Currently, Auckland Council is calling for submissions on another set of key documents – the 10 year Long Term Plan (which, at the core, is a budget plan – where and what your rates $$$ are to be spent on between 2012 and 2022), and the 3 year Regional Land Transport Programme (which is a more fine grained transport plan feeding for the 2012-2015).
From our initial analysis, there’s some good things for cycling in both documents, but they aren’t really game changers.
In fact, in some ways, they remain decidedly “business as usual” – way too many new roading projects, to start with, sucking up all the available money. CAA is pushing to change this, for example with our recent presentation to Council’s Transport Committee. It is therefore important that you add your voice to the call for more cycling.
The upside to cycling having a history of limited funding is that there is actually quite a bit of scope – even a minor increase of funding can dramatically change what is actually going to be changed on the ground. So voice your call for a better cycling city.
Key comments you can and should make are:
- Some real transformational cycling projects are in the plan like the Waterfront Cycleway, and the Walk- and Cycleway over the Harbour Bridge. Make these happen, instead of them remaining aspirational “would it not be nice” projects!
- The plan is much lighter on mentioning specific cycle projects elsewhere in the region. This is where the Regional Cycle Network comes in. Without a strong focus on completing the RCN (and funding, it always comes down to funding!), your local part of the city is unlikely to see enough change for the better in the next 10 years.
- So ask Council to be serious about completing the RCN – rather than just spend the bare minimum every year as per the Ministry of Transport’s walking & cycling co-funding rates, still set at at 0.7% of the transport budget. Ask them for leadership, rather than following an outdated transport vision of “everyone drives anyway”. Ask them for at least 2% of your transport rates to go to walking and cycling (even that would triple the current money!).
- Check the local board agreements for your own Council area (which are part of the Long Term Plan) – see what your local board is trying to do for cycling, and support them, and call for more!
Submissions can be made online here. We have done a lot for cycling with shoestring budgets in the last few years. Imagine what could happen with real leadership!