Living Streets North Shore Submission on Draft Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) 2010-2040

 

Submission from Living Streets North Shore

on the draft Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) 2010 - 2040

 

Organisation:           Living Streets North Shore

Contact person:          Gay Richards

Address:                 20A Roberts Ave, Bayswater, North Shore 0622        

Email:                     gyrichards@xtra.co.nz

Phone:                    09 445 6568 (home); (09) 373 7599 ext. 84640 (Work)

Date:                           17 December 2009

 

About Living Streets North Shore (a walking action group of Living Streets Aotearoa)

 

Living Streets Aotearoa is New Zealand’s national walking and pedestrian organisation, providing a positive voice for people on foot and working to promote walking friendly planning and development around the country.  Our vision is “More people choosing to walk more often and enjoying public places”.

 

The objectives of Living Streets Aotearoa are:

  • to promote walking as a healthy, environmentally-friendly and universal means of transport and recreation
  • to promote the social and economic benefits of pedestrian-friendly communities
  • to work for improved access and conditions for walkers, pedestrians and runners including walking surfaces, traffic flows, speed and safety
  • to advocate for greater representation of pedestrian concerns in national, regional and urban land use and transport planning.

 

Living Streets North Shore is the local walking action group based in North Shore City in the Auckland region, which is working to make city and suburban centres on  the North Shore more walking-friendly.

For more information, please see: www.livingstreets.org.nz  

Submission

Introduction

Living Streets North Shore (LSNS) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the draft RLTS for the Auckland region. This strategy will shape the transport future of the Auckland region for the next 30 years so must accommodate the projected growth of the region and the need for a sustainable future.

LSNS is one of several walking action groups under the umbrella of Living Streets Aotearoa. These groups have chosen to make separate submissions on this draft strategy to emphasise the breadth of support for the approach taken by this strategy across the region.

LSNS supports the vision and the seven strategic objectives outlined in the Executive Summary (p.8). LSNS agrees with Councillor Christine Rose that:

“Road and public transport users benefit from bus, rail, ferry and walking and cycling improvements.” (p.6).

 

The six strategic priorities fit well with objectives of Living Streets Aotearoa and of LSNS, in particular;

  • continuing to improve public transport,
  • integrating transport and land use to support a compact and contained urban form, changing travel behaviours, reducing the impact of travel on the environment and communities.  
  • (p.8).

 

Therefore LSNS supports the Preferred Strategic Option with its focus on public transport improvements, behaviour change, walking and cycling and local roads.

 

Challenges

Commenting on the challenges discussed in Chapter 3, LSNS would like to focus on the following issues:

Safety and personal security

This is of paramount importance to pedestrians, who are among the most vulnerable road users. LSNS notes that the recently adopted Auckland Regional Road Safety Strategy acknowledges this. The road user hierarchy adopted in that document should also be referenced in the RLTS.  Personal security is also of great importance to pedestrians. Improving the real and perceived safety of pedestrian links at public transport terminals and between public transport stops and key destinations through the provision of well-designed and well-lit infrastructure based on CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles would encourage both walking and public transport use.

Access and mobility

LSNS agrees that:

“A key challenge for the region is to make public transport and active mode alternatives to the private vehicle attractive enough to compete favourably with the car in terms of travel time, costs and other benefits, such as health and community participation. Public transport is the main transport alternative for most peak period commute journeys. Despite recent positive trends, there are major challenges in the future to better match transport choices with peoples’ origins and destinations.” (p.28)

 

This issue must be addressed by ensuring that growing areas of the region, which are under-served by public transport , are made a priority. Walking should be encouraged by promoting urban development and streetscapes which make walking an attractive and safe option for short journeys. The needs of those with limited mobility, especially those using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, must be considered when developing all transport infrastructure. Addressing the key findings of The Accessible Journey: Report of the Inquiry into Accessible Public Land Transport, and better alignment between where land use growth is occurring and where transport improvements are planned is essential.

Public Health

The issues outlined on p.29 should have a high priority as these are essential if transport is to contribute to improved public health.

 Environmental Sustainability

The RLTS must address the need to reduce emissions and improve air and water quality.

Integrated transport and land use

The RLTS must support the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy and Regional Policy Statement by shaping the pattern of development and influencing the location, scale, density, urban design, and mix of land uses.

Preferred Strategic Transport Option

LSNS supports the Preferred Strategic Transport Option as outlined in 4.4 (p.42).

The priorities for an improved public network are supported, in particular rail electrification, the provision of a rail link to the airport, integrated ticketing and improved northern and cross region public transport networks. The cross harbour ferry network is also a critical link for those living or working on the North Shore. Increased frequency of existing services and inclusion in the integrated ticketing system would contribute to increased use of these services and associated bus links.

Behaviour change initiatives and improved walking and cycling infrastructure is supported. Provision of walking and cycling facilities on the Auckland Harbour Bridge would be a key element, sending a clear message that the region is serious about mode change.

Roles of Transport Modes:

The role of walking

LSNS is pleased to see the role of walking highlighted in 4.7.1 (p.48) and supports the mechanisms proposed in this strategy to achieve an increase in walking trips in the Auckland region. With modest investment the target could be to double the number of walking trips in the region from 2006 levels by 2040.

The Role of Public Transportation

LSNS supports the emphasis on public transport infrastructure improvements in this strategy. However the target for 2040 detailed in 4.7.3 (p. 49) seems unduly modest.

Conclusion

Living Streets North Shore supports the objectives and policies outlined in the draft RLTS and congratulates the Auckland Regional Transport Committee on developing a strategy for the next 30 years which recognizes the need to move the region towards greater use of public transport and the encouragement of active transport through behavior change and the provision of improved infrastructure for those who choose to walk or cycle for all or part of their trips around the region.

Living Streets North Shore would welcome any opportunity to provide any further input into the development of this strategy or in the development of implementation plans.

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