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The Standard

Public transport vs private transport. Don’t waste money on fasttracking motorways

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 am, November 26th, 2013 - 99 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, local government, phil twyford, public transport, Steven Joyce, transport - Tags: , , , , , ,

Ok, I know this image has a lot of issues. It is a 256 color gif which means it is dithered to hell. Whoever took it has issues with colour balance, tilt and even the focus point. But none of that matters. It certainly makes its point about what kind of road space we’re paying colossal amounts for and for what?

Transit-versus-Cars

Basically because there are a pile of numerically illiterate morons at the New Zealand Transport Authority and as National MPs who can’t seem to handle the fact that car traffic numbers are just dropping. FFS they have just let through some more motorway builds in Auckland that we probably don’t need. I guess it is one way for National MPs to get re-elected on the stupid vote. Why?  As Matt L at Auckland Transport Blog says

I imagine it would have been fairly embarrassing for the government if it had to go through some public consultation and the public rejected the projects.

Combined they are a commitment to more than a billion dollars of expenditure for roads that make little economic sense in era when private car usage in Auckland is going down as petrol prices go up (links in the images).

 

And meanwhile the idiotic traffic planners at NZ Transport Authority appear to be so in love with their obsession with a mythical traffic growth pattern that they are ignoring the reality of the actual decade long  pattern of static state highway growth.

And even more telling that Aucklanders don’t drive as much – so where in the hell are the drivers that are meant to populate the billions of dollars of roads coming from? Just look at the falling rate of kilometres people are travelling.

But then look at how traffic planners actually operate…

As Matt L says (BTW: I love Auckland Transport blog)

This graph was from a year ago and in the past when I’ve posed it, there have been some that say “look it’s starting to rise again” but the reality is it isn’t. The most recent monthly data shows traffic have flat-lined and volumes are still less than it was a decade ago (monthly figures only started in late 2007).

Meanwhile Auckland public transport even in its current appalling state keeps slowly rising as more new capacity is added. That is despite the complete screwup on integrated ticketing that apparently resulted from Stephen Joyce preventing intervention by ARTA in the snapper card decision a few years ago. Presumably to allow his mates in Infratil to continue to extract money out of Auckland public transport. Basically I can’t see any other logical reason for him to make such a colossal error of judgement.

Of course the biggest single problem with  public transport in NZ and especially in Auckland has to the the funding of infrastructure. Why? Well despite their insane optimism about the mythical maniacs driving on motorways, they constantly underestimate the takeup on infrastructure of public transport when we finally extract it from dipshit politicians who are so in love with road builders.  Britomart is a good example. Even without the City Rail Link that would allow the rail system in Auckland to finally allow trains to operate efficiently where required, people are using the station far more than projected.. I’d love to show the graph of parking costs in central Auckland to demonstrate one reason why. I use buses to go into town, or even taxis. They are cheaper than parking.

Of course there is always the “disaster” of  Northern busway travelling to and from the North Shore. Despite the right wing idiots (like John Roughan* in 2007 and even now in 2013) commenting throughout its construction, it appears to have been successful.  Of course providing a system that allows commuters read while rapidly going to and from work is going to be unsuccessful right? Wrong. The predictions of loadings caused the only real problem. They didn’t multistory the parking lots at the station because some fools thought that traffic would rise so slowly that they’d never need it. Dickheads…

Essentially, Aucklanders are coming out of their cars for exactly the reason displayed in the flashing image above. Now while this would be a problem for road makers if they hadn’t already pocketed the NZTA planners and Stephen Joyce/Gerry Brownlee/etc and got them  wasting taxpayers money by fast tracking useless motorway projects for their profits. In the meantime each public transport project is done with central government reluctance and but has immense usage and popularity. Basically Aucklanders probably need to tear the transport taxes from the central government so we can build the transport system we need. That is something I tghink a lot of Aucklanders would want to vote for…

My thanks to the amazing bloggers at Transport Blog (hey, they changed their name – still mostly Auckland :) ).

* I’ve come to the conclusion that John Roughan must be one of the best predictors of anything in Auckland. Basically whatever he says should be done is completely opposite to what should be done. It is so consistent that he must be a perfect reverse midas stone for someone. If you always bet against him, then you’re far more likely to be right. But he is also so completely dumb. After listening to him moan about how much of a pain that the traffic from the North Shore is, you’d have to ask why he hasn’t just hopped on a bus?

99 comments on “Public transport vs private transport. Don’t waste money on fasttracking motorways”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I got sick of constantly rising petrol so I got a bike. My monthly petrol bill for my routine life is now about $20.

    Cycling has been an eye opener, in particular how lethally bad Auckland’s roads are for cyclists. So simple road rule changes – like giving absolute right of way on zebra crossings to pedestrians ansd cyclists – and lane seperation of cycle lanes would see an explosion of cycling. Imagine how many lives saved/injuries prevented there would be if they spent few hundred million of the money allocated for roads on a dedicated cycle network! Auckland is crisscrossed with dozens of parks, designed a largely separated cuycle network would be a cinch – and no need to build it with gigantic trucks in mind, so it will be way cheaper.

    And there is the rub. The trouble with a cycle network is roading companies can’t give a kickback for building it.

  2. karol 2

    Thanks, Lynn.

    It is continually frustrating for me to use public transport. My use is infrequent and irregular. So when I look on MAXX’s (strange) planner for a specific journey, I ften find the time it would take to travel from one side of Auckland to another is much longre than it would take by car: eg if going from new Lynn to the North Shore or South Auckland. This has a lot to do with bus journeys being convulted and long through infrequently used routes. And most journeys to North or South involves going through Britomart/Newmarket.

    Train journeys to and from Britomart still far too long. Off peak it is much quicker to go by car – usually I travel at times when it’s possible to find a park. And probably not more expensive if I pay for parking.

    And now I have to work out what to do with my old (only a few months old) HOP card. I believe it’s now defunct and I need a new one.

    • framu 2.1

      re train – from out west its still quicker by car even during rush hour(s)

      from all three aspects of cost, ease of use and time the car wins hands down

      between me and my partner we spend $25 each per week by car (not including maintenance etc) – by train? somewhere round the $70 each per week

      There in lies the problem – i dont really want to drive, but on those 3 key aspects it makes more sense to drive.

      and yes the maxx site is crap – the simple idea that the timetable you see at a bus stop should be the same timetable you see online seems to have escaped who ever designed it. It doesnt even know the routes and bus stops near my place – the closest it gets is a bus route some 15 – 20 min walk away, not the one that goes past the end of my rather short road, which is also alongside a train station

      • karol 2.1.1

        Train from the west to Britomart in peak times is definitely cheap and quicker. But not so going from the west to the North or South in either peak or off-peak times, when I am most likely to do those journeys. I will look at it again when I get a gold card. The extra time on public transport can be usefully spent.

        A big argument for free or $1.00 per journey public transport.

        MAXX: yes, for journeys that require more than one vehicle: bus-bus or bus to train to bus: MAXX doesn’t have a clue. It is better to search for each leg of the journey separately.

        Buses and trains not turning up on time, then magically disappearing off the bus/train stop timetables – tell me about it!

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        between me and my partner we spend $25 each per week by car (not including maintenance etc) – by train? somewhere round the $70 each per week

        This is actually why PT needs to be a nominal $1 per trip or even free. Get people using the more efficient system. As it is they’re pretty much forced into using the least efficient system due to cost.

        and yes the maxx site is crap – the simple idea that the timetable you see at a bus stop should be the same timetable you see online seems to have escaped who ever designed it.

        Actually, the thing that the people who have designed it seem to have forgotten is that timetables are used for planning journeys and thus need to be accurate. It’s no use to have the Real Time Board showing that the bus is going to be half an hour late as the people who were relying on that bus are now also late.

        It doesnt even know the routes and bus stops near my place – the closest it gets is a bus route some 15 – 20 min walk away, not the one that goes past the end of my rather short road, which is also alongside a train station

        It probably does but the software used to determine the route has determined a shorter time going the wrong way for some reason. Best thing to do is actually complain about it and AT will get around to fixing it.

        BTW, I usually don’t have any problems with the Maxx site in planning journeys.

        • Ron 2.1.2.1

          When I read your opening quote I thought at last someone is going to mention the G word and correct the sentence.
          Dam I was wrong

        • framu 2.1.2.2

          “This is actually why PT needs to be a nominal $1 per trip or even free.”
          yep – thats my argument in a nutshell

          “It probably does but the software used to determine the route has determined a shorter time going the wrong way for some reason.”

          considering i was putting the bus stop in question as my start point, i would still call it pretty bad

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.2.1

            considering i was putting the bus stop in question as my start point, i would still call it pretty bad

            Yep but still the only way that it’s going to get fixed is by complaining about it.

  3. Philj 3

    Xox
    The trucking company lobbyists, Ken Shirley etc, is behind this madness. The number, AND Size, of trucks is rapidly growing. The highway construction companies also profit. At the same time squeezing public transport, cycling and walking is struggling. As an active walker, I have noticed that the footpath has been lost to speeding cyclists seeking refuge from dangerous motorists. Business rulz NZ! The ‘government’ is a front for big biz.

    • karol 3.1

      Yes. Pedestrians are also a marginalised section of the transport system. Walking is a very stop start, and often stressful, mode of transport – waiting for long periods at intersections where there could be overbridges/underpasses (the recently redesigned New Lynn Transport Centre for instance).

      And increased amounts of trucks on Auckland’s urban motorways make driving a pretty scary thing.

  4. Tracey 4

    If you look at how john key says infrashtucksha you get a clye in the word

  5. Great post. On the topic of John Roughan – remember how accurate is projections of the MRP share price were?

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    One issue that this post did not raise directly is the insidious damage that patriarchy is doing to Auckland’s infrastructure and planning. Industry profits, big trucks, flash luxury cars, and the ability to show them off for all to see (preferably at more than 11km/h) are all sick symptoms of a hyper masculine culture predicated on individualistic symbols of economic power and wealth.

    A Holden SS V8 with its 10 speaker stereo system cranked up is testosterone inducing. Being stuck on a crowded bus collectively squeezed in between other peoples’ grandmothers is not. Let alone a discussion on walking and bicycling. And what’s the use of being at the top of the male dominated socio-economic pile if you can’t show off your new Cayman S at 115 km/h on a brand spanking new multi-lane motorway.

    Until the issue of patriarchy as a contributor to our problems is directly recognised and addressed by transport policy, Auckland’s transport issues will never be solved.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      In daylight the view from where I am is just vast mountains as far as the eye can see. One dusty ant trail of a track loops and wiggles it’s way up here.

      Auckland’s traffic madness seems like several lifetimes ago. I really don’t miss it.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Hearing ya. Door to door home to work, 12 minutes, with harbour views on the way in. That’s Dunedin for you.

        • Chooky 6.1.1.1

          Lets keep it that way….the biggest issue for New Zealand is over population….we dont need masses of new immigrants if we are to keep our style of life.

          • Bearded Git 6.1.1.1.1

            With the greatest respect that is bollocks. Just over a million people on the South Island which is bigger than England. Many more people can be absorbed bringing huge talent and resources to the country. It’s how we do it that counts.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Many more people can be absorbed bringing huge talent and resources to the country.

              It will bring more people but it won’t bring any more resources. I’d really hate to be living in England in the next few decades as the easy trade in food declines as the price of fuel goes up.

              We have a maximum amount of people that we can support and we have absolutely NFI what that maximum is. Places like England are already far beyond it.

              • Colonial Viper

                It will bring more people but it won’t bring any more resources.

                If they bring their talent, their machine tools and their super computer nodes here, that’s both people and resources.

                And yes, shipping offshore our physical fresh water, phosphorus, potassium and organic carbon in exchange for electronically created currency units, is not going to be sustainable in the long term.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  If they bring their talent, their machine tools and their super computer nodes here, that’s both people and resources.

                  I know it’s strange but I don’t like thinking of people as resources. And we can produce the machine tools and super computer nodes here with the resources and the talents and skills of the people already here. Sure, it’ll take awhile to get setup to do so but that in itself is work that needs to be done.

                  • ropata

                    I know it’s terrible but I must confess that I drive a big black Holden Commodore because it’s super comfortable, one of the few models I can actually fit into without smashing my head or shoulders. I think it actually makes me drive better because it is relaxing to drive and I don’t feel like I am racing everybody. Or it could just be a male mid life crisis 😛

            • Chooky 6.1.1.1.1.2

              @ Bearded Git.. with the greatest respect THAT is bollocks!……where do you come from?…my family have been here for generations both Maori and Pakeha

              Nah!….more stress for New Zealanders and South Islanders on roads, housing, land , jobs, apprenticeships, health care, hospitals, state ‘free’ education, the underclass of Maori, Polynesian and Pakeha NZers…. superannuation, old age care….serfs in our own country?…nah!

              ….have you visited Asia, India , China and Tibet with your backpack?….do you want Little Asia or Little England here?….Many Brits want to escape from there to here…..as do many Asians. They should sort out the environmental degradation, overpopulation , social unrest issues in their own countries.

              …and lets sort our own inegalitarian society first…. before we start putting money in the bank and share portfolios of NZ capitalist class whose real allegiance is not to NZers or NZ.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        I’m looking forward to the company moving premises this week.

        I will be a comfortable 15 minutes walking distance with the inner Link as a wet weather route. Hopefully my AT HOP card that I brought back in April will finally be able to be used on the Link.

      • Rogue Trooper 6.1.3

        are you there for some time to come Red.

    • Chooky 6.2

      CV….agree wholeheartedly about patriarchy and anti-ecological, anti environmental values and gross motorways for speed and individualistic egotistical transport with the consequent trashing of the environment

      …motorways are an ecological and feminist issue as many ecofeminists have pointed out as well as ecotheologians and Deep Ecologists

      …the patriarchal capitalist rationale is that increased population requires these motorways…which become a part of the patriarchal male ego…and the patriarchal ego view of progress….the making of motorways is money making in itself for big companies and those with shares in them

      …patriarchal rationale is more people equals more markets, equals more money making opportunities, equals more and faster transportation , more speed , faster individualistic cars etc etc

      ….as a result the earth gets raped and plundered….and our environment trashed ( then it becomes status to live away from this patriarchal God awful mess of pollution, noise and population)

      ….It should also be noted that the patriarchy creates overpopulation…….hence the suppression of women causes overpopulation… see Catholic Church stance on anti- contraception and absolute denial of womens’ rights to control their own fertility (eg. overpopulation in the Philippines)…..see also China’s gross overpopulation, environmental and human degradation and 35 million extra males by year 2020

      I think I will be voting Green!

  7. Tracey 7

    Ok… in frashtrucksha gives a clue… fat fingers

    • fender 7.1

      Key thinks ‘in-frashtrucksha’ is a waiter/waitress bringing a fresh bottle, or a truck load off piss?

  8. Tracey 8

    Of course the answeer cant be for everyone to leave auckland but what if incentives were given to relocate businesses. Doesnt change the desire of the young to be in the big city but…

    auckland has heaps of close satelites from orewa to pukekohe. It wld not be profitable to the train company to run better and faster services but it woukd have other major crossover benefits but this requires people to understand you lose money in one place but make it somewhere else = balanced. Hard to do things this way following pure capitalist theory

    • karol 8.1

      Some of us have strong attachments to Auckland. i’m a born and bred Aucklander and have spent over 2 decades living elsewhere. In spite of the hassles, I love being back here.

      I would relocate to the greater Auckland region, (to the north, e.g. Orewa area), if there was affordable rental accommodation there, and if public transport to and from other areas of Auckland was fairly frequent, reliable and affordable. At the moment it would also need to be accessible to my workplaces. I have been looking at the possibilities.

  9. Adrian 9

    Doesn’t the Northern Busway only become a faster better option simply because it is mostly on a motorway ? . Without that more direct route it would be very slow and inefficient.

    • karol 9.1

      No. Without the motorway, buses on existing roads, use of ferries, plus a rail services to the north would be very efficient.

      At the moment there is high land use, with car parking needed to enable many people to get to the northern bus way. (see high land use needed for parking to support car use).

      Bus services that traveled regularly along diverse routes through the northern burbs would cut down on the need for car parks near the busway. Plus, there could be increased ferries from North Harbour, an improved north western rail service.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        karol
        That point about getting from home to the bus routes is a good one. I wonder if taxis could be utilised for this purpose. Perhaps some could be contracted to provide a feeder service, picking up to their full capacity along the way. Volume would provide sufficient revenue to bring cost down. When there was little business they would take their normal fares. So outside peak times there would be a wait for a feeder service, and perhaps a higher cost allowing for only two people, but still less than a normal taxi fare.

        A phone call to connect to the next feeder service with expected arrival time would book it. A pre-paid multiple ride ticket would ensure efficient use, with commuter waiting at kerb and ready. There could be little groups who became friends using the same route, time and vehicle. Certainty, friendliness, affordability and efficiency. Sounds great, would work.

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          Some good suggestions, gw. I think taxi buses are the answer for that – small buses.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2

          Modern computer systems, smart phones with internet and GPS, make all of this very possible and I think even more innovations could be included.

          • wtl 9.1.1.2.1

            Modern computer systems, smart phones with internet and GPS, make all of this very possible and I think even more innovations could be included.

            “Possible” and “could” are the key words. Apparently the major bus companies in Auckland don’t even bother using algorithms to optimize their scheduling (I presume its done by hand on a semi-random basis). Apart from the odd route (e.g. the Link buses), they don’t even bother trying to do the simplest things to improve scheduling, such as enforcing timed stops or a minimum interval between buses starting the route – instead you get ridiculous things like 3-4 buses bunching together from the start of their routes, all ending up mostly empty, but then the next bus getting completely full because the preceding buses ran ahead of schedule.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.2.1.1

              lol
              Most of the bus routes in dunedin are still based around the old tram lines that were ripped up decades ago.

              I’d be surprised if the Dunedin transport coordinators even have a map showing the population density vs dwellings that are 50m or 100m walk from a bus stop (let alone accounting for slope).

              • idlegus

                im in south d, i cant figure the bus at all, least its only a 40 minute walk into town. driving in dunedin is a nightmare, no straight routes, & the car drivers are freakin lunatics!

                i saw a movie some dutch guy made about cycling in the usa, which was totally comparable to nz cyclists, he was perplexed why the americans (like us) have racing bikes, whereas in holland the bikes are more for comfort, in holland biking is for transport, whereas in the usa & like nz cycling is seen more as a recreational thing.

                i like cycling, but you are def taking your life into your hands, its so dangerous! as a biking posty for 10+ years nearly everyday i had a near miss, ppl backing out of driveways, idiots turning left into your path. car free days would be awesome! but there would be revolution in the streets, ppl like their gas guzzlers.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1.2

              Apparently the major bus companies in Auckland don’t even bother using algorithms to optimize their scheduling

              As I understand it, the bus companies don’t do it anymore – Auckland Transport does and then contracts the bus companies to run the routes that AK comes up with. And they’re using the real time tracking from the buses to work them out. This is a fairly new development though and it will probably take them some time to get things better. I know the buses around my way are getting a scheduling/route upgrade next year.

              Fixed price contract with AK getting all of the money from the paying passengers as well.

              instead you get ridiculous things like 3-4 buses bunching together from the start of their routes, all ending up mostly empty, but then the next bus getting completely full because the preceding buses ran ahead of schedule.

              Ahead of schedule will never happen and apparently it’s because of traffic and if the kids are at school or not.

    • Ron 9.2

      Also the busway only works if you are driving a car which you can leave all day at the Park & Ride.
      It doesn’t work for anyone that is not using a car. I live in the East Coast Bays and my public transport is a bus that takes an hour to get to the city. It winds its way in and out of suburbs at time doubling back on itself to pick up passengers. Forget the busway we don’t get near it till after Takapuna and there is no busway from then on.
      Originally I thought we would have small feeder buses travelling from each bay to the nearest busway connection but that never happened and is not going to. Go to town for a show and try to get bus home at 11.30pm at night.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Clever graphics! I was just thinking what is actually obvious but I haven’t realised. By building roads, and squeezing rail, and coastal shipping, the NACTs are privatising transport options. To further this they are running rail down so channelling people to where money is to be made by business, such as selling oil (as addictive and also revenue producing as alcohol), and selling vehicles, and all the industries supporting them. What business opportunities has rail got to offer private providers? A mechanical food dispenser? A pie cart? (And sometimes they don’t even offer these to get extra revenue.)

    So looking at roads from business viewpoint, from personal and Party advantage, from keeping our jobs in a status quo in NZ Roads? advantage, and the way that trucking is the freight du jour method, then good practice and wise considerations preparing for the future just don’t stack up. Come on, where’s the money for us the movers say shaking their heads?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      By building roads, and squeezing rail, and coastal shipping, the NACTs are privatising transport options. To further this they are running rail down so channelling people to where money is to be made by business, such as selling oil (as addictive and also revenue producing as alcohol), and selling vehicles, and all the industries supporting them.

      Yep. Everything about roads is about making money but it does it in a rather murky way – It dumps the full costs directly onto the individual. Yes, that’s murky because when it’s done that way the total costs are hidden from the individual and, more importantly, they don’t get to see how much cheaper it would be, in real terms, doing things via public transport.

      and the way that trucking is the freight du jour method

      Easy way to fix that – charge them correctly. Damage done to the road is to the 4th power. This means that a two tonne vehicle does sixteen times more damage to the road than a one tonne vehicle. A fifty tonne truck is well over 100,000 times more than a one tonne vehicle. Even if you only make it 1 cent per kilometer on a one tonne vehicle, it’ll be well over $1000 per kilometer for the truck.

      Bring in RUCs for all vehicles with the price based upon maximum weight and you’ll soon see trucks disappearing from the roads.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        You’ll also see a government ending truck blockade of downtown Auckland and the Wellington CBD.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          Just so long as people are fully informed as to why the changes I don’t think it would be government ending. Considering the complaints about trucks on the roads I think you may find it government boosting.

  11. David H 11

    As someone from outside AK and who has ‘driven’ there Where the hell would they put another Motorway? Naa move to a small town, sell the car, give up the ciggies, build/buy a couple of bicycles. Yep way healthier. :-)

    • karol 11.1

      Auckland is a great place. It needs a better transport system.

      Not all of us are capable of riding bikes. Had a dream of riding a bike to my old age. The dream was ended following an accident and permanent injury damage. So now it’s walking and public transport.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        I decided a decade ago that it was just too damn dangerous on Auckland roads after a series of near misses by dickhead drivers. These days the frigging SUV’s with their vague drivers are dangerous enough for other car users.

        If they made a dangerous driving charge mandatory for car drivers if they hit a cyclist, then things would improve immediately. But as it is there aren’t enough cycle lanes I’ll walk. It is safer.

        I enjoy Auckland. I’ve spent a decade out of the place going to university. Even spent several years living around other places inside Auckland. Always enjoy coming back to live in Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Mt Albert

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          I’ve grew up in Mt Eden area – not the actual village part – further out. And I keep feeling drawn back to that area. I’d settle for Sandringham, Mt Albert etc. But I haven’t seen any affordable rentals in those areas these days.

          I could probably technically manage on a bike, but I now have a fragile body part, and a further accident to it would be pretty disastrous.

          A permit should be required to drive an SUV in city areas. I see no good reason for most status-motivated drivers to have them, and they are dangerous to other road/pavement users.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1

            I’ve grew up in Mt Eden area – not the actual village part – further out. And I keep feeling drawn back to that area.

            I was born and raised in the West. Lived outside of it here and there but always feel at home in West Auckland – and, yes, I’ll be complaining about the heat and mugginess this year as well 😈

            • Ake ake ake 11.1.1.1.1.1

              It was fine biking around downtown Auckland, Ponsonby, K Road, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Balmoral, Sandringham, Kingsland and Mt Albert up until the late 1990s.

              Then the number of cars, and crazy ones at that, increased exponentially circa 2000-2002.

              When I found myself narrowly missing an accident – – – at least six times per week – – – for three consecutive weeks (!) – – – I figured that ACC wouldn’t pay that well, that I wouldn’t really like living with a disability (death is the bit I would have been ok with), and so the legs got used for more walking than cycling.

        • greywarbler 11.1.1.2

          These frigging SUVs, almost hummers. Park alongside one and it’s a wall making it hard to back out of a space. To reduce collision possibilities have to check out vehicle movements before getting in and starting to back out slowly and virtually blindly. Need periscope. Following them is again a moving wall. The rear windows are set too high for an ordinary car to gain any visibility ahead, they are too wide to see around. They tend not to indicate – they know where they’re going, stuff you. In a narrowed space they would not consider being the one to give way. On corners their height means they mask oncoming cars, and bicycles particularly.

          Once after waiting and scanning for a break in the traffic beyond a parked SUV, I moved forward and froze, some old guy on a mobility scooter was on the road in front of me, had been travelling along the side of the SUV – unnoticeable. Started again and a bicycle was in front of me. Unnerved I carefully reversed so I could get another view behind the SUV and turned left instead of right so I only had one line of transport to worry about. The SUV was parked to my right blocking the view all the time.

          The wheels are so high the tyres must be expensive. They are a blot on our roads, and a hazard. Some of them have dark-tinted windows and seem like cars for crims. And often they are painted black. Just the right thing for our depressed young people, over-large, looking pale and unfit when they are walking, joyless, with anti-social tendencies and choosing to wear black utilitarian clothing. This is what I see a lot and it is sad – the bounce and vitality and happiness has gone out of NZ. The fortress-like, over-powering mass of the SUVs seems like a retreat from community and society. A hostile, defensive resource.

          • ropata 11.1.1.2.1

            Well said. Also, SUV headlights are set at the eye level of other traffic so they can cause maximum annoyance day and night.

          • unpcnzcougar 11.1.1.2.2

            SUV’s drive me nuts. I suggest that all shopping centres have a special area for SUV’s to park – yes make them walk further – then the rest of us can enter and exit a carpark without fear of getting hit because we can’t see!

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.2.3

            I hate the bloody things. There are heaps of them in Brisbane, and it seems that anyone who gets behind the wheel of one instantly forgets how to drive. Over here they pay less tax on them as well, because they’re supposedly work vehicles. I’d happily ban them from cities.

      • David H 11.1.2

        Sorry to hear that Karol.

  12. Tracey 12

    David h

    and do what for a job? Its a catch 22 right now.

    • lprent 12.1

      It is where I need to work. There really isn’t anywhere else with the required business networks to do export hardware/software in NZ.

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        lprent
        I thought Christchurch was a major cluster point for the IT industry? Is Auckland much better? Would it be relatively easy to get work up there if one wanted to move do you think? I’m not talking about myself.

        • infused 12.1.1.1

          Wellington is huge for software development. It just depends what you are developing.

          • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1.1

            Wellington’s a bit different from CHCH and Auckland though, a lot of public-sector IT there. Not surprising I guess.

        • lprent 12.1.1.2

          Christchurch is. But it simply doesn’t have the depth of software and light industry that Auckland has. Because of that it tends to lack the associated people/companies contracting and selling out services that you don’t want in-house.

          In the tech area, what you tend to get in Christchurch is a relatively few smaller export businesses or larger more vertically integrated exports businesses.

          What it lacks is the clusters of lots of similar small to medium export based businesses and arrays of skilled contractors and businesses to hire in for short periods.

          In my case I tend to specialize in green field development for exports across a wide range of potential styles of applications. Literally starting coding from nothing to little and doing the design and implement. So having a large number of companies around means that there is always some interesting new development on.

          Work is hard to get in tech areas anywhere unless you already have experience. It always has been. That is because it is such a cost to train the merely academically trained. You have to waste someone with experience to be pestered for 6 months bringing one or more people up to speed. Much of the time whoever you train will then bugger off within a year or two.

          But there tend to be more companies to try in Auckland if you don’t have friends / family / etc to introduce you. So the probabilities that you’ll find someone desperate enough for a pair of untrained hands goes up a lot.

          • ropata 12.1.1.2.1

            There are a few orgs in Christchurch running decent sized software projects: SunGard, Meridian, HP, Council, University, and dept of Statistics. But it’s nothing like the volume of stuff happening in Auckland and Wellington.

            On the hardware side, Invensys, Nightside, Trimble, and lots of small outfits are doing cool stuff.

            But the major drawback for IT workers in CHC is the abysmal pay compared to AKL and WLG.
            Good offshoring resource for the multinationals though.

          • Rogue Trooper 12.1.1.2.2

            A component of a counter-Empire Multitude producing the commons through immaterial labour.

    • David H 12.2

      Hey Tracey I never said I had ALL the answers, :-) I just fix computers and kids toys in the Garage.

  13. Bearded Git 13

    If anyone needs a single good reason to vote National out, their antedeluvian transport policy and the lies they have told around this is it.

  14. Flee 14

    I left Auckland because of its traffic and are not keen to go back. I periodically visit to remind myself why I hate it so. I suspect most people do not enjoy driving in Auckland.
    Unfortunately corporate business managers cannot see that they can locate anywhere but Auckland hence the traffic. One reason being is that they think it is easier to get staff and competition for work is higher so drive down income for workers who do not have choices. ie the poorer working class.
    The other thing I cannot understand is the sudden spending on roading infrastructure during the GFC. Perhaps they think if they build it they will come which maybe the case but it isn’t a particular good investment for a resource constrained future. (particularly oil). Oh right that is why they are drilling off Raglan…. all part of the master plan for economic growth and to hell with the environment.

    • Naturesong 14.1

      Building infrastructure during a downturn is actually a good idea. Debt is cheap and it gets people back to work.

      However, that was covered by the Christchurch rebuild, and was and excellent opportunity to train New Zealanders, sparkies, chippies, etc.
      But instead of that, we imported something like 12,000 foreign workers.
      (Was also an excellent opportunity to build a modern people-centric 21st century city that acknowledges that the oil industry now has a very limited lifespan – they’ve screwed that up as well)

      Also, if you were going to build more infrastructure, you’d look to get the biggest bang for your buck.
      In transport that would be rail, looking at trams/lightrail and bringing forward existing road repairs.
      Instead, National deferred any PT options and raided the road repairs kitty to pay for motoways, then decided that the most efficient way to do the spending was to build a big pipe from the treasury coffers directly to Fletchers back account.

      Thats why we have an uptick in the Manufacturing sector, at the same time we’ve had 40,000 manufacturing jobs go to the wall.

      • Flee 14.1.1

        Agree that building infrastructure is good during recessions, but more roading??? It was probably the easy option for the government and as pointed out the roading lobby would be friends then and it wins some simple votes. There is a readily available supply of road builders in NZ. However to invest in something like light rail… well any NZ rail infrastructure building capability has gone the way of the Moa long ago as evident from the state in which rail is now. They would need to recruit overseas expertise and develop NZ expertise. Too hard for the government, to long term as it is not likely to happen in 3 years and no responsibility in government for the future.

    • ropata 14.2

      I recently blogged about my near death experiences driving round Auckland.
      The story involves red-light runners, suicidal cyclists, stop sign runners, rush hour lane cutters, suicidal pedestrians, trucks parked on yellow lines, and mad school mums on the wrong side of the road >:(
      http://ropata.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/road-rage/

      Submitted 3 complaints to the Council, hopefully the stop sign runners will get looked at ASAP as it is causing real danger every frikkin day just outside my house. People turn left without even slowing down and nearly collect me or my family on a regular basis

  15. Rosie 15

    Saw that GIF the other day and thought the message was excellent despite going a bit swively eyed trying to follow it. Impressive array of charts too.

    It seems that anyone who is opposed the idea of building more roads for a variety of reasons, mainly because they are unnecessary and may have an environment and or heritage risk is up against the powerful road lobby backed by Nat MP’s.

    Here in Wellington the Save Kapiti group has been campaigning tirelessly against the express way, which after years of environment court activity, is still going ahead. There’s that ol’ chestnut, Transmission Gully, and of course the amazingly unnecessary Basin Reserve Flyover. But it’s you, Aucklanders, who I really feel for. Having lived there for many years and having a driving job, it was a nightmare but it’s not something more roads would solve.

    This from karol, I related to and was the reason I gave up using the buses when I was living in AK, even though I actually did want to use them and use the car less (for out of work travel)

    “It is continually frustrating for me to use public transport. My use is infrequent and irregular. So when I look on MAXX’s (strange) planner for a specific journey, I ften find the time it would take to travel from one side of Auckland to another is much longre than it would take by car: eg if going from new Lynn to the North Shore or South Auckland. This has a lot to do with bus journeys being convulted and long through infrequently used routes. And most journeys to North or South involves going through Britomart/Newmarket.”

    And finally. Warbly, those SUV’s! Well said! They are indeed hazardous to other drivers and to pedestrians and cyclists as well. It’s fraught with danger backing out of an angle park if you’re sandwiched between two of them as you mentioned and you can’t see over them at a roundabout giveway. They’re a poor design for urban driving and should be limited to farm work as they were originally intended, in the previous 4WD format.That people desire them as status vehicle says alot about their poor taste.

  16. tricledrown 16

    4wd’s are an ego trip for 90%+ of owners.
    Bullying there way around the roads.
    Fuel wasters and killers poor safety and handling.
    They should be banned from urban areas.
    On the open highway because of high centre of gravity they should be limited to 90k.
    Safety most 4WD’s are much heavier and when they impact in a crash do more damage.
    People buy them to protect themselved as the perception is that they are safer for the occupant.
    Not true most 4wds have weaker impact zones so are more likely to kill occupants.

    • Ian 16.1

      My bicycle has weaker impact zones than a fiat bambina.I get an ego trip riding my bicycle. I drive a 4 wheel drive because I need 4 wheel drive to get to the places I work and play.wanting to banning them seems a bit draconian. What is happening to common sense ?

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    And some more thoughts on the matter: The Infernal Combustion Engine

  18. ghostrider888 18

    Gr8 Grafx

  19. Walker 19

    A cycle lane built within and along the City Rail Link would be a perfect place to put us commuter cyclists, no more cars trucks and busses to push us off the roads at intersections etc.

  20. AmaKiwi 20

    Follow the money.

    Find out who contributes to the National Party and you might discover why we have so much road building.

    And then cut it off!

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      IMO, the one thing that needs to be done is to ban legal organisations from donating to political parties. That would be trusts, unions, businesses, sports clubs etc. The only entity that could donate would be natural persons.

      I think then that we may be able to get rid of the buying of politicians.

      • Flee 20.1.1

        America has really screwed their democracy by allowing organisations similar constitutional rights as citizens. Agree with eliminating businesses from donating but parties would need to be funded in some way? If it was only natural persons then it would be those individuals that can afford to donate that would, effectively buying policies that favour them. We do not want to go further down that road than we already are. Which leaves some sort of state funding of political parties as far as I can see.

      • AmaKiwi 20.1.2

        Easy to do. Every contribution must be filed with the IRD number of the donor.

      • AmaKiwi 20.1.3

        America has the best politicians money can buy.

        • Flee 20.1.3.1

          So true….. They should be embarrassed to call themselves a democracy. It should be called a market democracy to give it a truer name. Democracy to the highest bidder which isn’t really democracy (unless you twist the meaning to be that it is free to join the market to bid for votes). They need to sustain their ‘American fantasy’.

      • KJT 20.1.4

        I would go further and advocate State funding on the basis of the number of paid up ‘individual’ party members. All non-state funding apart from a State set, low, membership fee, to be banned.

        The current, funding per the number of votes last election always favours the incumbents.

        As we have seen allowing funding from corporates and wealthy individuals just allows for buying the system. Something which is occurring here, and, has already happened in the USA and UK.

        Politicians who go straight to a job, after politics, in private sector corporations, which directly benefited from their policies, is also open to corruption.

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