Posts by Bart Janssen

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…, in reply to Moz,

    suggesting that voting might not be the best way to select

    Unless what you are measuring is popularity then voting is never the best way to select anyone for any job.

    It is however, not the worst way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The shared-use path that no…,

    Cyclists need only cross three and a half lanes of uncontrolled traffic to get to the other side and carry on with their citybound journey.

    Surely they are taking the piss right?

    Maybe Kathryn King needs to take the AT management on this thrilling ride.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The shared-use path that no…, in reply to Max Robitzsch,

    until we get some revolutionaries in power

    I think that's the real issue here. It isn't even revolutionaries really, it's just people who aren't so totally embedded in the "cars first" culture of the 70s.

    We keep getting road works that don't just ignore cyclists and pedestrians but are actively hostile to them. That made sense when everyone was expected to use a car and only fitness nuts rode/walked or ran anywhere. There is a generation of roading engineers brought up on the idea of excluding people (for their own safety of course). That generation are now the management in AT and that thinking desperately needs to be replaced.

    Great North Road was always a logical flat cycle route. Back when I rode along it to Uni it was a decent route, but the progressive addition of the motorway interchanges and slip lanes (god I hate slip lanes) have made it a death trap for cyclists and pedestrians.

    It could be a great cycle route, it's wide enough and connects to some great public amenities it just needs some new heads in AT to see that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to linger,

    something that was not generally well-understood 20 years ago

    I agree, with respect to the risk from weather. Although I'd note that climate change and its effect on extreme weather events was well known 20 years ago - it was however loudly denied.

    But that doesn't alter the discussion with respect to cars hitting power poles, or maintenance/replacement costs associated with over ground lines.

    The idea that cities should move infrastructure underground has been around longer than 20 years.

    Vector's reluctance to push undergrounding has had much more to do with giving the appearance of making a profit than with providing the best possible infrastructure for the city.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to Neil,

    It’s the problem with hindsight

    WTF. It's been known for decades that undergrounding protects the lines and reduces maintenance costs and reduces road accidents.

    It's not hindsight, it's an utter failure of management.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    And yet again Vector is blaming the customer's trees for the problems.

    And yes it will cost $3 billion to underground now.

    But that cost only exists because of mismanagement for the last two decades.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The lines don't blow over - but the trees do blow over onto the lines.

    This led Vector management to blame Aucklanders for having trees that could blow over onto the lines that Vector should have been putting underground for the last two decades.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    I’m willing to lay odds that whatever money Entrust has set aside for undergrounding of power lines amounts to only a tiny fraction of the cost of undergrounding the 45% of the city that still has overhead lines

    And you're right.

    But it isn't as straightforward as saying it wasn't enough money to prevent the chaos of his week.

    If, as should have happened, each year that dividend had been used to underground lines, then each year there would have been fewer lines to knock down and repair each year and fewer power poles for drivers to wrap their cars around.

    That reduces repair costs each year leaving more operating costs to invest in more undergrounding.

    It's a virtuous cycle.

    Stack that up over a decade and while we still would have had a disaster last week but it would have been 10 or 20% fewer lines down. And that makes a huge difference to recovery.

    But instead we've had management teams more concerned with this years KPIs and getting their bonuses than with providing a service to their employers - because that's what the public is - we are their employers - we pay their salaries and we have a right to expect better of them.

    Of course that's all moot now - now we have an urgent disaster. And every useless councilor we've had in the past shares the blame for that. They should all be ashamed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to John Farrell,

    Gas can be a problem for cooking....a lot of hobs have a mains connection to power igniters

    Yeah our gas hob needed matches but otherwise was a dinner saver.

    USB rechargable bike lights provided all the light we needed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage,

    One more comment.

    Next day I read and heard Vector management blaming Aucklanders for having too many trees that knocked down all those power lines.

    So here's the thing, I still have my Vector shares and I still get dividends from them.

    What the hell is the company doing giving out dividends when the basic network infrastructure is so vulnerable?

    When undergrounding was suggested (well duh) the response was "ooo that's a bit expensive".

    How much money was just spent repairing all those downed lines???

    And how many of your shareholders would prefer to have underground robust power supplies rather than a dividend.

    Classic short term cost savings creating a huge liability, frankly the board of directors should be delivering a major "please explain" message to the management and none of the management should be getting their bonuses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

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