TRAFINZ 2009 brought together over 200 transport professionals and practitioners in Auckland from September 6-9 to discuss the future of land transport, road safety, and planning our cities and towns.
Three Big Themes from the Conference
Theme 1 Transport Future
There was a clear clash of world views between speakers thinking the future will be very like the last 50 years in terms of how we get around, and those who say the world will change and New Zealand risks being left behind. Whatever your world view, the message was scenario planning, New Zealand is not currently in that space.
Theme 2 Safety
We know we will fail horribly in meeting the objectives of the current 2010 Road Safety Strategy. This year 420 – 430 people will die on our roads, the target next year is to get under 300! Transport Minister Steven Joyce said safety is a key element of the increased state highway investment programme. He also discussed ‘Safer Journeys 2020’ saying ‘I want an action plan out of it’. Disappointingly he said of the 60 initiatives proposed ‘it is not Government’s intention to introduce anywhere near all of those items’.
Theme 3 Cities are for People
Keynote speaker Phil Jones from the UK told attendees about Home Zones (UK) or Woonerf (Neth) making streets places for people to be rather than merely to move through. Roads are just to go ‘through’. Movement - design function is to ‘save time’. Public realm - design function is to ‘spend time'. Phil said cycling is a bit of a neglected mode in NZ, cycling needs to become an everyday normal mode, not a lycra thing.