Al­ter­na­tive trans­port plan aims for fewer cars on the road

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

Those be­hind an al­ter­na­tive vi­sion for fix­ing Auck­land’s trans­port woes say their plan would be cheaper and eas­ier to build than other op­tions.

The Auck­land Trans­port Blog and youth move­ment Gen­er­a­tion Zero have put for­ward a com­pre­hen­sive plan for how they see the fu­ture of get­ting around Auck­land and it’s gain­ing a fol­low­ing.

Us­ing a se­ries of stylised maps akin to the clas­sic Lon­don Un­der­ground one, the Con­ges­tion Free Net­work shows how the two or­gan­i­sa­tions see the fu­ture of Auck­land trans­port.

Where much of the pro­posed in­vest­ment out­lined by Prime Min­is­ter John Key two weeks ago would see money ploughed into im­prov­ing the road net­work for pri­vate ve­hi­cles, the al­ter­na­tive vi­sion prefers get­ting less cars on the roads.

Blog edi­tor Pa­trick Reynolds says when it comes to trans­port you get what you build for.

If what you build is roads, what you will in­vari­ably get is cars driv­ing on and even­tu­ally clog­ging up those roads.

Nor is the Con­ges­tion Free Net­work seek­ing a much in­creased rail pres­ence.

Rather it’s a sys­tem that by 2030 would in­clude some rail ex­ten­sions, in­clud­ing a fin­ger out to Mt Roskill from Mt Al­bert, a com­pre­hen­sive net­work of busways, and ferry links be­tween Hob­sonville and Half Moon Bay.

‘‘We should only do rail where we can jus­tify the ex­pen­di­ture, for ex­am­ple in the city where there is no more road space avail­able.

‘‘On the edges it is a lot bet­ter to use the shoul­ders for buses and add some sta­tions.’’

Mr Reynolds says a good trans­port net­work of­fers two things: op­tions other than driv­ing, and a way of avoid­ing driv­ing al­to­gether.

‘‘This is an ur­ban so­lu­tion for one city of scale – Auck­land,’’ Mr Reynolds says.

‘‘It’s not anti-roads but we have the roads and we have to stop blow­ing ever- in­creas­ing amounts of money on them.

‘‘Auck­land is grow­ing and con­ges­tion will just grow if we keep th­ese poli­cies.’’

The ar­chi­tec­tural pho­tog­ra­pher says the al­ter­na­tive plan is sup­port­ive of the City Rail Link and a sec­ond har­bour cross­ing, but one that is rail only.

Mr Reynolds says through his work he spends much of his time look­ing at and think­ing about built forms.

In Auck­land peo­ple have failed to live up to the stan­dards set by the stun- ning nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

Bet­ter trans­port plan­ning would go some way to im­prov­ing the ‘‘shape’’ of the city.

‘‘The great news is that Auck­land is re­ally fix­able. It’s small enough for that to be pos­si­ble but big enough that there is the money around to do it.’’

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