Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

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

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