Labour announces policy for traffic delays

July 30th, 2011 at 9:58 am by David Farrar

says:

Labour’s spokesman Shane Jones says a future Labour government is committed to 100 per cent funding of a two-lane link road on the Kapiti Coast instead of National’s planned four-lane expressway.

Shane Jones made the announcement at a meeting in Waikanae last night.

“Transport Minister Steven Joyce ditched the long-planned link road when he announced a four-lane raised expressway about 18 months ago, roughly along the same route,” Shane Jones said.

“But the link road is what people want. It’s far cheaper, which is important when cash is strapped, will have far less environmental impact on the district than the four-lane expressway, and will do the job that’s needed of reducing congestion.”

No, it won’t. Two lane roads are terrible for congestion, as all traffic slows down to the slowest vehicle.

After decades of dithering, Steven Joyce announced a plan for four lanes from the airport to Levin. This is exactly what the Wellington Region had been calling out for. We’ve alll had the multiple congestion delays on Sunday afternoons etc.

However a road is only as fast as its slowest point. Under Labour you would have four lanes everywhere but Kapiti, which means when it is busy the entire corridor will slow down to the slowest car on the road.

John Pagani notes on election results:

Before the transport agency decided on its particular route, it put out options that seemed to threaten most homes in the region. Colmar Brunton did a survey (pdf) and a route was selected that was the most popular in that survey.

49 per cent supported it.

Opponents of the motorway have argued the poll was flawed because it didn’t offer a ‘no expressway’  option.

Since about 15 per cent of respondents selected ‘no need for expressway’ or some variation such as ‘upgrade existing SH1′, I’m not sure how people arrive at this claim, but it is what they say.

Yesterday, Labour came out with a policy – the one supported by 7 per cent in the poll.

If opposition to the expressway was as strong as opponents say, then you would expect Labour would have picked up support in Otaki.

Interestingly iPredict stocks in Otaki haven’t moved at all.

Labour are just pandering to a vocal but minority pressure group. This isn’t unusual, but in this case they are prepared to screw over all the Wellingtonians who drive to Kapiti or beyond.

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27 Responses to “Labour announces policy for traffic delays”

  1. Inky_the_Red (719 comments) says:

    We are a long narrow country surrounded by water. Why do we need to subsidise road transport (and to a lesser degree rail) at the expense of coastal shipping?

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  2. nasska (9,579 comments) says:

    Inky

    The answer to your question probably lies in the ability of the general public to remember the antics of the Cooks & Stewards Union. You must recall those wondrous days….”the toaster’s broken..all out bros!”

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  3. db.. (78 comments) says:

    I_t_R, What you suggest is treble handling and two lots of cargo sorting. Lost all of your savings.

    db..

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  4. mikenmild (8,925 comments) says:

    Isn’t Labbour just endorsing what the KCDC (the region’s democratically-elected representatives) want?

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  5. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    4 Lane Blacktop… has a nice ring to it.

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  6. peterwn (2,941 comments) says:

    So this goes hand in hand with Labour’s policy to cancel the important SH1 improvements in Warkworth area thus strangling Northland’s developments. This to keep in sweet with the Greens and to help finance Len Brown’s expensive train sets for ‘other’ people to use.

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  7. emmess (1,334 comments) says:

    Next step, is for Labour to announce a policy to scrap what they derisively refer to as the ‘Holiday Highway’ north of Auckland and quite possibly the Waikato Expressway.
    This will also be a policy for traffic delays but also increasing traffic deaths.

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  8. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    In my mind, this policy announced by Shane Jones is not at all his thoughts of what should happen…

    Shane is forward thinking, in fact he is in the wrong party… That is always the conclusion I have come to after spending an hour or so with him a few times in the last 12 months.

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  9. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    We will always need a 4 lane highway from Wellington to Whangarei… in the North Island a least.. but beggars can’t be chooses.. unless we find someway to accumulate large amounts off wealth.. it will always stay the same.. a bit here a bit there .. so dream on.

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  10. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Labour might announce a SH2 upgrade in Wellington from the savings – might save them Rimutaka and stop Hutt South being a toss up.

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  11. MT_Tinman (2,799 comments) says:

    Two lane roads are terrible for congestion, as all traffic slows down to the slowest vehicle.

    Unfortunately, as New Zealand has refused to adopt the fast lane/slow lane approach four lane roads slow down to the speed of the two slowest moving cars, without fail travelling side by side 30KPH below the speed limit unhindered by road tax collectors.

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  12. Paulus (2,304 comments) says:

    Did I not read that this will impinge on Maori burial grounds ? – probably Taniwha also.

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  13. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    There is a mostly vacant corridor through Kapiti that is reserved for a future road. National wants to build the expressway on it, leaving the existing SH1 for local traffic. Labour want to build another local road on the corridor, leaving SH1 for intercity traffic. That means they want to take the corridor and waste it… For the next 100 years, intercity traffic on SH1 will speed past driveways in Raumati at 100km/hr, slow down for the lights at Coastlands, drive along a residential street in Paraparaumu, turn 90 degrees to cross a railway line, drive past more driveways at high speed, then slow down to a crawl through Waikanae while dodging shoppers crossing the road and trying to find a park. And there would be nothing a future government could do about it because the corridor had been built over. It is economic vandalism.

    Some of the locals and Labour are opposed to national infrastructure unless it directly benefits the local community. It’s a bizarre position to take. If power pylons carry electricity from one end of the country to the other, then locals won’t want them crossing their community. And Shane Jones will promise to replace them with a few non-grid windmills or something.

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  14. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    Labour are just pandering to a vocal but minority pressure group. This isn’t unusual, but in this case they are prepared to screw over all the Wellingtonians who drive to Kapiti or beyond.

    Well of course, Labour have no need to be popular with commuters… Commuters have jobs…. People with jobs don’t normally vote for higher taxes and more benefits for the unwilling to work.

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  15. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I’m surprised the drop kicks would go for a two lane highway. I would have though a one way road where one must keep hard left would be more in their keeping.

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  16. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    DavidP at 11.37.
    You are quite wrong in your theory that traffic will go past Raumati at 100kph and further north go past other highways at high speed.
    If Labour get in, along with the Greens, there will be NO high speed traffic anywhere. In the interests of saving oil I’m sure the speed limit throughout the country will be reduced to something like 50kph.
    You can already see this in Wellington where our idiot mayor, along with twits like Counciller Pannett have pushed for any shopping area to be reduced to 30kph and are now apparently pushing for the speed limit in the whole city to be cut to 40kph.

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  17. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Some interesting models/simulations, which may be interested to both Jones & Joyce (or their advisers):

    - Spring-block models and highway traffic
    - Two Lane Traffic Flow Simulating Model via Cellular Automaton
    - Traffic flow: A statistical physics point of view
    - Particle Hopping vs. Fluid-Dynamical Models for Traffic Flow

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  18. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Top gear last nite economy run between Toyota Pious and BMW M3
    Pious 17.2mpg BMW M3 19.4mpg
    Pious = ecobarge

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  19. Elaycee (4,089 comments) says:

    @Griff – There is also the simple question “What car would you prefer to drive?”

    Anyone who prefers the Toymota Pious doesn’t know jack about handling and driving and doesn’t know what happens to the environment when the Pious (complete with its batteries) has to be scrapped…. :)

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  20. Elaycee (4,089 comments) says:

    It would appear that Shane Jones has never driven along the same route during peak times.

    The bottlenecks are obvious / they have been there for decades and they need to be sorted.

    The sooner the bulldozers arrive and start clearing the way, the better….

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  21. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Now this might surprise a few people, but Shane Jones is being a little disingenuous on this I believe.

    The route to be used had already been designated before Stephen Joyce came along and helped to move things along. (There may have been some tweaks at the Waikanae end and at the Raumati South access location, but the fundamental route had been established, survived lobbyists using all appeal avenues possible and the designation had been cleared.)

    That designation was for a four lane road connecting Paraparaumu with Waikanae with a northern access at Peka Peka and southern access at Raumati (3 options to have been decided on.) It was mooted to initially lay down the road with two lanes to save some initial cost, but the route designation was for four lanes.

    So even Shane’s ‘link road’ was to be four lanes wide.

    Strange, in the past Shane has shown himself to have a better grip on things

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  22. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    A road has been on the cards for Kapiti for decades and for a long time property values along it’s proposed route reflected that fact. People moaning about it now are just that – moaners. I wonder if they will pledge to never use the hated Expressway?

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  23. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    Griff – not quite a fair comparison – driving both cars hard out on the race track. The whole point of the hybrid is to make savings during the stop-start of commuting & to a lesser extent engine braking downhill. Compare both cars in city driving and there’s a huge difference in fuel consumption.

    It would be equally disingenious to say the Beemer is crap because it couldn’t get across Auckland in peak hour traffic any faster than a Prius, even though it’s an expensive sports car.

    /disclaimer – have never owned a Prius. Probably never will. Just don’t like fallacies.

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  24. Steve (4,334 comments) says:

    Elaycee @ 2.57
    ‘The bottlenecks are obvious / they have been there for decades and they need to be sorted.’
    Shane Jones has a bottleneck just above his shoulders slowing down the transfer of information

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  25. Mary Rose (392 comments) says:

    >People moaning about it now are just that – moaners.

    I guess no one commenting here knows anyone who will be adversely affected by it.

    People object to having four lanes of noisy, smelly traffic going past their back gardens most hours of the day? So that drivers can shave a few minutes off their journeys?
    How very un-civic of them.

    And anyone whose house faces demolition just doesn’t get the nobility of sacrifice for the good of others.

    Is SH1 a pain? Yes, at peak times there are major jams. Does it need a solution? Yes. Does that mean some people who’ve retired to Kapiti for the peace and quiet losing that? Yes.
    But don’t dismiss them as moaners.

    Unless you promise to shout “hurray” if someone proposes to build a job-creating iron foundry and glue factory in your back garden

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  26. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    Isn’t Labbour just endorsing what the KCDC (the region’s democratically-elected representatives) want?

    Except that the council aren’t exactly in touch with the local community and are as unpopular as ever. They were elected with an explicit mandate NOT to bring in water meters, and what are going to be brought in? Water meters. Funny, it reminds me of the emissions trading scheme that National promised not to bring in. And the carbon tax that Juliar promised wouldn’t get off the ground.

    Face it – they’re all politicians and they are all lying scum.

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  27. Sam Buchanan (499 comments) says:

    I tend to agree with Gazzmaniac, but it’s a bit rich to describe the proposed link road as meaning there will only be two lanes through Kapiti – the point is to create a parallel road to SH1 to take off local traffic and reduce congestion. I don’t particularly support the plan, I’d prefer to see coastal shipping favoured, but it doesn’t seem like a totally stupid idea from a purely traffic engineering perspective.

    And it does always amuse me how right-wingers always applaud the state riding roughshod over the rights of property owners when a road is involved. Suddenly all the supposedly anti-socialists are demanding individuals be forced by the government to give way for the good of the collective.

    I guess the ‘right-left’ divide in this country is more cultural than philosophical.

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