Auckland's Climate Action Plan

A million more PARK AND RIDE spaces

This is part response to Greater Auckland's great idea about housing in car parks, but partly also just a bit of an old school classic in terms of climate change ideas. 

As we pump up public transport capacity we want it filled. Driving to the local major transport hub is not the ultimate good here, but its not bad... but there needs to be room. 

Two things: (1) our current park and rides don't enough capacity, and in many urban areas increased use of train stations has resulted in the UNSAFING of local streets with mass parking on the street sides - many harm factors here including disrupting the local peace and civil rest. 

(2) in this age nothing should be built on a single level, especially not black-wash new carparks next to new transport hubs. These need to go UP Up UP with apartments going UP UP Up next to them too.

Mountains, Moses, Moses Mountains...

Heidi O 2 months ago

Good analysis of the problems, but IMO, you're slightly off with your solution. Have you looked at the cost of multi-storey carparks? We're talking something like $60,000 per park, and more expensive where land is more expensive. That money would be far better used on feeder bus services. Carparks are, essentially, a massive subsidy from the public to each person storing their car for the day. The only place for park and ride is on the absolute edge of the city. Any transport hub within the city needs the feeder bus services, and it needs cycling and walking to the hub to be safer. For this, there need to be as few cars coming to the hub as possible, as well as good allocation of space and priority for the people walking and cycling.

Adding carparks does not reduce the pressure on street parking nearby. Adding carparks actually increases parking pressure - the strongest determinant of parking demand is the provision of parking. In other words, if you provide parking, people will drive and use it instead of choosing another mode. Their driving makes the roads less attractive to use any other mode for other people, so they drive too, putting pressure on parking.

The solution to too many cars using the nearby street parking is that this public space needs to be given to the other modes - buses, walking, cycling.

A good book to read is "Parking Management for Smart Growth" by Simon Willson. It gives some good case studies where similar suburban town centres have taken different approaches to parking, with different results. If we want walkable, liveable suburbs, we need to reduce parking and price it to capture the privilege the use of that prime location involves.

One way to frame any question about transport is: "Does this suit an independent 12-year-old?" Park and rides do nothing to assist an independent 12-year-old. What they need is feeder buses from their homes to the transport hub, as well as good safe cycling and walking amenity.

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Climate Primate 2 months ago

Thanks Heidi, yeah you might be right. $60,000,000,000

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Climate Primate 2 months ago

That would be a lot for some park and rides. Feeder buses would be cheaper than that I guess, and maybe secure bike and scooter parking at stations, even if they had to be guarded, would also be cheaper. Does seem like a better option. Is there a risk that we incentivise car use by providing for it, and if so how far through our latent regressive LTP settings does that analysis hold true? How much of our transport spend could be usefully redirected if climate change framed it?

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Heidi O 2 months ago

Yes, good questions. Currently our transport budget is being badly allocated because there are systemic biases in how the business cases are calculated, and in inappropriate use of the clumsy traffic models. So even if we don't spend more on transport, but redirect it, we'd be making a much more liveable city as well as reducing our carbon emissions quite a bit.

Reallocating funds from elsewhere to establish excellent public transport and active mode infrastructure could certainly be justified too - for starters, the amount we're going to pay in carbon credits as a country is calculated as between $14 and $30 billion over the next ten years. That would be better spent on taking action to reduce carbon emissions. Then there are the social, local environment, safety and public health gains - again, we're talking multiple billions of dollars worth.

We can afford an excellent PT system that people will be happy to choose instead of driving - but we have to start by cutting the budget for new roads and road widening.

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