Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Getting Across

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  • Russell Brown,

    I didn't say a full-on munter. I said subnormally intelligent.

    Sigh ... this is fairly adolescent. Get a grip, please.

    Someone who for all intents and purposes seems normal but is only a fraction away from being classed as handicapped.

    And that's just offensive. Behave like a grown-up or I'll cancel your account.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I never joke Russell :-)

    As I said. Out of left field.

    Oh, okay then. In that case, it's an idea for which the word "absurd" is inadequate. An idea that could only be seriously voiced by someone whose familiarity with the proposed route is based on looking at a map in the internet.

    Sorry, but it is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Sigh. I know......It is more the line of a "Love Hate" relationships but.

    And an outside perspective is useful at times - but someone who hates something should never be put in a position of advice around it. Hence Rodney Hide being a poor choice for Local Govt Minister.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    coronado bridge

    How about this one? Simple, elegant. 200 ft at highest point, so navy boats can chug under, and the bridge has a massive curve - don't have to have a straight one.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    OK. Absurd it is.

    1955 rejecting the railway system around Auckland in favour of motorways. Absurd.
    Rejecting Robbies Light rail. Absurd.
    Expanding Auckland both North and South without rail corridors in place by ANY of the councils. Absurd.
    Isolating the CBD from the rest of the universe as above. Absurd.
    Relying on buses that travel the same roads as the gazzillions of cars. Absurd.
    And similar: Ridding the Electricity subsidies in the South Island that attempted to attract business and the population south. Absurd.
    Putting in a bypass to Wgtn airport rather than a light rail from the city. Absurd.
    Putting cycle ways on a 1m strip of NEW road on the Hutt Mway. Absurd.
    Planning the Hutt Valley Rail line BEFORE the housing went in. Not absurd.
    Getting rid of CNG. Absurd.

    Yes, I looked at the map. But I DID live in Pukekohe and I do have an inkling of the area. But think about it. Where is Auckland going to expand? I don't think there will be much of a green belt between Papakura and Hamilton. Nor from Warkworth to Wellsford.

    You could of course take the easy route and ruin your beaches and the coastline. Just like around Wgtn Harbour. From Petone to Oriental bay, try getting to the shoreline and paddling in the sea. Motorway, rail line, ferry, wharfs, Event Centre, Te Papa, Overseas Terminal, Swimming Pool (!!! OVER the sea too) and then you reach O Bay. An absurd idea.

    It might be absurd. but it might not be either.....in time. I look forward to other options. There aren't too many left though. Look outside of the box.

    Peace.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Just like around Wgtn Harbour. From Petone to Oriental bay, try getting to the shoreline and paddling in the sea. Motorway, rail line, ferry, wharfs, Event Centre, Te Papa, Overseas Terminal,

    Like in Auckland, these obstructions were constructed in the first half of the century. There is no chance of getting back the natural waterfront. There is, however, the chance to create an active waterfront that is interesting and usable. This Wellington has done, and done well. Auckland could learn this without difficulty, if its representatives were properly interested.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It might be absurd. but it might not be either.....in time. I look forward to other options. There aren't too many left though. Look outside of the box.

    I didn't mean to sound rude, honest, but I just can't see what you're thinking. No one is going fund a phenomenally expensive motorway through the Waitakeres (and/or a regional park) where no one lives and there are almost no connecting roads, just so you don't have to use State Highway 1.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Stephen

    Yamis: have you see "Auckland, City of cars?"

    It debunks the population density and the cost arguments pretty well, I think.

    I'm just playing devils advocate to an extent. I think light rail should be developed along the middle of the northern and northwestern motorways at least but I now work close to where I live in the suburbs so don't get subjected to the daily dose of traffic jams that others do so I'm less effected. But to be fair, there has been a fair amount of investment on our rail network (by our standards anyway :)-

    But I had a look at the first two clips and I think it's a bit slanted. The figures I could find for Aucklands urban area was 1,086 sq km and there are 1,313,200 residents giving a population density of 1209 NOT 2000 like appears in their tables. I might be wrong or be using figures that are incorrect though so feel free to correct my arse.

    Also, I haven't been to Perth or Copenhagen (less than half the size of Auckland urban area??) so can't really comment on their geography but Auckland is a bloody funny shape. Stretched a long way north along a coastline, and through a relatively narrow isthmus funnelling out to the south and east while to the west it wraps around two harbours.

    No excuse not to have shown some vision and developed a much rail network though.

    But at the end of the day NZers like their cars, we use them a lot, we like going on holiday, driving to west coast beaches, regional parks, the bay of islands etc etc so we are always going to have them. Also until public transport gets us to where we are going cheaper and faster (or at least the same) then provided we can afford to buy a car we aren't going to use it (well, most anyway).

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Auckland is a bloody funny shape. Stretched a long way north along a coastline, and through a relatively narrow isthmus funnelling out to the south and east while to the west it wraps around two harbours.

    Unusual, but not radically so. Sydney is at least somewhat comparable geographically, being sandwiched around harbours and inlets.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    It might be absurd. but it might not be either.....in time. I look forward to other options. There aren't too many left though. Look outside of the box.

    Of course it's absurd. The number of people who want to go North of Auckland without travelling through Auckland for the odd holiday is DWARFED by the number of people in Auckland who just want to be able to get around every day.

    Among other absurd things: that we don't have rail from the airport to Britomart. Now that is just fucking nuts.

    I'm absolutely glowing with optimism at the moment though, so many people are enthusiastic about investing in the new rail loop that perhaps we'll get some momentum, allowing expansion of the network.

    I've never been in a position to commute on a train, currently I walk to work every day, when I was young enough not to mind being sweaty at work I cycled every day, but mostly I've driven. But the scant few times I've had opportunity to take the train into Britomart it was GREAT. I'd use a train to the airport every damn time. It'd make our visitors much happier too. Frankly I think it's bizarre that a line isn't already in.

    (Then we just have to raze the Downtown building and replace it with a beautiful park, with fountains and art, so when people come up to surface level they aren't met with an eyeful of god damn concrete.)

    How much freight comes out of the airport in trucks to the city, drop all of that crap into a rail cars, and deliver it to within scant moments of the central post sorting station. (I don't actually know how much freight this represents, but every truck off the roads is good in my view.)

    We could also create a kilometres long holographic tunnel to hide the godsawful light industrial, warehousing, and shit-house burbage that all happy tourists are currently shunted through. "Welcome to New Zealand, as you can see it looks like it sucks, but don't let that fool you, we've just decided it would be smart to take you through the VERY WORST OF IT as you first experience here."

    Anyway, it looks like a hell of a lot of work has been done already on fixing this ludicrous oversight, and that there's support from ACTA and ARC, but it still looks like it's pretty far in the distance:
    http://www.aucklandtrains.co.nz/2009/08/19/airport-rail-link-becomes-top-future-priority/

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'd use a train to the airport every damn time. It'd make our visitors much happier too. Frankly I think it's bizarre that a line isn't already in.

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with the influential airport company making over 30 million dollars every year from carparking fees.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Where is Auckland going to expand?

    Joshua unearthed a 1946 map of Auckland showing a southeast to northwest network design which would have driven housing and industrial development accordingly.

    You can see the Southdown-Avondale rail corridor that is about to be turned into the Mt Roskill-Waterview motorway. The CBD rail tunnel is labelled "Morningside deviation".

    Would all have been a lot cheaper to build back then, and avoided turning our CBD into an island.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Joshua Great Map(s) !!

    Re the Island. Nice to see it has been called that before!! And the transport blog is A1.

    but I just can't see what you're thinking

    I see the northern parts of Fanklin including the south edge of the Manukau turing into burbs some time in the future. Once that happens someone is going to scream that getting into Auckland via Manukau/Papakura is not going to be for the faint hearted. If it also expands out north as well then there is no way there will be any kind of "efficient" route without putting in alternatives. Obviously rail is the way to go but to me, a west route up north may very well turn up. It is not much longer getting from Bombay to Te Atatu via SH1 than it would be via Clarks Beach and Awhitu. (BTW I did mean Clarks Beach not Glenbrook earlier). But again, the through traffic may not be the issue. Rather it will be those south trying to get to Wellsford and Wellsfordites wanting to get south. You are likely moving half the population across the isthmus afterall.

    Waitakeres (and/or a regional park) where no one lives and there are almost no connecting roads

    Well there weren't too many connecting roads south of Howick or Wiri not so long ago either. So some of those trees out west might just have to go!!!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Thanks Ross. Your Waitakeres bypass could work, if only there was flat land out that way and not... the Waitakeres!

    Anyway, I actually think that we're jumping the gun on the need for another harbour crossing. I have read the traffic assessments for the Victoria Park Tunnel project and they detail that the Harbour Bridge actually runs under capacity because of bottlenecks elsewhere in the motorway network (like Victoria Park). Furthermore, the Northern Busway is a fantastic new piece of infrastructure that should mean that rail is not necessary on the North Shore for at least another 20 years or so.

    Which leaves the walking and cycling issue - although I think NZTA and GetAcross are actually sorting that out and it might be possible to attach a pedestrian/cycling way to the bridge after all.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Fannen,

    A new iconic bridge would be nice but not as a draw for people overseas (says the person living overseas) - but to augment the already superb Auckland Harbour. The question of the old one is more pertinent - removing old bridges is pretty difficult if they're not safety hazards (which it the old one may not be without the clip-ons). Difficult because once the new one (or tunnel) has been finished, they'll (collective they) will realise the new bridge is up to capacity and hesitate about getting rid of the old one....and will the old one look right by the new one (I actually like the old one!).

    Whatever happens, it needs a rail option (as should every new motorway put into Auckland from now on). You could get around the pedestrian and cycle option by making the bridge crossing free for those two users (no pun intended), thereby encouraging both but not letting them get in the way of the high volume traffic.

    And putting rail over to a dead end on the North Shore - it'll always remain a dead end until there's a rail crossing - once that's there you could extend it in some form all the way up the motorway corridor.

    Auckland needs a good rail service and that should be the primary focus of these big transport enhancements - new roads are always going to fill up but commuter rail investment usually has substantial benefits

    Yes, you can hear/read the frustration of someone who's travelled to loads of cities around Europe and seen smaller cities, more sprawled cities, poorer cities, more geologically and archaeologically challenged cities - with new trams, new subways and more and wondered why we couldn't do it at home.

    I second that "Good one Joshua" comment - good blog too for a transport geek like me :)

    Warsaw • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with the influential airport company making over 30 million dollars every year from carparking fees.

    Clearly I don't think about this enough with my 5 minute walking commute, bloody parking earnings hadn't occurred to me.

    I'm sure some more interesting use for the land could be cooked up by someone with more than a quarter of a brain though. How about a nice park. The sort with trees and grass and fountains.

    No money in that. :(

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with the influential airport company making over 30 million dollars every year from carparking fees.

    Probably less than you'd think, actually. If they can build on some of the carparking space they can get both rents and percentages of turnover. AIAL's income from parking is thoroughly dwarfed by the income they take from being a commercial and industrial landlord. I bet they'd charge KiwiRail an easement for running a railway line across airport land, too, and rent for a train station.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Hard to tell how genuine it is, but Auckland Airport seem quite encouraging of rail access - they've got a spot for the station in their long term strategic plan that can't be used for anything else. I suspect the quick, easy flow of passengers is more valuable to them than carparking...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I suspect the quick, easy flow of passengers is more valuable to them than carparking...

    Indeed. Passengers spend money inside the terminal, which generates revenue. The more passengers, the better.
    Plus, if it's easier to get to AIAL it reduces pressure for another airport in the region. That means no competition for landing fees, and other such revenue-negative developments.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Fair arguments about relative value of commercial land - not that they're short of that. I don't doubt the airport company are making encouraging noises about rail now, especially as the current roading network improvements to convey all those daily workers will hit their limit sometime. Was more thinking of past motivation - the "why not before now?" question.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Sacha, why not double-tracking of the Western Line before? Why not electrification yet? Why not reopen the Onehunga Branch before?
    And those are all projects that use existing corridors. A line to the airport has to go through built-up areas, with no existing easement; unlike the Avondale-Southdown one. When we haven't even been able to muster the political support until recently to upgrade what we've already got, building an entirely new link is on the back burner on a stove in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard." With apologies to Douglas Adams.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    No disagreement here.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    It's pretty easy to be cynical about the motivations of a company with monopolistic tendencies, such as AIAL, but I think in this case their (in)actions have simply been about not paying attention to a dog that didn't bark. Until very recently a rail link to the airport would've been classified as a dirty rumour - as plausible as suggestions that Rodney actually hearts unions and the minimum wage - which would've made it pointless for AIAL to make any comment, positive or negative, about the concept.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Good points Matthew, I think the airport company has considered that rail to the airport was out in the never never, and therefore it wasn't very useful promoting it too much (I think they were worried about getting slapped with the bill).

    Now that the ARC has made it a high priority, and they no longer have to focus their energies on getting the roading links improved (as they're just about done with that) airport rail has come back onto their agenda.

    Which means that hopefully they will be supportive of efforts to finalise the designation for this critical transport project ASAP.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

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