Cre­at­ing a Trans­port Net­work

Element - - BUSINESS -

Auck­land’s trans­port ‘net­work’ is, let’s face it, laugh­able. We have a stunted rail­way line with a cou­ple of mi­nor off­shoots, none of which con­nect to the in­ter­na­tional air­port, and a nov­elty tram that does lit­tle cir­cles of some re­ju­ve­nat­ing seafront in­dus­trial ar­eas at a pace slower than you can jog. Ev­ery­thing else re­lies on a few ma­jor roads and a whole lot of pa­tience. In­de­pen­dent re­search com­mis­sioned by The New Zealand Trans­port Agency and re­leased last month es­ti­mates the cost of con­ges­tion in Auck­land, tak­ing into ac­count the dif­fer­ence be­tween the cost of a ‘free flow­ing’ sys­tem and the sit­u­a­tion at peak times, at $1.25b per year.

The draft Plan states that: “Build­ing a re­silient trans­port net­work, around a more com­pact ur­ban form, will con­trib­ute to our success as an in­ter­na­tional city that at­tracts mi­grants, busi­nesses and tourists.”

One ex­pres­sion of this as­pi­ra­tion is the Coun­cil’s ‘South­ern Ini­tia­tive’, which in­cludes pro­pos­als to im­prove pub­lic trans­port from Otara and Man­gere in the north to Pa­pakura in the south. The Coun­cil’s pre­vi­ously pub­lished City Mas­ter­plan also out­lined its vi­sion for a new City Rail Link, in­cor­po­rat­ing pub­lic trans­port sta­tions at Karanga­hape Road, New­ton and Aotea Quar­ter. There is also a key strat­egy for con­nect­ing the ‘Key Fringe’ ar­eas of Three Lamps, Pon­sonby, Arch Hill, New­ton, Grafton, New­mar­ket, Par­nell and Devon­port with the CBD, via a com­pre­hen­sive set of new and ex­ist­ing walking, cy­cling, bus, rail and ferry routes.

To save space for of­fices, shops and homes and to en­cour­age the use of pub­lic trans­port the Plan also pro­poses to re­move the re­quire­ment for de­vel­op­ments in and around met­ro­pol­i­tan, town, and lo­cal cen­tres to pro­vide car park­ing. A max­i­mum limit would be set on the amount of park­ing pro­vided for of­fices, and spe­cial park­ing spa­ces would be al­lo­cated for car-shar­ing, small cars, hy­brid ve­hi­cles and mo­tor­cy­cles. Cy­cling would be fur­ther en­cour­aged by the pro­vi­sion of free, se­cure, cov­ered cy­cle parks and some ac­tiv­i­ties and de­vel­op­ments would be re­quired to pro­vide cy­cle park­ing and chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

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