Auckland Transport

Council to drivers: No car parks for you!

No soup for you!

A 33-unit apartment building has been built in Auckland without any car parks, which developers say is the way of the future, but local businesses say it will just lead to more congestion.

The Daisy Apartments opened in Kingsland this month, Stuff reports, but tenants will not have any internal parking and will be forced to use the street.

Developers Ockham Residential have said this is the way of the future, and that major transport hubs are less than 100m away.

If they think everyone is going to give up their cars for the bus or a bike, they’re dreamin’.

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Simon says bike lanes good for retailers. Yeah, for some ….

Pierre and Marie Curie with their bicycles.

Simon Wilson: Karangahape Rd is Auckland’s best road for bike lanes so why are retailers scared of them?

Bike lanes will bring a host of new opportunities to Karangahape Rd, but still there are retailers who don’t get it. So now we need a new “bright minds” organisation to help the mayor and Auckland Transport get good work done well.

Translation: We need some propagandist outfit to teach these uppity retailers of the errors of their ways.

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Road Maggots Call Disaster As AT Proposes Massive Cycling Cuts

A proposal to slash this year’s budget for cycling projects in Auckland from $65 million to about $6.5 million over the next two years is a disaster for the city, says youth group Generation Zero.

Disaster? This is great news if true. Far less money for cycle lanes road maggots never use anyway.

[…]”This would be a disaster for Tāmaki Makaurau and an abandonment of a successful programme to increase the number of people on bikes, increase safety, and reduce congestion.” says Generation Zero Auckland Director Leroy Beckett.

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Labour thinks a rail link in 15 years time will solve airport traffic issues now

You really have to wonder about the thinking department of Sue Moroney:

Battling traffic to and from Auckland Airport is like travelling in a third world country, Labour’s transport spokeswoman Sue Moroney says.

Moroney said the latest grind of traffic and roadworks around the airport was a national embarrassment and showed the city was crying out for a train line or light rail service.

Increased congestion heading into the peak Christmas and summer holiday period has caused major headaches for travellers, with reports of people missing flights after being stuck in traffic for multiple hours.

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Well now, this is refreshing. Now all Phil Goff has to do is match the rhetoric with deeds

Phil Goff is playing the tough guy.

He’s ordered council officers to do what they are told.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is laying down the law with council bodies, telling their highly paid bosses to be more open and accountable and instructing Auckland Transport to lift its game on public transport.

Goff has also told the council’s investment arm to ensure Ports of Auckland are clear there will be no further reclamation or wharf extensions into the Waitemata and the time has come to look at reducing or removing cars altogether from the waterfront wharves.

The messages to the six council-controlled organisations (CCOs), and copied to council chief executive Stephen Town, are contained in draft letters of expectation. The letters, much tougher than in the past, will be discussed by councillors at Thursday’s finance committee before being finalised.

Last night, the new mayor told the Herald that a clear message he heard on the election hustings was the term ”council-controlled organisations” was a misnomer.   Read more »

Mike Lee is right and Phil Goff is wrong

It is almost never that I agree with Mike Lee but in this case he is right.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff supports a blogger joining the Auckland Transport board after leaving two councillors off the board.

Last week, Goff announced two council appointments on the board would remain vacant for now to look at the best form of accountability for Auckland Transport and other council-controlled organisations.

He was not convinced having councillors on the board – Mike Lee and Chris Fletcher have been board members for six years – and subject to secrecy provisions was the best form of accountability.

Patrick Reynolds, of the Transport Blog, has applied for an observer role on the board, despite the blog stating it “is not associated in any way with Auckland Transport”.

Reynolds is seeking a customer focus committee board observer role – a non-voting and unpaid position.

In a letter to the board, Reynolds said he was a highly engaged customer and commentator on Auckland Transport issues who believed his “other side of the counter” perspective would be extremely valuable.

“There is now significant commonality between our aims and official AT policy. We are highly aligned with AT,” Reynolds said.

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Goff gives Hulse the arse card; appoints one of his South Auckland mates as deputy

Phil Goff has replaced one of the architects of rates increases as his deputy with a member of the Terrible Ten who voted for rates increases under Len Brown.

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has confirmed the badly kept secret Bill Cashmore will be his deputy, while also announcing the council’s committees will be overhauled to cut down on meetings.

An official announcement on Thursday confirmed speculation National Party member Mr Cashmore would be picked for the No. 2 spot over two-time deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Mr Goff – a former Labour Party leader – told reporters he hoped the appointment of Mr Cashmore – who ran unopposed in his largely rural Franklin seat – would send a message to Auckland’s farmers that they were still part of the super city.

“He has a reputation for getting things done. He’s a straight shooter,” Mr Goff said.

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Council commits $11M so road maggots can enjoy the ladies of the night too

artist-impression-of-possible-future-design-for-section-2

Auckland Council sure knows how to blow millions and for so few people as well.

Auckland Transport and Auckland Council today revealed plans for proposed changes to Karangahape Rd and are inviting feedback from the public.

The proposal includes a protected cycleway on both sides of the road. It will span the length of the road and part of Upper Queen St.

Other plans include improvements for pedestrians, peak-hour bus lanes, bus-stop relocations, changes to parking, upgraded street lighting, street furniture, cycle parking, opportunities for outdoor dining and street activities and rain gardens, trees and landscaping.    Read more »

Pucker up non-Aucklanders. Phil already says he wants more government money

Oh my, how non-Aucklanders scoffed at the election of veteran trougher Phil Goff as Auckland’s new mayor.

They won’t be laughing now as he comes for their money.

Newly crowned Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has made it his mission to get more money out of the Government to deal with the city’s growing pains.

Speaking to The Nation on Sunday, the veteran Labour MP said the existing $1 billion isn’t enough for Auckland, let alone the whole country.

“It’s $1 billion spread out over five growth centres – maybe Auckland will get half or two-thirds of that,” said Mr Goff.

“What is the underfunding of infrastructure investment over 10 years? It’s probably $17 billion to $20 billion. Now, I’m not going to get $17 billion from the Government, but I’m going to get a realistic sum that acknowledges the fact there’s more growth in Auckland than the rest of New Zealand put together.

“If Auckland doesn’t succeed, New Zealand can’t succeed.”

Auckland is expected to grow by about 700,000 people over the next 30 years, so will need more infrastructure and housing to cope.   Read more »

No surprises here as corruption trial reveals culture of corruption in Auckland Council

I’m not at all surprised by revelations in the High Court yesterday.

A rare prosecution of alleged corruption in the New Zealand public sector has heard of a claimed cascading culture of bribery that saw a senior Auckland Council manager collect $1.1 million and his subordinates taken for a $3000 lunch.

The alleged gratuities extended to covering honeymoon expenses in Florida for the daughter of a senior council staffer, dozens of overseas trips, and regular monthly payments of around $8000 into the pocket of former Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone by roading contractor Stephen Borlase.

Noone and Borlase yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of corrupting a public official by bribery. Borlase, who road maintenace firm Projenz is at the heart of the case, also declared himself not guilty of charges he inflated invoices.

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said part of the Crown’s case is that Borlase arranged matters so the Rodney District Council – and later Auckland Transport – effectively paid to have their own staff bribed.

The case has drawn considerable interest from white-collar crime watchers as it wound through the system over the past three years, particularly given New Zealand’s hiterto almost-spotless reputation for having an incorrupt public sector.

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