The Camembert Tunnel

My mother used to state that “I thought I knew everything”, and that “I was always right”, I would wholeheartedly agree.

Continuing on in that fashion, I will now propose a real solution to end Auckland’s traffic woes.

But first, the facts:

  • Petrol prices keep increasing, and pollution is a serious problem with long-term effects on both our health and environment.
  • Councillors and mayor(s) campaign on the ‘public transport’ trump card during their election dances. Of course in their mind ‘public transport’ is for the other people to use, not themselves.
  • Councillors are given free inner city parking/cars, so it is unsurprising they encourage building more roads wishfully believing this will ease our (their) commute. It won’t.
  • The government announces they might spend 2.3+ billion on building a 5km motorway toll tunnel. Building a tunnel to ease Auckland’s congestion problem would be as effective as us covering the rat hole underneath our kitchen sink with Camembert cheese. Yes it will provide temporary relief, but they will be back with a vengeance (besides, the only real way to get rid of rats is to gas them).

My Solution:

  1. Replace council worker’s car-related perks with free public transport.
  2. Replace aging diesel buses with sexy electric models eliminating both noise and air pollution at the same time.
  3. Scrap the fantasy that building another road might fix the problem.Spending 2.3 billion dollars on a tunnel, equates to approximately $4500 for every Auckland resident.What would you do with $4500? Encourage more pollution? Disregard global warming? Continue the naive belief that building extra roads will make Auckland a more pleasant environment? If that were true, then the engineering marvel that is Spaghetti Junction would be a world leading example on rapid inner city transport.

    Instead of spending a 2.3 billion on a cheesey tunnel, which the RMA ensures will take at least a decade to build, let’s spend just half of that on subsidizing public transport over 10 years.

    Make it free on Thursdays and Sundays, introduce 20c inner city link buses, and offer low cost integrated commuting pagckages, which include buses, trains, and ferries.

    Imagine, a free trip to Sylvia Park, or a free trip into town for a coffee/movie date.

    Visitors might actually hang around in Auckland for a bit, instead of taking the fastest option down to Taupo.

    We’d boost the economy, really encourage people to use public transport, better understand the requirements, increase demand and in turn be able to inject extra resources into providing more of it.

  4. Oh and vote for me for mayor, I’ll sort out your public transport issues*. Trust me, I will, for a start I don’t own a car : – )

*I might also build monorails, and bring back inner city trams.

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One Response to The Camembert Tunnel

  1. Simon says:

    You should run for government or something!

    And yes, if they keep going on about public transport they should damn well make it pleasant to use. The buses are generally in poor condition. The ride badly – especially the newer ones which seem to have NO shock absorbers on them, half the time you can’t see out the windows due to black film they stick over them (it’s not advertising either – it’s just there to piss me off I am sure) and the throttle on the things seems to have only two settings – WOT or somewhere a few hundred RPM below comfortable idle. And why is it that the one gas turbine hybrid bus (the red one I’d like to take apart) they have that seems pretty nice does not actually go anywhere? It seems to go from the bottom of Queen Street to a little bit past the bottom of Queen Street and no where else. Also I priced it all out a year or so ago. Travelling 7.5 km in my little 1500cc Toyota to work and back (where we do have free parking admittedly) is CHEAPER than taking the bus. And we’re talking total cost of ownership here. Not just petrol (which is now even more expensive). Also how the hell can we still not have integrated ticketing? I could catch the train to work some days. Only if I want to pay the $8 or so per day for a single ticket. I already have a monthly bus pass. Why can’t I use that?

    I say we take off and nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure!

    No wait, that was something else entirely.

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