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Transport advocacy at Auckland Council

Photo credit: Cathy Casey

Photo credit: Cathy Casey

Every year each of the 21 Local Boards has an opportunity to present to the Governing Body (the Mayor and Councillors of Auckland Council) on their activities, advocacy areas and budget requests that the Board wants included in the Annual Plan.

Today the Waitemata Local Board, led by Shale Chambers, had our turn to  outline our priorities for 14/15.  I spoke to our transport advocacy areas:

Introduction

I come here today still buzzing from having experienced the future of transport in Auckland on the electric train on Sunday and with good news from the latest census data that clearly shows that when Aucklanders are provided transport choice they are eager to take up PT, walking and cycling.  On census day 51% of residents in Waitemata travelled to work by means other than a car.

We have developed a comprehensive list of 20 transport advocacy areas for 14/15 that respond to the transport expectations of our residents, visitors and businesses that can be summed up as investment in cycling and walking infrastructure, pedestrian safety and amenity, quality street design, and effective parking management as we work towards an outstanding public transport system as part of a congestion free network

We are seeking a clear direction from the Governing Body to Auckland Transport that our local board transport initiatives must be incorporated into their 14/15 programme of work.

I would like to quickly highlight 5 specific areas.

Greenways The GB is very familiar with the concept of greenways and it is great so many Boards have either developed or are developing Greenways plans. The successful implementation of the Greenways Plan requires co-ordination and commitment from St Marys Bay parkingnot only Waitemata Local Board but also  the wider Council family. We are advocating that a regional greenways budget is secured in the Auckland Transport budget and included in the Auckland Transport Statement of Intent

Inner City Parking Scheme –  The number one complaint received by Auckland Transport is in relation to parking issues in our inner city suburbs particularly Freemans Bays as a result of all day commuter parking.  The situation is getting worse and has a number of negative impacts not just on residents but on local businesses. We support the roll out of resident parking zones for our inner city suburbs like the scheme currently being trialled in St Marys Bay. We want to see this happen by the end of the year following Auckland Transport’s consultation on their parking strategy.

Franklin RoadFranklin Road –  The much needed  upgrade of Franklin Road has been postponed for many years as it has been in the too hard basket.  This project includes road resurfacing, undergrounding of services, footpath upgrade, pedestrian crossings, cycle path and on road parking and to provide for safe and continuous walking and cycling pathways from Ponsonby Road to Victoria Park.

The good news is that Auckland Transport has recently put the project back on the table and is revisiting  a design from 2011 but needs a budget allocated to the upgrade by Council.

Intersections and Amenity for pedestrians and cyclists – After a really slow start there are positive signs that Auckland Transport is starting to make progress on improving the pedestrian and cycling experience in Waitemata.

We have provided a very detailed list of safety and infrastructure improvements in our advocacy section, which has been done deliberately to make sure local priorities are included in AT’s work programme and funded from the regional safety and maintenance budgets.  This includes cycle lanes  on Carlton Gore Road, linking Beach Road with the Grafton Gully Cycleway , and advocating for a change of the give way rule at intersections in favour of pedestrians

SkypathSkypath – Lastly thank you for supporting the Auckland Harbour Bridge Skypath so far. One of the most exciting and transformation projects currently underway in Auckland.

We would like to request that the Governing Body continues to progress and provide regional leadership for the skypath.

Our full list of transport advocacy areas for 14/15

Auckland Transport

  • Cycle infrastructure
    • Consult with local boards on the development of the Cycling Business Plan and routes and priorities of the Auckland Cycle Network.
    • Improve cycle infrastructure through the completion and extension of the Auckland Cycle Network with safe, connected, dedicated cycleways including:
    • Carlton Gore Road (bike lanes currently planned).
    • Beach Road, linking with the Grafton Gully Cycleway and with Tamaki Drive and Parnell Station.
    • Parnell to the City Centre walk/cycleway, through the new underpass south of the Parnell Train Station.
    • Nelson & Hobson Street (with separated two-way cycleways, as described in the City Centre Masterplan).
    • Wellesley St connection to Auckland Domain under Symonds St overbridge and on-road connection to the NZTA funded / constructed Grafton Gully Cycleway.
      • Prioritise the upgrade of all routes in 2014/2015 currently identified as “complete” on the Auckland Cycle Network within the Waitematā Local Board area, but are not of a safe standard.
      • Traffic calming
        • Undertake a trial of a slow speed zone in a residential area.
        • Implement the city centre 30km per hour speed zone (as described in the City Centre Masterplan) and the Wynyard Quarter slower speed zone.
  • Cycle safety
    • Prioritise the installation of advance cycle stop boxes with feeder lanes including in the following locations:                    I.      Williamson Avenue northeast coming onto Ponsonby Road
    •  II.     College Hill Road westbound coming onto Ponsonby Road
    •  III.     Tamaki Drive, westbound at The Strand
    • IV.         St Stephen’s Avenue westbound coming onto Parnell Road
    • v.            Karangahape Road eastbound at Symonds Street, onto the Grafton Bridge
    • VI.         Great North Road eastbound coming on to Karangahape Road.
  • Ensure safe, connected and continuous cycling is provided for in the St Lukes bridge widening including undertaking cycling safety works at the Bullock Track and Great North Road intersection.
  • Pedestrian safety and amenity
    • Improve intersections for pedestrians with substantial foot traffic and develop solutions to improve safety and amenity for pedestrians. This includes:
    •                   I.      All intersections with left–turn slip lanes and no pedestrian facility
    •                II.      Intersections with long pedestrian crossing delays.
    •                III.    Undertaking route optimisation for pedestrians in the city centre including automatic pedestrian phases on one way streets.
  • Advocate for a change of the give way rule requiring motorists to give way to pedestrians crossing parallel to the priority (main) road at intersections.
  • Richmond Road Safety Plan
    • Complete the implementation of the safety improvement action plan during the 2014-2015 financial year in conjunction with Auckland Council for the shopping areas and school zones of Richmond Road, concentrating on the following elements:
    •                     I.    Pedestrian and cycle safety
    •                    II.    Traffic calming and slower speeds
    •                   III.    Urban design.
  • Franklin Road upgrade
    • Undertake the planned upgrade of Franklin Road including road resurfacing, undergrounding of services, footpath upgrade, pedestrian crossings, cycle path and on road parking and to  provide for safe and continuous walking and cycling pathways from Ponsonby Road to Victoria Park including continuous pedestrian facilities (i.e. an unbroken footpath on both sides of the road) across all side streets, driveways and intersections (for example by installing raised tables).
  • Newmarket traffic management plan
    • Develop a traffic management plan for Newmarket to make traffic flow in a way that is logical and supports public transport, walking and cycling and economic development. This would include consideration of parking, arterial infrastructure, motorway access and signage.
  • Residential parking zone
    • Auckland Transport to implement the residential parking zone scheme to manage commuter parking in central Auckland suburbs following consultation with residents.
  • Auckland Domain traffic management
    • Auckland Transport to improve walking and cycling access to and around the Domain, while discouraging commuter parking use of the Domain through:
    • I.    Implementation of a parking scheme for the Domain that works to discourage commuter parking (e.g. through pricing)
    •  II.    Improving walking and cycling options
  • Contribute to the development of a Masterplan for the Domain (to be led by Auckland Council).
  • SkyPath
    • Auckland Transport and Auckland Waterfront to progress the Auckland Harbour pathway project (the SkyPath) for delivery in 2014/2015.
  • Footpaths
    • Prioritise the 2014/2015 footpath renewal programme in conjunction with the Waitematā Local Board.
    • Create an agreed public consultation framework for the footpath renewal programme.
  • Greenways
    • Fund and deliver the on-road components of the Waitematā Local Board greenways project prioritised for 2014/2015.
  • Set the three year programme of works in collaboration with the Waitematā Local Board with regards to footpaths, road safety initiatives, cycleways, parking, greenways.
  • Support other Waitematā Local Board agreement priorities including:
    • the introduction of low impact storm water solutions in the Local Board area;
    • delivery of green walls, roofs and community gardens on Auckland Transport assets e.g. car park buildings;
    • drinking water fountains in the street environment;
    • development and implementation of the Ponsonby Road master plan, the Karangahape Precinct Plan and the Newton Precinct Plan;
    • Wayfinding signage for pedestrians; and
    • Upgrade of Teed Street (western part), York Street and Kent Street, Newmarket.

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