The Auckland Transport Board of Directors will meet again tomorrow and here are the highlights of their reports. You can also watch the open session of the meeting live between 9 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. via this Microsoft Teams link.
Below are the most interesting items on the closed agenda.
Items for approval
Here are the elements of the normal activity report that caught my attention.
AT is currently consulting on what it calls tranche 2A of its speed management program, which focuses on changes to rural southeastern roads and residential streets around a number of schools. . I don’t know when this report was written, but they say that at the time of writing they had received 4,035 submissions – consultation is open until November 14th.
They are also working on tranche 2B which they plan to go to the board in November, which is interesting as there is no board meeting scheduled for November. Based on their stated engagement with local councils, the streets in tranche 2B will be on Aotea Gt Barrier Island, in the Hibiscus and Bays and Howick local council areas and on the Awhitu peninsula. AT also gives this little feedback on one of the existing implementations of speed limit change.
Following the implementation of the Residential Speed Management Zone (RSM) in the Wordsworth Quadrant of Manurewa, customer feedback has highlighted the benefits for safety and active transportation. This RSM, which is the largest area treated or designed to date, was co-funded by the Manurewa Local Council who supported AT throughout the project. The responses received by the local council were very positive with 82% of respondents stating that they felt there was an increase in road safety and 35% stating that they now use at least one more active mode (walking , scooter or bicycle).
The board is also hosting a presentation on the emerging results of the first tranche of speed limit changes. There’s quite a bit of it in there, so I’ll cover that in a separate article. as well as a separate document to Council dealing specifically with pedestrian and cyclist safety.
Changes at the intersection of Mt Albert Road
Consultation on unimpressive changes at two intersections along Mont Albert Road was closed last month. AT says it has received 322 comments about them, 234 of which relate to cycling. We have to wait to see the outcome, but if this sounds like other recent consultations, they will likely ignore them – and AT’s stakeholder, communities and communications manager essentially told the board during the meeting. the last meeting they
ignore feedback on the weight of cyclists compared to that from other sources.
Papatoetoe West LTN
Auckland Transport and other municipal entities have been quick enough to pull off many innovative street projects in suburban areas in response to vocal opponents and not having made much of an effort to explain why they were needed. One of them survived, the Papatoetoe West Low Traffic Neighborhood.
In mid-September 2021, the M&E report and supporting data were submitted for the Papatoetoe West Low Traffic Neighborhood (LTN) trial conducted for the Ōtara-Papatoetoe local council under from Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets for People program. Papatoetoe West LTN was the only project in Auckland that successfully provided ‘modal filters’ (i.e. roadblocks that allow pedestrians and cyclists, but prohibit the movement of vehicles) so that their impact in the community can be monitored in terms of vehicle speed, volumes, travel time. , pedestrian activity and perception of road user safety for active modes.
In general, the trial was successful in increasing perceptions of road safety within the community. Comments at community events, including a “coffee and a cat” and “the sausage sizzle and kōrero”, have been positive. Temporary localized speed calming measures were welcomed.
Public feedback before and after the test installation provides rich data as the LTN test progresses towards permanent improvements through the Home Speed Management (RSM) program. The local Ōtara-Papatoetoe council has been very appreciative of the efforts of AT staff in the LTN trial and wish to continue the positive working relationship on this path to tenure through the RSM program.
Guess COVID restrictions set back the opening of Stage 1 of the railroad tracks. Prior to the lockdown, an October opening date was mentioned. Now they say the indicative opening date will be late November or early December.
Meanwhile, they say the consultation on the rest of the bus route, from Pakuranga to Botany is ready, so we are likely to hear about it in the coming weeks.
Micromobility risk study
To say :
We recently completed a high-level study to improve our understanding of the safety risks for users of micromobility (e.g. e-bikes, e-scooters, skateboards, and monowheels). Some of the main lessons learned from the research include:
- Slippery / bumpy or uneven surfaces are the leading cause of solo micromobility accidents.
- Accidents on slopes tend to result in more serious injuries.
- Road accidents (rather than sidewalks) tend to be more serious.
- Bicycle and electric scooter speeds below 20 km / h have a lower likelihood of concussion in a collision with a pedestrian, resulting in a lower risk of serious injury to the pedestrian.
Imagine if AT devoted as much effort to building safe streets for micromobility users as it did to studying the results if they didn’t.
AT always include in the report any bids or contracts over $ 2 million that have been awarded. The one that stands out is below:
On the bus connectivity solution – 3-year contract (2021-2024) for the improvement of onboard passenger information services which will provide more accurate and frequent data to AT’s real-time data platform, in order to improve the client experience.
They also had funding approved by Waka Kotahi for a bunch of rail related projects.
I really hope they don’t come up with an expensive bridge for Church St East to serve two properties when an agreement with neighboring properties and removing a few curbs and parking lots might solve the problem.
Auckland Rapid Transit Plan
AT has been working on a rapid transit plan for some time. At a high level, it’s about turning the lines on the map that we’ve seen for some time with ATAP into a delivery strategy. We’ve covered parts of it and how it relates to light rail here. Globally, AT says they are in the final stages which will include integrating the results of the LRT process and its implications on the Northwest Coast and North Coast. The final plan is expected to be completed in early 2022 and consists of three main sections:
- An overview of rapid transport, its role in the wider transport network and land use planning, and the objectives for the development of the RTN.
- A network plan, outlining a vision for the RTN in 2050. This will include technical details of its performance against objectives, an overview of potential options being considered, and key next steps for business cases to be explored on individual corridors.
- A delivery strategy, which will discuss how we can achieve the plan. This will include possible land use responses, regulatory and policy changes, how we might fund the future network and how the agencies involved can work together to achieve this vision.
AT has previously reported on local council satisfaction from the survey of elected council members. This month, they have included a few new metrics in their reports, the results of which are quite revealing. In particular, more than half of advisers are not satisfied with the quality of advice they receive from AT. Last year’s OCC review highlighted that advisers have the power to do something about this. I wonder when they wield this power?
As mentioned before, there are a few cool articles on speed and safety that I’ll cover separately. In view of this, if you look at the newspapers, is there anything else that stood out to you?