Category Archives: Congestion

Frankton Central Bus Route

It is important to remember that time spent on the bus represents only a portion of the experience for bus users. For the rest of the journey, public transport commuters are pedestrians. When looking at the location of bus stops, it is crucial that the public transport system, in terms of routes, interchange nodes and stops, is well connected to a high-quality pedestrian network. The bus stop identity should enhance a ‘sense of place’ indicating that you have arrived in an important place in the city, as in down-town Kassel.

Kassel KonigsplatzPedestrians should not feel cramped on a narrow footpath. If people have to crowd waiting for the bus, the footpath is blocked. The waiting situation ought to be pleasant, both for people waiting and those actively walking. Here a Bus bulb or Swedish heel stop (klackhllplats) combined with a Kassel kerb can give adequate space for both pedestrians and for people waiting to access their bus.

Victoria St Bump out Bus StopBus stops are centres of public life. People arriving at their destination will usually depart from that destination by using the bus stop on the opposite side of road. This means there is a need for safe pedestrian crossing supported, with safer speeds and good sight lines.

Frankton Central Bus Route

It is essential to arrive in an inviting and welcoming place. It should be easy to orientate yourself, and comfortable and safe to walk towards planned destinations. In addition, the bus stop itself should be pleasant and stimulating, with the surroundings feeling comfortable and incorporating passive surveillance from neighbouring properties.

 

 

What did Hamilton want from the council’s 10 year plan? Part 1: Transport

A few months ago, Hamiltonians had the opportunity to give feedback on the council’s plans for the coming decade. Feedback in various forms was accepted, including “online and paper submissions, social media feedback (Facebook and Twitter) and through public, targeted and Maaori engagement sessions” (the hashtag #ham10yp was used on both Twitter and Facebook). A total of 649 written submissions were received during the submission period, all of which can be read in their entirety here.

Being keen to see what Hamilton residents were moved to write about, I read through all 649 submissions over the course of a couple of days (yeah, I’m fun at parties!) making notes on topics this blog is concerned with. Then I tabulated the results and crunched the numbers. Now, 310 of the submissions were generated via Generation Zero’s online web submission form, summarised as follows:

“…266 [of] which support including cycling in the Transport Budget, 262 which support committing at least $10 million for developing cycle infrastructure over the next ten years, 265 which support prioritising the reduction of carbon emissions and car dependence, 264 which support an investigation into the ‘Green Ring’ cycle network, and 256 which support a review into all new roading projects to try and keep city debt below $440 million”

Submission #294, by Aaron Wong, Generation Zero

 

So, combining the above results with the transport-related topics from all other submissions, we get the following.

Support Oppose Concerned
Accessibility/disabled access 2
Cycling infrastructure improvements 301 1
Increasing cycling budget 267 1
Public transport improvements 16
Reducing emissions/car dependence 266
More economic scrutiny of roading projects 3 2 266
Safer speeds 2 1
Traffic congestion 3
Walking facilities 17

 

So as can be seen, there was very strong support for provision for cycling and walking. Notably, there was little in the way of support for public transport and even less for roading in general – of course, this may be due in part  to the fact that roading is currently very well funded in Hamilton, consuming the vast bulk of the $50 million per year ($205 of every $1000 of rates money) transportation budget.

Notable submissions from organisations

First, from the Waikato District Health Board, which strongly challenges the council’s overwhelming focus on car-dependent transport and land-use planning:

Waikato_DHB_excerpt

Excerpt from Waikato District Health Board submission on Hamilton City Council 2015-2025 10 year plan

 

And secondly, from the NZ Transport Agency:

NZTA_submission_excerpt

Excerpt from NZ Transport Agency submission on Hamilton City Council 2015-2025 10 year plan

 

Excerpts from other submissions

And here’s some more of peoples’ thinking around transport.

“…[L]ooking at the 10 year consultation document we see a projected population increase of 60’000 over 30 years with the number of motor vehicles increasing by 66 percent in that time, which comes to 49,753 cars.  With each one of those vehicles making two trips a day.  With a population of 145’000 this 25% increase will see a 2/3 increase in vehicles meaning Council’s projections are that every new man, woman and some children will be driving their own car.  A lot of those extra car trips will be needing to cross one of our bridges.  Have you seen our bridges currently at peak time?  Perhaps we should just concrete over the river and turn it into a highway?” #22

“As a minimum, the city needs to think about developing integrated cycle network zones for each school and for the central city for com muters and children.  This would have a flow on effect on the amount of traffic on the roads hence leading to a decrease in the total spend on road upgrades and additions.” #23

“The proposed rail and passenger interchange development should be brought forward by 7 ‐ 15 years in development to allow the city to capitalise on an effective and efficient route for workers to be able to live in Hamilton, yet work in Auckland, or vice versa.” #39

“The world is watching, but Hamilton is providing no funding at all so far as walking and cycling is concerned.  These are modes of transport which actually have financial benefits rather than real costs, so they should not be what you are cutting in order to save costs.” #57

“With the development of higher density living units in the Southern and Eastern suburbs more provision needs to be made for alternative transport into the City, to the Hospital and to the University.  There are now some extremely busy roads in this area which are unsafe for pedestrian’s to cross and for cyclists to use.  This is especially true of the bridges, a dedicated pedestrian/cycle bridge near the centre of town maybe as a clip‐on or underneath an existing bridge would find a lot of use.  These facilities need to be usable 24 hours. The river path is delightful but only in day light.  We are still awaiting some sort of safe access for pedestrians to the world famous Hamilton Gardens; this was first mooted when Ron Rimmington was Mayor.  For how much longer are we going to wait?” #85

“More than 5% of the population already walk and cycle on a regular basis, so why are they not entitled to at least 5% of the transport funding, when they need it (i.e. now), rather than at some vague point in the future?

Make the main street for pedestrians and cyclists only. People don’t shop from their cars, they shop on foot.  Yes, we need parking (preferably free), but in parking buildings at the ends of the main street or at the Arena, with free shuttles to get people in and out of the main CBD.” #89

“The 2013 census has now determined that one in four self identify with having an impairment, and the numbers can be expected to rise rapidly even further in the future as our population ages. No longer can persons with disabilities be regarded as a minority for whom limited provision of services is acceptable.” #92

“Lots of people want to bike but it is really not safe due to all the traffic.  I think it is really important to improve a safe cycling accessibility in the city. And to have safe and enjoyable cycle paths that are useful for everyday life, as a mean of transport as important as cars.” #107

“I am not a ‘cycling enthusiast’ nor a ‘walking advocate’. I am an average resident who expects to be able to use the most rational transport choices available. Walking for short trips (<1km), biking for daily trips to work, shopping or recreation (1 – 5km) and car or bus for longer journeys (>5km).  Providing for all those choices should be the Council’s priority.  However, funding should recognise that all journeys encompass some walking (even if it’s just from the car park to the shops). Therefore walking journeys should have the most investment.” #127

“I have a few people who I work with who have said if there was lanes where they feel safe they would ride, both for “utility riding” and recreation.  Some who do ride only do so on the trails such as Te Awa as they feel safe there but would ride on the road more, eliminating car trips if the lanes were provided.  Hamilton has perfect terrain for easy cycling and with the likes of the Avantidrome, Te Awa etc Hamilton city and the surrounding area could become a cycling mecca.” #144

“The Council has some commendable priorities set in the Long Term Plan, however the budget that follows does not really talk to these priorities and is heavily weighted towards infrastructure.  It largely focuses on prioritising the motor vehicle which is a worrying trend if Hamilton is to become a liveable and family-oriented city with the third largest economy, as reliance on this mode of transport does nothing for our health, social connection, or the environment.” #152

“Public Transport & cycleways are very important and must be funded more. With global warming we should be assisting our citizens to get out of their cars. Biking helps keep our people healthy. As the population gets older public transport allows the elderly to get around when they get too unsafe to drive. Also young 16 yr olds are less keen to get their licences. Wellington has such good public transport many of my young relatives don’t need a car or licence.” #187

“Q: Which projects would you like to see deferred to later and why?

All the roading projects. Hamilton’s transport is already overwhelmingly by car. With global warming and deaths on the roads, this is not sustainable. Instead the low cost option of painting lines on roads should be use to create a comprehensive cycle network and encourage the use of electric cycles.” #195

  • More support for maintenance of footpaths.
  • Less spending on big roading projects or delay more.
  • Make local roads around the city along with pedestrian crossing spots safer e.g. Victoria Bridge and Bridge St, Hamilton East.
  • Why no new/extra bus shelters? As older persons age they gradually have to give up their cars and move to public transport.
  • Delay building a Bridge north of city – and make the bridges Hamilton already has safer for pedestrians/cyclists.
  • Put in a controlled crossing on Cobham Drive near a garden entrance for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

#212

“[W]e consider HCC’s focus on transport and roads in the CBD to be gold-plating, given the current lack of growth in this area. Rather, we consider HCC should focus on revitalising the CBD and encouraging development as a priority.” #291

“Cycling experiences are a key part of the Hamilton & Waikato region’s visitor proposition and we are fortunate to have a diversity of trails such as the Waikato River Trails, The Timber Trail and Hauraki Rail Trail. It is therefore imperative that Te Awa is completed so that it can take its rightful place alongside these other trails. The region’s four trails cater for a wide range of markets and collectively provide a unique opportunity to positon the city and region as the best cycling destination in New Zealand.” #292

“Waikato Regional Council would like to work with Hamilton City Council and the NZ Transport Agency to develop a coordinated three-yearly programme of works for the provision of future public transport infrastructure in Hamilton based on the investment priorities set out in the RPTP. The programme of works will identify future infrastructure requirements including new bus stops and bus priority measures to support the delivery of the new public transport network in Hamilton.” #296

“Council needs to acknowledge that the right time to fund infrastructure for people on bicycles is years 1-3 during which NZTA has $200M of funding subsidy available of up to 66%. This means that NZTA will provide 2 dollars for each 1 dollar HCC provides for new cycling projects. This subsidy is only available for years 1-3 of the 10-year plan. If HCC does not ask for cycle project funding this year in 2015, then Hamilton will miss out all-together on this one-off funding opportunity.” #298

“…[W]e still have your planners full steam ahead on their traffic calming concrete jungles, roundabouts in place, trees (known to grow large) planted in the middle of roads, ridiculous speed restrictions making everything a traffic hazard and parking spaces on the decrease everyweek!! Try and drive easily on a rainy dark night- it turns into a nightmare!” #300

“In reviewing the Long Term Plan we would note the absence of any reference to the Active Hamilton Strategy and the Hamilton Bike Plan.

We know that sport and recreation across our region is increasingly competing with ‘inactivity’ and that participation trends are changing to individual participant-centred pursuits. Activity increasingly occurs in the outdoors and with friends – traditional models for participation are changing and we need to ensure that in a partnered way we stay ahead of these trends.

With these concepts in mind we advocate for a strategic and long-term approach to the design of safer cycling networks and strategies to ensure a healthy and vibrant Hamilton city.” #318

“The number of motor vehicles in Hamilton is projected to grow by 66% by 2045, and more if Hamilton becomes the third city economy. This kind of growth is unsustainable. There is an inevitability about this forecasting that does not suggest a commitment to the development of sustainable transport and a reduction in emissions” #319