridge this afternoon. It is of note I was one of the first passengers out of platform three this  morning on the 5:05am service from Papakura to Britomart via The Eastern Line. I must say on first looks the new platform and refurbished building were looking very good. But I shall let you judge:

 

I will try endeavour to get close-ups and some shots inside the refurbished station building later on this week when I have time off.

For those looking for the station building moving shots from earlier this year, refer to my PAPAKURA STATION BUILDING ON THE MOVE post.

LGOIMA Request Time Again

Time for a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act Request

 

It is time to file another Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request to the Auckland Council. This time the LGOIMA request will be on the recently opened Auckland Transport public car park building in Manukau which I reported on this morning. The request I will be filing will be for the original business case presented to the former Manukau City Council (under Mayor Len Brown) on this $14m building before it was carried over as a legacy project by today’s Auckland Council.

 

I am curious to what the business case was for this parking building in trying to understand why the former Manukau City Council went ahead with this project and possibly why Auckland Council did not stop it.

 

I’ll be keeping the readers up to date on the request – whether it is accepted or rejected by Council officials.

 

But in any case it is time to take a peek and what was the methodology behind the construction of this parking building in Manukau City Centre! 

(South) Auckland Gets Shafted – Again (Ctd)

Someone Flushed Good Money Down the Loo – on a Possible White Elephant

 

I got wind of this particular story last night on $14 million of our ratepayers cash being spent on a possible (heck it is actually) White Elephant called a car parking building.

From Bernard Orsman of The NZ Herald:

$14m empty carpark – that you paid for

By Bernard Orsman BernardOrsman

Rates slashed but Manukau’s $14m parking building remains almost empty daily.

A carparking building in Manukau that cost ratepayers $14 million to build is sitting virtually empty and slashing prices to attract vehicles.

The building has been called a “dog” by councillor Dick Quax and lauded by Mayor Len Brown as a transformational project for the Manukau community – few of whom are using it.

When the Herald visited yesterday, the top two levels of the seven-storey Ronwood Ave carpark were empty and there were just 10 vehicles on the top five levels, including five Auckland Council cars.

The first and second floors had 62 and 18 vehicles respectively, but overall the 680-space carpark hadan occupancy rate of just 13 per cent.

It is understood the occupancy rate has improved since Auckland Transport cut the hourly rate from $3 to $1 and the all-day casual rate from $19 to $6 and $4 for an early bird special.

The transport body is matching and, in some instances, undercutting its own on-street rates to lure vehicles to the carpark. The on-street charges are $1 an hour and up to a maximum of $5 for all-day parking.

The $14.05 million carpark opened on June 18 as a revenue-gathering, commercial operation by Auckland Transport.

An Auckland Transport spokeswoman yesterday said it was performing below budget while the new Manukau Institute of Technology campus – which is leasing 240 carparks – was still under construction.

It was also built to free up valuable land in the city centre for future development to provide another 354 leases and act as a park-and-ride facility for the new Manukau branch line railway station with 86 public spaces.

The pro-public transport Auckland Transport Blog has called the carpark a disaster and an appalling waste of money, and published aerial photographs showing it set in a “sea of … car parking” at Manukau central.

Mr Quax said the carpark was a dog and he did not believe it would reach capacity for a long time, and councillor George Wood described it as a strange project with few vehicles using it.

But Mr Brown, who encountered strong resistance to the carpark when he was Mayor of Manukau City, remains bullish.

“This project is an investment in the future of Manukau City along with the neighbouring train station and MIT campus currently being built,” he said. “It is an example of our commitment to our growing metropolitan centres across Auckland.”

A planned $6 million expansion of the carpark has been cancelled.
Carparking woes

$14m cost to build

680 parking spaces

90 spaces in use yesterday

$19 original all-day casual rate

$4 new all-day early bird rate

 

Oh dear, oh dear what has the Mayor and Auckland Transport done with this folly.

 

My reaction of Facebook reaction was rather swift as well as Twitter comments on what $14m could of been better spent on:

Meh – the Mayor is full of crap (even more so than the Mangere Sewage Plant) with his comments on the AT public parking building in Manukau City Centre. If AT are having to slash prices to even undercut its own street parking that is already existing then we have a problem.

Note to AT Planners, Manukau is a destination station – not an origin station so a Park and Ride is next to useless here regardless of the Manukau Tertiary Campus

 

As I have said before; people COME TO Manukau as it is a major service hub, not start their journeys from the station (well there are a few but more of a rarity there) so a public car parking building acting as a Park and Ride is nothing short of a daft idea. In a conversation I had with a Councillor last night; I said that even with the Tertiary Campus being built, the parking building is in the wrong place let alone the fact no student is going to pay $19/day (although that has been slashed now) when they can park on the street for $5/day. Also the fact that most students are most likely to catch a bus or a train (Manukau South Link anyone?) to the campus might be an indicator that this new parking building is going to remain under utilised.

 

Now as for this AT parking building in the wrong spot, let me show some pictures for you to illustrate my point (click for full resolution):

The annotated pictures show what is currently happening and what SHOULD of happened to get better bang for our buck in ratepayer investment!

 

So what could of $14 million could of got the ratepayer instead of this parking building? It could have got the following (the newer Avondale Train Station cost $2 million as a base price comparison for a new station)

  • Close to a 1% reduction in our rates bill
  • The Walters Road Rail Station behind the Mitre 10 MEGA at Takanini, complete with Park and Ride, Kiss and Ride and even a shuttle bus facility
  • Upgrades to Papakura Station Interchange including again Park and Ride, Kiss and Ride and Bus Interchange
  • The Manukau South Link (4 times over)
  • Upgrade to the tired Otahuhu Town Centre Bus Station
  • New Bus Stops at Addison and East Takanini (which has no bus routes currently)
  • Deposit on the Selwyn Station complete again with Park and Ride, Kiss and Ride, and Shuttle Bus Facility (Selwyn Station is the relocated Meadowbank Station)
  • Decent lawn mowing and garden services for Papakura and Manurewa Local Boards

 

But no, we won’t be seeing any of those investments (apart from Selwyn Station and the Manukau South Link) any time soon!

 

Come on Your Worship and Auckland Transport, get it together with better investment and planning of our scarce ratepayer dollars on WORTHWHILE projects – for which that new Manukau Parking Building is NOT!

Local Board Services and The Unitary Plan – Coming Up

Coming Up on BR:AKL

 

Local Board Service Provision and The Unitary Plan

 

With AT-HOP under-way and not causing too many issues (the issues that are there are being followed up regularly) it is time to turn the light and focus onto two other issues that are perennial in the complaints department – that being Local Board Service Provisions (or lack thereof) and The Unitary Plan.

 

For the rest of 2012 BR:AKL will dedicate its focus in shining the light at Local Board Services and The Unitary Plan. Transport will still be mentioned but only if it is something significantly major in the current events department.

 

Tomorrow I will be starting my constructive criticisms and alternative idea proposals on The Unitary Plan, as well as how Local Board Service Provisions are suffering under this current Council.

 

There have been victories already chalked up at BR:AKL in various areas in progressing to a Better Auckland, and with continued dedication and passion more victories towards a Better Auckland will continued to be chalked up 😀 – For your benefit, not mine! So as BR:AKL and I continue to advocate towards a Better Papakura and Better Auckland, there will be:

No sensationalism, no emotional blackmail! Just presenting the facts as they appear and offering my opinion/commentary and ideas on progressing plans (including overhauls). Remembering my opinions and ideas are framed by the ‘What I Stand For‘ foundation principles for a Better Papakura and Better Auckland.

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

Wheels of Progress Turning Ctd

NZ Herald on “Boost for Trains In (the) South”

 

Wednesday I had posted on The Wheels of Progress Turning and how we are a step closer to Electrification all the way to Pukekohe and getting the Manukau South Link built and operating. Today Mathew Dearnaley from the NZ Herald posted his article on these two developments.

From the NZH:

Boost for trains in south

By Mathew Dearnaley

Auckland Transport will be asked by its council parent to give high priority to a south-facing rail link from Manukau while also considering the cost of electrifying trains to Pukekohe.

The council’s transport committee this week heard the organisation’s board is to consider electrification costs to Pukekohe at its next meeting in a fortnight.

But after the Franklin and Papakura local boards urged a more direct rail link with Manukau, the committee also decided to ask Auckland Transport to give that high priority before electric trains start running in 2014.

Although the Government’s existing $500 million electrification project is to stop at Papakura, committee member Christine Fletcher said an extension to Pukekohe was “the next logical step”.

Mrs Fletcher, who is also a council appointee to the transport board, believed an existing order of 57 electric trains being built-in Spain should be extended.

Although the cost of electrifying rail to Papakura was estimated at $115 million in 2008, and would normally be seen as the Government’s responsibility, committee chairman Mike Lee noted that he and Mrs Fletcher had persuaded the transport board last month to save $50 million by scaling down the upgrade of Dominion Rd.

“So it’s a matter of priority,” he said.

The committee also decided council staff should do their own study, although in consultation with Auckland Transport and the local boards, on the costs and benefits of a south-facing link from Manukau in relation to other rail projects.

Councillor George Wood said an $81 million north-facing line to Manukau, built to feed into a new Manukau Institute of Technology campus, was not “giving anywhere near the level of service it could do to people living to the south”.

 

Hmm Mathew, you might want to do some research (or get your junior to do so) on how the Manukau South Link came about. To give you hand go click THIS LINK and THIS LINK and THIS LINK on how the entire Manukau South Link matter arose and got to where it was.

As I have emailed Councillors Wood, Fletcher and Lee; a massive thanks to all three of them was sent for facilitating the discussion on the Manukau South Link which then got put alongside the Pukekohe electrification proposal. A special thanks to Councillor George Wood was also mentioned for bringing to the Transport Committee the Notice of Motion after I had raised concern about the South Link with him directly.

Now I will work on operation proposals on services running from Pukekohe and Papakura to Manukau using the South Link using both the existing DMU (Diesel) rolling stock and the new upcoming EMU (Electric) rolling stock and forward them to the Transport Committee for consideration.

But as I have said before:

I will continue to advocate and lobby hard for that South Link to be built – FOR YOU, the residents of South (and Counties) Auckland! As you deserve better!

 

Why?

 

Well I get nothing out of this directly nor personally per se. What I do get once the South Link is built and operating is the quiet satisfaction that access for South and Counties Auckland to Manukau via the South Link (Manukau being the major Southern Hub of Auckland) has been greatly improved for residents and communities south of Manukau. Quiet satisfaction that as a citizen and ratepayer of Auckland, I have done my part in advocating and lobbying our civic institutions in wanting to make my community that I live in a better place. And that is regardless if I am elected to Papakura Local Board next year or not!

 

I’ll draw up another post this weekend on my campaign for Papakura Local Board, but as Councillor Wood noted and thanked in the Transport Committee on Wednesday: I do have a real passion and drive on transport and planning issues here in Auckland as I just simply want Auckland my home to be a better place to live, work and play in. Thus why I lobby, advocate and draw up proposals for Council on all things Transport and Planning – it is not for me – it is for you!

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

Wheels of Motion are Turning

Fighting for the South Manukau Link

 

Continuing to advocate and lobby hard for that South Link to be built – FOR YOU, the residents of South (and Counties) Auckland! As you deserve better!

 

Last month I had posted on someone deciding to place a nice big concrete pad in the middle of the path for the Manukau Rail Southern Link. You can see the post (SOUTH AUCKLAND GETS SHAFTED – YET AGAIN) by clicking on the link.

Well after some advocating and lobbying, Councillor George Wood who is a member of the Council Transport Committee got a Notice of Motion placed into November’s agenda about the South Link. The Notice of Motion is:

Requests Auckland Transport to give a high priority to the installation of a south facing rail link between the Manukau Spur Line and the North Island Main Trunk Line at Wiri so that this connection can be in place by the time
that electrification of the Auckland Metro rail systems occurs. 

You can see the Notice of Motion in the November Transport Committee Agenda at the bottom of this post.

 

Naturally I am supporting this motion after kicking up the initial fuss in the first place when I first spotted the concrete pad in the middle of the South Link’s path.

I had this to say in my material forwarded to Councillor Wood as well as my submission to the Regional Public Transport Plan:

The link to the original New Zealand Herald article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10799107

 

As I said above, the Herald and I had commented on the missing link in April. Now some seven months later it seems apparent the link is a no-go or basically dead. Without the link; Manurewa, Papakura and Pukekohe are virtually isolated in easy access to Manukau by rail. This flies directly in the face of the idea around a Rapid Service that should allow very easy access with minimum fuss or transfers to a primary service centre for South Auckland.

The current proposal using trains which incur a transfer penalty at Puhinui or the bus trundling along the Great South Road (which takes more than double the time a train does) from Papakura to Manukau (and skipping Homai on the way) to me in my opinion is substandard for the people in these locales, and basically reinforces the isolation factor/feeling these residents have from a major service, employment and leisure centre!

Operational Proposal for Manukau to Papakura Link

With the Manukau to Papakura Link (The South Link) built for around $3.8m, the next question is what kind of services do you run. The answer is both straight forward for both the existing diesel passenger train fleet and the upcoming new electric passenger train fleet. The estimate length of journey from Papakura to Manukau Station via The South link is around 19 minutes (plus a seven minute walk from the Manukau Station to the Westfield Manukau Mall), compared to 30 mins using the Waka Pacific 471 and 472 bus according to the www.at.co.nz Journey Planner.

Thus allowing for turnaround at Manukau and Papakura Stations and knowing what rolling stock availability there is available pre-EMU’s; I recommend using one ADL-2 class DMU to run a single service backwards and forwards between Manukau and Papakura every one hour  in a single direction from 6:00am until around 10:19pm – seven days a week. That means for example your Papakura to Manukau via The South Link would start at Papakura at 6:30am and arrives in Manukau at 6:49am; then leave Manukau at 7:00am to make its return run to Papakura via the South Link.

An example of how a proposed Papakura-Manukau via The South Link Timetable would work (for brevity I have not included the afternoon services)

From Papakura Arrive at Manukau From Manukau Arrive at Papakura
    6:00am (first service) 6:19am
6:30am (first service) 6:49am 7:00am 7:19am
7:30am 7:49am 8:00am 8:19am
8:30am 8:49am 9:00am 9:19am
9:30am 09:49am 10:00am 10:19am
10:30am 10:49am 11:00am 11:19am
11:30am 11:49am 12:00pm 12:19pm
9:30pm (last service) 9:49pm 10:00pm (last service) 10:19pm

 

When the new electric trains are fully on-stream replacing the diesel fleet between Papakura and Swanson, the frequencies can be increased to every 30 minutes at the minimum, or 20 minutes for optimum service delivery until either the Botany or Airport Line (via Puhinui Station) is open and a new operating model would be in place (subject to EMU fleet availability).

In concluding this section of my RPTP; I highly recommend Auckland Transport remedy the situation and get that link for $3.8m built by 2016 at the absolute latest. Once the link is built, operating services would begin on an hourly timetable, stepping up to 20 minute frequencies once the new EMU fleet is fully online. To do otherwise is not an option unless you endorse isolating a major part of the community from its main service centre!

 

Now what I did not mention is the fact that we will have 10 ADL-class DMU’s available when all the EMU’s are online 2016. With ADL DMU’s already by then doing the Papakura – Pukekohe shuttle runs until the main line is electrified from Papakura to Pukekohe, those DMU’s can be extended to do a full Pukekohe – Papakura – Manukau via the Southern Link shuttle service until such a time Pukekohe is electrified and the EMU’s fully take over. So with upwards of 10 DMU’s, you can pretty much obtain 15-20 minute frequencies on Pukekohe – Manukau shuttles until those EMU’s can do the runs in place of the DMU’s (most likely 2020).

 

 

So here I am pitching for the residents and communities of: Homai, Manurewa, Takanini, Mahia, Papakura, Drury and (in-part) Pukekohe to get the missing link built for a frequent and rapid service to Manukau – the primary service and employment hub of South and Counties (former Franklin District) Auckland. Manukau has more connections to South Auckland residents than the CBD ever will, and as a result South Auckland should be able to access Manukau easily and efficiently which building The South Link will provide. To not provide the link and roll out the services utilising the link in my opinion as a Papakura resident and ratepayer, an insult to my fellow South Auckland neighbours and communities.

 

Thus I will continue to advocate and lobby hard for that South Link to be built – FOR YOU, the residents of South (and Counties) Auckland! As you deserve better!

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

 

The Agenda

 

 

 

3, 2, 1 AT-HOP IS GO!

And We are Away with AT-HOP

 

Monday has been and gone and all was relatively well for the first day of AT-HOP (for commuters that is).

No major problems at Britomart or Newmarket were heard of via the feedback back to BR:AKL. Any problems that might have occurred seemed to be more passenger orientated as everyone gets use to AT-HOP 🙂

 

Auckland Transport has released a new brochure on AT-HOP showing the traditional cash fares, AT-HOP fares, and the expanded Monthly Pass system. You can see the brochure in the embed below:

 

And for a close up of the AT-HOP Stored Value Fares vs Standard Cash Fares

 

Hmm I remember a smallish episode with AT over those AT-HOP Stored Value fares not too long ago 😉

 

Any case; AT-HOP IS GO and away 😀

Oh and I noticed all the big wigs from AT were at Britomart last night too… hehe

 

 

 

Ooooops

Who Got Fined Again?

 

 

Ooops at the tune of $3 million a month just in Auckland. Well that is if the Herald article this morning was anything to go by:

 

From the NZH on this Labour Day:

Drivers fined $3m a month

By Mathew Dearnaley

5:30 AM Monday Oct 22, 2012

 

AA shocked at rise in amount collected by Auckland Transport for vehicle offences.

Auckland Transport has been slugging motorists with fines of $3 million a month for parking and other vehicle offences.

Figures it supplied to the Herald for its first 20 months have shocked the Automobile Association, which suspects they reflect “anti-car” tendencies of its Auckland Council parent.

The figures detail $36.2 million of fines collected from motorists in the financial year to June 30.

That leaped from $20.5 million for the previous eight months, from when Auckland Transport began business in November 2010.

Although the latest total was for a longer period, the monthly average has risen to just over $3 million from $2.54 million in the organisation’s early days.

The $17 million was Auckland Transport’s half-share of warrant and registration fines. The Ministry of Transport received the rest.

But AA spokesman Simon Lambourne believed an increase in parking fines from $4.4 million for the eight months to last winter, to $7.2 million in the year to June 30, showed too much effort put into enforcement of a flawed system and not enough into education.

That was not counting $16.4 million in court penalties for all types of vehicle infringement over the year.

Auckland Transport also raised $32.7 million last financial year from standard motorists’ fees for street parking and parking buildings, and $2.1 million from bus lane infringements, although that represented an easing from $1.9 million collected for the previous eight months

 

You can read the rest of the article at the NZH. But what I want to get at is the AA’s rather archaic thinking here, in particular to comment from them:

But AA spokesman Simon Lambourne believed an increase in parking fines from $4.4 million for the eight months to last winter, to $7.2 million in the year to June 30, showed too much effort put into enforcement of a flawed system and not enough into education.

And

Of parking fines, Mr Lambourne said: “The amount of money being collected is alarming. It’s not being realistic about the importance of the car to mobility in Auckland.”

Oh boohoo and go back to the 1950’s as you get no sympathy from me here AA! With education; well teach your member drivers how to read the following signs: No Parking, Mobility Holders Only, Bus Stop, P60, Clearway, Loading Zone, Bus Lane, etc and then you might find the amount of fines given out decreasing. As for WoF and rego fines, well who was the nupty there for parking without a current WoF or registration 😛

As for importance of the car to mobility; dang that is 1950’s thinking knowing where the AA is going with that line of thought!

 

Look I do not deny the car as one of the sources of mobility in Auckland – that is ONE OF THE SOURCES! However we do have (and need investment) other sources of mobility such as public or active (walking) transport that need equal attention (if not more) as the car. In my submissions to The Auckland and Long Term Plans I gave equal weight to both car and public transport in investment for Auckland. An example was $3.6b on the City Rail Link and Rail Efficiency Program while an equal amount of cash was allocated to The Eastern Highway and the East-West link in Penrose/Mt Wellington. All three of those projects have high benefit to Auckland and are considered Priority One and Two (so completed by 2025 or 2032). There is no skewering towards one particular mode of transport over the other here.

 

As for the CBD, cars and parking; well the CBD is a premium place with premium parking so I somewhat expected premium parking prices here. The CBD can still be access easily whether by car, bus or train; we just have to be smart on how limited CBD is allocated to traffic and how measures can be taken to best utilise premium CBD space. My parking regime submission to AT gives an idea on what I would propose for the CBD:

 

ALTERNATIVE TO CENTRAL CITY PARKING ZONE REGIME

Posted by BR:AKL_Admin01 on June 14, 2012 · Leave a Comment (Edit)

Need the Alternative first before “penalising” car users

 

MY ALTERNATIVE LAID OUT

Last week I wrote a post on how Auckland Council and Transport were planning to change the parking regime in the Auckland CBD. In the post I spelled out the pros and cons of such a change (mainly cost of parking would be more expensive than Central London (exchange rate taken into account) and my viable alternative to such a regime – both pre and post City Rail Link.

Lets take a brief recap of the alternative I laid out:

I would support the new parking scheme if we had a viable alternative in position, but because we do not I OPPOSE the scheme – pure and simple. To get me to support the scheme you need the following in position first for the CBD:

  • The CRL – so the main sections of the CBD are reachable by train regardless on how you got to the CBD from the suburbs first
  • Parking Garages on the outskirts of the CBD, complemented with shuttle buses, and the City and Inner Link Buses (for the North Shore you would need a big park and ride at Akoranga Busway Station). This would allow people to drive from the suburbs to the CBD outskirts, park up then catch a shuttle, bus or train into the main CBD core. You would also get spin offs through being able to add more pedestrian malls and shared zones with reduction of inner CBD traffic.
  • A working and frequent off-peak service to give better incentive to come into the CBD via mass transit from the suburbs (could mean extending timetables and better security on mass transit to discourage anti-social behaviour (a real turn off from using the bus or train).

If one was wondering where the main parking garages would be ringing the CBD I was thinking (but not limited to) these areas:

  • Next to Grafton Station (the old Brewery Site is up for redevelopment) and may be Mt Eden Station on the Western Rail Line.
  • Near Newmarket South (there is some under utilised car lots next to the Newmarket Viaduct that would do just nicely – and still within an 800 metre/10 minute distance gap to Newmarket Station (see Mapnificent Graphic below for areas within reach of proposed parking building)
  • The Auckland Water-Frontier Transit Station (has to be built first and that is at least 20 years away)
  • Orakei and G.I Train Stations which have Park and Rides
  • Wynyard Quarter near Fanshawe Street (State Highway One end) (My proposed Wynyard Transit Station)

Well today I drew up some maps of this alternative scheme, and filed my submission to Auckland Transport formally opposing their Central City Parking Zone WITHOUT viable alternatives in position first.

 

You can see the rest of that particular post by clicking on the link above

 

In the end, it is about being balanced and fair (well much as possible) to all users. What the AA suggests is not fair and balanced, what I propose and advocate for is. And while my alternative is CBD focused, it can be easily translated to the suburbs including my home community of Papakura! Speaking of which I think a Town Hall meeting is required in mobility and access in Papakura, especially with 500 “social” and “affordable” houses due to be built behind me – and no access what so ever to public transport…