Speaker by Various Artists

Read Post

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

142 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

  • Christiaan,

    Agreed.

    London, UK • Since Dec 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    Good to see some more writing about these issues. Interested readers might also want to check out my lovely wife's writings on urban design in Idealog here and here. Hopefully there is more to come from the real experts in this field.

    These issues are too important to play political football with and I long for the day when we have a vision for an Auckland that will help us grow for the next 100 years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    You've got my vote at the next Super Mayor elections...

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Would much rather have a bridge like the proposed Centenary one than a tunnel, which is most likely going to be closed off for foot and bike traffic.

    As for the North Shore busway, it's useless to this Shore Boy. Suspect I'd feel different about it if I could e.g. take a bus home, or from Northcote to Devonport and also, if riding on that form of public transport wasn't such a dire experience that's actually quite costly. Maybe it's the superlative design of the busway, but it never seems particularly busy with commuters either.

    It'll be curious to see how well buses do when we start running out of oil in a serious fashion over the next few years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    We already have heaps of bus infrastructure; these are called ‘roads’.

    While it might be "heaps", it's not enough. Consider the CBD Rail Loop business case (pp. 30-31):

    Without the CBD Rail Link, Auckland CBD would require twin or triple bus lanes (both sides of road)
    on most corridors and, in the absence of these, constraints on inner city network capacity would
    occur as follows:
    Fanshawe Street between Beaumont and Hobson Street, would be at capacity in 2019;
    Symonds Street between Karangahape Road and Wellesley Street, would be at capacity by
    2014;
    Symonds Street between Khyber Pass Road and Karangahape Road, would be at capacity
    by 2019;
    Albert Street southbound, between Customs and Wellesley Streets, would be at capacity by
    2016; and
    Albert Street northbound, between Customs and Wellesley Streets, would be at capacity by
    2020.

    Note that "twin or triple bus lanes (both sides of road)" in the CBD means precious little sharing with any other transport mode.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Interesting that your pic of suburban terrace houses (Sydney?) has no obvious place for cars. Sydney streets are full of cars, which isn't so pleasant. People here see a car as vital, at least until something better in terms of transport is available. Making room for each terrace house dweller's car would scupper a compact 3-to-a-section terrace house build.

    There could of course be something fairly radical - one of those "filing cabinet" carparks at the end of each street. I think I'd prefer that.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And those calling for relaxations on metro limits aren't really interested in 'affordable housing', they're really more interested in building McMansions and gated communities, or an unholy alliance of the two.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Possibly in China buses can ram cars and run over pedestrians without consequence. Here people tend to whinge, so buses have to slow and take avoiding action (they even whinge about getting killed on railway tracks, which is Own Stupid Fault if anything is).

    That slows buses down. Then there's the way a bus, even an express bus, is compelled to tour housing estates and shopping areas, stopping every bus length to load and unload. (The Wellington airport bus takes 30 minutes to do the ten minute run to the CBD, because it tours all intermediate points on the way)

    Maybe we need "virtual trains" with dedicated space and widely spaced stops. It just seems easier to have real trains...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Architect you may be, but transport planner you clearly are not. Rail has it all over buses in terms of volume, and that includes three-carriage monster buses from China. As James Butler quotes, we don't have the street space to accommodate the buses that would be required to move the numbers of people that will be possible when the CBD tunnel is finally constructed. Rail wins on capacity, on space, and on reliability given that buses almost invariably have to share with cars at some point.

    Even the NSBW doesn't run end-to-end into the 'burbs, necessitating sharing with non-bus vehicles at either end. Contrast with a train, which has a dedicated corridor for the entire length of its service. Bigger, faster, better, more!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Mark.Rickerby,

    The thing that stands out for me is the almost unanimous framing of the Auckland public transport issue (from people all over the political spectrum) in terms of “pick one type and stick with it”. Thus investment in rail apparently must be at the cost of investment in roads and vice versa. Rail is seen as an alternative to buses, not a complimentary service.

    In terms of mental health, this is known as “black and white thinking”, and is a symptom of borderline personality disorder or bipolar.

    The reality is that no major city of the size of Auckland and larger can function properly without a diverse range of transport options. Trains, buses, and ferries each have different characteristics, different strengths and weaknesses.

    Aotearoa • Since Dec 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    The thing that stands out for me is the almost unanimous framing of the Auckland public transport issue (from people all over the political spectrum) in terms of “pick one type and stick with it”. Thus investment in rail apparently must be at the cost of investment in roads and vice versa. Rail is seen as an alternative to buses, not a complimentary service.

    I don't think I've seen that from advocates of the CBD rail loop... where has anyone advocated ripping up Auckland's existing bus lanes and putting down rails?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Mark.Rickerby,

    Mark, the only framing of "pick one and stick with it" is coming from the government in insisting that roads are the only way forward. That's seen in the Roads of Significance to National, in the changing NZTA's funding rules so that rail capital works don't have access to the pool, and in the reprioritising of safety so that pedestrians and cyclists are less-important than motor vehicle users.

    Those of us advocating for the CBD tunnel aren't saying rail is the end of the line. What's concerning us is that rail is getting a very poor deal compared to road, and even with all the money that's going into roads buses are still shit. As an example, from home in Ellerslie it's roughly 30 minutes door-to-door if I take the train to my CBD office. Six minutes walking at each end, 18 minutes on the train for the trip. By comparison, even with a bus stop a minute's walk away from the front door it's 30 minutes or more to Britomart and then a five minute walk to the office. If I jump off at the bottom of Anzac Ave it's still five minutes but I shave a couple of minutes off the bus ride. I've been late to meetings after stupidly jumping on an earlier bus ahead of waiting 10 minutes for a train that would've got me to the office in time.

    Anyone who understands transport properly (and I exclude the OP) knows you need mixed modes. Rail has capacity and travel time certainty benefits that buses can never hope to equal. But buses are flexible, whereas rail is not. Unless you're very lucky, rail cannot deliver you to your door. And neither of them is terribly good at swimming. All modes have their place, but Auckland has been poorly-served in planning and funding for transport and now we're in the current mess where the modes pretty much have to operate independently because it's so painful to try and cross between them. There's a cost penalty for changing, and often a time penalty. That lack of coordination does not help change views that only one mode can reign supreme, and from what I've heard the integrated ticketing will not fix things in terms of easing the pain of mode transfers.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Rickerby,

    My comment was probably based on having read similar rhetoric from advocates of public transport in opinion columns, but that's hardly a fair judgment of the wider community who *do* have a much more balanced view, sorry.

    Personally, I find it very difficult to understand what seems not just reticence, but outright hostility towards funding a rail loop and a CBD tunnel. In my view, that's the *least* possible work that can be done to build a viable long term transport system.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Mark Rickerby,

    You'll find that most of them aren't really advocates of public transport, at least not of a public transport network. Also, beware of letters to editors, given that they're frequently edited further and have limited words to start with. So they advocate for rail and mention nothing else, because rail's the topic directly at hand. That doesn't mean they think everything else should go.

    This is against the likes of the OP, who is very definitely advocating entirely for a single land-based mode of public transport but is doing so out of complete ignorance of the limitations of the mode he's pushing.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Mark Rickerby,

    Personally, I find it very difficult to understand what seems not just reticence, but outright hostility towards funding a rail loop and a CBD tunnel. In my view, that's the *least* possible work that can be done to build a viable long term transport system.

    Given the downsides of building yet another motorway extension north (it lowers our population density, spreading infrastructure costs over a wider area), and the imminent end of cheap oil, it would seem obtuse to favour roads over rail at this time.

    My working theory is that Joyce et al know exactly what they are doing: building infrastructure for the wealthy while they still can. They know that only the wealthy will be living in the lifestyle blocks and gated communities that will inevitably be created along the Holiday Highway. They also know that oil will still be available, only more expensive. They also know that the wealthy can afford the extra cost, and that motorways with fewer cars (due to higher fuel prices) is, peversely, a Good Thing For Them.

    As soon as peak oil hits (estimates are before 2020, with 2013-2015 being a strong possibility), roads will be off the menu because it will be clear that we can't afford to continue with 20th century attitudes towards transport.

    Remember, Joyce was behind National's racist rhetoric during the 2005 campaign, and is one of the key Hollow Men. This guy is quite capable of astonishingly cynical actions.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    What's depressing is that your hypothesis is entirely plausible. National don't give a toss about those on low incomes, so the increasing cost of living outside the major centres doesn't bother them in the slightest. Sucks to be in Northland, on a benefit that's been slashed to ribbons, having to buy goods that had to come by road from Auckland because the rail line got closed, and paying extra since the Road Transport Forum-member-owned transport firm that brought the goods up gets to charge monopoly rents because there's no competition from those nasty communist trains.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Rickerby,

    Yes, Joyce is an archetypal Hollow Man, if ever there was one. A demonstration of what happens when petty buck snivelling noveau riche gain control of public office.

    Though I would add that there's a significant historical/ideological context in the way that rail infrastructure was deliberately neglected and degraded since the late 1960's. New Zealand moved from being a railways culture to a car culture very rapidly in the late 20th century, and it's no coincidence that this progression is intricately linked to the long term collapse of the welfare state.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    To all the above: what Prostetnic Vogon Joyce's pet projects need is a good dose of Think Big baggage. Didn't Heather Simpson help discredit Muldoon's one?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Personally, I find it very difficult to understand what seems not just reticence, but outright hostility towards funding a rail loop and a CBD tunnel. In my view, that’s the *least* possible work that can be done to build a viable long term transport system.

    I am hostile to a rail loop -

    1. Giving money to rich people is not inherently popular.

    The CBD rail loop is an attempt to shovel money into the most over valued, expensive, ostentatious real estate in the country. Only the mega rich profit increasing the value of realestate downtown and they should not be catered for by providing yet more wasted infrastructure.

    2. Why do we need a centalised transportation system? Why do we need a CBD?

    A CBD uses office blocks and learning campuses to provide ease of communication and organisation amoung groups of people. Communication technologies are emerging to offer alternatives at decreasing prices. Peak Oil is coming, this means all commuting (not just motorways) is about to become more expensive.

    Global warming is occuring and so efficiency is again key.

    A CBD catered to by a centralised transportation system was a good mode for cities for the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. But we don't live there anymore.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Mikaere & Matt P: as in something like this?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    My working theory is that Joyce et al know exactly what they are doing: building infrastructure for the wealthy while they still can.

    i'm lead to believe it's much more simple that than, lobbyists, and highways in national seats. it's much the same with the broadband roll-out. NRT had an interesting post on there the broad-band is "needed".

    strangely, no labour seats among them. very very strange indeed.

    it's typical NZL party politics. national dishes out taxpayer dollars to business and national party support base, labour to "middle class" and public services.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Peak Oil is coming, this means all commuting (not just motorways) is about to become more expensive

    the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the IEA and the Saudis think that peak oil is already here, or has been and gone.

    it's only the GFC that has blunted the impact.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    That might work if this wasn't NZ, where most employers feel that if they can't see bums on seats 9-5, the workers are skiving off and not giving them value.

    Unless they *make* employers allow telecomuteing or radically change the nature of business ownership, it isn't going to make a difference.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Just have a look at the latest IRD downsizing of small areas (Greymouth & Timaru for instances...)

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

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Oh excellent, an urban planning blog post and with transport thrown in too!

    I agree with pretty much everything you say in terms of a harbour crossing and the necessity of the MUL. However, I disagree completely with what you have to say about transport.

    First reason - the assertion that Auckland's a very low density city by international standards. I call bullshit on that one - in fact if you look at the statistics you'll find that Auckland's population density is around 2200 people per square kilometre. That compares with Vancouver at 1700, Perth at 1200 and Brisbane at a measly 900. So Auckland certainly has the density to sustain a public transport system that includes rail.

    Second reason - why put all our eggs in one basket by focusing on buses alone? Sure, around 80% of Auckland's public transport use is on the bus network and it's likely to stay that way for some time yet. But what's the point of building a southern busway when we already have a railway line going south (that we're spending lots of money electrifying)? What's the point of a western busway when there's a western line (unless you're talking about a busway along SH16, in which case I agree completely).

    Buses suit some jobs best, rail suits other jobs best. Horses for courses I say - apply the best technology for the particular situation rather than going in with blinkered "buses/trains are always best!" ideology.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 236 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.