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Speaker: It's called "planning" for a reason

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  • Keir Leslie,

    Can I just note that using Wellington as a metonym for the Government in these discussions is a really annoying habit, and rather confusing to boot?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1264 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Especially when most folk deal with layers of local body government as the place/s of first recourse?

    For the record, I've never understood the supposed antipathy-towards-Auckland that is supposed to exist in the South. I have friends and family who live there (or within the environs) and there is no resentment or envy of them or the place they live in-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    If it worries [other councils], and Auckland has historically not been well-treated by [government], then that says that they're worried that about Auckland getting something that looks more like "fair" treatment.

    Quite apart from redressing the historic unbalance we've talked about, a louder aggregated voice might also cause some unfair allocation of resources and opportunities (given the arbitrariness of politics especially under this bunch of evidence-free clowns).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "this bunch of evidence-free clowns"

    gold, Sacha, pure gold-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    If anyone happens to possess a PDF copy of Jan Gehl's Auckland Public Life Survey 2010 findings (previously on the ACC website), could they email it through to me? Would be much appreciated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • richard goldie, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    Thanks Patrick, youve heardb this from me already so now I'll share- Actually Im not anti train- I recognise trains' place, my hesitancy is twofold- 1) trains trains trains that’s all we hear- they have a place for sure, but I don’t like the fact that they are seen as a cure all. The roads will become less congested when we get the cars off them- this will happen when petrol heads to $3+ per litre and stays there, which is inevitable (which was well demonstrated a couple of years ago). I also like density, I think it makes for great cities, but Im not advocating Tokyo and I stated. The fact is Auckland’s density (lack) is real, using the same metrics LA is measured as one of the most dense cities in the world- can you believe it? Also remember they were referring to the old Auckland city, not the region now governed by Auckland Council.


    I also believe, as I have hinted, that in the longer term rail will prevail- but I am also certain we’re not going to have a rail network like London’s any day soon, when you only have to walk 400m or so to a station. In just the same way as we’re not going to achieve a Barcelona/Paris level of density anytime soon (which I also hold up as decent urban models for lots of rational reasons- in their current form, both were created just pre car, seems we could slip back there pretty easily too?) It’ll take time to get there, beyond our time Im sure, but its important that we get the right moves in place along the journey. Patience people! guess you might call this the 'slow city movement'

    No im not interested in designing roads (although I do think they could be integrated into the urban environment a lot better though) remember I’m a harbour tunnel man

    auckland • Since Dec 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to richard goldie,

    I recognise trains’ place, my hesitancy is twofold- 1) trains trains trains that’s all we hear- they have a place for sure, but I don’t like the fact that they are seen as a cure all

    I haven't heard anyone suggesting that trains are a cure-all for Auckland's transport woes - a larger fraction of the pie would be ideal, but no-one ever asked for the whole pie.

    I think the reason it feels like everyone is speaking out in favour of rail investment is that massive roading investment is so built into the thinking of those in charge that it simply never needs to be spoken of - roads are built by default. In contrast, the amount of outcry needed to get rail projects even considered must seem deafening.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I wasn't clued into the debate at the time - but was there similar hooha over the Northern Busway when that was put in?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to richard goldie,

    trains trains trains that’s all we hear- they have a place for sure, but I don’t like the fact that they are seen as a cure all.

    Richard, nice to have you commenting.
    It's less that trains are "seen as a cure all" than that they're going to be largely immune to fluctuating petroleum prices (unlike buses in the medium-term) and they can move a lot of people.
    Buses will remain the predominant mode of public transport forever, and I don't think any of the rail advocates have considered otherwise, but a lot of what's needed to improve bus services requires minimal capital outlay. Ignoring AMETI, which will require capital works to build a separated bus-way, much of the rest of what's needed can be done simply by exercise of political will (not bowing to the moneyed classes of the Eastern Bays) and opening more bus lanes. We have plenty of buses. We have plenty of bus shelters that can be moved if they're not required in their current locations. We have absolutely no shortage of road on which the buses can be driven. Reworking services has no capital cost, except for re-printing the signs that go at bus shelters, and will do wonders for the usability of the bus system.

    By contrast, expanding rail services is not so easy. You're hearing "trains, trains, trains" because expansion requires capital outlay. Lots of it. The tunnel is essential if services are to grow to meet future demand. A line to the airport makes a lot of sense, particularly given the unavoidably-convoluted path that non-express buses must follow from Mangere, Puhinui and the airport in order to get to the CBD. Long-term, rail to the south-east will improve the lot of those suburbs, and if it's built with freight capacity as well it could ease the truck load on the roads around East Tamaki.

    However, none of this is possible without money. It's bad enough that Joyce took away our funding for electric trains and now, ever so generously, is letting us borrow so they can be bought. But adding insult to injury is the public begging being forced upon Auckland's management to get money for an essential infrastructure project that'll expand the capacity of the existing rail network as well as making future network expansion feasible.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The only way to pry the purse open in the face of such bigotry and ignorance is to justify it in terms of “It’s important for the economy.” Anything else is “It’s just those fucking Aucklanders taking more of my hard-earned money!”

    They both sound like pretty awful arguments to me.

    I note that the economy argument does get used elsewhere - Tranmission Gully in Wellington for example. I just would have thought that the only argument you'd need for investment in Auckland's public transport system is that it has tended to suck for several decades, and the century of the car is the one that we just had, that won't fly fifty years from now, and the tremendous amount that needs to be spent on roads, bridges etc if the population doubles during that time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6151 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I just would have thought that the only argument you’d need for investment in Auckland’s public transport system is that it has tended to suck for several decades, and the century of the car is the one that we just had, that won’t fly fifty years from now

    You'd have thought so, yes. Unfortunately our Minister of Clutching-the-Purse-Strings firmly believes that people will continue to prefer personal cars no matter what happens to petrol prices. He's said as much in the House. He thinks the time to reconsider will be when petrol gets to $5/L or thereabouts, judging by his responses to questions from the Greens, and even that reconsideration will be pretty minimal. Certainly no recognition that by the time petrol is $5/L it'll be too late to reconsider and the entire country will be fucked.

    the tremendous amount that needs to be spent on roads, bridges etc if the population doubles during that time

    They have no problem with that. In fact, the more roads and bridges the better, provided they're not expected to carry trains too. However, Auckland actually doesn't need all that much new roading infrastructure. We've got most of what we need, even accounting for another 600k residents, other than roads in new subdivisions. What we really need is huge investment in rail, pushing it out to the south-east and -west and starting to investigate how to get it across the harbour in around 2030-2040.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Oh, and the other factor militating against money going into Auckland's public transport is that this is a National government. National've fucked up any number of transport projects in Auckland (skimped on the Harbour Bridge, canned Robbie's Rail, bisected the inner city with motorways, pushed the councils to pull up the tram tracks because cars were the way of the future...), so why ruin a perfect record?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I thoroughly recommend this post by (who else) Joshua Arbury outlining the history and showing what could have been. Worth it just for the grainy Ministry of Works 1946 network map.

    While there are some rather dubious aspects to the above plan, like the eastern motorway, there is also a lot in this plan that makes huge amounts of sense. The city’s development is skewed south-east to north-west, to take more advantage of the railway line’s alignment. There is the Morningside Deviation (today’s CBD Rail Tunnel), there’s the Avondale-Southdown line (to reinforce the south-east to north-west alignment), plus there is actually good transport access to the East Tamaki area.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • James Green, in reply to richard goldie,

    The fact is Auckland’s density (lack) is real, using the same metrics LA is measured as one of the most dense cities in the world- can you believe it?

    Some parts of LA really are more dense, but depending on where you draw your LA line, large tracts have very similar density to Auckland. And they are (re)building trains.

    However, what I would suggest is more important is the planning. Auckland certainly isn't as dense as Santa Monica, for example, which still retains a largely surburban feel. However, Auckland should be planning for increased density around new and existing links. I'd guess Auckland's density is going to increase, and that needs to not happen in an ad-hoc fashion.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 682 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to James Green,

    I’d guess Auckland’s density is going to increase, and that needs to not happen in an ad-hoc fashion.

    Well, we hope. But the current government are pretty anti the MUL, and if they successfully get it ditched then increasing density is going to be difficult because the Council will be obliged to release urban fringe land for development.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Well, we hope. But the current government are pretty anti the MUL, and if they successfully get it ditched then increasing density is going to be difficult because the Council will be obliged to release urban fringe land for development.

    And relaxing the MUL's, in spite of all the spin, isn't necessarily going to lead to 'affordable housing'. If anything, it'll likely mean more McMansions and suburban fortr.... oops, gated communities.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4065 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Would be interesting to see where Auckland would sit if you add it to this chart. And of course, if they relax the MUL, then those sort of figures are only going to get worse.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 682 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    the Council will be obliged to release urban fringe land for development

    Not that there are any wealthy land-bankers rubbing their hands together with glee or anything..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    Not that there are any wealthy land-bankers rubbing their hands together with glee or anything

    Of course not. That has nothing whatsoever to do with Joyce's view that the MUL is an evil communist plot to govern how people live. As opposed to urban sprawl around roads, which is a good capitalist plot to govern how people live.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Matt P: Would Prostetnic Vogon Joyce go as far as doing a Greater London Council on Mayor Brown, if Brown refuses to budge?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4065 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to DeepRed,

    Given that Megatropolis is of the current government's making, I doubt it. GLC long pre-dated the Thatcher government. Joyce may, however, act as "bag man" for the CitRat candidate to try and buy them a much higher profile.
    He also has the option of stifling Brown's rail vision for just long enough that Brown gets ejected in 2013 (assuming National wins next year), at which point the entire issue becomes moot. National won't be around when Auckland grinds to a screaming halt due to forced under-investment in public transport, so they don't care how it pans out.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    In a triumph of illogic, ignorant numpties writing the Herald's editorials join Joyce's anti-rail chorus. Surely, they breathlessly intone, if Auckland's rail network can survive being shut down over its least busy time of year for exceptional major rebuilding work then the whole thing must be simply unnecessary. Trucks and buses uber alles.

    Maybe rail commuters are all on holiday at this time of year, or maybe those working are just as happy to take the buses that Auckland Transport has arranged.

    In that case, it may be wondered why the city is getting an upgraded rail service to run at untold operating losses, if buses can do the same job.

    ...

    The case for upgrading rail rests on assumptions that it will attract many more people to live near a station or become employers in the CBD. It is a gamble the Auckland Council is willing to take with the Government's money. "Build it", say our civic visionaries, "and commuters will come".

    They point to the growth in rail passengers since the Britomart terminal was built. But it was apparent to early assessors of the business plan for rail project that it would probably draw passengers from certain bus routes rather than increase public transport patronage overall. That impression is reinforced by the ease with which buses have been substituted for trains during this rail shutdown.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes, that was quite the disgusting ignorant hatchet job. So many holes it was hard to know where to start with my reply.
    Obviously the Southern Parking Lot is a complete waste of money, given that it's going to be closed for three consecutive nights, 10 hours per night, next week. Clearly it's totally unnecessary if it can just be closed like that.

    Fucking idiots. Reads like a stream of consciousness from our illustrious Minister for the Road Transport Forum.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That Herald editorial ... it's one thing for the paper to take an editorial position. Quite another for the actual argument offered to be as feeble and petulant as that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That Herald editorial ... it's one thing for the paper to take an editorial position. Quite another for the actual argument offered to be as feeble and petulant as that.

    I think we know who the author is, and he wasn't too fond of Len Brown to begin with. When Brown actually won the mayoralty, said author was conspicuously nowhere to be seen.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4065 posts Report Reply

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