Category Archives: Submissions, grants and funding

Our submission on the Draft 2014/15 Annual Plan

Hamilton City Council’s Annual Plan for the coming 12 months has been open for submissions since April 2. This Friday 2nd May will be the closing date for submissions, so we’re running a series of posts this week outlining what’s in the plan and giving some guidance on making a submission in support of a more vibrant, liveable and sustainable city.

The homepage for HCC’s annual plan is here. Along with the full 63-page document (most of which is funding projections), it contains a summary of the plan and a handy guide to making a submission.

I encourage anybody wishing to make a submission to use the below as a base, amending where necessary to reflect your own views or interests. It is as simple as copying and pasting into the council’s online submission form.

NB: Although most of the online form’s identification fields are optional, I would strongly suggest they be completed, as submissions from people who haven’t identified themselves as Hamiltonians by virtue of their contact details might be given a lesser weighting or ignored outright.

Submission to Hamilton City Council on Draft 2014/15 Annual Plan

COUNCIL PERFORMANCE

The council has practiced good fiscal management in recent years and it’s pleasing to see that the council expects to return to surplus by 2017. I would also like to recognise council’s efforts towards improving safety on our roads. The ongoing upgrades to the Hamilton Gardens have been well received, and I am delighted to see investment in upgrading parks and playgrounds over the coming year. I also eagerly await the reopening of the central city section of the river path.

COUNCIL GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: TRANSPORT

I note that my submission is in accord with the council’s objectives in the transport arena as specified in the current 10-year plan, these being:

• Influence land use development so that it reduces the need to travel
• encourage alternative travel choices
• Provide safe options for all forms of transport of the existing network and planning for future development.

“One of our key challenges is to encourage people to consider travel alternatives to single occupancy car journeys.”

In light of the latter statement, I would argue that improving the perception of safety of cycling is likely to be a very cost-effective means of reducing single occupant car journeys.

GROWTH IN CYCLING AND REINSTATEMENT OF CYCLE COUNTS

I am confident that the increased number of citizens choosing to cycle for transport purposes has been noted by transport engineers within council, which demonstrates that past investment in cycling infrastructure has been largely well spent. With the recent opening of the nearby AvantiDrome/Home of Cycling we can expect to see further increase in cycling numbers. The council previously ran a series of automated and manual cycle counts, and I would request that these be reinstated to gauge the effects of the councils’s spending in this area. It is well known that targeted cycling infrastructure works ease road and parking congestion and tend to have very high Benefit/Cost Ratios.

SAFE WALKING AND CYCLING ROUTES TO SCHOOLS

Given the reduction in road congestion during school holidays, it is quite apparent that
minimising ‘school run’ car journeys could be of great benefit to the rest of Hamilton’s motorists. Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse is on record as saying that “…cycling to school in urban areas is declining because parents think it is dangerous”. This state of affairs can be improved, and I would suggest following the NZ Transport Agency’s ‘Model Communities’ approach, starting with a pilot programme at a selected school and seeing what combination of road safety improvements, training and facilities would drive greatest uptake of walking and cycling.

GREEN BELT WALK- AND CYCLEWAY PROPOSAL

Hamilton Urban Blog ( http://hamiltonurbanblog.co.nz/ ) has proposed the creation of a green ‘ring road’ for cyclists and walkers, based on the city’s historic green belt and tentatively named ‘Hamilton Green Ring’ (see post at http://wp.me/p4xhCi-2I ). I expect this idea would be of great interest not only to those wishing to travel around the city on a pleasant, safe, mostly off-road path, but also to fitness-oriented cyclists, joggers, skaters, etc. It would provide truly sustainable and safe transport alternatives to many of the city’s best attractions and amenities, including: the Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Lake, Claudelands Event Centre & Park, Hillcrest Velodrome and several other parks. Active transport links would connect it to Waikato University, Hamilton Transport Centre and other nearby destinations. The project could be implemented in stages and would not only open up under-used parkland to citizens and tourists alike, but also have a transformational effect on the city. I expect that the cost of works would be relatively low and that the Benefit/Cost Ratio would be high, as is typical of walking and cycling infrastructure. I request that the council commission an investigation of the feasibility and likely cost of implementation for the project.

What do City Leaders hear?

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Hamilton City Council’s Annual Plan for the coming 12 months has been open for submissions since April 2. This Friday 2nd May will be the closing date for submissions, so we’ll be running a series of posts this week outlining what’s in the plan and giving some guidance on making a submission in support of a more vibrant, liveable and sustainable city.

If you’re thinking of doing a submission to council. The hardest part is trying to understand what people hear.

Here is what city leaders interviewed about cycling & walking hear, from The League of American Bicyclists:

They know “support is increasing” for biking and walking in cities

Why? “The idea of quality of life came up in every conversation — quality of life as defined by the millennial generation,”

Here is some of what they suggest helps when talking to city leaders

  • Make the argument in an affirmative way, without drawing cars into it.
  • Provide mobility options, so ever one can have a Plan.
  • Build relationships; that is just an essential – on a scale from one to ten, a ten

 

It’s thoughts on bicycle Advocacy

  • Change the conversation – No such thing as a parking problem, there are only mobility problems.
  • Keep advocating for bicycling and walking as part of an urban environment, but know it is not the only part.
  • What people complain about is the behaviour of bicyclists.

 

Recommendations

  • Appreciate and applaud the progress made
  • Stay positive
  • Participate, Share stories of success.
  • Know your specific audience’s interests and perspective

 

As mentioned, we’ll continue to look at the 2014/15 plan in coming days with the hope of encouraging our readers to make submissions by the Friday closing date.