Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A solution in search of somebody else's problem

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Wellington's council, for all its faults, has gotten it right far more often than its Auckland counterpart

    Fortunately for Wellington, they don't have John Key and John Banks and Rodney Hide living there. The Eastie Boys.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    this very attitude cost us the V8's

    That one was a matter of consent rather than keenness or funding, I was briefed at the time (other stories welcome).

    Detailed preparations did not find a way to avoid shutting down a central and unduplicable part of the road network for a week (allowing setup and packdown). Hamilton does not have the same issue, and even Welli had other ways around their inner-city circuit (and much better public transport options).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    But doesn't the idea of a "walking bus" (tell me they are not serious) presume everyone wants to go to downtown Auckland? And what will they do when they get there anway? It is well and good saying it is 3.5km to Queen Street, but it'll be closer to a stroll of 7km to get to "party central" and that is quite a walk for anyone let alone the choleric fans of, say, England. There would be a riot around Mayoral Drive.

    If Len Brown wins the mayoralty then it looks like the fight for control of the SuperCity will be a straight class war showdown between yesterday's Auckland - the crony old school tie kleptocrats and their enablers like Hide - and (as they would see it) a left wing interloper from the third word. The stakes are high, since for Bown to lose such a showdown would be to lock most of Auckland's future population into permanent underclass status.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I don't know where the "walking bus" term came from (never seen it elsewhere). It will be just like the unruly crowds before and after any large sports event like the Sevens. Auckland's CBD has much of the large visitor accommodation and is also where all transport networks converge.

    Someone (jarbury?) recently proposed adding a dedicated busway to Ian McKinnon Drive and the beginning of Dominion Rd. Queen St could have dedicated buslanes while the tournament is in town and there'd be a clear path all the way from Britomart to the stadium's Cricket Ave. Would cost bugger all and eminently doable in time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    walking bus" (tell me they are not serious)

    Well, major works from Kingsland Train Station to Eden Park. 4 houses have gone to make room for the walkway, and one can get from Britomart to there. So Party Central to train to kingsland and a 4 minute walk across to the park would probably be easier. Also get off the train and several drinking establishments already there, many, with bigish screens. Our Local is planning a big screen out the front and they have a glass wall inside that looks straight at the Park. They know the little goldmine they are sitting on.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Putting tables all down Kingsland's closed-off main drag, but still only hold one in sixty ticketholders. Trains similarly not the whole answer, especially because new ones still ages away.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    this very attitude cost us the V8's

    You are welcome to have them back! I have never seen the point of such motorsports--except as a means of further reducing dwindling natural resources , and annoying the locals!

    As a complete aside (and if anyone is interested), my rather gushy review of the Al Green concert in Auckland last month is now up on kiwiboomers. It got lost for a while, so it is a late review, at http://www.kiwiboomers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2928&Itemid=72

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Glad you enjoyed the Rev, Geoff. As local niche sites, what do you make of Grownups compared with Kiwiboomers?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    As local niche sites, what do you make of Grownups compared with Kiwiboomers

    Call me ambivalent about the whole notion of kiwiboomers ('kiwibivalent'?), but I do have a lot of time for Paul Smith, who puts the site together. There is something called Grownups? I am not sure whether I qualify for that ;-)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Sacha: I had a look at Grownups. Scarey stuff about aching heels and bad backs. Not yet quite ready to plunge into that world of mobility scooters and spiritual guides. . Seems more like it is designed for 70+, rather than 50+.

    kiwiboomers is more about interesting writing and wry commentaries on the world, without being too grumpy old buggers.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Trains similarly not the whole answer, especially because new ones still ages away.

    The point really is Sacha that all this does exist already including buses and we are supposed to want to spend millions because some people are staying downtown. So really a stage would suffice with a bit of entertainment.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Agree take simplest option for now

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't know where the "walking bus" term came from (never seen it elsewhere).

    You haven't sent kids to primary school. The primaries round here run a safe walk-to-school programme where kids can join up with a walking group let by a couple of mums in flouro vests -- a "walking bus".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sorry I wasn't clearer (foo fuzz). I meant "elsewhere" in coverage of the RWC walking route.

    Know about the school usage and almost got to meet the dude who invented it when he came over again last year. Simple and magnificent concept from a visionary traffic planner, well implemented here.

    Just can't imagine what anyone was thinking applying the term to an unruly bunch of drunk sports fans.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    You are welcome to have them back! I have never seen the point of such motorsports--except as a means of further reducing dwindling natural resources , and annoying the locals!

    As far as I'm concerned Aussie motorsports jumped the shark after the Godzilla GTR was outlawed after the 1992-93 season. Gentleman Jim Richards' outburst was just priceless.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Russell, this is clearly a "more labour/less logic" statement -" I wanted the stadium built in the waterfront. "

    The waterfront is generally accepted as a great aspect for viewing along with experiencing, walking, swimming etc.

    A stadium is inward looking and so totally at opposites (and hopefully at opposed sites) to the waterfront.

    If this is incorrect please state where in the world a waterfront stadium works as public space on the waterfront.
    (I have my shotgun ready - please supply the barrel of fish).

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    How hard is it for architects and planners to grasp that that sort of residential building doesn't bring life to a space, it kills it?

    Absolutely. It's like: architects, please familarize yourselves with the tort of private nuisance. This is why your groovy plans for "mixed spaces" will always fail. Thank you.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    The waterfront is generally accepted as a great aspect for viewing along with experiencing, walking, swimming etc.

    If I was wanting to view, experience, walk or swim, Auckland's waterfront is the last place I'd be doing that.
    Da Cake tin in Wellington is close to the water, well closeish, and it fits right in with those rail lines and streets.

    A stadium is inward looking

    With a lovely patch of grass in the middle where people , erm, do stuff and others can sit and watch.
    Some people say its an edifying experience, I wouldn't know. But all that inward looking might be a good thing.
    OK I've tortured the analogy enough. There is a rising swell on the east coast I'm off to do some experiencing meself.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    So the chief investment in getting people away from Eden Park is the removal of three houses and an underpass to Kingsland Station? And the rest are supposed to use shanks pony???

    Good grief.

    Kingsland station can only take one train every five minutes and I'll believe that frequency when I see it. The platform isn't very long either. Someone is bound to fall on the tracks as thousands of Europeans, conditioned to excellent rail services, jostle expectantly on the platform.

    Jarbury's idea is, as usual, a beacon of common sense in a Byzantine sea of abysmal, penny pinching mangerialism.

    We need to have a dedicated bus lane AND trains AND close the Kingsland Strip AND a walking bus to move people in an efficient way.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Kingsland station can only take one train every five minutes

    Two, if the plans to run trains in the same direction on both sides of the track come to fruition. Shut the Western Line west of Kingsland and send duplicate services to Kingsland on both the "inbound" and "outbound" tracks from Britomart. Dunno why they don't do it from Newmarket and minimise the disruption to the rest of the network, but these are the fuckwits who came up with the plan in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Looks like the Auckland Chamber of Commerce is falling out of love with Central Gummint, over the way Megatropolis is being imposed from Wellington with precious little regard for what Aucklanders want or what will actually be in the best interests of the city (as opposed to a select bunch of major contractors). About time. The more angst we get from the right-wing business lobby the better, because if Rodders et al will listen to anyone it's that crowd. Sure as hell they've shown absolutely no interest in listening to anybody else.

    Edit: Oh, and C&R are also less than enamoured with how these changes are being rammed down Auckland's collective throat. So even National is falling out of love with the current regime. Bet John didn't see that coming when he appointed Rodders as Monster of Local Government.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Trouble is that this very attitude cost us the V8's to name but one thing "We" didn't want to pay for.

    Whether or not ratepayers wanted to pay for it, it was at least Auckland councils that put in the bid. Also, the objection, as has been pointed out, was much less about the direct cost and much, much more about the indirect cost of having to shut down a portion of the CBD and a major transport arterial for a week.

    RWC was bid for by the country, not by any region. Eden Park isn't even owned by the local council, unlike many of the other stadiums around the country, which makes it that much more offensive that McCully is demanding Auckland ratepayers' money to subsidise the do-up.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    If this is incorrect please state where in the world a waterfront stadium works as public space on the waterfront.

    PNC Park, in Pittsburgh is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They're the worst team in baseball and have the best staduim. It was built on the North Side of the Allegheny River, with views of downtown. The riverbank now features a lot of park area, there are numerous bars and restaurants built into the outside of the stadium and in once-empty buildings in the blocks east of the stadium (there's also a lot of carparking, but they built it in a post-industrial ruin).
    During games they close off the nearest bridge so that you can easily walk across from downtown. I don't particularly like baseball but I go there at least a couple of times a season, just to be in the stadium.

    And it's only about seven years old. There's an American Football stadium right next door, but tickets are incredibly expensive so I've never been. A bit further down the river, Carnegie Mellon has a science centre, and there is also the Andy Warhol Museum a few blocks away. Those stadiums are contributing to the redevelopment of the once-industrial waterfront in a big way.

    ETA: the obvious objection is that these stadiums were built in an area with ample space for development, and not on a wharf. I'm addressing the specific question above, not saying that exactly the same thing would work in Auckland.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Jake, that the stadium in question serves as a focal point doesn't make it a public space. Public spaces are, by definition, open to the public not just to paying customers. Auckland's waterfront is littered with areas that are closed to the public, be it for safety reasons (Ports of Auckland), security reasons (the customs areas), or just because someone's built on it and thus the area is already used.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Yeah I understand that but the point is that it has created public space around it. Parks and stuff. As well as restaurants.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

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