Consultation closes today at 4pm today on the Council’s killer budget for cycling. It’s desperate, nail chewing stuff !
Shape Auckland gives you two options: a Basic Budget, (which knifes cycling and public transport), or the Auckland Plan Transport Network budget, which says we can have it all – more cycling, public transport and a hefty dose of costly, unnecessary new roads – but it’ll cost Auckland big-time!
So Cycle Action has worked with Generation Zero on a smart third alternative – one that we can afford, and which prioritises public transport and cycling over more roads. Please submit to support it today – Fix Our City.
On Thursday I was invited to present to 3 Auckland Transport Board members, senior AT staff and Councillor Penny Webster on Cycle Action’s transport budget needs. I had 3 requests –
- Prioritise spending to expand transport choice
- Future-proof for resilience
- Invest to satisfy overwhelming public demands for better public transport and cycling
I told them that cycling and public transport choices in Auckland are often no better than I’ve seen in Uganda and Sri Lanka while doing aid projects in recent years. Buses and trains are overloaded with passengers packed in like sardines, ferries fail to run because of congestion at the Downtown ferry basin, and cycling on our incomplete cycle network is too dangerous for most people, despite their desire to cycle more.
He was cycling from Remuera to Albany with a 15kg drill extension piece strapped to his shoulders, because the roads were too congested to offer him reliable peak hour travel to reach his digger parked at Constellation Drive. He had a commercial imperative to avoid the motorway system congested with single occupancy cars carrying people to work. I felt I was back in Uganda, where roads are hopelessly congested, and bikes are the workhorses of the transport system.
In my presentation I also mentioned the flooring contractor who had planned to replace bathroom flooring at our house the previous day. He and his team of 6 contractors were 5 hours late starting work that day, because crashes on the NW Motorway prevented them from reaching their depot. A resilient system provides options for other travel modes, so commercial traffic has priority and congestion is minimised when the inevitable crashes occur.
I finished by mentioning the Urban Cycle Investment Fund, which will leverage Government and local cycling funds to invest $300m across NZ over the next 4 years. Auckland is ready with plans to use at least 50% of the funds, but the absence of a strong cycling budget at Council will prevent us from accessing the $2 coming our way for every $1 we invest. Why would we pass up that fantastic opportunity??
Our transport congestion and safety risks in Auckland will progressively worsen if we let the Council spend our money on more roads and fail to prioritise public transport and cycling.
That’s why the Essential Transport Budget – the third option – is the one to back. And today is positively the last day to add your voice on the subject of how we budget for transport for the next ten years.
Let’s get cracking before 4pm.
SUPPORT THE FIX OUR CITY BUDGET TODAY!