The new Auckland Council is taking public submissions on the first Auckland Plan – a 30-year blueprint for the new super city. You have until May 31 to have your say.
A lot is riding on the Auckland Plan aka the spatial plan. It is the mother of all plans, and aims to integrate land uses like transport and other infrastructure, as well as setting out the key strategies for the new Council. It is also the main way that Council and central government are supposed to line up their priorities.
If you want to have a say on the future of Auckland this is a great time to do it.
It is especially important if you care about Mayor Len Brown’s vision for a liveable city and a world class transport system. At a time when John Key and Steven Joyce are doing their best to sink the vital central city rail link, this is a good opportunity to weigh in behind Len’s election-winning vision for the city.
But maybe you have strong views on where development should take place and where not, what the Council should spend our rates on, and what the priorities should be?
I have my own local issue I am submitting on. Since moving to Te Atatu and campaigning here I’ve realised how badly served this part of Auckland is by public transport. The transport planners seem to think the West’s problems were solved by electrifying and double-tracking the rail. However the rail line is too far away for people in Massey and Te Atatu who are plagued by a motorway that is jammed up in rush hour and clogs the main feeder routes like Lincoln Rd and Te Atatu Rd.
Adding the odd lane to the NW motorway, or widening the arterial routes is not going to solve the problem. We need a public transport solution that allows people to leave their cars at home. Happily the North Shore Busway offers a very successful model. It currently takes two whole lanes of traffic off the harbour bridge in rush hour and patronage is still climbing.
A dedicated NW Busway is the logical solution, especially given the huge population growth planned for the North West in coming years.
Whatever your desire is for Auckland, go forth and submit!