If you missed Janette Sadik-Khan’s awesome talk on Monday to an enthralled audience at the Aotea Centre, you can watch it online here. At 90 minutes for the whole thing it’s quite long, but definitely worth it as it was a great presentation.

JSK event
Janette Sadik-Khan at Auckland Conversations, 26 May 2014. Video viewable here.

I’ve been hearing there has been a lot of talk from council and Auckland Transport staff about getting on with making this city better using some of the ideas and techniques shared by JSK. There’s certainly plenty of projects we could suggest, however we’ll have to wait to see if that happens in reality.

At the end of the session, AT chair Lester Levy talks about creating a “Statement of Imagination” for the organisation. I really look forward to seeing that, and imagine that many of our readers would have some great ideas for it.

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  1. She’s a star. And is this not enough permission for the apparatchiks in charge of our city? You know, to pimp a naff song; ‘if they can do it there; we can do it anywhere’.

    1. An inspirational talk and it confuses me that the mayor is today talking about a light rail loop in Manukau. Did he miss the entire point?

  2. Great talk, truly inspirational. I was expecting a bit more out of the Mayor though, it would have been good if he could have announced some new trial projects or quick wins that AT were going to start on. And what is with that Manukau rail loop? Come on Len. JSK talked about cheap, quick and effective changes not massively expensive projects that will take years to implement.

    1. But also he is just failing the rationality test; it isn’t about pepper potting individual projects around the city but rather backing the whole network. The way for any surface route to qualify for Light Rail is for the bus route there to be full to bursting… he’s getting ahead of himself.

      1. Len strikes me as the sort of person who, despite his best intentions, gets carried away a lot. During the talk he of course mentioned the CRL… and then possible rail to the airport and North Shore, worthy projects I’d like to hear more about yes (especially the airport), but as previous posters have pointed out, missing the point of what JSK had to say. Focus on what delivers bang for the buck quickly. Ludo sort of got it with his references to the shared spaces, but so much more can be done for so little money… Just try it!

  3. Great talk. I really like the idea that AT is a major property developer in Auckland and that they should act accordingly with regards to benefiting everyone, not just cars. It depends what glasses people are wearing. Everyone hears the same thing but can interpret it differently depending on the glasses they see the world through. I for one found the concept designs of various CBD streets hilarious. Not only crazy expensive, those things are 30 years away like removing the Hobson Flyover and turning Hobson St into some quiet 2 lane road. That is ridiculous and unlikely to happen for a long, long time. It will happen of course, just not for a long, long time.

    As mentioned, I think some people missed the point that there are alot of quick wins that could be made for very litte expense, even if only a temporary trial.

  4. I found it disheartening, the complete lack of commitment from the Mayor or Ludo on any projects.

    Shared spaces are great, but cost a fortune and take forever. We could close high street tomorow with $200 worth of planters.

    The biggest point she raised was political courage – we have none.

    1. I thought the most important point was that Bloomberg had her back no matter what the push-back was like. Would that really be the case here?

    2. Exactly, you could change the city beyong recognition with a few dozen cheap bollards.

      But of course AT will needs millions of $ to do a study and map out every consequence – which will then all turn out to be completely wrong.

      Fast, cheap, temporary! Maybe it should be spray painted on the footpath outside the AT and AC offices.

      1. The irony is that smart cheap and temporary is supposed to be one of the qualities of Kiwis, bring on the number 8 wire, AT!

  5. Great event and interesting comments on here! If anyone is wondering what the “fast, cheap and temporary” (quoted from goosoid) surface coating materials were that JSK referred to in her speech, the brand is called StreetBond and MPS Paving Systems (www.mpspaving.co.nz) has the exclusive rights to distribute these products here in New Zealand. What JSK didn’t point out is that these “temporary paints” were used a number of different times to change the design of Times Square and the bus and cycle lanes she showed photos of were also applied using StreetBond.
    It feels great to be part of the solution and hopefully Auckland will follow suit in becoming a “city for the people” as per JSK.

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