NZ’s ‘Foremost Transport Economist’ ?

Why is the $1.8b East-West Link is being funded but a $58 million rail project is being ignored despite yielding more value?

Julie Anne Genter’s line of questioning leaves little doubt that idealology is the main driver in funding the 2-billion-dollar road, and Bridges’ ‘answers’ confirm it.

With Maggie Barry looking as smug AF in the background, Bridges tries to hack his way through the argument with distractions and slander. So muddled in old and new reports, costs and benefits, that Bridges begins to claim a transport policy that sounds a lot like the Greens’, and even goes as far as calling Genter NZ’s foremost transport economist, twice!

Check out the full clip on Julie Anne’s Facebook Page (below) or InTheHouse – Bridges quip about NZs transport economist might be on the money.

 

Finishing Wellington’s Metro

Wellington Station. It’s probably the most glorious and identifiable building in the city, and it’s status is warranted: about 30,000 people travel through it each day – not bad given that the station is on the outskirts of the CBD.

The station sits close the New Zealand’s Parliament and its Governmental Ministries, the 40,000 people working  along Lambton and Featherston Streets, and the supporting shops, bars, schools, and the waterfront. If you work around this area, the train’s just a short walk. But if you work further down Lambton Quay, or in the Courtenay and Cuba end of town, you’ll have a 20-30 minute walk from the train – on a nice day its one of the best; but on a real Wellington day, it leaves you wondering why you left home without a car (or why the train doesn’t go further into the city!).

The concept is easy:

extend the rail line that gets people closer to their work, making the choice between train and car easy

In particular, the concept provides better transport options for people working at the Courtenay & Cuba end of town.

A number of studies across the decades have been undertaken to extend the passenger rail further into Wellington, though none have gained traction – even light rail has been discounted in favour of a BRT system recently – albeit through a very conservative (and pessimistic) costing model provided by consultants.

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Part of the proposed 1970’s Wellington Underground traveling under Thorndon to Parliament, Lambton and George Stations. The full plan continues to Newtown, Kilbernie and terminates at the Airport

While the proposals might be a hard sell to a society raised on infinite, cheap oil, unquestioned car dependence and toll-free roads, the project would probably make more economic sense than Transmission Gully and any other RoNS motorway project supposed to ‘turn NZ around’.

If the Kapiti expressway can be built through a 17km bog, or if Transmission Gully Road can be built across a fault line, then a couple of rail lines can be extended further over, under or even through the city.

In the next few posts I’ll have a look at some options to see what could work, what’s been done in other cities around the world and how it could add real value to Wellington as a city, province and capital.

Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycling Link – a commuting path?

NZTA have announced their latest round of cycleway consultations for the Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycling link. You can go to the NZTA W2HV webpage to download consultation documents and make submissions. I’m a former Petone to Wellington cycle commuter, and I absolutely love the idea that a decent cycleway could be built between the two cities.

BUT

A “decent” cycleway means that it’s separated from cars, free of obstacles and pedestrians and doesn’t just end abruptly. And it should be rideable all the time. Lets unpack this. Continue reading →

Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycling Link – NZTA Consultation

NZTA have announced their latest round of cycleway consultations for the Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycling link. You can go to the NZTA website to download consultation documents and make submissions, the main document . As a former Petone to Wellington cycle commuter, I absolutely love the idea that a decent cycleway could be built between the two cities, and I strongly encourage you to make a submission before the 31 May closing date!

 

More Roads to ease the congestion?

The original piece by Michael Barnett was published on Stuff on 9 May, 2017.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Otaki MP Nathan Guy visit the Transmission Gully worksite.

OPINION: Travellers on the NZ Transport Agency’s new $630 million Kapiti expressway are questioning its benefits. Some peak hour travellers report a doubling of travel times.

One only needs to look at Auckland to see the folly of building more and more motorways to solve congestion and our leaders continue to offer this as the solution. On a recent tour of the Transmission Gully project, Transport Minister Simon Bridges brushed off suggestions that this will simply move the “chokepoints” further along Wellington’s motorway. Continue reading →