Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Sunday in Super City

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  • Sacha,

    Thought he was in Hawkes Bay or somewhere now?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    SteveH, thanks I was wondering whether there were any in Sydney which are they though, I can't think of any on the lines I use?

    There are quite a few on the Carlingford line. I believe they are planning to build a line from Epping to Parramatta which will incorporate the Carlingford line. That will involve replacing or upgrading those stations to handle 8 car trains.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My general feeling on another Harbour Crossing is "what's the hurry?"

    I guess the answer is: These things take an awfully long time to organize, and it's only going to happen if there is a political will to make it happen.

    Remember, the harbour crossing project has a cost of $4 billion or more. Would that money be better spent on a railway line out to southeast Auckland? I'd be curious.

    I would be too. The thing about the harbor crossing is that it's a bottleneck, so any improvements there create general improvements in all of the traffic flow near the city. But southeast are certainly poorly catered for. More bus lanes for them could be a short term trick. The bus commutes sound awful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Traffic flows across the Harbour Bridge have been steadily declining over the past 5 years as employmenr on the Shore grows and as more people choose to bus into town. Around 35% of people crossing the bridge at peak times are on a bus.

    Josh, did you get that from this ARTA graph, or is there more data somewhere else? If it's from the graph then I'm not sure I'd agree that traffic flows are steadily declining - car trip numbers look pretty constant to me. And I'd point out that the graph only covers the 7-9am period into the CBD. It presumably doesn't include the northbound traffic (which I suspect is increasing as employment on the Shore grows), and doesn't address non-peak trips. It also doesn't address truck movements. Anyone got a more complete picture?

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Steve, NZTA show AADT (daily flow averaged over a year) for each bit of state highway. I can't remember the exact figures, but I should be able to find them.

    35% of people crossing the bridge on PT at peak times is pretty good. Around 50% of people entering the CBD at peak times also do so on PT. It's a cunny trick of Steven joyce to ignore this data and instead focus on total modeshare, which is less relevant as many of the car trips are short and to dispersed locations, so don't contribute much to congestion.

    If we could get the Harbour Bridge PT modeshare up to 50% I don't reckon we'd need another road crossing. Similarly, if we could get CBD-bound PT modeshare up to 75% the effect would be dramatic: far more pleasant inner-city streets and generally much less congestion.

    On a similar but slightly different note, I hope that councillors representing the Mangere area get right behind the push for airport rail. If there's ever an infrastructure project that will help improve the lot of people living in that part of Auckland, that is it. Mangere residents probably vie with those in Howick for having the city's worst PT.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Steve, NZTA show AADT (daily flow averaged over a year) for each bit of state highway. I can't remember the exact figures, but I should be able to find them.

    I'd be interested, if they're not too difficult to find.

    35% of people crossing the bridge on PT at peak times is pretty good.

    Yes, it's certainly impressive. I would not have guessed it was so high. And it's notable that all of the growth in passenger use of the bridge is due to the busway - it is allowing more people to get across the bridge.

    Similarly, if we could get CBD-bound PT modeshare up to 75% the effect would be dramatic: far more pleasant inner-city streets and generally much less congestion.

    Would it reduce congestion? Or would car numbers remain static like they seem to have with the busway? Not that it really matters if car numbers drop or not, it's just as much a win if they stay static.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    I'd be interested, if they're not too difficult to find.

    The 2005 to 2009 stats are available to read here.

    2005 - 166126
    2006 - 168754
    2007 - 165737
    2008 - 154925
    2009 - 158102

    (note, I have added together centre-span and both clip ons to get this total)

    So not exactly a steady decline, but a fairly significant decline all the same.

    Would it reduce congestion? Or would car numbers remain static like they seem to have with the busway? Not that it really matters if car numbers drop or not, it's just as much a win if they stay static.

    That's a good question really - would the roads just fill up with other cars when people switch to public transport? Possibly to some extent, although there is probably a significant economic advantage to being able to get 25,000 people across the Harbour Bridge in two peak hours compared to say 20,000.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    What for? Does anyone ride a bike to the rugby?

    Hey! Last time I saw the Hurricanes play at Eden Park (only time TBH) me and a buddy biked over.

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Ross McA.,

    Great to hear your new mayor on the radio talking rail.
    Can't help thinking we missed out on democracy here in Chch. Partly cos of the quake , but mainly because Bob opted out and wouldn't paticipate.

    Since Mar 2010 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    On a lighter note, Danyl has a telling photo of Len Brown, Murray McCully and John Key from the Eden Park opening, complete with caption competition (look quickly, before Farrar sics NZPA onto him and they remove the pic).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Can't help thinking we missed out on democracy here in Chch.

    By way of compensation there's Bob the born-again Bats fan. Seems that the real reason he couldn't engage in debate was that he was too busy learning the chords to North by North.
    Awwwww . . .

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Matthews,

    Russell.. I'm thrilled you have not just embraced cycling but now discovered the new renaissance of rail in Auckland. I'm an addict of the Auckland Trains site (http://www.aucklandtrains.co.nz/) but everyone used to laugh at me as I had become some tragic trainspotter. Now it's become very fashionable and I'm glad with your endorsement, I can now come out of the closet and say I'm a big user of trains!

    Auckand • Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    35% seems a really large number, is that with lots of park and ride support?

    A reasonable amount (though I'm really pleased we've got off- street parking, because the streets around Constellation station fill up PDQ most mornings). But it's also got a lot to do with some thought going into feeding peak services through the busway stations.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    I suspect it's much more than the two official park and rides at Albany and Constellation. This graph tends to indicate that around 9000ish people catch PT across the Harbour Bridge into Auckland's CBD during the 7-9am peak.

    How many park and ride spaces are there? 500 at each of the two stations? Plus a few hundred more sprinkled around streets I suppose.

    It still indicates that a large number of people catch feeder buses, or catch express buses that go through local streets before ending up on the busway.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Sigh,

    Did you know that I can travel by car the full length of Lower Hutt and get to work without going through a traffic light???**

    Or

    I could walk 10 mins to the station, catch the new train, ride it for 20min while reading the paper while sitting in my own seat, walk 10min and be at work.

    Or

    Ride my bike the full length of Lower Hutt and get to work in 30min (dowhill) or 40 min (uphill) back home without going through a traffic light?

    Trafiic?? What traffic???

    ** Wifey thing can be in the car as well. We hold hands even. ;-0

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • anth,

    did you get that from this ARTA graph, or is there more data somewhere else? If it's from the graph then I'm not sure I'd agree that traffic flows are steadily declining - car trip numbers look pretty constant to me. And I'd point out that the graph only covers the 7-9am period into the CBD.

    NZTA show AADT (daily flow averaged over a year) for each bit of state highway ... not exactly a steady decline, but a fairly significant decline all the same.

    These two things together support the suggestion that the Busway has made the commuter peaks shorter. People who used to go early now sleep in a few more minutes as they can still arrive on time, people who leave at a set time later on (perhaps after a school drop off) now get through during the peak instead of a bit afterwards. I don't commute over there and haven't seen any other figures so don't know if there is any merit to this idea. Some data for traffic from 6-7am and 9-10am would be interesting.

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    So not exactly a steady decline, but a fairly significant decline all the same.

    Including older data changes the picture a bit I think:
    2001 - 150610
    2002 - 155260
    2003 - 162960
    2004 - 161990
    2005 - 166126
    2006 - 168754
    2007 - 165737
    2008 - 154925
    2009 - 158102

    It's too soon to be sure, but I suspect that the busway caused a one-off drop of about 12,000 trips per day and that the numbers will creep back up to their previous level. It looks like there was a pretty consistent increasing trend up until 2008 when the busway opened. The numbers increased again by 3,000 in 2009. I'd expect to see it back up to around 161,000 for 2010. I'd be cautious of inferring any sort of ongoing decline.

    ...there is probably a significant economic advantage to being able to get 25,000 people across the Harbour Bridge in two peak hours compared to say 20,000.

    Yes, it's definitely still a winner. Even if/when we get back to 169,000 trips across the bridge per day those trips will carry more people. The bridge will be used more efficiently and there will be per-person savings in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Remember that 2008 was also "$2 a litre petrol" year. Across the board a lot less kilometres were driven in 2008. From memory the road toll was about 20 less than any other year since the 1960s as well (which makes one think, is raising petrol tax the best way to cut the road toll).

    In the end it's probably a combination of factors. However, I don't think any of the factors are particularly short-term.

    Northern Busway patronage is still growing at about 20% year-on-year. Probably one of the smartest things we could do to get more people on public transport would be to buy some big long new bendy buses and run them as Northern Express services. Then expand the Albany Park & Ride, build some apartments on the vacant land next to Akoranga busway station and there ya go.

    In terms of higher oil prices, we could probably have a whole thread on them - but keeping things really short I think it's pretty obvious that in the longer run prices will be higher than they are now, not lower.

    As employment continues to increase on the North Shore (ie. as Albany develops further) more people on the Shore will be able to work without crossing the bridge. Many of the worst traffic on the Harbour Bridge is now experienced in the evenings southbound (ie - against the peak flow).

    In short, there are quite a few factors to suggest that we think really carefully before committing $4 billion to another harbour crossing.

    Some further thoughts that I've had in the past on this matter are able to be read here.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    In terms of higher oil prices, we could probably have a whole thread on them - but keeping things really short I think it's pretty obvious that in the longer run prices will be higher than they are now, not lower.

    Yes. They are bounded above by the price of biofuel, though. If we ever reach that point, I actually expect the only direction would be down, as production becomes more and more efficient. Cars could actually be here to stay. But for a city to grow, it's obvious that it needs well developed public transport.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    So, did this be seen?
    Way to reign on his parade.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's all negotiating bluster at this stage. Ak Trains has a clip of Joyce in Parliament today answering questions about whether his faith-based prioritising of highways over rail will continue.

    However, the real sorting out will be happening over the next weeks and months, and the landscape has changed whether trucker-boy likes it or not.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    However, the real sorting out will be happening over the next weeks and months, and the landscape has changed whether trucker-boy likes it or not.

    Prostetnic Vogon Joyce vs Red Len, anyone?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Let's just hope that Len gets some good advisors on hand so that he doesn't get bullied by Mr Joyce.

    I agree with Sacha that the landscape has changed. These are exciting times for PT advocates, though we don't want to lose the momentum.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Joshua, I get the impression they may need your help fisking some of the continued lying about the basic usage numbers that underpin business cases and cost-benefit analyses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Ha ha, well I spotted at least three lies in Joyce's answers in parliament today.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

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