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Submit on the Local Board plans

Auckland’s Local Boards are currently consulting on their 3 year plans. The plans highlight the boards priorities across a range of areas, and each board has about half a dozen outcomes. Generally one of these outcomes includes transport. While the boards cannot control Auckland Transport, they do have a strong advocacy role. Therefore it is useful seeing what each of the boards say about the plans. The plans are all available on the very useful shapeauckland.co.nz website, which is worth checking regularly as it is a hub for all consultation the Auckland Council is undertaking.

As to be expected there is a wide range of outcomes and projects called for. Some boards have excellent plans, while others are clearly lacking. There are some common themes though. All of them mention improved public transport which is good to see, though the level of detail gives away how serious they are. Park and Ride is also regularly mentioned by local boards, however we have highlighted before that this is an expensive way to grow patronage in urban areas, so best to first focus on improving connecting buses, walking and cycling access. Local Boards with extensive coastlines often seem to focus on ferry improvements and new services, but neglect much more affordable bus improvements. Most of the boards have good things to say about walking and cycling. However often there is too much of a focus on Greenways and recreational paths, rather than separated cycleways along useful routes. The ideal Greenway projects are paths that can double as both useful routes and recreational paths, so Greenways like that should be prioritised.

 The local board plans are open for submissions until 5pm Wednesday. A good number of positive submissions would help raise the standard of the plans.  It would be great to ensure Congestion Free Network projects are included in all relevant plans,so that is one obvious area to submit on. If local boards really do care about improving public transport they should also be advocating for more bus lanes, which is the quickest and easiest way to improve public transport journey time and reliability, and also grow patronage. More advocacy for improved walking & cycling links to stations, as well as separated cycleways connecting key local destinations and traffic calming of local streets would also be great.

FANSHAWE ST red and green

More quick win bus lanes like this one on Fanshawe would be great

Here are some of the local board statements in more detail, highlighting the good and the bad. The best 2 are probably Kaipatiki and Puketapapa, with Waitemata, Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Mangere-Otahuhu also honourable mentions.

Kaipatiki

Kaipātiki benefits from being situated in the heart of the North Shore and a short trip to Auckland’s CBD, but only 10 per cent of our residents use public transport, cycling or walking to get to work. We are determined to reduce our reliance on cars and increase our use of public transport.

Over the next three years we will:

  • advocate to Auckland Transport for a significant shift to bus and ferry services which are fully integrated and part of one network
  • support the development of a walking and cycling connection over the Harbour Bridge to the CBD
  • work with Auckland Transport to implement our Network Connections Plan. This will create safe walking and cycling links around our neighbourhoods
  • support transit lane initiatives to reduce congestion on busy main roads.

Puketapapa

 A small proportion of Puketāpapa residents work locally; most travel to the CBD and adjacent suburbs. In our area car ownership is lower than the Auckland average and there is a greater reliance on public transport. We need to improve transport connections and choices.

Over the next three years we will:

  • boost public transport use by investigating park and ride options, a Rail-to-Roskill spur, and potential for more cross-town services
  • advocate for more separated cycle lanes on routes to schools and recreational areas and more walking school buses; implementation of the Puketāpapa Greenways Plan
  • partner with Auckland Transport to improve safety, especially around footpaths and crossings.

Plans for Albert-Eden, Manurewa, Waiheke, Waitakere Ranges, Whau all have some useful and positive things identified, though overall seem somewhat unambitious.

Then their are several who are on the right track, but that has led them to promote some strange proposals.

Henderson Massey

advocating for Light Rail Along the Northern Motorway

Don’t understand why they are advocating for light rail. The North-Western Busway is the realistic project that needs strong local board support to keep it in the spotlight.

Devonport – Takapuna

ensuring commuter cycling is safe and efficient

While great not focussing on greenways, “commuter” cycling isn’t the right word either. Great cycle routes used not just by commuters, but school children, people visiting local businesses, trips and to see friends and Sunday afternoon relaxation. Lake Road has decent quality (by Auckland standards) painted lanes, but these should be upgraded with easy separators to grow usage.

Orakei:

  • Outcome: Free-flowing roads, and public transport that’s frequent and easy to use
  • advocate for the separation of cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles along Tāmaki Drive, by building a seaward boardwalk/walkway where appropriate

Part of their outcome statement is frankly ridiculous. Free flowing roads is a totally unrealistic outcome. Auckland traffic engineering has been led by this aiming for this outcome for 50 years, which leads to dozens of projects to just add one extra lane to an intersection in the vain hope traffic will flow faster. Of course this never happens, and the sum of this is roads that are awful for pedestrians and cyclists, and thus encourages more traffic.

While great to see Orakei advocating for separated cycleways, they are also strong advocates of free parking along Tamaki Drive, There is plenty of space to turn the existing width of Tamaki Drive into a world-class street, however it requires removing free parking. The board plan would involve spending a huge sum of money, largely to allow free parking on both sides of Tamaki Drive for the whole width.

Tamaki Drive Masterplan - looks lovely but that is some expensive parking

Tamaki Drive Masterplan – looks lovely but that is some expensive parking

Otara-Papatoetoe

build foot bridges over congested roads

Again you can understand the boards thinking, however overbridges generally considered to be a failure. Very rare to see anyone using overbridge between Albert Park and AUT for example. Usually a case of unsafe intersection design and poor phasing for pedestrians. This can be fixed cheaply and easily, rather than building footbridges.

 

Then there are some boards that are very unambitious on promoting transport improvements, or are promoting expensive and unnecessary roading projects. Hibiscus Bays, Howick and Papakura have the biggest issues, but Franklin, Rodney and Upper Harbour also fall into this category too.

Hibiscus and Bays

advocating to bring forward the constructon of Penlink to improve travel times and ease congestion across Whangaparāoa and Silverdale

Their efforts would be much better focussed on lobbying for Northern Busway extensions to Albany and future proofing for extensions to Silverdale.

Howick

continue to partner with Auckland Transport to urgently address transport issues, including investigating the need for further ferry transport and improving cycle ways

While this statement sounds lovely, Howick’s transport issues exist because of the lack of alternative modes of travel for many destinations, and the slowness of the services that do exist. This statement is very unambitious compared to most other local boards, so could be much stronger. Ferries will only ever help people that travel to the CBD, and largely useful for people that live near the existing ferry terminal at Half Moon Bay. The local board should really be advocating for bus lanes along Pakuranga Road, and bringing forward the Botany busway.

Papakura

reduce traffic congestion by pushing for road improvements such as the Mill Road bypass and bridges over rail crossings

The Mill Road bypass is yet another expensive legacy project that Auckland Transport seems unable to downsize to an appropriate level. It is the first stage of an traffic engineers dream project to provide an alternative route to the Southern Motorway, all the way to Drury. However given the huge spending that is taking place on the Southern Motorway to add another lane from Manukau to Papakura, including widening the Takanini bridge, there really is no need for this project. It should be rightsized to a local road safety upgrade which is actually urgently required, rather than stage 1 of a 4 lane highway upgrade.

 I encourage everyone to submit on the local board plans to ensure they match your vision for Auckland. You are able to submit on all plans, so feel free to submit on plans in areas where you work or regularly visit as well as where you live. Submissions close Wednesday 5pm.

21 comments to Submit on the Local Board plans

  • Hey, where did the electric cars post go?

    • John Polkinghorne

      We got our scheduling a bit wrong, and my electric cars post went up just a few minutes after someone else’s, whereas we usually try to space them out. We’ve pulled the electric vehicles one back out, and will republish it sometime next week.

  • Geoff Blackmore

    Of course Tamaki Drive parking should stay free. It’s a very popular place for people from all across Auckland. Half the pedestrians and roller bladers along the pathway get there in the first place by driving there. I wouldn’t expect anyone to be charged for a day out on the waterfront.

    And I’ll bet those who say users of the parking spaces should be charged will yell and scream if anyone dares suggest that users of the cycleway and footpath be charged, which is exactly the same thing!

    • Steve D

      > I wouldn’t expect anyone to be charged for a day out on the waterfront.

      You’re not being charged for a day out on the waterfront, you’re being charged to park your car. That said I doubt the remaining parking (outside e.g. Mission Bay) would be charged – what’d be the point?

      There’s no reason why there needs to be parking on both sides of the road all the way along, though, and that’s the more critical thing: actually making room for all the bikes. Which is easier to do by removing some parking than by reclamation.

      • Geoff Blackmore

        “You’re not being charged for a day out on the waterfront, you’re being charged to park your car.”

        Parking car = using Tamaki Drive infrastructure.
        Cycling = using Tamaki Drive infrastructure.
        Walking = using Tamaki Drive infrastructure.

        All three use a similar amount of space, so I don’t see why one should be singled out for charging. Especially when it’s the main one enabling people to be there in the first place, making it the vibrant area that it is.

        • Steve D

          > All three use a similar amount of space, so I don’t see why one should be singled out for charging.

          It’s a fair question, but the obvious distinction is that walking, cycling, fishing, and so on are what you go to Tamaki Drive in order to do. (Or even driving along Tamaki Drive without stopping). Those things are the day out on the waterfront. While parking is just an artefact of how you chose to get there. I guess you might go to Tamaki Drive for the sheer joy of executing a parallel park, but you could do that more-or-less anywhere else where there’s oodles of parking available for free.

          It’s also worth pointing out that if you’d caught a bus to Tamaki Drive, you’d have to pay for that. And even for driving, just because the parking is “free”, your car trip as a whole isn’t. I guess the principle is debatable, but it’s a system we apply to pretty much everything else that any level of government provides “for free” – parks, libraries, museums, schools, hospitals, etc. You get the service for free, but getting there is your own responsibility. If you happen to need to store a tonne and a half of metal when you get there, they treat that the way the council normally does – a bit of free parking where that’s cheap and not too space-hungry, and when it’s no longer feasible, some combination of expecting you to park farther away, time limits, parking fees, or actively discouraging driving in favour of other modes of transport.

          But like I say, I don’t think we should, (or is the council likely to) charge for parking on Tamaki Drive, outside the town centres like Mission Bay. It just seems like overkill, there’s still tons of parking in the area even if Tamaki Drive itself loses a few spaces.

        • counterpoint

          While I think your point doesn’t stand (you are after all, being charged specifically for parking, not for “a day on the waterfront”), it seems obvious to me that walking and parking a car do not use a similar amount of space. As has been pointed out below, its not hard to imagine that the majority of people in the area on any given day are likely to live in the many houses that are in immediately adjacent suburbs, rather than far flung commuters.

    • Nik

      Does the opportunity cost of free parking versus outweigh the benefits of cycle lanes?

      What about if parking facilities can be provided elsewhere and an active mode be utilised to get to where you’re going?

  • Luke C

    The local board proposal involves building a lovely walkway and separated cycleway. However in order to do this they want to expand the seawall the length of Tamaki Dr. Of course this has a very high cost, so will take decades. Their renders all show parking lining the street on both sides. The council could save a fortune by forgetting about the parking, and just building a world class walkway and cycleway. And it could be done in a couple of years. Suspect each parking space would cost about $100,000 which is a ridiculous subsidy. Would much rather see money put into slashing weekend and family fares to ensure people can afford to get there. Not under new network bus every 15 mins from Britomart to GI via Tamaki Dr, which gives good PT options for most people in the city.

  • Geoff Blackmore

    “The council could save a fortune by forgetting about the parking, and just building a world class walkway and cycleway.”

    If you go there on weekends, you’ll find hundreds of cars parked along Tamaki Drive, and hundreds of people walking/roller blading/cycling along Tamaki Drive. Same people. Discourage Aucklanders from going there by discouraging driving, and you won’t need to upgrade the walkway/cycleway, as there won’t be enough demand for it anymore.

    Another option would be to bi-level the car park at Mission Bay, so cars don’t need to park for miles back along Tamaki Drive.

    • Ran Derson

      Why stop at a two level car park? Why not make it the tallest car park in the southern hemisphere so that all of Auckland could enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Mission Bay?

      • Geoff Blackmore

        Tall buildings? There’s plenty of those along Tamaki Drive.

        What’s better, a mere four metre high second level on the car park, surrounded by terraced gardens and trees, or hundreds of cars parked along Tamaki Drive?

    • Rharris

      I do exactly wonder why you bother reading this blog and wasting your time on it. Most your comments I ignore as they’re filled with rambling half truths. I just hope other people start ignoring them so I don’t have to trawl through the crap to find interesting comments.

      • Geoff Blackmore

        You haven’t added one iota of constructive solutions to the issues raised, so – pot, kettle, black.

        • Nor have you added constructive solutions. Please explain why you think ratepayers should pay for a multi storey carpark on prime waterfront land. Perhaps you could also point out other world class cities focusing on using their waterfronts for the storage of cars (for free). Please also provide proof that all the people walking it cycling on Tamaki Dr are people who have driven and parked there. My guess is a large number are locals.

          • Geoff Blackmore

            “Please explain why you think ratepayers should pay for a multi storey carpark on prime waterfront land”

            It’s already a car park, I’m not suggesting putting a car park anywhere other than where cars already park. It’s a constructive solution.

            Amazing how some who don’t want cars parked on Tamaki Drive will shoot down any ideas for achieving just that. Perhaps only solutions that discourage driving in the first place are acceptable to you? That’s hardly constructive or realistic when most Aucklanders drive to the beach on weekends.

  • Thanks for the positive feedback about the Puketapapa Local Board draft – please don’t forget to submit by Wednesday, to date we have less than 20 submissions, so your voice will definitely be heard!

    • JimboJones

      I don’t agree that its wholly positive. Improved bus lane hours would make the biggest immediate improvement to Puketapapa’s public transport with minimal cost. Considering that isn’t mentioned I can only assume local businesses have too much influence with the local board?

      • Martin V

        Had just finished making a “more effective bus lanes” submission on Puketapapa Board site – before reading Jimbo’s similar comments. Longer bus lanes (morning, southern end of Mt Eden road) and longer bus lane hours (afternoon, Mt Eden village) would be quick and effective ways to “improve transport connections”.

  • Tamati

    As a cyclist, I can’t stand the Fanshaw street bus lane. Traffic just treats Fanshaw Street as an extension of the motorway, buses and cars scream along the bus lane in both directions. Definitely the worst place to cycle in the CBD, Something needs to be done to separate cyclists from buses here otherwise there WILL be a fatality.

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