Auckland Transport says they are trying to discourage long-term parking in the CBD by encouraging motorists into car parking buildings, but in reality the CCO has a policy of making the CBD a car free zone. It intends getting rid of car parking buildings as quickly as possible in the CBD, hence the removal of the Downtwn car park during the redevelopment of the QE Square to Albert St block. This has been policy from day one of the CCO.
Next up will be a tripling of car parking fees in the suburbs and the end of free park-and-ride schemes as the ideologically motivated policy of driving cars off the road and forcing everyone to take public transport or ride bikes is rolled out city wide. After all, Council has to pay for the ballooning cost of its white elephant City Rail Link somehow given that the Government has yet to come to the party and Len Brown has decided to push on regardless. This single project is bankrupting the city forcing debt levels as high as they can go and still Auckland Transport is pressing ahead with more hair-brained schemes like Skypath.
Auckland Transport is pissing in the wind if it thinks it can drive cars off the road. New car registrations reached 4810 in March this year just short of its all time high of 4959 in June 2008. The cost of motoring remains stable as world oil prices continue at historic lows and look set to continue that way as estimates of world oil supply increase year by year. Forget the ‘peak oil’ myth of the Greens. Actually, forget any mythology promoted by the Greens.
By the time the dreaded transport ‘planners’ have their way and the first train grinds into action on its CRL loop the scheme will be twelve to fifteen years or more in the making. In that time the world will have passed it by. A car revolution is on its way and will change the face of transport forever. It will be people power, a million individuals making a million different decisions on how best to live their lives, that will decide the future. It will not be the ‘planners’. They are far too slow in outlook and implementation for the modern world. It is all but impossible to plan ten years ahead, let along the thirty years envisaged in transport planning. In a dynamic, fast moving world ‘planners’ are redundant.
Now there’s a huge cost saving idea for Auckland Transport. Get rid of all those redundant planners and you could save us all a packet, lower car parking fees and still have enough left over to encourage some public transport. Better still licence those cyclists and make them pay for their ‘special needs’ cycleways.