Friday, June 04, 2021

The change we need to see

Two big transport announcements from the government this morning: first, they're killing Mill Road, another bloated superhighway with a terrible BCR. Secondly, Auckland will get a second harbour bridge for bikes and pedestrians. The net effect: fewer cars, more bikes in Auckland.

This is the sort of change we need to see. Transport is New Zealand's second-biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions after agriculture. Reducing it means decarbonisation, switching to EVs. But it also means "mode shift" - ditching cars entirely for other methods of transport. Bikes and walking are a vital part of that, but to get people doing it, we need to actually provide the infrastructure. We also need to make driving suck more, to push people away from it. This decision will do both.

The amusing bit is that this is all about increased costs, and the big driver of those is... higher house prices. Waka Kotahi couldn't afford to buy out all the people they'd have to move for their road at current inflated rates. So the government which has refused to tackle the housing crisis has been hoist by its own petard. Maybe this means the trucking industry will start pushing for cheaper houses...?