Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Light Rail Feasability Study For Four Million?


City Class TRAM at Pacific Rd BirkenheadImage via Wikipedia
If I was a city councilor I would be very very concerned that such decisions are being called for before all submitters on this subject were fully explored. If I was media, I would be digging very very deep into this and asking why is this 'study' being rushed and at these levels of expenditure if it is not to ensure the decision parameters suit some options over others. If we are to internalise the benefits of any form of light rail/steel wheel decision we had better begin from first principles and evolve a needs based rather than an aspirational 'build it and they will come' design. Such a needs based "City Tram" proposal was submitted. Indeed, a rates neutral approach should be one of the design, build and expand criteria. The Christchurch City Council's hasty decision smacks of grift and electoral self interest.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can Youth 'card' Benefit Money be Guilty?

Any benefit received upon which the IRD considers it (a) taxable income and (in this case) deducts PAYE is and should be the absolute end of the matter. The governments restrictive determination of the end use impacts upon self-will.
We may as well lobotomise youth.
I find it particularly insidious that we should be doing this 'collectively'.
When WE do it to THEM there is a price to pay....
I also find it galling that there was no policy impact statement prepared (and made public) so that proper determination of the cost effectiveness and outcome 'delivery' can be tested against benchmark objectives. It smacks of electioneering populism (and othering) over pragmatic governance.

It is about as logical as prosecuting someone for spending 'profits of selling some cannabis' on bread.

That some money (mine) has a different inherent quality than other money (yours)... and that someone (govt) has a (a) the right to know the difference (b) define that difference and (c) the circumstance in which that arbitrary difference is applied.

It leads to the legal assumption that property including 'cash' can be guilty after the fact, or could be/might be 'suspicious' creating an unwarranted 'need to police'.

That 'we already do it for....' still doesn't make it right, sustainable, good  or civil.

Perhaps the National Party should check this 'targeted policy' against its own party principals?

Blair Anderson 

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mika came to stay.

it's husky weather

Friday, August 12, 2011

Joined up Thinking: Busway First for (CH)^2

LR is a curve ball inclusion, talk about it feed the 'memes' of submitters but dumbs down what could really be done.... 

Rather than a point to point LR starting point, where the benefits are to  few, does little to change the traffic or urban landscape or has redeemable carbon 'credits' or (even) just looks cool on CHCH marketing.... a civic minded solution "with some joined up thinking' might start with whole city network 'rebuild' with a focus on eastern suburbs that REALLY need to be included and redesigned. (So Ilam has a few chimneys down).

Begin with enhanced dual carriage rapid/express busways to/from existing and new nodes. Build the rateable infrastructure and population base around these (ie high-schools/density living/light industrial/commercial) and we could have a REAL city transport network that not only looks cool, it will be a favoured solution BECAUSE it is a network. You don't have to get in your car to go to the LR. Once the dual carriageways are in place, being used and is self sustaining (of course there will be cross subsidy, there is now) then smart(er) steel wheel technologies can be placed on the same network at low entry cost.  
This way we can use existing technologies (buses) and investment, where buses still course the suburbs as they do now but enter and egress rapid transit protected corridors that become the LR of the future....

Such thinking allows us to place occasionally used 'event based' activities 'on the routes' rather than take up valuable inner city living space..(ie: swimming facilities) integrates all existing facilities into the network from the get go...offers better regular services, less constrained by traffic density and notably can be used by everybody 'as soon as' .
With unit construction of concrete forms such a network can be rapidly implemented for special events, repaired expeditiously, home grown and not held to ransom by overseas vendors/suppliers and still be very very 'green' - we just need to stop and think. If we want light rail (and I do) how best do we [all]  get there.

Remember... where point to point rail/skytrain solutions have been rolled out they have been the LEAST successful as they cater for and  become tourism priced or become white elephants 'propped up' by ratepayers who never get to see the supposed benefits....

Do not be duped by the cute visuals of 'how nice it would be'  - set that aside and think about what a 'joined up cityscape' with a light rail that was so cheap, convenient, and close driving your car just wasn't an option might look like... and YOU have to look at 'building a network'. not a P2P dinosaur the next km costs a bazillion to add on you still have to catch a bus too.
Roll out of a 'bus-way' concept can begin right now...and unlike steel wheel, we have the technology/design and build capacity right here. I would begin 'in the east' and stop pretending that the CBD is where its all at. The dominant greenscape/garden of CHCH isn't even yet scoped... and will not be until we have 'determined' where and what we can rebuild....

Lets stop playing trains and think what is it we need to do for people...FIRST.


Blair Anderson 

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sister City Gets It.

The top of the Space Needle in Seattle, WashingtonImage via WikipediaSome drugs have such horrible effects on the human body that the costs of prohibition may be worth it. Not marijuana. This state’s experience with medical marijuana and Seattle’s tolerance policy suggest that with cannabis, legalization will work — and surprisingly well.

Not only will it work, but it is coming.

According to Seattle Times editorial page editor Ryan Blethen, the public’s reaction to the paper’s pot-friendly position was overwhelming.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Urban planning 'Evolutionary'

The word for Christchurch has to be 'evolutionary'. It will evolve, just as it evolved to become what we liked about it (and there were lots to not like too) and it will evolve into what our kids will make it. Athfieild and some of the others I have seen discuss this fail to understand that it is not his or his design committee's city. It is not Parker's or Council's. You can wish for what you want but if Bankers, Insurers and Investors are not lined up around 'risk' of both financial and physical (read: natural forces) nothing will come of these grandiose plans.

The place to start is not in the central CBD of the city at all, rather it is to rethink what it is that creates a city around its people.
 A Fastway bus in the guided bus lane on Southg...Image via Wikipedia
I would begin by scrapping the tram and relegating it to beachside tourism or better still, turn it into a cable car for Lyttleton. It is a USELESS piece of non-essential (and expensive crap) that no longer is fit for purpose dominating a new cityscape...

Never before have we had the potential to redesign urban transport and create a public people (and stuff) mover across the fabric of the city like we have now. Put people on the move cheaply (and this will never be cheaper to implement than now) and commerce will follow the networks.

Mercedes Benz O 405 N guided bus of MVV Verkeh...Image via WikipediaAs a mayoral aspirant I spoke of the merits of guided bus ways evolving into light rail. As events unfolded with Sept and Feb I have seen and critical observed how bus ways would have been durable, efficient movers of people as well as priority corridors for ambulance, fire and police 'around and bypassing' the traffic. That alone gives the idea merit.... get over this talk of rebuilding what is broken...  when in all honesty, it wasn't working very well before. The Commercial developers ie: Ballantine et al vision for the city is a shopping experience..... in a world where people want to buy less and less.

Get over it, the old school is deadwood. The focus for the city 'ratepayers' should be on what benefits the ratepayer... and to do that we have to rapidly increase the rate base across the city... high value commercial property with high social values. I would progressively ring the city with high-speed guiderail bus routes feeding into the four avenues from hub stations at the existing mall developments, university airport, hospitals, etc I would open the idea of hubbing light freight by autonomous 'carriers'  and as this network enhances the city hotels and service centers etc could grow peripheral too the CBD.

Integrated use of land available (under emergency provisions and townplanning etc) creates a tourism and service centre on hte south side of Hagley integrating the heavy rail networks... (yep, the saleyards! take em back... they used to service 52 regional railway stations...100 years ago).

The only way to Green this city is to tackle the hard stuff now... get the networks right and the added value to the city will come....

Be vigilant and carefully scrutinize the burgeoning  political and civic epithets...they are covers for 'I used to be relevant'. 

Blair Anderson 
ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

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