Jack Tame: Removing on-street parking in Auckland benefits car enthusiasts as well as cyclists and bus passengers

Auckland Transport is proposing to remove parking on busy roads like Lake Rd between Takapuna and Devonport. Photo/Alex Burton

OPINION:

For the past five years, I’ve lived in a 16th floor apartment on the Karangahape Ridge, with a breathtaking view of the bowels of K Rd.

There is always something happening on Karangahape Rd. I can see the beautiful people walking their trademark dogs or outdoors in the afternoon sun. I can see people driving off in their new vehicles in the Tesla showroom. I can see drunks tripping on a Friday night, homeless people chatting with each other and the clientele of the two Peaches and Cream stores (not what you might expect).

I also have a unique view of traffic.

Over the past five years Karangahape Rd has changed. They introduced partial bus lanes. They built bike paths in both directions. They have limited parking. And watching from the 16th floor, the traffic effects don’t take a PhD to decode. They are obvious.

First of all – and it’s not rocket science!! – buses are by far the most efficient way to transport a large number of people in the city. When traffic rumbles and slows to a painful pace, as it often does, I watch the idling cars. A bus has 10 or 12 times the capacity of a single sedan or hatchback. When he can use the K-Road bus lane, he immediately passes waiting idling vehicles. Easy.

Second, more often than not the fastest route on K Road is by bike. I often ride mine along the bike path and stop at a few places along the way. If there’s bad traffic, in the time it takes a creepy car to get from the intersection of Ponsonby Rd ​​to Pitt St, I can dismount my bike for a coffee and a cinnamon roll heated and beat them there. Happy Days.

My third observation from above is that parking spaces are a great way to close off an entire lane of traffic. It’s crazy. It’s so inefficient. K Rd has clear lanes between certain hours, which open traffic. When the clear lanes are not in place, for a handful of cars to park, the whole road has a restricted lane and traffic often intensifies. At 2am on a Wednesday that’s not a problem. But at rush hour this often means cars are bumper to bumper the length of K Rd. It’s madness. The convenience of a few takes precedence over the convenience of hundreds or thousands.

Auckland Transport wants to remove parking spaces for more cycle lanes and bus lanes.  Picture/file
Auckland Transport wants to remove parking spaces for more cycle lanes and bus lanes. Picture/file

I know how changes in transportation move people forward. Auckland is proposing changes to on-street parking on some of its roads and from some early feedback you fear the world is ending. This is something all of our cities need to consider, but even though the changes affect a tiny minority of roads in Auckland, they are already facing fierce opposition.

Smarter use of lanes in busy areas is an obvious, low-cost solution to the challenges growing cities face in a warmer climate. As our population grows, congestion and productivity will not improve unless we move people more efficiently.

Maybe you don’t know how to ride a bike. Maybe you have cargo or kids and the bus is too inconvenient. Fine. They don’t ban cars. They do not prohibit parking lots. You can still drive, find a spot, pay for the time, and walk a few minutes to your destination.

The irony of the transport debate is that those who are most critical of bus lanes, cycle lanes and reduced on-street parking are the ones who stand to benefit the most from the changes. If you are absolutely determined to stay glued to your steering wheel on every journey in the decades to come, it is in the interest of municipalities and transport authorities to reduce traffic jams. Take it from the view on the 16th floor. Get over time.

The full list of routes affected

NORTH AUCKLAND

• Hibiscus Coastal Highway
• Matakana Road (from Sandspit Road to Green Road)
• Glenvar Road
• East Coast Rd (from Carlisle Rd to Glenvar Rd)
• Medallion Dr.
• Rosedale Rd (from Bush Rd to Apollo Dr)
• Glenfield Rd (from Pupuke Rd to High Rd)
• Northcote Rd (from Takapuna Golf Club to The Avenue)
• Onewa Road
• Esmonde Road
• Lake Rd (from Esmonde Rd to Albert Rd)
• Bayswater Avenue

CENTRAL AUCKLAND

• Beaumont Street
• Fanshawe Street
• Market place
• West Customs Street
• Lower Hobson Street
• Hobson Street
• Nelson Street
• Wellesley St West
• Wellesley St East
• The strand
• Tamaki Dr (from The Strand to Ngapipi Rd)
• Symonds Street
• Anzac Avenue
• Vincent Street
• Pitt Street
• Grafton Bridge
• Park Road
• Khyber Pass (from Park Rd to Broadway)
Broadway (from Khyber Pass to Alpers Ave)
• Manukau Road (from Alpers Avenue to Mount Albert Road)
• College Hill
• Ponsonby Road
• Great North Rd (from Ponsonby Rd ​​to Crummer Rd)
• Cres Surrey
• Richmond Rd (from Surrey Cres to Parawai Cres)
• Old Mill Rd (from Surrey Cres to West View Rd)
• Garnet Rd (from Old Mill Rd to West End Rd)
• Meola Road
• Chemin Point Chevalier (from Meola Rd to Great North Rd)
• Carrington Road
• New North Rd (from Morningside Rd to Symonds St)
• New North Rd (from Blockhouse Bay Rd to St Lukes Rd)
• St Lukes Rd (from New North Rd to Morningside Rd)
• New Windsor Rd (from Tiverton Rd to Maioro St)
• Maioro Street
• Richardson Rd (from Owairaka Ave to Maioro St)
• Stoddard Rd (from Maioro St to Sandringham Rd)
• Sandringham Road
• Owairaka Avenue
• Mt Albert Rd (from Owairaka Ave to Sandringham Rd)
• Mount Eden path
• Mt Albert Rd (from Mt Eden Rd to Royal Oak Intersection)
• Hillsborough Road (from extension of Dominion Road to Mt Albert Road)

AUCKLAND SOUTH/EAST

• Coronation Road (Waterfront Road to McIntyre Road)
• Coronation Rd (from Taylor Rd to Walmsley Rd)
• McKenzie Road
• Bader Dr (from McKenzie Rd to George Bolt Memorial Dr)
• Kirkbridge Rd (from McKenzie Rd to Ascott Rd)
• Jordan Road
• Atkinson Ave (from Princes St to Great South Rd)
• Ellerslie-Panmure Highway
• Lagoon Drive
• Pakuranga Road
• Ridge Road
• Ti Rakau Walk
• Te Iriangi Drive
• Great South Rd (from Te Iriangi Drive to Ronwood Ave)
• Ronwood Avenue
• Davies Ave (from Ronwood Ave to Putney Way)
• Murphys Rd (from Stancombe Rd to Ormiston Rd)
• Redoute Rd (from Hilltop Rd to Mill Rd)
• Mill Road
• Cosgrave Road
• East Tamaki Rd (from Spring Rd to Hills Rd)
• Preston Rd (from East Tamaki Rd to Ormiston Rd)
• Ormiston Rd (from Preston Rd to Jarvis Way)
• Allens Road
• Smales Rd (from Allens Rd to Sir William Ave)
• Waiuku Road

WEST AUCKLAND

• St Lukes Rd (from New North Rd to Morningside Rd)
• Great North Rd (from Rosebank Rd to St Jude St)
• St. Jude Street
• Rosebank Rd (from Mead St to Great North Rd)
• Ash Street
• Rue Rata
• Clark Street
• Wolverton Street
• Tiverton Road
• Lincoln Road

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