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Thursday, August 11, 2022

How to get to the beach (without ruining it for everyone)

A bunch of us talked about recent stories about getting to the beach, or having difficulty doing so, and Julisa and Marita put together this post as a result.

As the weather – and water – warms up, Oaklanders flock to the beaches (including some new stuff You can swim Ella, cheers!). And we do intend to flock. Because travel options have been limited for more than three months, this puts constant pressure on our precious outdoor spaces, especially on weekends.

And looking ahead, even when the restrictions calm down a bit, many of us may choose to stay in the city this coming summer For good reasons.

Of course, one of the secret pleasures of staying in Tamaki Makaurau during the holidays – whether by choice or out of necessity – is how quiet it can be. For a few weeks, there is a little more breathable air in cafes, parks, beaches … and outside on the streets. A small window of opportunity to walk, skate, turn around and ride a bike with flashbacks from the 80s.

But we can not necessarily count on another urban breathing room this summer. So it’s going to be interesting and challenging. Cubid and Climate are collaborating to uncover some pretty tough constraints in the way we organize our lives, our public spaces, our travels. We can see the world changing, and we know we need to as well.

So the question is – how can we get there?


A bus to the beach? if you can…

Over the past few weeks, AT has issued last-minute announcements that Bus 66 – which crosses the Isthmus from Sylvia Park to Coil Park – will stop a mile from its destination on Pt Chevalier Beach. Why? Because of “load”.

Just some of the online alerts, which also pop up in the AT Mobile app.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it does The third summer in a row That’s happening! We covered the story in the summer of 2019/2020, and it happened again Last summer. And here we go again. Why is this still happening?

Bram parking on Boscawen Street, Pt Chevalier, one block from Coil Park
Random parking in the turn lane of the old tram, making it difficult for buses to make the turn (although in this case they seem to have succeeded).

The short version: People travel to the beach and park on the yellow lines in the tram circle in Coyle Park, making it difficult for buses to get around. People also park at bus stops, and double parking, and park on pallets, and walk around looking for places to shop.

Aerial photo of the area in question – before the last installation of hatches emerge on the triangle from the bottom right, and a drop space of 2 minutes in the upper center.

The answer, of course, is that AT will enforce the parking rules. It turns out to be difficult when parking attendants (and bus drivers) face abuse from the public. But reducing or abandoning enforcement will not solve the problem.

There have been some small infrastructure changes since that first summer. The triangle in the picture above now has white lines, which did not prevent people from parking on it. And with local council input, AT has built a 2-minute drop zone in the circuit so people can unload passengers and picnic gear and then find parking elsewhere. According to reports, there have already been several tickets this year.

But it is clear that all this is not enough to restore the reliability of the bus service.

As the tweets above detail, this situation illustrates some of the barriers that have been imposed on themselves in the face of AT’s crucial mandates – which include a safer transportation system for everyone, and a rapid change of climate action. Not to mention, AT’s “customers” (i.e., people) deserve the “easy journeys” that are AT’s main promise.

Not everyone is connected to travel apps all the time, or even has a phone. So, when schedules change that way, people find themselves waiting for ghost buses that do not show up, or unexpectedly get off a mile away from where they are trying to get to, or suddenly find that they have to walk more than a mile away or away. The bus they trust.

Of course, a brisk walk of a quarter of an hour can be a healthy and enjoyable option for some. But it can also be an absolute barrier to access, safety and well-being. Imagine you are disabled, or elderly, or enslaved to children and equipment, walking this distance on a hot day, crossing multiple side streets within the surrounding traffic. Or say you’re a disguised boy, discovering at dusk that your planned safe trip home evaporated while you were on the beach.

Except for the beach, it’s probably an unfair coercion Each Which relies on the bus for daily travel.

So what’s next? Will the buses reach the beach this coming weekend? View this space and / or AT’s travel alerts …

In one good line: this time last year an impressive series of billiards was installed in the Harbor View Reserve, another useful parking spot nearby. So far, they are doing solid work to fend off most of the parking on the grass …

… though not everything. As one of our respondents noted yesterday, the attitude of so many Auckland drivers when it comes to parking is: “If I fit in, I’m sitting.”

Beyond the bollards, everything fits: Bram parking in Harbor View Reserve, Point Blair, November 2021.

To travel (later) to the beach?

One could say that the activity looking for the thrill of launching the car (or rented campervan) on a huge, open strip of sand is a kiwi transition ceremony. There is the classic hike up the Ninety Mile Coast of Northland, which endangers coastal walkers, fishermen and others on foot. Oats hauling trailers to boats bouncing over rocks at low tide is a common summer sight in New Zealand vacation destinations, choking precious seaweed colonies under their tires while driving (Did you know this herb Captures carbon 35 times faster than a tropical rainforest? If it is not crushed by the uterus, that is.)

So why No Just go to the beach? Damn, just keep going: why bother with this tedious walk from the parking lot when you can just shop On The beach itself? This is what visitors to Castor Bay on the north coast Start doing. So convenient!

However, as some residents have identified, there are drawbacks to this approach:

“Vehicles do not belong to the beaches”

“I have [called] On many occasions the council transferred the money and recommended calling AT. A child was almost run over when I called two weeks ago. “

“So unsafe for our children”

I think it’s bad that there are so many vehicles parked on the beach. Do not be lazy, park your car elsewhere and head to the beach as everyone should

The freedom of the beach is an integral part of the New Zealand summer experience. But a beach that is free to everyone for cars cannot be a place of freedom for a child.

And everyone knows that our shoreline is fragile and needs protection. Last summer, local bodies around the motto Start enforcing laws without traveling On beaches and sand dunes, from Horowhenua, to Muriwai, to Kaipara. Dune drivers not only endanger people – they also endanger wildlife.

Amelia Giri, regional conservation director at Forest and Bird, said when people traveled through sand dunes and beaches it had serious ecological impacts.

“Sand dunes are incredibly sensitive and fragile habitats. These dunes are home to many different species that you can not even see from your car like lizards and spiders.

“By destroying it you are also destroying the homes of all these creatures you did not even know were there.”

Furthermore, In fact, driving is prohibited on any beaches in the Auckland area other than Muriwai and Karioitahi (And even then, a permit to drive on those specific beaches is required.) Auckland Council has consulted with the public About driving on Muriwai Beach in June this year. Two-thirds of the senders reported seeing the driver’s behavior on the beach.

So if your only option is to travel to the beach? Keep your vehicle at a safe distance from the more vulnerable people – people and The environment. A five or ten minute walk from the parking lot is a great way to warm up before swimming.

Summer swimming on a hot subtropical day: without a doubt one of the best things in life in Auckland! But is it accessible to everyone?

Riding a bike to the sea?

So what’s the end of the game here? How do we get to the beach without ruining it for everyone else – no less for future editions?

Not everyone lives close enough to the beach to walk or ride it. But many do – which means that AT should take every opportunity to reassign the road, to make it much easier for those who would be happy to get there on foot or on small wheels. And of course, once you can safely ride a bike to the beach, you can almost certainly ride a bike to school, shops, sports and other local destinations.

People who took full advantage of legal parking at Point Blair Beach that day were relocated because cars were parked illegally …
… Damn a double taxi, taking up several parking spaces!

In the meantime, how about not removing buses from coastal lanes, but adding them? Here is a suggestion we can stand behind:

It will require new ideas, and a great deal of quick, smart and committed action by our city. Because one way or another, it’s going to be a problem all summer long. Just like we most need a break, and already the weather fraying In our streets. And if nothing changes, it will happen again next summer, and the summer that follows, and so on and so forth, is getting hotter and hotter, and getting worse for us, over and over again.

Perhaps a visit to the favorite beach in the summer is where we can begin to see clearly that something must change. Otherwise, where will we get to?

When parking discourse and beach discourse collide. New Yorker cartoon, October 2021.
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