.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Aucklands Transport Dilemma Part 2: Auckland is Designed for Cars

This is Part 2 in my series of what I remember from a talk given by Dr Wayne Stewart of Opus. All the good ideas are his. All the mistakes are mine.

Auckland is a very sprawled city and it is apparently continuing to spread at a very fast rate (1Ha per day?). The sprawl (ie low density) means that the most efficient form of transport in Auckland is the car. No surprises there. Any Aucklander knows that unless you are willing to severely limit your activities, you cannot survive without a car.

I am carless and live in the inner city. The transport situation is such that I do not go past the city fringe. I don't even think about it. Ideally I try and stay within 30 minutes walking distance of home/work. If I was carless and lived in the suburbs, life would be hell.

Anyway some interesting information (I can't remember the numbers):
  • Cars are the most efficient form of transport for low density
  • Buses are the most efficient form of transport for medium density
  • Rail is the most efficient form of transport for high density
Guess what? Auckland mainly consists of low density areas, with a few pockets of medium density areas. I think there are no areas of high enough density to make rail efficient. I could be wrong there. Maybe the CBD is dense enough for efficient rail. Regardless, there are little to no areas of high density.

What this means, is that unless the density patterns change, then rail and buses aren't going to be particularly efficient. It doesn't mean we can't have rail and buses. It just means that someone is going to have to pay a lot of money to maintain these public transport services. I guess this is what the ARC does with it's subsidies.

The car as the perfect form of Auckland transport is not very good for the carless (ie me!). Carless people are reliant on the inefficient, ineffective and expensive public transport system. I hate that public transport doesn't really go anywhere you want to go when you want to go there. Ironically, the situation is not very good for car owners either. There are increasing numbers of cars on the road (due to population growth, cheaper cars, and social changes). And from what I see and hear, the congestion can be a nightmare. Not only is the congestion wasting time and money (cause we all know that time IS money), it is also creating a lot of stress. I wouldn't be surprised if road rage is on the rise.

What to do about it? I think I'll leave that till next time.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?