Here’s our quick and easy guide to giving bike-friendly feedback on the Auckland Plan and 10-year budget – feedback closes on Wednesday 28 March 2018, so have a read and have your say! (See our overview of the plan and budget over here).
We’ve combed through the forms to give you a bike-friendly angle on every question that could materially affect the quality of your ride, and get us closer towards the vision we all share of a bikeable Auckland.
The online form is probably the easiest of all, as everything’s in one place and you can do it one go. So make a cup of tea, and let’s get started…
First, you’ll be asked for your name (this goes into the public record) and your contact details (email or phone) – and then you’re through to the initial section, which has seven questions about the 10-year budget. You don’t have to answer every question – just the ones you know about and care about.
Question 1 is the really important one for transport:
We are proposing that a regional fuel tax of 10 cents per litre (plus GST) be used to raise more funding for transport projects and services.
What is your opinion on the proposal to introduce a regional fuel tax to help pay for improvements to the transport system?
We SUPPORT the fuel tax, and suggest you do too. Yes, it’s a blunt instrument – but it will boost the ten-year transport investment from ~$9 billion to $11-12 billion, and that extra will enable more investment on safety, and in walking and cycling.
We could spend a lot of words arguing the finer points of fuel tax, but as our friends at Greater Auckland put it, ‘without it there’s no chance of making much progress at all on transport in Auckland over the next decade.’
Next come all the other important questions about the budget, which you can answer as you see fit. (Please do speak for the trees! and for clean water! For example, Forest & Bird’s Budget for Nature submission form covers both of those well).
Question 6 asks about Local Board priorities. You can comment on as many local areas as you like. Luckily for you, we’ve had a look through all of them, to work out where cycling sits in each plan. Because there are so many local boards, we’ve put this info at the bottom of this post – please scroll down to see our suggestions and thoughts about each Local Board’s priorities.*
And then come back up, for…
… the final section of the online feedback form, which asks questions about the Auckland Plan for the city in the coming years. This bit is less about specific yes/no answers, and more about your thoughts on how we’ll achieve great outcomes for the city.
Question 4 is about outcomes for transport. There are seven focus areas for achieving the goal of ‘moving easily around Auckland.’
- Focus area 1: Make better use of existing transport networks, including a greater focus on influencing travel demand
- Focus area 2: Target new transport investment to the most significant challenges
- Focus area 3: Maximise the benefits from transport technology
- Focus area 4: Make walking, cycling and public transport preferred choices for many more Aucklanders
- Focus area 5: Better integrate land-use and transport decisions
- Focus area 6: Move to a safe transport network free from death and serious injury
- Focus area 7: Develop a sustainable and resilient transport system
Note that bikes have a starring role in focus area 4 – and are implicit in 1,2, 6, and 7.
The question is: do you think these seven focus areas will achieve the goal of moving easily around Auckland? This is both a yes/no question, and an open-ended invitation to say your bit.
So. How to answer?
Firstly, you can and should make the point that tangible goals and quantifiable targets would help bring these warm-fuzzy focus areas into sharper relief.
Some things the plan could set targets for:
- how many kilometres of cycleways will be built by 2050
- how many schools will have safe routes for biking and walking
- how many town centres will be slow speed zones
- what proportion of trips into the CBD are via active transport
- how many Aucklanders will have swapped drive-and-ride for bike-and-ride
- because every transport station and shopping centre and employment hub will have great bike parking as the bottom line…
- how many trips will be made on a daily basis on our major cycleways
- how many of us will live in officially bike-friendly suburbs
You get the picture. C’mon Auckland – let’s set some targets and count what matters!
This is also your chance to talk in general about how a city that’s friendly for bikes is friendly for everyone, no matter how they travel. So, for example, you could:
- Enthuse about how bikes free up streets by making more efficient use of existing street space for commutes and local trips.
- Rave about how bikes unlock public transport, with at least half of Aucklanders living within a 15 minute ride of rapid transport buses, trains, or ferries.
- Wax eloquent about how getting more kids to bike to school will create a year-round ‘school holiday effect.’
- Point out how incredibly affordable bike networks are, compared to roading and public transport investments, and how cheap bike travel frees up your wallet as well as the streets.
- Talk about how many more Aucklanders would jump on a bike if it felt safer to do so.
- Explain how a safer transport network benefits young, old, and pedestrians as well as people on bikes.
And of course feel free to tell your own story: how do you see bikes as part of Auckland’s future? And what it will mean to you and people in your household to live in a bike-friendly city?
And there – you’re done!
*A closer look at the Local Board Priorities 2018-2019
Every Local Board is seeking feedback on its priorities for the coming year, with specific questions about local projects, and two main questions:
- Have we got our priorities right?
- Are there any other priorities you would like us to consider?
You can comment on as many Local Board plans as you like! You can find them all here. We suggest focusing on:
- the area you live in
- the one you work in
- and any that you travel through.
Support the bike-specific projects – and you can also comment on the lack of good bike plans or facilities. Remember, every local board has a transport budget specifically for safety and transport, so they may just be waiting for a great suggestion to act on. Safer streets around local schools? Connections to a local transport hub? A more people-friendly main street, or just better bike parking? Tell them what you want.
Below, we zoom in on some projects worth supporting or suggesting in each local board area. If we’ve missed something important, please let us know in the comments and we’ll update this post.
• Do you support a cycling and walking connection between St Lukes and Greenlane train station?
At the moment, this question is at the putting-feelers-out stage, but yes – totally support this! Making this corridor safe for cycling would be a crucial step towards solving the ‘Bike Bermuda Triangle’ in the middle of the isthmus.
The route would follow Route 9, on the main road or parallel as necessary, from the existing St Lukes Rd protected lanes, past the St Lukes mall, all the way through to Greenlane and the new development, and then to Greenlane train station. A strong concept to support for future investigation.
• Would you be prepared to pay a targeted rate towards building new trails and links for walking and cycling across Franklin?
This seems an easy yes to us.
• Do you agree we should continue to invest in infrastructure including the Tryphena Coastal Trail stage 3?
Another easy yes. Note: there’s also good stuff about electric vehicle charging and solar-powered council facilities, which seems a natural fit for the island.
• To help us prepare an urban design plan for the area around the Te Atatu South Community Centre and local park space, what do you see as key ways we can improve the area?
If you’re a local, you’ll have thoughts about how this space could be made more accessible by bike and on foot.
• To help us prepare a Henderson-wide connections plan, what could be done to make it easier for you to walk and cycle more?
This is your moment to shine! Henderson is scheduled for exciting developments, and is a focus area for coming bike infrastructure. It’s also home to some great heritage bike paths – Henderson Creek path and the Twin Streams paths – that cry out for better connections to the town centre. What other connections would enable locals to leave the car at home? How are the school routes? Could the train station be more accessible by bike?
Nothing leaps out from the proposed priorities here. So what’s missing? What can the Local Board do to make Orewa and surrounds more bike-friendly?
The board promises to ‘prioritise advocacy for integrated and well designed public transport systems‘. So let’s talk about the lack of safe bike links to major transport hubs like the Half Moon Bay Ferry and Panmure Train Station. An integrated system includes safe travel for people on bikes, because bike-and-ride is the most efficient park-and-ride, freeing up space and decongesting local streets.
You can also ask for signage to help people navigate the Cascades Pathway, and speak up for better bike parking at the transport hubs.
• What do you value most about the redevelopment plans for central Northcote?
- a combined library, arts and community building
- quality parks and public open spaces
- safe and easy walking and cycling connections
Here, it’d be good to zoom in on those ‘easy walking and cycling connections.’ How does the plan look? Have they got it right?
• Do you support continuing the delivery of the Kaipatiki Connections Network Plan, including a coastal walking and cycling link between Tui Park and Shepherd’s Park in Beach Haven?
More useful in an everyday transport sense is the extension of on-road cycling facilities on Glenfield Rd. This project currently sits in limbo – even though it’s already had extensive work put in by AT, with funding allocated by the previous local board, some of which has been spent developing the plans.
Not only does the route feature on the Auckland cycle network, there are a number of schools in close proximity to the arterial road, plus sports facilities and a shopping centre. So we strongly encourage you to ask for the continuation of the Glenfield Rd cycle lanes as already planned.
Active transport isn’t specifically mentioned as a priority, so we suggest you give strong support for these focus areas:
• Good public transport, local paths and safe cycle and pedestrian networks that connect and make it easier to get around are a priority.
• We want to progress projects in parks and playgrounds and will champion for the historic Otahuhu Portage route project with the potential to open the area for recreation, walking and cycling in the future.
Be sure to make specific suggestions for any local links and connections that could be covered by the transport fund. Safe school routes, connections to shops and public transport, anything that would make a more bike-friendly neighbourhood.
There’s a strong focus on developing and enhancing parks and the town centre. So we suggest you highlight the value of making these spaces as bike-friendly as possible: safe connections through parks (wide paths, good lighting), and links to and through the town centre. Be really specific – that helps open people’s eyes to the possibilities.
This local board is making a strong pitch for a transport interchange at Onehunga, connecting bus and rail. Support this, and point out that adding bike access (i.e. safe routes plus great parking) will make this project even more useful in meeting the goal of easing congestion on the roads.
Housing developments also get a mention, so it’s worth asking for these should incorporate bike access from the get-go, to make it easier for locals to get around without having to add more cars to the streets.
Lots of great opportunities to speak up for a more bike-friendly community here, and thanks to our bike burb buds at Bike Eastern Suburbs for some of the wording:
- Do you support our priority advocacy project for a linkage at Gowing Drive to improve accessibility and safety for students and commuters? YES YES YES, and here’s why. This critical link will be especially important for school kids going to Selwyn College and St Thomas’ School. (Also: this project will be ranked against other local board projects. If it doesn’t get really strong support from the local community, it will rank low down and probably won’t happen.)
- What is your number one improvement project for Tamaki Drive to assist us in making this strategic road work better for our residents? A fully separated cycleway would utterly transform Tamaki Drive – and would connect to the improvements happening at the city end.
- Do you support a safe, shared space for all road users through Colin Maiden Park? Of course!
Also feel free to mention better bike parking at train stations, ask the local board to push for completion of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive cycleway project, and give Remuera Rd some love as a major bike route.The southern half of Orakei has been somewhat forgotten in the transport planning: a cycling link from Stonefields to Newmarket (probably following Abbots Way / Remuera Road) would be great for reducing congestion as well as linking up a lot of schools.
We’re not seeing anything specific here about active transport, which is a surprise, given the wide flat streets and alleyways and parks, the WalknRide Southside public health initiative, the new Manukau bus station (yearning for bike connections and better bike parking!), and the recently adopted greenways plan.
In the light of all that, we suggest asking the board to look for walking and cycling projects that can be quickly delivered via its dedicated transport budget – mention specific safe routes to school and study, or good links to public transport and shops.
• Do you support our advocacy for a multi-storey park-and-ride facility at the Papakura train station?
While park-and-rides take traffic off the motorway system, they add traffic to local streets. So this is a great opportunity to point out the positive effects of bike park-and-ride: spatial efficiency (you can fit way more bikes than cars), the lessening of local congestion, and the benefits to residents of having an active component of their daily commute.
With safe connections and good secure bike parking, a bike-friendly park-and-ride could be a transformative project for Papakura – especially once bikeshare enters the picture.
• As a board, we would like to offer alternative transport routes to free up our local roads from congestion, by continuing the development and implementation of our ‘Papakura Greenways – Local Path Plan’.
Always support your local greenways plan! If you have thoughts about particular routes, be specific.
• Greenways – further development of walking and cycling links between parks and other facilities
Suggest you strongly support the widening of the greenways network. Home to the Bike Kitchen and the Roskill Safe Routes, among other initiatives, Puketapapa could almost rest on its laurels, as it’s been such a leading light for creating bike connections and supporting bike projects! Once the Te Auaunga stream daylighting project is completed, this is going to be one of the best parts of the city to come and ride around.
• Do you support the introduction of an annual targeted rate of $150 per dwelling or business premise to bring forward improvements in transport services and infrastructure in Rodney earlier than currently planned?
Supporting this makes sense if it includes improvements for bikes – ask specifically about bike park-and-ride, and whether the proposed footpaths include cycling connections.
• Are there any areas you think the Upper Harbour Local Board should invest in to improve ‘street to street’ cycling and pedestrian connections through our local parks and reserves?
This is asking about routes through parks, but it’s a chance to think strategically. What major destinations or transport hubs could you access via better bike paths through greenspaces? And what on-road connections would make those paths pay off, in terms of full access?
No specific bike-friendly actions on the list of priorities. Should something be there that isn’t? Let us know!
Do support the board in its appeal to council for 10-year funding for the Matiatia Strategic Plan, which ‘aims to address traffic and public transport flows and to create safer, more functional facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.’
• To help us as we finalise and implement the Waitakere Ranges-wide greenways plan, what could be done to make it easier for you to walk and cycle more?
The perfect invitation to suggest routes and connections that get you where you’re going. Don’t hold back! What main streets matter, and which back streets could form part of a great greenway?
You can also support the board’s advocacy for 10-year funding for the Glen Eden town centre improvements – a good project that should lead to a more bike-friendly town centre. Feel free to get specific about what would make it easier to bike to and through the town centre.
• How do you think we should prioritise our Auckland Transport capex fund over the next three years? Options include:
- improved walking and cycling infrastructure though completing greenways routes, such as the connection from Newmarket to Parnell through the old Parnell rail tunnel
- streetscape improvements
- implement slow traffic speed zones in residential areas
This Local Board is extremely onto it, when it comes to active transport. The Parnell rail tunnel greenway is an interesting idea that’s been waiting around for the perfect moment. ‘Streetscape improvements’ is an open-ended invitation to get specific about areas crying out for an upgrade. And slower speed zones would be a small change with huge impact in terms of safety and a Vision Zero approach.
Feel free to support ‘all of the above’, of course!
• What would make our town centres and our transport centres outstanding?
Another open-ended question looking for some great answers!
Better bike access – i.e. safe routes to train stations, bus hubs, and shopping streets, public libraries, medical centres. Copious bike parking, of course. Mention pedestrian safety, too, as the safer it is for all kinds of active transport, the better.
You can also mention safe routes to schools as something that would make Whau an outstanding place to live, especially if you have specific ideas for routes that could be delivered using the transport fund.
Also, mention your strong support for the Te Whau pathway, which will eventually link New Lynn all the way to Te Atatu. What the NW Cycleway was to riding to work on the Isthmus, the Whau Pathway could be for cycling to school in the West. Let’s give it some love.
And by all means, support the board’s intention to ‘look at new projects that move Whau to lower carbon living’ – this must surely include active transport, but let’s make sure by spelling it out!