1. Get rid of right turns along this road and you’d have enough space for bus lanes, it’s up to 7 lanes wide in places for heaven’s sakes, and do we seriously need on street parking along here considering the huge number of newly built garages in the area.

  2. And don’t get me started with the mess that are the bus shelters, the footpath is tiny as it is without huge shelters plastered in advertising blocking sight lines and in places are located underneath awnings. It’s a pointless shambles, which I had assumed was temporary but it’s been like this for years and years now and AT/AC don’t appear to be in any rush to improve it.

    1. True, the bus shelter is providing any additional shelter if there are already awnings there! I guess the point is for advertising more than shelter; they should be called “ad shelters”

  3. Auckland hasn’t seen fit to collect traffic counts on Customs Street since 2003, but it only did ~23,000 vpd (sum of both directions) on weekdays. Less than Victoria Street at ~26,000 vpd – which has two fewer lanes!

    Customs Street must be one of the most overbuilt streets in the city for the amount of traffic that uses it – only Upper Queen Street springs to mind as worse. It could do with a road diet, and unusually for Auckland, it should be able to get one without the traffic engineers noticing or caring. At the very least, the outside lanes should be buses only. Six lanes for cars, plus turn lanes? Really? I think it’s just a symptom of how urban planning and traffic engineering worked for so long in this country – we have space, therefore it will be paved and painted for as many cars as can fit.

    1. I don’t think that’s accurate Steve. The two kerbside lanes are used for bus stop bays, while the next two are also used by buses passing those that are stopped. Likewise buses use the right turn bays in the median. About half of the peak capacity is for buses, so it’s hardly six lanes and turn lanes for cars.

      1. Half of the peak capacity is not for buses, the road is completely mixed at the moment, cars, and buses alike can use the entire roadway for some ridiculous reason.

      2. None of Customs Street East and only half of Customs Street West has bus lanes. All six/seven lanes are open to general traffic by any vehicle at any time, although in practice the outer lane isn’t wide enough to get past parked buses, and some buses do stand in their stops for some minutes outside peak hours. In that sense the outside lane is sort of “for buses” much of the time.

        I work on (and used to live overlooking) Customs Street, and it amazes me how empty all those lanes are, even in rush hour.

  4. I really like the facade of those buildings along Customs St shown in the picture; never really noticed the ones in the foreground though. Would be great if they removed the awnings of those three buildings because they are very beautiful.

    As for transport matters, I agree that the outside lanes should be bus only. Not an expensive job I assume, just need some traffic engineers to put it on paper and the physical work would be quite easy. Just a pity that there aren’t any influential traffic engineers that would like this idea.

      1. Don’t see why not. The rest of the buildings don’t have awnings and when it does rain there is cover on the other side of Customs St. Just a shame that these lovely buildings are “hidden” from view.

        1. Have to agree with Bryce here. The absolute worst thing you could do here would be to remove all awnings, it is a place for people to be, not a thing for people to see, if it can’t be both it should be the former.

  5. How many great olde/Victoriana pubs are there remaining in Auckland? In the style of some of Melbourne and Sydney’s best (Rocks, Surry Hills etc). I can only think of a few.

  6. I agree with chris. The awnings add so much clutter to the streetscape and really detract from the buildings themselves.
    In regard to transport, the plan for quay street and the plan for customs street have to be complementary. At the moment, quay st is talked about as being a pedestrian boulevard but i wonder if such a big space might feel a bit empty having only pedestrians and possibly buses/trams on it. I would argue that one lane each way on both customs and quay st would provide enough for cars to cross the city. A couple of bus lanes on customs st as well would be nice.

  7. It is because of the pedestrian phases. I think Customs St has 20,000 vehicles a day through there, but that is irrelevant. What we need to know is how many people are using the road. I expect that value is alot higher because of all the buses. Yes, lets get rid of the awnings…I love the footpath full of people with their open umbrellas all over the place…

  8. Not sure it is the ped phases.
    Queen St intersection looks like it’s on green for left turns and the car (illegally?) exiting lower queen
    Commerce intersection – Ped phase
    Gore intersection – Given that people are waiting on the corner I don’t think it’s on a ped phase
    Britomart Pl – difficult to make out, but I can’t see anyone on the corner of Britomart Pl and Customs who would have had to press the beg button. There might be someone out of shot on the corner of Fort who would have had to push the beg button but it is just as likely to be a car exiting Britomart Place triggering the red phase on Customs.
    So overall one set of reds due to ped phasing, two due to catering to side street vehicle movements and one that could be either.

    1. Cars are allowed to exit from Lower Queen St there – it’s the only way out of the western-most block of Tyler and Galway Streets.

  9. Looking at this picture one of this first things to catch my eye were the traffic lights. Why do we have overhead traffic lights on urban streets? Why are lights on the corners of intersection or a central median pole not sufficient? I presume it’s to improve visibility and minimise obstructions at driver level – on the grounds of safety. But does it really make it safer? For starters it creates visual clutter and when looking down linear sections of streets such as in this picture, the series of lights tend to take over the centre of the picture and only confirm the dominance of vehicles over pedestrians in the roadway’s design. I also wonder if they reduce safety by increasing driver approach speeds at intersections: because a driver can see from a long way off that the light is green, they speed up to try and get through before it changes. If the overhead light wasn’t there, then drivers wouldn’t be so sure what the signal was until they got closer and so would approach more cautiously. I can understand the need for high level traffic lights on higher speed roads, but why for 50km/hr (or less) urban streets – where we want them to be more pedestrian friendly and have greater vitality and life?

  10. Worth noting that the bus aside, there are easily as many pedestrians in this picture as there are vehicles, and this is pretty clearly not a busy time. Most likely even more pedestrians around at peak times. Clearly pedestrians deserve a bigger share of the space!

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