The RLTP’s core flaw: “holding VKT steady”

Submissions are due on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) this Sunday (2nd May). I outlined what is needed back in February: A Climate-Ready RLTP – No Litigation Required.

The sooner we fix this city’s transport system so that it’s quiet, sustainable and safe so our kids get their freedom to walk, scooter and cycle, the sooner we start to reap the benefits of more socially connected communities and more healthy, active people. There are some good projects in the plan. As usual, it fails to deliver cycling infrastructure at anything like the rate required, and it fails to reduce emissions in line with our commitments.

The plan proposes investments that will increase emissions by 6% by 2031 (or decrease them by 12% if government makes policy changes around biofuels and EV uptake):

Auckland Council, on the other hand, laid out in the Auckland Climate Plan that a 64% reduction in transport emissions is required, and the 1Point5 Project believes Auckland’s transport must be largely decarbonized by 2030.

In this post, I want to explore Auckland Transport’s technical misunderstandings that have contributed to this failure.

Point Chevalier improvements

Auckland Transport (AT) plans to make it safer and more accessible for people to walk and ride a bike along Point Chevalier Road, Meola Road and part of Garnet Road as well as improve public transport connections. Please see the latest update to the Point Chevalier improvements project here.

Bike Auckland for Point Chevalier 🚲

Auckland Transport is making it easier to be a Transition Town in Pt Chevalier, with safer streets making it easier to move about by foot and bike. It’s important to submit before 20 December to show how important this is to us. Here’s AT’s project page, and Bike Auckland has a full article about it. 🚲:

  • Support the great protected bikeways – and if you like, talk about what they will mean for you and your family! Both in your feedback and on social media!
  • Support the repurposing of car parking and the painted median where necessary to make the project safe and functional for all ages and all kinds of travel
  • Support the new raised and signalised crossings, and the raised tables over the side streets – safe walking is so important, and these will be great for kids, Selwyn Villagers, and people catching the bus!
  • Ask for a full deal, with raised crossings too for the entrances of the Bird Streets on the south side of Meola Road, and Faulder Road off Garnet Road.
  • Support the new peak hour bus lane on Pt Chevalier Road – for faster, more reliable buses when we need them most.
  • Support the replanting on Meola Road’s south side, which is needed to make the project feasible.
  • Support the traffic signals at Pt Chevalier / Meola – and ask for them to be on a raised table (to slow down red-light runners) and with wider paths around the edges for walking and biking.
  • Ask for more bike parking as part of the plan: especially at shops and bus stops. (The sports fields/ MOTAT precinct will need dedicated bike parking, too; that’s a separate convo, but one worth mentioning here).
  • Ask AT to work with the Local Board to connect these routes to Point Chevalier School on Te Ra Road – there are existing plans and discussions, but the kids deserve timely delivery!

Stop Killing our Children

Created by The Environmental Transport Association (ETA)

Stop Killing our Children examines how road danger damages us all, whatever our age and however we travel, and questions our collective blindness to both its cause and remedy. The 40-minute, crowdfunded film is narrated by the BBC’s John Simpson and features interviews with Chris Boardman, Dr Rachel Aldred, Dr Ian Walker, George Monbiot and the founders of the Stop de Kindermoord movement amongst others. Please help turn the tide against road danger. Please share this film.
Email us at news@eta.co.uk

Safer speeds in Auckland – open letter

Safer speeds and traffic calming is an important tool in the transport carbon emissions reduction toolkit. Our people will only be able to shift from car dependency to low-carbon active travel in the numbers required for an appropriate climate change response, if the unsafe traffic environment in this city is fixed. Making our city safe is the only ethical way forward, shown by the number of children being hit recently even in the nearby area. All have been hit on roads where the speed limits do not meet international guidelines.

Hence my letter to one of the candidates for Councillor in our ward.

Cheers,

Heidi

If you are interested in the follow-up discussion please contact us.

Pt Chev Mystery Bike Hike #1

Did you know you can ride for miles in most directions from Pt Chev, almost entirely free from traffic? Join us for the first of what we hope will be many local bike adventures, exploring off-road connected bike paths in our hood and beyond!

We’ll gather in the town square outside the library – then head off, on an out-and-back ride of ~14km. It’s about half an hour in each direction, so expect to be on the move for around an hour, not counting stops to explore.

Saturday 25 May, 2pm start. Meet in the Pt Chevalier town square near the library, from 1.45pm.

On our return to Pt Chev we’ll hang out at Nomad for a chat. Feel free to stick around!

Given the length of this initial ride, it’s more suitable for adults and teens. Once we’ve tested the concept, we’re planning future rides more suitable for families with children. (If you do want to ride along this time, there’s a natural turnaround point that would make for a shorter 5km route.)

This ride is entirely off-road and on quiet streets, with a couple of road crossings along the way.

Drop us a line to let us know you’re coming, so we can plan ahead. You can also contact us at bikeptchev@gmail.com and via the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/

Make sure your bike’s in good working order before the day – please check your tires and brakes especially!

If we need to reschedule for any reason, we’ll post an update on the chalkboard in the square opposite the library.

TTPC and Healthy Streets Alliance

In line with our Transition Town goals of encouraging the use of lower-carbon transport modes Transition Town Point Chevalier has become a supporter of the Healthy Streets Alliance.

You can learn more about the Healthy Streets concept here and see the video of Lucy Saunders talking in Auckland about the subject here. The group is also aiming to promote safer speeds, Vision Zero, the work of health academic alliance, Healthy Auckland Together, and Neighbourhoods for Active Kids. Essentially, the group is looking to promote the benefits of having safe, low-speed, low-traffic, well-designed city environments so people can live active, healthy  lives in their communities.

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Speed Limit Bylaw – excellent video from AT

The speed limit bylaw consultation is a really important step to bringing a healthier, lower carbon transport network to Auckland, where it’ll be much more appealing to Aucklanders to actively move around our city.

With so much bad information circulating about the consultation speeds, I thought you might be interested in watching this inspiring video from AT. Their myths and misconceptions page is really good.

https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2019/03/speed-limit-bylaw-myths/

If you’re following the damaging position the AA has taken on the subject, my post in Greater Auckland today discusses the survey they are trying to use to strengthen their position. There’s much more on that subject to come.