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).
- Replace council worker’s car-related perks with free public transport.
- Replace aging diesel buses with sexy electric models eliminating both noise and air pollution at the same time.
- 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.
- 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.