Recognising (or perhaps failing to recognise) that nearly every person over fifteen in Greater Auckland has a car since it's the only practical way to get around, live and do business in Greater Auckland, they intend to impose a scheme which will make car use in Auckland unfeasably expensive, and by which they themselves hope to collect scads of cash. Now you know why I've called them arseholes.
(What's not true however is that figure they quote for LA -- the actual figure for Greater LA and not just the benighted downtown is 1.9 cars per household, as the ARC surely know and as Owen McShane pointed out soon after this morning's ARC grandstanding. Fancy a bureaucrat lying to make a point.)
As to the scheme, the ARC and their fellow-arseholes at the Auckland City Council have both been considering the imposition of road-pricing around Auckland in a bid to get people out of their cars and on to, well, not on to public transport since there's barely any in Auckland, but just to impose it because they can, and because they think it will be a particularly lucrative form of theft.
Agreeing to support the measure Auckland Mayor Dickwhack Hubbard said "road-pricing stood to provide $200 million to $400 million of essential public transport improvements." Jolly good, but not nearly jolly enough for Auckland's creaking public transport 'network' (what's the opposite of a network? -- that's the only word for Auckland's pulic transport), as even former Labour MP Richard Northey can see:
"If you talk to anybody in the street, they will say: How on Earth can you seriously consider road-charging when there is no serious alternative for me to get into the central city for my work or my study except in my car?" the former Labour MP said.All true. However, said Dickwhack raising his hand to vote for road-pricing, "The council would be seen as 'Luddites' if it supported Mr Northey's amendments." It would also kiss goodbye to nearly half-a-million in potential revenue, not something a tax-and-spend politician could easily kiss goodbye to you must admit, even if the imposition of the new regime were in fact to strangle Auckland and make that revenue stream an illusory one. Meddling arseholes.
Mr Northey said administrative and technical costs would drain away a huge proportion of revenues raised, and although there might come a time when such schemes became feasible, pursuing any of them now would risk losing public credibility for the future.
PS: as an antidote to this creeping, all-enveloping, all-statist, anti-car wowserism, try this from Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson: "If you love cars you are up against a global conspiracy to destroy your spirit. You must rebel." Great stuff -- until the last line. [Hat tip Marcus at SOLO]
LINKS: Auckland road tolls clear first hurdle - NZ Herald
Here's to health and safety - Jeremy Clarkson, Times Online
TAGS: Auckland, Urban_Design, Politics_NZ