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    • University researchers create innovative MRI technology
      • 6 Jul 2020
      • Victoria University of Wellington
      • In a collaboration between scientists and designers, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington researchers have developed new technology to make magnetic resonance imaging machines (MRIs) more comfortable, accessible, and affordable.
      • Accepted from VUW News feed 3 months ago by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • design
      • wellington
      • Victoria University of Wellington, Waiteata Road, Aro Valley, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand/Aotearoa


    • Plimmerton Farm: getting greenfields right
      • 28 Jun 2020
      • Talk Wellington
      • If we’re hellbent on doing more residential development in greenfields, what does “decent” look like in Plimmerton, hilly land near an existing suburb – like most of our region’s greenfields? This post is basically a guide for anyone who cares about Plimmerton, good urban development, or healthy wetlands, streams and coast, but is time-poor and can’t face going through the truckloads of documents they’ve stuck up without any specific meta-guidance (some FAQ are here). Hopefully this will help you pop in a submission! PCC’s “information” pages they suggest you use for submitting. Every one of these is a large PDF document, 90% written in technical language… aargh! The background: what where and how For those who don’t know, Plimmerton Farm’s a big proposed subdivision of hilly farmland draining into the significant Taupō Wetland and to Plimmerton Beach, just over the train line and highway from Plimmerton village (original Ngāti Toa name: Taupō). It’s going through a Streamlined Planning Process, a pre-COVID government scheme for accelerating development. The key step is the requisite change of the land’s zoning in the Porirua District Plan (“rural” zone to “residential” and other “urban” zones) that sets out what kind of stuff can then be built, where. It’s mostly streamlined because there’s just one shot for the public to have input on the plan change. One shot. Why submit? I was born and raised in Plimmerton, live here now, and intend to for the rest of my days. I’d love to see it grow, well. I would love Plimmerton to get more wallets, more hearts and minds, more faces (more diverse ones too!). But not with more traffic, and pointless damage to our environment. Right now, the proposal has some serious flaws which need sorting. I say Sorting because the changes won’t make it crazy innovative, just good enough for a development in the spot it is, being kicked off in 2020. Time matters too: there’a a bunch of good things happening imminently (and some bad Porirua trends that need to be reversed). I cover these in Get it right, below. It’s worth submitting because given the situation, a 1990s-grade development just won’t cut it. So what about Plimmerton Farm needs to change? It boils down to two themes: dial down the driveability and dial up the liveabilitymake Local the logical and easy choice for daily needs I’ll outline what needs to change in each. NOTE: There’s a third – don’t stuff the wetlands and streams. This is really important as Taupō Wetland is regionally significant, and all our streams and harbours have suffered from frankly shameful mismanagement of sediment from earthworks-heavy subdivisions like Aotea and Duck Creek, and from the earthworks-a-rama of Transmission Gully. Friends of Taupo Swamp have an excellent submission guide for you – add in some of their suggested bits to your submission. I: Dial down the driveability, dial up the liveability There aren’t many truly black-and-white things in life, but there’s one for towns: If a street is nice to drive in, it’ll be a crappy place to do anything else in (walk / eat / hang out / have a conversation / play / scoot or cycle / shop / have a pint). If it’s nice to do anything else in, it’ll be a crappy place to drive in. Mostly this is because of the nature of the automobile: big solid things that smash into our soft bodies if someone makes a mistake (75% odds of death if that’s at 50km/hour, 10% odds of death if at 30km/hour) big objects that need lots of space for manoeuvering and especially parking – which offstreet can be crazy expensive and push up the cost of a home, and onstreet hoover up valuable public space. big solid things driven by us real humans (for a while at least) who respond to the environment but also get distracted, and generally aren’t good at wielding these big solid things safely. The transport setup proposed for Plimmerton Farm makes for a much too driveable and poorly liveable place. 1. Narrow down all the roads. The current proposal’s roading setup has roads and streets that are too big, and there’s too much of them. Right sized roads for a liveable community The cross-sections for the roads include on-street parking and really wide lane widths. This is really gobsmacking for a consortium that talked a big talk about good practice. For all the reasons that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are good, this is bad. (And it’s especially nuts when you realise that the excessively wide “arterial” roads (11 metres!) will need earthworked platforms built for them where they’re drawn running up the sharp ridges and across the tops of gullies. Expensive, damaging for the environment, and … what were they thinking?) So recommended changes: NARROW DOWN THE ROADS. Seriously. Design all the living-area streets and roads, and the centre, to be self-explaining for an operating traffic speed of 30km or less – that’s the speed where mistakes are rarely fatal. What does that look like? The designers will know and if they don’t they should be fired. Narrower crossing distances; chicanes (great way to incorporate green infrastructure and trees and seating!); narrowed sight-lines (trees! sculpture!) so no-one driving feels inclined to zoom. Reduced trafficked lanes (rori iti on the larger roads!), with properly wide and friendly footpaths. Threshold treatments, humps, modal filters, all the things we know very well are the natural ways to slow us down when driving, and make streets nicer for people. The beauty of all this “restriction” on driving is how much it frees us up for making everything else appealing. Streets become hospitable for kids to walk, scoot, bike to school safely, using the road not the footpath. Older people and those with impairments can walk and wheelchair safely. Teens coming home from town of an evening can scoot or bike home, safely. Popping down to the shops or for a coffee or to the train becomes a pleasure to do on foot, or on a scooter or bike. And you’re moving in a legitimate way – seeing and being seen, not stuck off in the bush on a “recreational” track like what they’ve described. The ordinary streets and roads are walkable, bikeable, scootable, mobility-scootable, and perfectly driveable, equally safe and useable in all weathers and anytime of day or night. Used to be a big, fast road. Now, kids bike to school and old people can chill out on it. (Mark Kerrison) (And in case you’re worried about firetrucks / rubbish trucks / buses, recall that on even Wellington City’s far more winding, narrower hilly streets everyone gets their rubbish collected and fires fought just fine. On public transport, smaller buses, like those that community transport operators use, are the way of the future for less densely-populated areas like this). Don’t build the through and loop roads. You don’t need signs like this when the only people who bother to drive in are those who live there, or who are visiting friends, because you just have to drive out again the way you came. When it’s the place you live, you’re invested in not being a dick far more than if you’re just out for a drive – or worse, out for a bit of a boyrace hoon on a massive loop route through a whole place. So just don’t build those big connector roads that enable people to drive easily from one residential area to the next, especially the ones up in the hilltops (section C) that just say “come for a hoon!” Instead, connect the living spaces heavily with bikeable, walkable, scootable, disability-friendly streets and lanes, and as much as possible, only one way in and out for cars from each living area. II: Make local logical and easy Plimmerton is a true village, with a great little centre (including a train station!) but Plimmerton Farm is ultimately a damn big area. The way to go is to enable people to get the basics of life – like school, groceries, a coffee – with a little local trip on foot, bike or scooter – it’s more of a bother to get in the car. Right now though, it needs two changes: 1. Provide for a second centre “Bumping into” spaces are known to be crucial to a feeling of neighbourhood, and in the (initial) absence of third places (worship places, community hall, sports club, cafe/pub, a supermarket is a vital social centre. Yet the north end of Plimmerton Farm is currently a deadzone for anything except residential. What things will probably look like under current layout. Like in Edwards Scissorhands without the interest of a castle. There’s no provision for a place to do your household groceries, so people will drive to Mana New World – more car trips – and less opportunity to bump into people who live nearby. (There’ll be no school in Plimmerton Farm for a while, because Ministry of Education isn’t allowed by the Education Act to build a school somewhere until there’s a certain population density of kids to fill it. A shitty Catch-22 for developments which is hopefully going to be fixed … sometime. Just another reason to make walking, biking and scooting really kid-friendly, as extra dropoff traffic for kids going to St Theresa’s, Plimmerton School, Paremata and Pukerua Bay schools will be a nightmare.) So they should provide for an additional centre in the north, including a groceries place of some kind. 2. Intensify within walking distance of Plimmerton proper. We should intensify properly, with lots of medium and even some high density (6 storeys of nicely laid-out density done well!) in the area that’s within a 5-minute walk of Plimmerton Village. The more people can live and work with access to all its many amenities, and its rail station (10 min to Porirua, 30 min to Wellington), the better. But there’s not enough density provided for there. Plimmerton Railway station: buzzing in 1916 and has only got bigger. (Photo: Pātaka Porirua Museum) So they should add another zone – E – of higher density in that 5-minute walking catchment of Plimmerton Village. What could it look like? A good example is 3333 Main, Vancouver . Submission tips On the site they ask you to fill in a Word or PDF form, saying which specific bit of the gazillion proposals you are talking about and the specific changes you want. This is a BS way to treat the vast majority of people submitting: normal non-professionals, just regular people who care about good development and liveable places. So just don’t worry about that. In those question 6 column boxes just put “Transport” and “Layout”. It’s the professional planners’ job to figure out specifically how to change a planning document. Just be specific enough that they know what you want to see. The text above is worth copying and pasting – it’ll be enough. And don’t forget the Friends of Taupo Swamp and Catchment advice is essential – definitely go read and use. That’s all you really need – just go submit! But if you’re keen to know more reasons why they should be doing this better, here’s some… Get it right, now Once this plan change is through, traditional developers like Gillies like to whack in all the infrastructure – hello, massive earthworks. And yet the place will take decades to fill with actual people – those hearts and minds and wallets. (Note even before COVID, Porirua’s growth rate was 0.1% per year. Yep, one tenth of one percent.) And extra pressure’s on to do this better because all these things are features of the next one to three years: the One Network Road Classification (sets the design specs for roads of different types) is being updated right now to be more people-friendly in the specs for roads in residential and centre areas, so designs like Plimmerton Farm’s will soon be Officially Bad Practice Sales and riding of e-bikes and e-scooters are going through the roof, continuing through and beyond COVID – this shows no signs of slowing, and prices are dropping. E-power flattens the hills of Plimmerton Farm and makes wheely active travel a breeze for the middle-class people who’ll be living here, if the streets and roads are hospitablePlimmerton Railway Station (on the most popular Wellington train line) is being upgraded to be a terminus station – i.e. better servicesThe Wellington Regional Growth Framework is setting a bunch of directions for councils on how to grow well, including well-known but often well-ignored issues like intensifying around public transport hubs Councils will soon be required to do to a bunch of a bunch of international good practice including get rid of many minimum parking requirements (in the news lately), and to upzone (enable intensification) of landuse in the walking catchment of public transport hubs. (5 min walk = approx 400 metres, 10 min = 800m).Bad trends we need to stop: Porirua’s really high car-dependency (we own cars a lot and drive a lot) is continuing, due to car-dependent urban form [PDF]– despite nice words in council’s strategic intentions.People living outside Wellington City are mostly to blame for our region’s 14% increase in emissions from transport in just 10 years. OK go submit now – and share with anyone who you think might care!
      • Accepted from Talk Wellington posts 3 months ago by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • paremata
      • porirua
      • transmissiongully
      • sculpture
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    • Junior Bushcraft Course 2020
      • 25 Jun 2020
      • Wellington Tramping and Mountainneering Club
      • Our family group lucked in to the most perfect weather to go bush as Wellington’s run of perfect weather weekends continued in March for the Bushcraft 1.0 lead by the inimitable Bazza C, a super-organised, patient, knowledgeable guide.  Our task was to i) pack, ii) get to the designated meeting point at iii) a particular ... Read more
      • Accepted from WTMC news 2020 3 months ago by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • art
      • design
      • wellington

    • Weekly Wrap Up (Week 10, Term 2)
      • 19 Jun 2020
      • Wellington High School
      • Important Dates Monday 29 June: Open Evening Wednesday 1 July: Music Evening please note change of date Friday 3 July: End of Term 2 Monday 20 July: Start of Term 3 Wednesday 22 July: Parents Evening (Senior Students) Monday 27 July: Parents Evening (Junior Students) Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visits WHS Last Friday, as part of the Creatives in Schools initiative, which is enabling our He Kākano students to work with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern visited WHS. This visit presented the opportunity for the Prime Minister to announce an additional $4 million for the project which will ultimately enable students from 500 NZ schools to work with professonal artists and creative practitioners, benefiting from their specialist artistic knowledge and creative practices. Thirteen of our He Kākano students are involved in the programme which is aimed at enhancing student wellbeing and improving their ‘core competencies in communication, collaboration and creative thinking’, as well as inspiring awareness of careers in the arts and creative sectors. As part of the visit He Kākano shared what they had learned prior to lockdown, demonstrating fantastic memory of their routines and great coordination too. The Prime Minister also met students passionate about the creative arts, taking time to talk to them about their interests and talents.               Important information Breakfast club We are pleased to announce that we are opening up a Breakfast Club at the school from the start of Term 3.  This will run in the canteen each day and will be free to any student who wishes to start the a nutritious bowl of Weetbix. Resources for your mental health Melon Manual is a kete of resources specifically for teenagers’ emotional wellbeing. Supported by the Ministry of Health, the website provides videos and worksheets and advice to support the young people of Aotearoa. You can access the resources here Dyslexia – How you can help WHS Community Education Centre has a 2.5 hour talk with  expert Mike Styles, on Dyslexia – How You Can Help. This is an interactive and participatory session to assist parents and loved ones understand and support a family member or friend who has dyslexia or a similar learning difference. Wednesday 24 June – 5.30pm-8pm $20  Call 04 385 8919 to enrol or go here: https://www.cecwellington.ac.nz/w/courses/1506-dyslexia-how-you-can-help Now that we are at alert Level 1, CEC courses are back up and running with a wide variety of courses on offer. To find out more, and enrol, click on the image below of visit cecwellington.ac.nz. What’s happening? He Kākano hard at work This week the He Kākano students have been busy in science, art, fashion and design classes.                     Achievements DocEdge documentary success Contratulations to Year 10 Sky Gobbi who has secured 3rd place in the DocEdge Student Short Documentary Competition last week. Now that it has had its premiere, Sky’s documentary can be shared. To view, click on the image below or visit https://youtu.be/jVdvCoy9TSY.
      • Accepted from WHS news 4 months ago by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • video
      • music
      • health
      • design
      • wellington
      • education
      • art
      • fashion
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      • Wellington High School, Taranaki Street, Mount Cook, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • New Leadership for St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington
      • 19 Jun 2020
      • St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington
      • <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > John Kennedy-Good, President of St Vincent de Paul Society in Wellington, is pleased to announce that Sally Babington has accepted the role of General Manager.    Sally comes to us with a strong background in social services, having worked in both community and Government departments. She has a deep commitment to working with people in times of need in a way that enables hope and dignity.  John Kennedy-Good says, "Sally has a history in statutory social work, as well as funding and contracting with social service providers. She has worked in Special Education leading a team that provides support and services for children with disabilities. In the Justice sector, Sally worked in the prison system and has led a team responsible for designing services to better meet the needs of those using Justice services. Her role at ACC involved leading a large operational team in the ’Serious Injury Service’ in a time when a focus on understanding and meeting client need was required."  "In her community-based roles, Sally has led a team through change in Legal Aid Services, making sure that fairer systems were in place for people not easily able to access a lawyer. She has worked at Barnardos NZ, leading regional teams providing both social work support and early childhood services. Sally also worked at a community-based sex offender treatment programme."  Originally from Christchurch, Sally has lived in Wellington for the past fifteen years. She has a strong focus on seeking to understand what people who use social services really want and need. Sally likes to engage with others to understand and solve problems. She is a strong believer in the collective wisdom of teams. Sally and her husband Allan have three adult children and two (soon-to-be three) grandchildren. In her free time, Sally enjoys running in the hills around Eastbourne and getting into the bush for a tramp. Sally will officially begin the role of General Manager of St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington Area from Monday 13th July 2020, after 15 years of service by Manager/ Secretary, John Rossbotham. Please welcome Sally to the St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington team.
      • Accepted from Vinnies news 4 months ago by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • eastbourne
      • government
      • design
      • law
      • wellington
      • education
      • art
      • disabilities
      • people

    • Weekly Wrap Up (Week 9, Term 2)
      • 12 Jun 2020
      • Wellington High School
      • Important Dates Monday 15 June: Normal timetable resumes Monday 29 June: Open Evening Tuesday 30 June: Music Evening Friday 3 July: End of Term 2 Monday 20 July: Start of Term 3 Wednesday 22 July: Parents Evening (Senior Students) Monday 27 July: Parents Evening (Junior Students) Important Information Open Evening: Monday 29 June Know someone who is interested in 2021 enrolment at Wellington High School? Share this post with them and invited them to our Open Evening on Monday 29 June. To help with our planning, please register interest here: https://forms.gle/QFAWezmAKohH9JkH8 Emergency contact update Thank you to the families and whanau who have responded to our request for additional emergency contact information. If you have not done so yet, please complete the form at: https://forms.gle/yenaWPnB4R73x7J49. Board of Trustees by-election Papers have been sent by mail to all those on our electoral roll. If you have not received papers yet, then from Wednesday 17 June you will be able to collect a ballot paper from Reception. ‘Keep it real online’ campaign The Department of Internal Affairs with Netsafe and the Office of Film and Literature Classification has launched a ‘Keep it real online’ campaign. The campaign will support parents and caregivers to reduce the risks of online harm such as cyber-bullying, inappropriate content, pornography and grooming.   Parents and caregivers can find information including tips on how to have conversations with their kids at www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz. What’s happening? The prefabs are here! In a much anticipated event, four prefab classrooms were lowered in to place on the school field last weekend. These four classrooms will provide more space on campus and will be important as the school moves through the master planning process. There is still some work to do onsite and we anticipate that they will be in use from the first day of Term 3. Outdoor Education This week Year 11 students have been out on the water to Makaro (Ward Island). Students participated in a beach clean up and spent time looking at the habitats of Little Blue Penguins. The fact that students were able to observe seals and penguins on the rocks and in the water was a real bonus.   Art      This week we share stunning landscapes painted by Ms Peters’ Year 10 Art class.      Year 13 took advantage of the winter sun and fine colours to work outdoors. Āwhina Āwhina is our Thursday homework club which takes place in the Library every week. This popular, supportive environment is one where students can come for support with assignments and homework, thanks to the dedicated teachers who regularly give up their time after school each week. MyKindo As recently reported, the cafeteria has adopted the mykindo app to facilitate easy pre-order and contactless payment for food. To support those using the mykindo app, the attached guide provides information on the different methods you can use to top up your account.   Achievements  NZ Online Mathematical Olympiad Well done to Ruby Nicolson and Lias Morris who achieved marks which placed them in the top 10 in the NZ Online Mathematical Olympiad. Ruby and Lias are both in year 9. From the careers desk Virtual Careers Expo — 18-19 June Even in unusual times like these, our students still have important decisions to make about their futures. Next week, a number of NZ’s top providers come together to give you a Careers’ Expo experience, virtually! Attendees will have full access to the Virtual Expo Hall, where you can interact with exhibitors, ask questions, and access useful resources that will help you choose the right path. Students only need to register once to be able to access the expo across the 2 days (and with you during the evening on Thursday night). They can access the expo at any time. There will be representatives from each institution during expo hours to chat to attendees. Outside of these hours they can still log in an access information. Registration:   https://www.mediadesignschool.com/virtual-careers-expo Webcast Timetable: https://www.mediadesignschool.com/virtual-careers-expo#webcast-programme
      • Accepted from WHS news 4 months ago by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
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      • Wellington High School, Taranaki Street, Mount Cook, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • April update from DCM - together we can end homelessness
      • 1 May 2020
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 April update from DCM - together we can end homelessness p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; 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line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } Reaching out to the most marginalised – during lock-down Reaching out to the most marginalised – during lock-down Natalia and Chris catch up with Mark in Te Aro Park During the COVID crisis, the priority for DCM’s Street Outreach team has been connecting with people rough sleeping or who are sleeping in their cars, and getting them in to emergency accommodation. “Government and other agencies worked together to rapidly increase the supply of emergency housing in response to the pandemic, and so we have been able to get rooms for many of these people, some of whom were not even prepared to consider such an option before the lock-down,” explains Outreach team leader, Natalia. “At DCM we often talk about 'Ki te hoe' or 'pick up the paddle'. What is it that motivates someone to finally pick up the paddle and do what it takes to get off the streets and into housing? In this case, concerns about limited access to food and toilets during lock-down, seeing that there weren’t the same opportunities to supplement their income through street begging with the streets empty, and being offered appealing accommodation, including new facilities, some of which also provide three meals a day. COVID-19 and the lock-down have offered us a unique opportunity in our work to end homelessness.” With a growing group of rough sleepers in emergency housing, the Outreach team can now prioritise supporting them to take the next steps. “We are seeing rough sleepers who were very reluctant to try emergency housing, even during the lock-down, now thriving in their new accommodation. The next step is to follow up with these taumai, and to have more kōrero with them about housing. There’s a window of opportunity while we know where they are, to talk about their situations and to do the groundwork to get them on the path to housing.” DCM is totally committed to a Housing First approach; this means that we will work with those we have been able to get off the streets and in to emergency housing, to get their names on to the social housing register and to work together to access a permanent home for them. This is something that for many of them would have been inconceivable a few months ago; but now they have taken a giant step, and this has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to them. Who knew that a time like this could be the greatest support in achieving our goal of ending homelessness in our city? This is part of a longer story about the mahi which DCM’s Street Outreach team is doing during lock-down: read the full story on our website. <!-- --> “Together we can” – find innovative solutions during lock-down Natalia out on outreach during Level 3, speaks to a man outside Westpac on Lambton Quay Some of the most marginalised people in our city have no home, no income and no ID. When these people are unable to access a bank account of their own, DCM provides them with a money management service, accesses a benefit for them and pays their bills; they then receive the remainder of their money by cheque. These cheques have to be cashed at a bank branch. This not only presented a significant problem during lock-down, but was potentially no longer a viable long-term option. DCM approached MSD and Westpac, and together came up with a solution which will make a difference in the lives of the poorest people during the current crisis and well beyond. Instead of receiving a weekly cheque, these people are now able to use a payment card supplied by Westpac. “Usually this would take a couple of months to organise, but we expedited it within two weeks so that these people could have their money,” Transactional Solutions Manager at Westpac, Julia Hopkins, says. It works like a debit card but is called a ‘prepaid card’ so DCM can put the amount of discretionary income which would have previously been paid out as a cash cheque onto the card, and the person can spend up to that limit. This is a fantastic step change, as we have grappled for some time with the problem of how to continue to deliver our money management service when cheques are ultimately phased out. The new initiatives which have enabled us to continue to support the most marginalised people in our city during the COVID-19 pandemic, also offer long-term benefits and solutions for our taumai.   Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini – Success is not the work of one, but the work of many. <!-- --> “Together we can” – an important conversation and shared commitment This morning the entire DCM team was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet with our local MP and New Zealand’s Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson – that’s 32 of us participating in a Zoom hui! We were able to share with him some of our learnings from recent weeks - the positive things and the challenges - and we were all uplifted by his responses. We updated Grant on the practical and innovative ways that DCM has responded to the crisis, and shared some of the positives, including: the speed at which a whole new stock of emergency housing has been made available, and  the excellent way in which the partnership between DCM, government, MSD and HUD, and other community agencies, has been working. Everyone has had a can-do attitude. Amongst the concerns we were able to raise:  The need to increase the stock of permanent housing, for people to move from emergency housing into their own homes During lock-down it has become clear that the level of substance misuse is larger than even we knew, and we will need more specialist drug and alcohol support in the future There are gaps around the integration of people exiting prison. During lock-down, we have had a significant number of taumai come to us direct from prison, including people who have served long prison terms sent to us to house in emergency housing. Grant acknowledged the courage and compassion that DCM has showed as we have kept working with vulnerable people. He spoke about a commitment to “Build Back Better” across a range of domains – from inequality and income support to a low carbon future.  And he invited DCM to be a part of this: “In the midst of this crisis, there is also a chance to look out to the horizon. We get to re-set things a bit; there is an opportunity here, and we need your help to co-design this new future.” Stephanie thanked him, accepted his challenge and issued another on behalf of DCM: “Thank you for the leadership you and the Prime Minister have shown to us as a nation. You have made bold decisions for us and you have shown the world this can be done with compassion and kindness” ... “Grant, we don’t want anyone to go backwards from here. Your government has often spoken about going hard, going fast. We have seen rapid decision-making and the benefits of this; let’s continue to go hard and go fast to end homelessness.” <!-- --> Please help us get the message out there! Forward this email on to everyone you can think of who may be interested in how to respond to homelessness, and just generally people who are passionate about Wellington. <!-- --> Read More Success Stories Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi With your basket and my basket, the people will thrive <!-- --> Copyright © 2020 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCMPO Box 6133Marion SqWellington, Wellington 6011 New ZealandAdd us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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    • The City Gallery Pub Quiz
      • 26 Apr 2020
      • City Gallery
      • Which New Zealand artist painted herself as a smoking modern woman in 1937? Who had joined her on a painting trip to remote Cass the previous year? In 1941, who wrote the manifesto ‘Individual Happiness Now’ with British writer Robert Graves? In 1947, who wrote ‘New Zealand’s Oldest Art Galleries’ and what were they? What is New Zealand’s oldest (conventional) public art gallery? In 1948, who said McCahon’s work ‘might pass as graffiti on the walls of some celestial lavatory’?  When did McCahon move to Auckland to work at Auckland City Art Gallery? Who was Director of the Gallery back then? When did Bill Culbert leave New Zealand? Who was born Barrie Bates? When did he go blond? When did Peter McLeavey open his Wellington gallery? Who curated New Zealand Māori Culture and the Contemporary Scene in 1966? Who said: ‘My work is an investigation of positive/negative relationships within a deliberately limited range of forms.’ Where and when did he first show his koru paintings? Who was Otago University’s first Hodgkins Fellow? When was Gordon Brown and Hamish Keith’s book New Zealand Painting: An Introduction first published? Of whose work was it said: ‘When you offer only three vertical lines precisely drawn and set into a dark pool of lacquer it is a visual kind of starvation’. Who wrote that? What was the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s opening show? Who was its Director? When was Ngā Puna Waihanga formed? What was it? When was the first issue of Art New Zealand published? Whose work was on the cover? Who painted Drinking Couple: Fraser Analysing My Words? And who was Fraser? Where did Jeffrey Harris go to art school? When did Richard Killeen make his first cutout? Who was crucified in Christchurch the same year? When did Wellington City Art Gallery open and who was the Director? What was his last job? What was ANZART? Has Marina Abramovic ever performed publicly in New Zealand? When did Wellington’s Women’s Gallery open? That year, to where did Robin White and her family relocate? What’s White’s religion? And what’s her tribal affiliation? Auckland art dealer Gary Langsford played guitar in which famous New Zealand band? When and where did Te Māori open? At Art in Dunedin in 1984, who made music using his own dripping urine? Who made Gates of the Goddess: A Southern Crossing Attended by the Goddess and when? What was it made of? Cass Altarpiece has been described as ‘expressionism with nothing to express’. Who painted it? What Christchurch artist based much of her work on alchemy and kabbalism? Who depicted herself as a rat and a tiger? When did Auckland’s Artspace open? How many buildings has it occupied?  What New Zealand artist featured in the show Magiciennes de la Terre in Paris in 1989. What do Marlene Cubewell and Merit Groting have in common? Which Lyttelton artist had a game-changing experience in the subantarctic? What did The Active Eye, Views/Exposures, and Imposing Narratives have in common? In Views/Exposures, who presented five identical images of his own naked torso? Who dressed-up her Uncle Hugh (then suffering from dementia) to restage a series of iconic historical photos?  Which artist died at Waitangi aged 50, the day after the 1990 Waitangi Day celebrations? Who did his pe’a? Who photographed him getting it? With him, which two other expressionist painters comprised the Militant Artists Union? How old were both Clairmont and Giovanni Intra when they died? In 1992, who based the design of his exhibition catalogue cover after the one for the Nazis’ 1937 Degenerate Art show? In 1994, Hamilton city councillor Russ Rimmington was reported in the media saying: ‘I’ve got a mind as broad as a Roman sewer, but this is just sleaze.’ What was he describing? In 1997 who ‘stole’ McCahon’s Urewera Triptych and why? How did they hide it? Where did they steal it from? Who designed that building? What photobook was described as ‘a charismatic exposé of the hideous truths and self-conscious mythologies of unemployed psychopaths who frequent Verona cafe and actually believe in drag’. Who said it? When did New Zealand start going to the Venice Biennale? Who did we send? What was the Bart Wells Institute? Yvonne Todd won the inaugural Walters Prize in 2002. Who was the judge and what the name of her winning photographic series? What did Pakuranga’s Fisher Gallery and Titirangi’s Lopdell House become? Who was in the hot seat longest: Paula Savage as Director of City Gallery Wellington or Chris Saines as Director of Auckland Art Gallery?  When did Bill Culbert represent New Zealand in the Venice Biennale? In recent years, Christchurch Art Gallery acquired five ‘significant’ works by Martin Creed, Antony Gormley, Ron Mueck, Michael Parekōwhai, and Bridget Riley. Why five? Who won the Walters Prize in 2016 for a video where he talked to animals? Who has been the Herald’s art critic for over fifty years and is known for wearing a cape? What group protested Luke Willis Thompson’s inclusion in the 2018 Turner Prize? Answers here.
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      • Wellington City Gallery, Civic Square, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • From our bubble to yours
      • 21 Apr 2020
      • Victoria University of Wellington
      • This Friday, students will be able to connect with student services and the University community during Reorientation Day—an initiative co-designed by student representative groups and University staff.
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      • Victoria University of Wellington, Waiteata Road, Aro Valley, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand/Aotearoa


    • Lockdown Colouring Competition
      • 13 Apr 2020
      • Wellington Scottish Athletics Club
      • Are you running out of fun stuff to do in your bubble? If you’re stuck at the home office and your new workmate/ parents/ teachers are stuck for ideas for something to do, we have something for you! Lockdown Colouring Competition PDFDownload Lockdown Colouring Competition JPEGDownload This colouring competition is open to anyone of any age that belongs to a harriers club in the Wellington region. If you’re not a member but your parent or partner is in a running club, you can enter too! Download the image or the pdf below, print it off and colour it in. When you’ve finished your masterpiece, take a picture and email it to us at membership@scottish.org.nz, or post to Instagram and tag us. You can win some cool spot prizes! We will announce prize winners on 30 April 2020. Alternatively, if you don’t have a printer, download the jpeg image then visit this artwork site: aggie.io, re-upload the jpeg and colour it in online. Then save it and send it to us. A very special thank you to Dawn Tuffery for lending her running and drawing skills for this fantastic illustration.
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    • Long Read: Mass Rapid Transit in Wellington
      • 26 Jun 2019
      • Fair Intelligent Transport (FIT) Wellington
      • Posted by Kerry Wood <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > The latest version of ‘trackless tram’ (TT) has been developed by CRRC in China. A trial system has been running in Zhuzhou since 2017, and should be coming onto the market about now. It is of interest in Wellington because of potential cost-savings over light rail, but comes with corresponding problems and is barely commercial at this stage. TT is distinct from BRT but shares some important characteristics. On this page… Key messsages Route and capacity Light Rail BRT Trackless Trams Costs Key messsages The TT feature of interest in Wellington is capacity. It is the highest-capacity BRT-like vehicle on the market, presumably with a much better ride than a bus, and may be able to meet Wellington needs on a two-lane route. Any decision to adopt TT will require careful studies; Wellington has already run into costly problems created by a casual attitude to supposedly minor issues. In a more difficult situation, we must get it right this time: BRT using conventional articulated buses is well-established but an unlikely option for Wellington. High-capacity BRT is generally used in cities having wide streets, unlike Wellington. TT might be an alternative to BRT, if it can offer sufficient capacity, and when ‘the kinks have been ironed out.’ At a time of very rapid change, uncertainties are inevitable and require good management. In this case high-capacity would be a low-risk approach, favouring either light rail or four-lane BRT. Decision-makers need to bear two things in mind: First, light rail becomes cheaper than either BRT or buses at a relatively low ridership. Second, BRT also benefits from a properly segregated route, to minimise congestion, and from diverted underground services to minimise delays. Light rail may well be the lowest-risk option, or even the cheapest option. An independent conclusion comes from Matt L at the Greater Auckland transport blog: I do think that this [TT] technology is promising and definitely worth keeping an eye on, but I’m not convinced that Auckland should be so quick to jump on the bandwagon. Let’s at least wait till at least a handful of cities have successfully rolled this out and ironed out all the kinks… Let’s also wait till there are multiple suppliers with inter-operable systems. Unfortunately, even without the capacity/frequency issues that I think would be an issue for the city centre, I don’t think Auckland can afford to wait. We need to get on fixing transport in this city and so should get on with installing light rail as soon as possible. ↑ Contents Route and capacity The LGWM route has recently been challenged, with proposals for a Mt Victoria tunnel for buses, walkers and cyclists. A tunnel for walkers and cyclists seems sensible, but a new bus tunnel would be a backward step. The existing Bus Tunnel is adequate for serving Hataitai, and a much better MRT route is through Newtown, because of high residential density. Densities are too low for MRT in Hataitai and through to Miramar and the Airport. The Newtown route offers substantially greater residential density, on both sides of the route, as well as potential for future density. Adelaide Rd and Kilbirnie are designated WCC development areas. A Mt Victoria route was proposed in the 2013 Spine Study, apparently to save time, but the real time-savings come from good detail design on the chosen route. Bypassing Wellington Hospital is itself a planning error for MRT: BRT in Brisbane went as far as a stop within the Hospital building. It is not a criticism to recognise that LGWM’s modal demand estimates for 2036 contain serious errors. Ideas and assumptions in transport are changing very quickly, among professionals and through society as a whole. Engineering NZ’s latest Transport Group Conference had the theme ‘Change is in the air.’ Who could have imagined, twelve months ago, that school children would be going on strike to demand action on climate change? Will we really see a third of CBD commuters still travelling by car in 2036, as predicted by LGWM? We don’t know. With so many uncertainties to manage, LGWM might be wise to plan for generous spare capacity on primary public transport routes: rail into Wellington and MRT further south. This might even extend to purchasing delivery options, or more vehicles than needed. If world-wide demand shoots up, small orders for a city like Wellington might take too long. The combination of highly uncertain demand and high-capacity MRT suggests that mass-transit might usefully be over-provided, within reason. Under-providing seems likely to be the greater risk. ↑ Contents Light Rail At this stage, light rail seems to be the only option clearly suited to Wellington and the chosen route. It is also available from multiple suppliers; light rail is well-established and supply-competitive. BRT is also available from multiple suppliers, but TT is only available from CRRC. The example vehicle chosen by FIT is seven-section, similar to the Gold Coast (G-link) vehicle in the photo. It is 63 m long with a capacity of nominally 470 passengers. Shorter vehicles might be best for the early years, reducing costs, but longer vehicles might be cheaper in the long term. The costly parts of a modern tram are the control system and cabs, and operating cost-differences are almost independent of vehicle length. If lack of capacity is a risk, then longer vehicles could usefully be introduced at once. The obvious drawback of light rail is the cost of track and diverting underground services. The usual arrangement is that services running along the light rail route are relocated beside it, and services crossing it are relaid in ducts, so that they can be replaced without disturbing light rail. Large drains are generally an exception because they can be repaired from the inside. ↑ Contents BRT A new route study can be based on the ITDP BRT Standard. In 2017 LGWM’s consultant WSP recommended design to the ITDP ‘Bronze Standard,’ and gave these assumptions: Full separation from general traffic flows (dedicated lanes), except intersections. High priority at traffic signals. Requires integration with surrounding walking, cycling & traffic network. Fully electric vehicles. High frequency 2.0–2.5 min/direction/peak hour (“realistic/normal” operating frequency of BRT on Golden Mile). Less transfers/interchanges for passengers. Maximum Capacity 150+ passengers. Medium potential to attract car users to PT. Modern low floor articulated bus vehicles. Flexible/less physical infrastructure. Generally fixed route, some flexibility (if required). BRT is likely to cost roughly the same as conventional buses. In practice, BRT seems very unlikely to be satisfactory in Wellington, because lack of space in the CBD will require a two-lane route. This might be sufficient with good management, of bus lanes, but can never be enough at stations. BRT stations in Brisbane (scaled from an aerial photograph) are typically about 27 m wide, compared with a street-width of 15.1 m in Wellington’s Manners St, for all purposes. BRT stations need two lanes each way, for buses overtaking buses. Also needed are more bus-berths, dedicated berths for each route (so that passengers know where to wait), and substantial platform width to handle passenger numbers. Some principal CBD junctions may need flyovers, to allow adequate junction time for traffic crossing the busway. WSP (bullet point 5 above) anticipate a reliable maximum time between buses of two or two and a half minutes between buses on the golden mile, only 24–30 bus/hr. The only real alternatives to the golden mile are two lanes on the waterfront or two lanes on the ‘secondary spine’ proposed in the Spine Study, using Featherston and Wakefield Streets southbound, and returning on Jervois Quay. Neither is wide enough, with very poor passenger access and legibility. ↑ Contents Trackless Trams Chinese developer CRRC is now the world’s largest manufacturer of railway rolling-stock (Newman et al. (2019), p 33, The Trackless Tram: is it the transit and city shaping catalyst we have been waiting for?). CRRC’s Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (‘trackless tram’ or TT) system is now being trialled in Zhuzhou. TT might prove an attractive option, but there are surprising uncertainties here. Detailed information from CRRC is still scarce, and some sources seem very unreliable. Much of what is available is dated 2017, and an apparently official video is remarkably amateur. It is not even clear that CRRC have yet begun to market TT. TT uses digital steering of all six axles to track a pair of painted lines, with supplementary data from GPS and LIDAR. CRRC have paid close attention to ride quality, using high-speed rail technology. The vehicles are battery-powered (in fact condensers), with an anticipated range of 50 km after a ten-minute charge, backed up by an overnight ‘deep recharge’ and a brief top-up at each station (Newman et al. (2019), p 38). CRRC is offering, or planning to offer, vehicles 30 metres long, in three sections, with a five-section option planned. See the photos below. CRRC now has the largest vehicles on offer, with probably the best ride and the most effective batteries and charging systems. Other manufacturers are also in the market, including Alstom, Van Hool and Irizar (Newman et al. (2019), p 34), offering shorter, bus-based vehicles. The route capacity achievable using light rail is about 10,000 passengers an hour in Wellington, which seems a reasonable target for TT. A lower target would be more easily achieved but might risk running into capacity problems. Three-section TT vehicles are 31.6 m long and 2.65 m wide (the standard light rail width). The claimed capacity is 250–300, which seems very high. A standard figure in Europe is a preferred maximum of 4 standing passengers per square metre. Using this figure, and comparing on a floor-area basis (after subtracting two metres at each end, for the drivers’ cabs), gives a TT vehicle capacity of about 220 passengers. A further correction is needed, because TT vehicles have wide wheel-boxes for six axles (like the front wheels of a bus), and the boxing is continued beneath side-facing seats: the seats are set forward from the windows (photo above right). The full vehicle width is only available to passengers around the doors. An estimated width-correction of 300 mm reduces the capacity to 200 passengers, or 330 on a five-section TT, about 50 m long. This is about 70% of the assumed light rail capacity of 470 (FIT example vehicle). An animated video suggests that two TT vehicles can run in convoy only about a metre apart. If such an option becomes practical, TTs might be capable of running together without coupling, matching light rail capacity and eliminating the need for a four lane route. However, stop-length is another consideration. Finding space for platforms longer than about 50 m becomes progressively more difficult, and extremely difficult beyond about 70 m. Two potential TT risks are: A typical modern European tram (Siemens Avenio, 63 m long) weighs nearly three times as much as a full load of passengers, but TT vehicles weigh only about 15% more. The risk here is that long vehicles need adequate ‘buffing strength’ to protect passengers in the event of a crash. The whole vehicle needs to be strong enough to absorb the kinetic energy of the rear end with minimum risk to passengers. TT in New Zealand will need careful checking for compliance with regulations, regardless of whether the system is treated as bus or light rail. In either case, new regulations will be needed, and may need legislation. Wellington would gain a dual advantage from choosing ‘the same as Auckland’: no regulatory costs, and cheaper vehicles and equipment because of repeat orders. In Looking past the hype about trackless trams, Wong (2018) points out that TT is not really revolutionary, and alternatives to light rail have been available for years. However, Wong also challenges TT’s ride quality, which might be unfair, but his paper is still of interest. A guide and manual with application to Trackless Trams, a paper by Peter Newman et al. (2018), develops a new method of assessing public transport, specifically with TT in mind: Traditional transit planning does the transport engineering first and then adds the land use planning as a supplement after finding government funding; the approach being presented here starts with the land development planning and then does the transport engineering after achieving the funding/ financing from the land development potential. [p 6] Four approaches to capital are used: broadly, all-public; mostly public; mostly private; and all-private. While the paper seems very useful (and note the BCR below), explicitly applying it to TT seems doubtful: By integrating higher value into land development within cities, rather than having further land development on the urban fringe, there are significant public and private benefits that vastly outweigh the costs. Some BCR calculations have seen a simple light rail project with a BCR of 1.5 increase to around 7 because of the increased land development. This not only saves public money in infrastructure costs (usually 1.5 times as much as redevelopment) but also provides transport time savings for those living in the [Transit-Oriented Development areas (such as WCC’s plans for Adelaide Rd)] (based on all transport usage). Thus, it is important to ensure land value increases are integrated into the full transit and land system upgrade process. [p 6] Clearly, the model also works with light rail, but perhaps more worrying is this: Towards the end we show that a Trackless Tram is likely to be the new ‘rail’ system for cities as it does all the things light rail does but costs one tenth of it. This low cost makes it possible for entrepreneurial developers to build such systems as it will unlock their developments. [p 14] TT at a tenth of the cost of light rail is implausible. While the four-level model is interesting, other sources suggest that saving 90% of light rail costs is unrealistic. One of Newman’s errors has been picked up by Matt L: The press for the trackless train claims the vehicle can hold 300 people. This seems highly unlikely given the vehicle is only about 30m long. As a comparison, AT say that a 66m light rail vehicle will hold up to 420 people. The interior of the vehicle doesn’t suggest a huge amount of standing space either and a capacity of 180–200 people seems more realistic. But even if it could hold 300 people, it’s not enough, which is why AT are going for higher capacity vehicles. Newman himself notes (Newman et al. (2019), p 39) an Australian estimate of a third of the cost of light rail, which seems a reasonable starting-point; real-world costs must cover more than painting double white lines. Trackless trams, like BRT, look tempting because they seem far more cost-effective than light rail. This has gone on for a long time, and Wong (2018) refers to a 1994 paper, by Henscher and Walters, titled Light rail and bus priority systems: Choice or blind commitment? Perhaps the largest single risk when adopting alternatives to light rail is the simplest. Decision-makers have repeatedly demonstrated how easily they can convince themselves that anything without tracks must be better than light rail. An example is that UCL, in Innovative technologies for light rail and tram: a European reference resource Briefing paper 1 Tyre innovation–rubber tyred trams (a 2015 review of earlier versions of trackless trams), commented: All (BRT) systems installed to date have been more expensive than conventional tramways. At least two of those systems were replaced by light rail. A related blind-commitment temptation is assuming that only light rail needs to disturb underground services. The ignored risk is that underground services can disrupt TT, just as they have always disrupted present-day motor traffic: TT/BRT proponents, including CRRC, claim the benefits of being able to avoid a crash by manually steering around the obstruction. This is as much a disadvantage as an advantage, because the converse is motor vehicles running on TT/BRT ‘tracks.’ Light rail experience in Britain is stoppages when parked cars obstruct the track, and TT/BRT must also address these risks. The light rail photo on page 3 shows a kerb outside the tracks (at right), with prominent ‘TRAM ONLY’ signs painted on the road, to discourage motor vehicles. Light rail has to maintain an exclusive corridor, and effective TT will need to do the same. If TT/BRT is seen as not needing underground services diversion, decision-makers have unwittingly accepted the risk of delays or damage when underground services fail. Motor traffic is frequently delayed in this way, and drivers manage it by travelling at other times or taking an alternative route. Road signs warning of future disruptions are commonplace. Neither management option is available to either TT or BRT, and Wellington has recent experience of the effects. When the Hutt railway line was washed out in 2013, motor traffic also came to a standstill, for several days. Ignoring the need for services diversion for TT/BRT will tend to have the same effect, rarely over days, but even ten minutes can be very disruptive. Wellington decision-makers need to face facts here. Two major studies, the 2011 Bus Review and the 2013 Spine Study, were wiped out by ill-considered cost-savings. Ten years after the problem was first identified, Greater Wellington still has a heavily overloaded bus route and no plans for improvement. This process, of unconsciously working towards a substandard outcome, is well-known; blind commitment is one term, but Wikipedia calls it BRT Creep: BRT creep comprises several types of gradual erosions in service that sometimes affect a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, resulting in a service that is not up to the standards promised by BRT advocates. In its ideal form, BRT aims to combine the capacity and speed of a light rail system with the flexibility, cost and simplicity of a bus system. BRT creep occurs when a system that promises these features instead acts more like a standard, non-rapid bus system… The most extreme versions of BRT creep lead to systems that cannot even truly be recognised as “Bus Rapid Transit”. This is what happens when the bus lobby sidles in and whispers, “we can do exactly the same for half the price.” They do, and they can’t. ↑ Contents Costs Costs for TT vehicles are roughly comparable with light rail; say about $80 million to run a five-minute service. Other cost estimates vary wildly, but real-world costs must cover more than painting double white lines: Road re-grading as needed; TT videos show well-levelled surfaces everywhere. TT vehicles use the same low floor-level as light rail, and will tend to need similar large-radius vertical curves. Heavy-current, high-voltage power at all stops, termini, and especially the depot. Stations, including platforms, shelter, passenger access; ticketing machines and connections at hubs. A depot, with scope for expansion. Motor traffic realignment to make room for TT. Integration with traffic signals for TT priority. Any TT cost-estimates for Wellington will need great care, using data from existing users. Ensuring a dedicated and separated corridor would future-proof TT to support fully autonomous operation when the technology matures: light rail is future-proofed by design. The first light rail line in Montpellier opened in 2001, and in 2008 was carrying 30 million passengers a year. A cost analysis from Marc le Tourneur (2011), Making the case for trams and regional trams, showed that buses and BRT both cost about 45% more than light rail: light rail (actual figures) Investment cost per passenger€ 0.93 Operating cost per passenger€ 0.53 Total€ 1.46 buses (actual figures) Investment cost per passenger€ 0.49 Operating cost per passenger€ 1.61 Total€ 2.12 bus rapid transit (simulated using data from Nantes) Investment cost per passenger€ 0.84 Operating cost per passenger€ 1.27 Total€ 2.11 Montpellier (populaton 290,000) now has four light rail lines, with a total length of 60 km. Data from Transport for London gives equal costs for buses and light rail at about 3200 light rail passengers an hour; a little higher and light rail is cheaper than buses, and a lot cheaper when light rail is running at capacity. One reason is that savings on operations cost are sufficient to pay for greater capital costs. Roughly 70% of operating costs are driver’s wages, for either buses or light rail, but one light rail driver replaces some four to six bus drivers. ↑ Contents
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    • Rocky out crops
      • 29 Sep 2006
      • T3 Track Blog
      • These pictures are of 2 rocky out crops on the track, they have been ridden both ways so are deemed to be finished. As you can see by the before and after photos a lot of earth and rock has been moved to make them just right. These two sections were like big jigsaws puzzle to design, trying to fit in the nice natural rock features and make it tricky at the same time.
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    • Design Map and info
      • 28 Sep 2006
      • T3 Track Blog
      • The track has already been started and about 100mtrs is rideable from the Vertigo end up, but as you will be able to see by the design map it is by no means finished, there are several features to be put along this part of the track, and a whole heap more along the rest of it.
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