We welcome this opportunity to submit on Manukau City Council’s Draft 10 year Plan.
Walking - the policy picture
A key target of the NZ Transport Strategy 2008 is that the mode share of walking and cycling should grow to 30% by 2040. This target is linked to other key NZTS targets, in particular to halve per capita greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2040 and to reduce single occupant vehicle travel (in major urban areas on weekdays) by 10% by 2015.
One of the key priorities for action under the Government's Safety to 2010 Strategy is to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
Manukau City Council and Walking in the LTCCP
We are happy to see $25m budgeted
for footpaths and cycle ways over the next 10 years and commend the
Transportation department for taking advantage of New Zealand Transport Agency
While we welcome this commitment to new footpaths and cycleways we would like to see footpaths and cycle ways receiving a much greater proportion of the transport budget – a true commitment to a really sustainable transport system.
An estimated 2100 deaths each year in NZ are due to physical inactivity. In Manukau City, on average, three pedestrians die each year from injuries sustained from a motor vehicle traffic crash. In addition, a further two pedestrians die each year from injuries sustained from other and unspecified transport accidents.
From 1998 to 2007, 640 pedestrians in Manukau City sustained injuries from either a motor vehicle traffic crash or from other and unspecified transport accidents, which were severe enough for them to be admitted to hospital. On average, this is equivalent to approximately one pedestrian being admitted to hospital each week in Manukau City. NZHIS data sourced from the Injury Prevention Reasearch Unit (IPRU); University of Otago, 2009
What is alarming about the number of Manukau City pedestrians being admitted to hospital is that nearly half (285 or 45%) are children under the age of 15 years.
The walking environment must be safe and attractive for all ages and levels of fitness!
We support the stated aims of the transport expenditure outlined in the Overview
Our road system also needs to be integrated with the increasingly important need to provide for buses, cyclists and pedestrians, with the need to focus on reducing the need to travel.
However we feel that the city’s transport vision is lacking in commitment to encouraging behaviour change in people’s transport choices and their ability to reduce their personal carbon footprint.
We agree with goals of “intensification of urban areas” but also see increased investment in better, and more integrated public transport, better walking and cycling facilities as essential if we are to achieve significant modal shift and a reduction in CO2 emissions.
The District Plan needs to be sympathetic to development of good active streetscapes and avoiding green field sprawl. Are our suburban centres being developed in a lively mixed use way or is it still big “lots of parking” malls? Changes need policy work and therefore budget although the statutory process is quite different.
Manukau the Healthy City
We acknowledge the good work done through Manukau’s adoption of the WHO’s Healthy Cities initiative. We believe that realistic options for citizens to walk, cycle and use public transport are an essential part of a truly healthy city – one that provides choices, accessibility for all, ease of movement and healthier transport options than the current heavy and unsustainable reliance on the private motor vehicle.
We also acknowledge the work done in producing a Walking and Cycling strategy and would like to see the importance of the Strategy also acknowledged here in the Long term Plan.
We support initiatives such as behaviour change management, upgrading of footpaths, town centre improvements and Travelwise which should lead to improved pedestrian infrastructure and improved options for active modes of transport.
Town Centre Plans
We support the funding committed for town centre upgrades. It is hoped these will bring improvements for pedestrians by calming traffic and providing better infrastructure for those choosing active modes of transport to access their local town centres. Neighbourhood Accessibility Plans (NAPs) are a good investment for the Council.
One of the key priorities for action under the Government's Safety to 2010 Strategy is to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. This includes developing Neighbourhood Accessibility Plans (NAPs) in targeted geographical areas, with priority given to low income areas where there are safety issues. NAPs are developed by partnership between local authorities and local communities to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in areas where they are at high risk of injury or death.
We support and commend the Council for undertaking a Neighbourhood Accessibility Plan (NAP) in Otara due begin in July 2009 and for the new Flatbush development starting date TBA.
The Council needs to ensure it is able to meet potential outcomes from that NAP by ensuring its Capital Expenditure (Capex) budget has a line item for implementing its Neighbourhood Accessibility Plan.
Community Street Reviews
Councils need to measure resident’s satisfaction with footpath quality. One way of doing this is by running Community Street Reviews, a tool developed by Living Streets Aotearoa, and further developed and supported by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), see www.levelofservice.com Living Streets Aotearoa as a national organisation is keen to offer their services to Council for running Community Street Reviews. Living Streets piloted part of this tool with Wellington City Council in November 2007, see http://www.livingstreets.org.nz/pdf/Brooklyn2007.pdf
Walkways and Connections
We would like to see greater coordination between the transport and parks departments to ensure that walkway projects can attract New Zealand Transport Agency funding. This would enable such projects to be progressed in a more coordinated and expeditious manner.
We offer support to linking Manukau with the government’s proposed Cycling Network. We see this network as being very beneficial to walkers as well as cyclists and quote a SUSTRANS route monitoring report for 2007 which shows that of the 354 million trips made on the UK walk/cycle network, 50% were on foot, mainly around urban areas. www.sustrans.org.uk
Living Streets Manukau would like to develop an Active Living/Active Transport Network in partnership with the local community, Manukau City Council and Health Organisations based in Manukau. The City Councils upcoming Neighbourhood Accesibility Plan (NAP) and Otara town centre upgrades provide a great opportunity to look at developing community based active transport initiatives in the area.
There is a need for creative thinking, linking of minds and projects with transport, physical activity, parks and recreation land to provide improved access, safer and more efficient routes to key transport destinations such as MIT, Shopping Centres, Public Transport, Schools, Cultural and Sporting Centres as well as areas of cultural and geographical significance.
We also would like to invite the City Council as partners is developing the Otara Heritage Trail – a wider initiative that connects geographical and cultural treasures on trail that will ultimately connect Manukau with our neighbours across the motorway in Otahuhu (Auckland City)
As part of a commitment to building capacity within the community three members of the Manukau Living Streets group will be attending a Living Streets Aotearoa advocates training weekend in Wellington. They will receive training on the New Zealand Pedestrian planning and design guide, walkability and will in turn bring Manukau perspectives on health, transport and active living to a national network.
Relatively small amounts of funding can be very helpful for groups like ours. For example, to do local walking maps, run bike skills training, Walk2Work Day events or to create attractive public art which enhances sense of place. Sometimes grants are useful for a pilot which can be embedded into the operational budget in following years. We would encourage increasing funds available such as the councils community road safety activities fund.
This is a way of making local communities real partners in sustainable cities!
Manukau City Public Parking
We believe that a continued emphaisis on roading projects and intensification of parking is counter-productive as it provides no incentive for people to start reducing their reliance on the car.
Whilst we understand the need to provide affordable access for people and their cars, quite simply allocating more parking will increase congestion and all of its associated problems for the city.
We therefore do not support the proposal to build a car parking building
in the Manukau City Centre (Section 2.0 p 43). This is a direct
disincentive to more people choosing to walk, cycle or use public
transport and a further subsidy to private car travel. We believe that Manukau City would be better served by more
investment in public transport and
working with employers and employees of businesses in the CBD who are
already showing a commitment to active modes of transport.
Provide good links to public Transport
A high quality walking environment that provides good access to public transport is essential if behaviour change and modal shift away from the private car is to happen.
We advocate for walking routes to and from public transport that are safe, pleasant and provide access for all.
We are all people on foot some of the time!
Walking and cycling are lowest cost modes of transport and therefore deserve special consideration in a recession!
Solutions and mitigation of economic recession must be supportive of environmental and social sustainability.
Reducing Carbon emissions can't be achieved without major modal shift in transport!
Walking is great for mental health and wellbeing
Healthier people are happier and more productive citizens
When we consider economic factors remember that people shop locally on foot, stay longer and spend more in attractive retail destinations and also most tourists like to walk in their destination cities.
We would like to make an oral submission at the City Plan hearings.
Kelvin Aris - Convenor
Living Streets Manukau
PO Box 91301 Auckland 1142
Phone +64 9 378 0953
Mobile 021 510110