Just when you thought Auckland’s motorway network was complete, with the Waterview Connection being the last link in the chain, we find that NZTA wants to spend $860 million widening the Northwest motorway.

And no mention of anything like a Northwest busway either. NZTA are having an open day on the project this weekend, although I’m out of town so won’t be able to go along:info-days If someone could go along and make the following points that’d be great:

  1. Why the heck haven’t you investigated a Northwest Busway?
  2. Don’t you know that widening motorways just encourages traffic?
  3. How many lanes wide will the motorway need to be if the Waterview Connection is ever expanded to six lanes?
  4. What’s the project’s cost-benefit ratio?
  5. Isn’t $860 million a lot just to widen an existing motorway?
  6. If you did build the busway instead, would you still need to widen the motorway?
  7. Have you looked at a movable barrier like the Harbour Bridge has, considering that the NW Motorway has incredibly low counter-peak flows?

I’ll put together something similar in an email to NZTA, but it’d be great if they heard it in person. If you can’t make it, send you thoughts here: SH16@nzta.govt.nz

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  1. Have you suggested this busway proposal to anyone else, eg/ politicians? I’m sure the green party will be very interested and possibly David Shearer from Labour could be interested as he campaigned on stronger public transport. Could be a good change to practice your skills in being a salesman.

    I just emailed SH16@NZTA. I guess well will see if they will respond under continued pressure.

  2. Funny you mentioned that Brent, I saw Shearer last night and he suggested we take a meeting next week (about something else) but the thought had crossed my mind to talk to him about this too…

  3. If not toll lanes how about a T2 transit lane? The thing about SH16 is that it only ever gets busy at peak times and only in one direction. Building so much capacity for such a limited need seems silly. We are going to have a lot of empty asphalt while inducing more people to drive at peak hour. There will be 5 lanes westbound between Waterview and Te Atatu.5!

  4. I dont see why the having the extra lanes tolled wouldn’t work. It could be just like the northern gateway system so you have to sign up to use, however if you are willing to pay you have the option of getting there faster. I agree that there should be a PT alternative, but by tolling the extra lanes, the government would be able to retain a return on the investment whilest providng a benefit for the paying customer.

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