On Wednesday Kent presented a plan to the Waitemata Local Board for dramatically improving one of the worst corridors in the central city – Stanley St and The Strand. The plan was originally dreamed up by Nick (who is currently overseas). You can read the full presentation here and below is the area he sought to improve.

Grafton Gully Blvd - area

The route is a crucial one for Auckland yet it serves none of it’s users well. It’s fed directly from the motorway network so gets a large volume of vehicles many of which are trucks heading to/from the port. In addition it serves people moving east-west from Parnell as well as the growing developments between Stanley St and the rail line.

Grafton Gully Blvd - Traffic

The photos below show how bad the area is, particularly for people walking and cycling. Let’s also not forget that a man recently lost his life on the intersection of Parnell Rise and Stanley St. It’s been said that he was at fault however it’s my view that no one should have to pay for a mistake with their life.

Grafton Gully Blvd - existing

Grafton Gully Blvd - existing 2

A large part of the problem is that the current thinking involves extending the motorway to the port which is no easy task the development that already exists. It has been assumed a tunnel would need to be built but that would cost huge amounts of money we simply don’t have, it would take up a lot of land, especially as it would need a full interchange and probably create even more severance, not less. An elevated structure would be no better and also made difficult but the rail lines. The indecision over what will happen has left the area in limbo creating urban blight and stagnation, particularly on the pieces of land that the NZTA already own primarily to the east of Stanley St. A summary of many of the issues is below

Grafton Gully Blvd - Issues

So if a motorway too expensive and creates even more severance what can we do to improve things for all road users? One potential solution is a Multiway Boulevard.

But what is a Multiway Boulevard, the key functions are:

  • Designed to separate through traffic from local traffic
  • Parallel roadways serve distinctly different functions
  • Side roads designed for slow speeds, high access (including parking), and pedestrian movement and comfort
  • Central roadway designed for vehicles travelling longer distances (through) at higher speeds

Examples can be found around the world, particularly in Europe but also increasingly in other places like San Francisco.

Grafton Gully Blvd - Multiway Blvd Examples

Key design concepts involved include

  • Different realms for different tasks e.g. a movement realm, a pedestrian realm
  • Buildings that face the street with direct pedestrian access and parking/loading areas on the street.
  • Intersection Priority
  • Closely spaced street trees to provide a full canopy.

So how would it work on Stanley St and The Strand? With just the removal of a handful of buildings, most of which would go as part of any motorway type development anyway, a continuous 40m corridor can be created. This includes under the rail bridge which already has a 40m main span over The Strand. The buildings that would be needed for 40m are in yellow, but it looks like a slightly narrower corridor might avoid them? Note that the curve next to St Georges Rd is already a road reserve, long planned to cut the corner and straighten out the route.

Grafton Gully Blvd - Corridor Width

Within a 40m cross section you could fit the below layout.

Grafton Gully Blvd - 40m Cross Section

A smaller cross section could be provided if the local access road was only provided on one side.

Lastly addressing the corridor would open up a large number of sites for development/redevelopment. In San Francisco a Multiway Boulevard replaced the Central Elevated Freeway and the selling off of the excess land more than paid for the redevelopment of the road.

Grafton Gully Blvd - Development

Overall this seems like a fantastic idea, we address an important corridor while still allowing and improving the experience for a significant number of vehicle movements. At the same time it improves the experience for walkers, cyclists as well as local traffic. It opens up land for more development and in the process might actually help pay for a significant amount of the project. Importantly it also allows us to cross off the list what would have otherwise been a large and expensive project, that’s good for taxpayers and ratepayers. I really can’t see any downside to this proposal. Great work Nick and Kent.

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  1. This is the type of forward thinking that should be coming out of our council. Shame it’s not. Fantastic that we have others who will put the ideas forward.

      1. Patrick our Council does not even recognize a good planting of street trees when they have one. A retirement development was allowed to remove 10 mature street trees yet Council consented to replant with a species proposed by Boffa Miskell that do not even exist in the all of Remuera.

  2. I don’t see this being any better than what is there currently. You still end up with a massive road to cross, with some useless trees thrown in that will be costly to maintain. The signalised intersections will become even more ineffective than they are already. And even more crazy people doing U-turns than currently. Otherwise it’s not a bad idea and certainly cheaper than a tunnel.

    1. Yes, it will be wide, but the design allows for a variety of treatments to improve pedestrian crossings. The trees are fundamental to the design.

      1. I should have added that my fear with a proposal like this is once it is given to the engineers to do the detailed design on. They would do some value engineering to try and reduce cost. The problem is they would engineer out all the value leaving the project a bland and traffic drenched husk of what’s proposed here.

        1. How about this then, exemplary quality of public realm, transport accessibility and pedestrian environment that promotes intensive high-value redevelopment maximising the return on the newly free-up land?

          There is a good reason we currently have storage king and panel beaters workshops 800m from Queen St. You don’t see those on Passeig de Gracia.

          …or we could bung another almost-motorway through at ground level and watch the land values slide further.

  3. Where to start. How are the unsupported desire lines dealt with? You don’t seem to have considered how the intersections will work, i think that will be a major and may not have room especially considering what sort of movements and phasing you have. I don’t think there will be enough capacity in the boulevard or intersections to deAl with the volume and destination of through traffic. How do cyclists get through this? Just knocking a few buildings down seems to oversimplify the solution and isn’t realistic, if drastic measures such as that were to happen i would expect a much more robust solution with more conventional layouts. Trucks going to the port are an issue, but i think the volume of local hgv and through traffic are not catered for. The place would be at a stand still. Have MRCagney considered getting a peer review of this design to assess its feasibility and realistic operational performance?

    1. >> I don’t think there will be enough capacity in the boulevard or intersections to deAl with the volume and destination of through traffic.

      I think there will be.

      >> How do cyclists get through this?

      Presumably in greater numbers and more comfort than at present, while being treated with an appropriate sense of decency and fairness.

      The cross sections do include cycle tracks.

      >> Just knocking a few buildings down seems to oversimplify the solution and isn’t realistic,

      Yes, it would be oversimplified and unrealistic if that’s all it was. Fortunately the proposal seems to include a whole lot more.

      >> a much more robust solution with more conventional layouts

      This is a conventional layout; the presentation lists a number of international examples.

      Or do you mean conventional in a backwater engineering sense?

      (Note: I have no affiliation with the plan or company.)

    2. I agree that the treatment of the intersections is critical. I am assuming there will be a reduction in the available turns from the through route, and a number of right hand turns in total.

    3. Hi Eddie, as manager of MRCagney’s Auckland office I hope I can address a couple of your comments.

      First, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just a concept design, which has been developed pro bono by our staff. We are throwing it out there for the community (of which we are a part) to consider and drive forward if it so chooses.

      Now turning to your more specific/substantive comments:
      1. The supported desire lines can be dealt with in a number of ways – including pedestrian crossings and/or signals. I think that’s a detail to be worked out at a later stage. What should be obvious is that a boulevard treatment allows us to meet these desire lines more readily and cost-effectively than we could with a trenched highway running parallel with Stanley Street.
      2. We have considered a number of options for intersections. The key intersection is Beach/Strand/Stanley,Parnell Rise, where one potential high capacity option would be to grade separate just the through movement on Stanley. Although such an option would detract from the amenity of the area and be expensive, so may not need to be part of stage 1 but something to build later if warranted by demands.
      3. As per comment above, I think there will be “enough” capacity at the intersections.
      4. I think it’s important to avoid subjective judgements, For example you note that you would “expect a more robust solution with more conventional layouts”. Boulevard treatments, such as what is proposed here, are very robust/conventional in cities overseas, just not currently in NZ. We’ve blogged about a number of these streets in previous posts, e.g. http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2013/02/04/nelson-and-hobson-streets-problem-opportunity-and-possible-incremental-solutions/
      5. No, we have not considered getting a peer review. In my professional experience peer reviews are not only expensive but largely ineffective, especially when considering highly strategic/community issues. We’ve thrown the design out there so as to stimulate more community-engagement with possible transport solutions for the corridor, similar to what you would expect to emerge from a local area plan.

      Finally, I want to emphasise that MRCagney are not “pushing this idea”, and we’re certainly not presuming it’s the only option nor necessarily the best. Rather, we’re observing that this option seems to have considerable advantages (costs, development potential, and amenity) over the current default option involving spending billions constructing a trenched highway in 30 years time that takes up loads of space and destroys place.

      Worth debating methinks.

      1. I appreciate the airing of ideas that I hadn’t thought of, that’s why I consistently read this blog.

        I don’t necessarily agree with everything, but I think that this one is pretty spectacular in terms of transforming an under performing party of the city center.

      2. Whilst I appreciate the effort that went into the design, I wonder about the cost of demolishing 10 (or so) 3 level apartments to make way for the road. I refer to both social and monetary costs.

        Couple this to issues with enforcing traffic flows for car carrier trucks…

        The Stanley st intersection is the real issue, rather than the entire road. Mind you, having lived south of the Bombays for 30+ years, this intersection isn’t bad compared to the national average… 🙂

      3. Is there any way to adjust the proposal to sole another problem? Namely, the lack of a clear East/West path across the lower city. Traffic towards the city from Tamaki Drive ends up on Quay St. But, it seems, it would be better to pedestrainise Quay St and have the traffic concentrated on Beach/Customs. But there’s no good way for that traffic to get to Beach/Customs. Could you change the port end of your proposal to minimise the Quay / Tamaki axis and make the “main road” Tamaki to Strand? And then have a different solution at Beach/Stanley/Strand/Rise… like maybe a roundabout (like one of those pedestrian friendly Dutch ones) on top of the police operations centre.

        Or we could solve the fact that SH16 is metered onto SH1 heading north so that traffic from east to north doesn’t even need to clog the CBD.

        1. “Or we could solve the fact that SH16 is metered onto SH1 heading north so that traffic from east to north doesn’t even need to clog the CBD.”

          Bingo. I find it insane that we have this motorway infrastructure that bypasses the city yet we ramp meter it, making trips from Parnell quicker via Quay St than the motorway option via the northern link. Turn this ramp meter off and start using the Fanshaw St lights as the ramp meter and I’m sure Quay St traffic will reduce enormously.

      4. “…MRCagney are not “pushing this idea”,…” although you are presenting it to a local board and using this website to solicit support which no doubt also pulls in the might of CAA and the CFBT.

        I would be very surprised if many other groups had ready access and support from LB’s as you guys do.

        1. It’s the Local Board Public Forum, literally anyone can sign up and make a presentation on any topic that concerns the board. If you’ve got some ideas you should get them in front of the board too!

        2. How dare MRCagney staff apply our professional skills pro bono to develop solutions for *our* community, with which we engage via open, transparent, democratic channels and not-for-profit media!?!


    4. Eddie, it’s a concept, an idea really, simply broaching the idea of a boulevard as one option. Not a design or a plan yet by any means, certainly not a detailed one, so there is nothing to peer review! Glad you expect a more robust solution than a conceptual sketch have been toying with in our spare time, I would certainly expect the same and I hope we get to that level at some stage.

      As for concerns about intersection phasing and capacity, we have various regimes we have workshopped (but not presented to the board, far too early for that), but suffice to say the exemplars in San Francisco etc manage to support high throughputs and freight trucks very well.

      On through traffic, it is fair to point out that The Strand gets down to a single lane in each direction. So having three or four lanes in each direction represents substantially more capacity than currently.

      The desire lines are supported by having things as simple as pedestrian crossings in place, which the current road doesn’t have (missing legs, uncontrolled slip lanes). Same thing with cyclists, don’t like footpath level lanes with cycle phases? Fine, slower slip lanes with cyclist on street are an option. Or a two way cycleway on one side.

      Plenty of options to consider, glad we’ve got you thinking about it already!

  4. Squeezing pedestrians with cyclists is less than ideal. Wouldn’t it be better to put a 20km/h limit on the local road (which is by definition for people not going very far at all) and designate it as cycling shared?

    1. Shared cycling and walking is less than ideal but how much so depends on the width of of the space. What is the width there Kent? If narrow, I’ll be ridding on the local road. And either of these options will be far superior to current conditions.

      1. I have it as 4-5m currently. This is indeed narrow, but not much different than designs like this in Vancouver- https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@49.282748,-123.104324,3a,75y,42.23h,62.85t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sOOueMY2ouwo5upiUne9fhw!2e0!5m1!1e3
        And yes, you could easily have a shared condition, but I think this design would be more comfortable. The Octavia Blvd design in San Francisco (which we’ll describe in more detail later) uses the shared street approach.

        1. I’ve seen videos where the Dutch use the parallel lane as a 30 km/h cycle street. ie. cars allowed but cyclists have priority.

        2. I don’t see that design in Vancouver as much different from what the Dutch do in cities – which is always best practise. See this path here:

          I go through that Beach/Strand/Stanley/Parnell Rise intersection 6 times a week (3 trips return) from the city and it is horrible. Almost anything (other than NZTA’s motorway idea obviously) would be an improvement.

          Good on MRCagney for doing this pro bono. If only private citizens didn’t have to do the job that tax payer funded organisations are supposed to do. They are blinded by “level of service” blinkers.

        3. That’s not the layout I had in mind. Mark or David did a video. I’m trying to find it (and reminding myself just how many great videos and stories they’ve done

  5. It was great that Kent was able to present this impressive plan to the Waitemata Local Board at our monthly meeting on Tuesday.

    We passed the following resolution:

    Public Forum – Kent Lundberg, MRCagney Pty Ltd – The Grafton Gully Multiway Boulevard

    Moved by C Dempsey, seconded by PJ Coom:
    a) That Kent Lundberg be thanked for his attendance and presentation to the Board.
    b) That the Waitemata Local Board:
    i) supports in principle the Grafton Gully multiway Boulevard proposal;
    ii) requests Auckland Transport and NZTA assess the proposal and provide a response as to how it can be progressed;
    iii) refers the proposal to the Infrastructure Committee of the Governing Body for its consideration.

  6. What a great concept, introducing humanity into an area currently blighted by vehicles (but even then not serving them optimally). Hope the Waitemata LB pushes this hard with AT and NZTA.

    Just a thought re the desire lines – I know it’s not ideal, but one possibility (a potential compromise to placate the trucking crowd?) could be to build pedestrian overbridges, particularly over The Strand east of the Parnell Rise intersection.

    A longer overbridge to bridge the gully to the west of that intersection would be a more ambitious idea, one that has been discussed here previously IIRC.

    Otherwise really like the concept, hope it inspires those in authority to do something about a blighted but important (and increasingly so) area.

  7. I love how the trees always overhang the road when people draw up cross sections like this. That does happen when there was a tree there for years and someone widens under the drip-line, which we shouldn’t be doing. But it never happens when the tree and road go in together. You either get skinny tall trees like pencils or little shrubby things. If you try to grow wide trees the branches get knocked off before the tree gets tall enough.

    1. Seems to have happened in all four pictures above. Also will happen in Octavia Boulevard in San Francisco which I happened to check out last month. I thought the process was pretty simple, you trim the trees to grow up until they are tall enough to grow out above the traffic?

      1. Look again, clockwise it is sticks, quite successful, wisps and really heavily pruned. The only one that you could say has worked well is not an arterial.

        1. Umm mfwic, those ‘sticks’ are what happens to deciduous trees in the wintertime! But don’t fret, the leaves grow back every spring to provide shade and colour.

  8. It is good to see someone not having “Visions” but tweaking the existing facilities. My only comments are that mixed cycle/pedestrian use is dangerous and has never worked and also that at some stage someone will have to bite the bullet and provide another tunnel entrance to the Britomart Train Station. I think maybe that any options for that may be pretty well stuffed.

    1. Practical has it’s uses, but does anyone expect freight volumes to drop?

      Having a port where it is forces all sorts of future cost in terms of dredging, handling larger ships, land use, and freight corridors.

      This design has an aspect involving better movement of freight to the port, it won’t be enough, and never will be.

      The port could be redeveloped on a cost recovery basis and we could get working rail to Northland and points before it ( North Shore etc) or alternatively Tauranga and points before that.

      The port occupies a large chunk of land, but we’d prefer to do pockets like Wynard.

    2. Mixed cyclist/pedestrian routes work fine where cyclists are prepared to be considerate. “Share with Care” is the motto.

      1. We need to stop the pedestrian / cycling mix in this kind of environment. Now. It makes pedestrians nervous, slows down cyclists, and creates a us vs them discussion.

  9. In Brussels they have many such boulevards. The Inner Ring R20 circles the Brussels CBD has such a design – it is very wide. Some things they have done are that frequently the inner set of lanes are undergrounded especially at intersections. These are just cut and cover and allow the through traffic to keep moving while the local traffic is able to stop and start and provide amenity to pedestrians and cyclists.
    While the intersections were often huge, they seem to provide a good utility the the many users.

    They also provided large spaces for Metro stops to be built under.

  10. This brings to mind the failed proposal for Carlaw Park to be redeveloped as the World Cup stadium – a huge missed opportunity in my opinion. One thing I recall was a suggestion of a huge pedestrian plaza over the top of that portion of Stanley St that would connect the City/University (in the vicinity of Alten Rd to Beach Rd) through to the Domain. Probably nothing so grandiose is possible now, but there might be a similar way to bring pedestrians/cyclists onto an upper level in that section with easy accesses from Grafton Rd, Parnell Rise and Beach Rd.

    Also it seems that a significant limiting factor in all of this is the location of the rail line and bridges (height and width) which restricts the ability to refashion that central intersection, say by an overhead roundabout similar to Greenlane or Ellerslie that would give cycles/pedestrians (even local traffic) a better route for negotiating through this area. Are there any possible changes to the rail line that could free up some better options here? For example a tunnel under Parnell that comes out more directly into the Britomart entrance.

    1. Yes because the Greenlane and Ellerslie roundabouts are amazing pedestrian and cycling environments.

      Rail can’t be in a tunnel through this area, it’s already a steep enough climb as it is.

      1. Just to build on that, the Greenlane and Ellerslie roundabouts are truly awful. The Ellerslie one in particular imposes horrible severance on what should be a relatively pedestrian- and cycle-friendly area. I live in Ellerslie and bike to work in Penrose, and tried to take something in to a service centre on Great South Road on the way to work recently. Being close it should be simple. But going across the motorway roundabout is a suicide mission, and going north-south along the GSR through the GSR-motorway access road roundabout is almost as bad.

        These roundabouts and the areas feeding them are examples only of how to do things badly.

        1. Agreed that the Greenlane/Ellerslie roundabouts don’t work as is for Peds/Cycles (Royal Oak is as bad as I’ll do on my bike), but my thought was more about the shape/location, but for P/C only. So that instead of needing to factor in adequate P/C crossings at street level, you try to bring the P/C up above the traffic as much as possible.

      2. If the Britomart tunnel was extended past Parnell Rise, there is a stretch of 1.2km of rail next to the domain where the grade would be less than the current hill out of Britomart. Having it underground through here would not only allow more space above ground for freight, motorway-bound cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and trees, but it would also eliminate the snaky rail turns and therefore allowing higher speeds through the CRL.

    2. Agreed re: the Carlaw Park site – on the rail line, not many residential neighbours (at the time) – it was certainly the most preferable location on a transport basis but there were apprehensions about needing some of the Domain land – which, to be honest, is there for recreation, and a sports stadium would have fitted the bill.

      Although the timing would have been off, we also missed another prime opportunity – the Lion Nathan site now home to the Engineering Department of AKLU. Both would have been infinitely preferable to the Waterfront stadium, which would have been relatively dislocated from transport (anyone fancy a 1.5km walk from Britomart in the pouring rain to the Blues game tomorrow even when the buses go right past the ground? No thanks!) It’s such a shame we were robbed of creative solutions by rather unfortunate political maneuvering.

  11. I note the trucks are in the outer lanes – wouldn’t moving the trucks to the median side work better?

    The cycle path design shown is a bit meh to me – with trees shown in the zone (assume that is not actually part of the cycle track, though – more like door zone?), and not that much space… would still be a lot better than what’s there now, of course.

    Otherwise like it a lot. Crossing could be made much easier, with shorter distances to go across.

    1. The design concept (multiway blvd) enables better land uses and access along the edges of the street. Trucks on the outer lanes would not work. Outer lanes are for slow movement and access- parking and loading, while the centre lanes are for end to end travel.
      I think there is merit in putting the parking/loading on the inside side of the outside lanes where currently it shows it on the building front side.

    2. Sorry, I misunderstood your comment. We have looked at putting freight lanes in the middle. In fact that was our original idea. We changed it back at the last minute. It would be worth thinking at that closer.

  12. The real issue here is the port. We really shouldn’t have a major industrial use of this type on the edge of the CBD, with a requirement for high capacity trucking and rail links. The port company is returning something like a pitiful 2% return on capital, which is mostly due to the valuable land it is sitting on and using for low value uses like marshalling containers. We’d be better off redeveloping the area for commercial and high-density residential use. For instance, London lost its port years ago and the Docklands are now used for much higher value industries.

    The advantages of closing the port aren’t just confined to adding value to the Auckland economy. We’d be tidying up the arse-end of the CBD, similar to the way the Wynyard developments are transforming a neglected area in to something cool. We could de-emphasise the SH16 stub motorway… and maybe even close the road. Closing the SH16 stub would allow us to develop a linear gully park, it’d simplify the complex CMJ and improve capacity through the junction, and it’d solve the motorway isolation problem on at least one side of the CBD. Removing the need to bring rail freight in to the CBD will improve rail passenger services.

    London shut down its port. Sydney moved most CBD port uses to Botany Bay and other locations south of the city years ago. Auckland needs to plan for the future, rather than hanging on to economic activities of the past than are inappropriate in a modern city of 1.5million people.

    Other than that, I like the boulevard idea. If you can’t avoid having hundreds of trucks moving through the CBD, you might as well shield them with a few trees.

        1. That’s what I was thinking. And I suspect that the port companies would be in a position to improve their own rail links since it would obviously bring them business.

    1. The port generates relatively few, if high value, traffic movements in the corridor. By far the most users of the corridor are private drivers (along the corridor), plus pedestrians and cyclists (across the corridor).

      Even if the port was not there at all, there would still be much the same mess with much the same traffic and land use issues. Ergo we would still need to do something to improve the transport, the urban environment and the land development in the corridor. Removing the port won’t fix Stanley st.

  13. Definitely like the concept, compared to a motorway. It’s a much friendlier way to add extra traffic capacity. If NZTA’s going to throw money away widening yet more roads, this seems better than many others. And some space for bikes! But it doesn’t really improve things for pedestrians over the status quo, except to the extent that you provide more crossings, which could happen independently of this.

    One idea: instead of having trees squishing the pedestrians and cyclists together, they could be in between the footpath and cycle track and help keep them separate. Or alternate trees with the parking spaces, which would help calm traffic on the side lanes even when there were no parked cars.

    There’d also be more room for the footpath and cycle track if you didn’t have parking on both sides of the street, which is way more parking than exists now – there’s only on-street parking for a few stretches, and never on both sides at once.

    1. >> But it doesn’t really improve things for pedestrians over the status quo, except to the extent that you provide more crossings, which could happen independently of this.

      It does provide some other improvements for pedestrians. The access lanes act as a speed buffer, creating a calmer ambient street environment around buildings and footpaths. Pedestrians aren’t always travelling through the corridor and along the footpath; often we interact transversely with the carriageway (crossings, vehicle access, placemaking, etc), so the separation matters. Then there are benefits flowing from incentivising private land use and design changes, such as eliminating setbacks by inviting frontage all the way up to the now-approachable property line, which can be a key part of good, intensified, walkable urban streetscapes.

  14. A couple of those photos tell it all. Why is it so acceptable in Auckland for cars or some other property to block footpaths so pedestrians have to walk out on to the road to bypass them. Are there not enough bloody roads to use?

    1. Re : Enough Roads.

      Have been considering that as ironically, I suspect the answer is no or atleast that we’ve built the wrong roads.

      An example is The North Shore. One of the benefits of a grid system is flexibility in traffic routing. What we end up doing , probably for sound geographical reasons, is stringing out very long roads ( see East Coast Road).

      We then compound the error by building along these roads. This may appear logical, but the easiest way to get slowly from A to C, is if B, the stuff you pass on the way to C, is also trying to get places.

      This is largely a non problem with rail as you just add more trains, double deck them, add more track, and aim for full utilisation. Roads work entirely differently, unless you want 18 lanes and upwards forever.

    2. I run along there quite often. I have complained endlessly to AT about cars etc. completely blocking pedestrian right of way thus forcing one out onto the road. Nothing changes.

  15. St. Kilda Road here in Melbourne operates similarly, though it runs trams and turning traffic down the middle. That pushes vehicle traffic to the outside lanes, which is a bit of a pain, but it still makes the whole road more pedestrian/cycle friendly.

  16. Brilliant stuff, MRCagney ! . As a frequent local cyclist and pedestrian through here I’d love it. As an occasional motorist as well, it still irritates me that I can’t come down Grafton Rd and continue into Stanley/Beach without cutting up towards the university and doing that horrible reverse-cambered dropping loop into the last stretch of motorway. Would it be possible to push the motorway over to the east slightly so as to make the side street alongside the tennis courts two-way ?

    This in turn might lead to a northbound lane being able to go across the Alten Rd intersection and down Churchill St directly to Beach Rd, thus making use of a currently under-used asset and relieving some pressure on the big intersection at Parnell Rise ?

  17. This would be a huge improvement for all people using the route. This place is totally awful to walk or cycle, there are no pedestrian crossings the whole way from Parnell Rise to Tamaki Drive. And this is no longer an old industrial area, but a residential and commercial area, that could mimic any of the great warehousing districts overseas. However the current road creates a miserable environment, with nasty severance between residents and their local cafe/bars.
    Would also be a beautiful solution to the trucking issues. Any large highway that are claimed to be for trucks just end up being clogged by cars, especially so close to the CBD. So this design with truck lanes actually helps the freight in the corridor, with only mild disadvantages to SOV’s.
    Next stop would be great to get port and truckies onside, to have joint case to present to NZTA.

  18. I’m with Eddie here.
    Currently we have a 3 lane road with a flush median to provide for cross access.

    The design widens the road from 15m a carriageway out to about 25m introducing trees that are a safety hazard, provides no on-road cycling, provides poor road side access with, provides a narrow combined pedestrian and cycle path with trees in it much like that on Tamaki Dr. In terms of severance there is now almost no way to cross the road whereas before you could cross almost anywhere due to the flush median. In addition, due to the side roads the intersections will need to be absolutely massive. All up I see
    this design as being bad fir every mode of transport and makes things worse than existing. The only real benefit is that it digs the place up and puts down some new pavement and planting.

    I’m amazed how anti people were about the St lukes upgrade that put wide shared paths and cycle lanes pretty much everywhere at the cost of 6 trees when this idea destroyed homes and businesses as well as wiping out a bunch of trees when the only good result are some new footpaths.

      1. Feel more than free to tell all the people who have died or been injured by hitting a tree either in a car, on a motorbike or bicylce that the tree was not the issue and they just died for no reason.

        1. It was the fault of the dessigner by allowing a hazard to be installed too close to the area where high speed traffic can be expect, as well as in the middle of a cycle let lane. Some soft planting in the median would be much more ideal.

        2. The only person I know who was injured (and quite badly) in this area was riding a bike and was hit by a car (at fault). I suggest we remove the cars and replace them with trees. Much less dangerous.

        3. We’re discussing a 50km/h zone, not a high speed area. If you drive off a pretty straight, slow piece of road like this and run into a tree then well, drive more carefully next time.

        4. > It was the fault of the designer by allowing a hazard to be installed too close to the area where high speed traffic can be expected

          Luckily, we’re not designing this for high speed traffic, we’re designing this for traffic to travel only at the 50km/h speed limit, and traffic at that speed seems to get along fine with trees all over the country.

          Unless perhaps some incompetent traffic engineer gets a brief for a 50km/h design speed but ends up designing it so cars travel far faster than that. And we do have a lot of very incompetent traffic engineers who can’t even do a simple thing like keep traffic at the speed limit. That could be a problem.

        5. Given I’ve blown my self imposed ban out of the water. In this design they are turning a 3-lane road with heaps of side friction into an 8 lane road where the central 4 have pretty much no side friction and is pretty much the same as the 80km/h motorway just up the road, only difference being that there are two rather tight corners that already have crash issues. Fair enough such crashes are caused by excessive speed but every accident is caused by a mistake and nobody deserves to die or be seriously injured due to a mistake.

          Also you still haven’t told me about what you would like improved at St Lukes and what’s so bad about it, you Matt L, Goosoid and others have all complained about it yet failed to point out a single bad thing or what you would like improved other than the loss of one zebra crossing even though a new one has been provided for the actual cycleway. Honestly it’s hard to improve things if all you do is complain in general and never point out specifics.

        6. >> In this design they are turning a 3-lane road with heaps of side friction into an 8 lane road […] pretty much the same as the 80km/h motorway just up the road

          Not your typical 8-lane quasi-motorway. That difference is rather the point of a boulevard.

          >> the central 4 have pretty much no side friction

          Except for the, uh, trees in question. Which are densely arranged near the kerb on landscaped medians, creating a narrower or uneven sight distance. Plus intersections and other traffic. A bit like the northbound segment of Symonds St between Newton Rd and the overbridge, where traffic is decidedly calmer in comparison to the wider southbound side or the overbridge itself.

        7. Things to improve about St Lukes:

          – do not remove a signalised pedestrian crossing that already exists, forcing peds to Motat to cross extra legs
          – improve the horrible on-road (or off-road, cause there is none) conditions for cyclists on GNR, including past the station Road / eastern ramps layout (that is part of the interchange, and pretty horrible, yet nothing is being done here)
          – provide a grade-separated crossing (bridge or underpass) for the NW cycleway main alignment, as at Te Atatu (coming), and as at GNR and Rosebank interchanges

          So yeah, sounds there’s a lot of things that could be improved, even if one accepts (which most of us dont) the need for extra car capacity.

        8. Thanks for the comments Loraxus.

          The loss of that ped crossing is sad however it’s for the greater good, such as all buses heading west would take 9 to 11 mins longer if the single left turn was kept with the ped crossing. Good news is a crossing has been added on the other side of the motorway for north western cycle way users.

          Not too sure what you’re on about with the next point. You will need to explain the horrible on-road provisions. As for no off-road provisions, a shared use path has been provided both sides of St Lukes Road and Great North. Given there is nothing there currently that’s a huge improvement. There is pretty much nowhere else to put one.

          A grade separated crossing would be nice but it would cost a bomb here, you would need to go under and it’s all solid rock here.

          Station Road is getting too far away from the extent of works.

          Note that none of this is official, just some random guy on a blog who as looked at the plans. Matt L should have told you guys in his posts but decided not to for some reason.

      2. FYI, pretty much all injury or fatal crashes involved hitting a fixed object like a tree or a moving object such as another road user. If you crash and don’t hit anything you will most likely be fine.

        1. “FYI, pretty much all injury or fatal crashes involved hitting a fixed object like a tree or a moving object such as another road user. If you crash and don’t hit anything you will most likely be fine.”


          Without wanting to dwell too much on the implication that living on a featureless plane could very well reduce incidents of crashes, I would consider myself extremely fortunate to be involved in a crash where I hit nothing. Trees as a safety hazard indeed….

        2. I’m guilty of weaving through the dictionary at times, bit the only way to interpret “a crash in which you don’t hit anything” is that you are in fact, flying.

          Is there some secret project we don’t know about?
          Is it possible we misunderstood the AT Shuttle Project?

        3. SF Lauren, trees are not actually essential to the boulevard design, which could be constructed in the flat-earth, concrete-napalm style you seem so fond of. However, I don’t think we should design our streets around what happens if drivers lose control and drive off the road.

        4. yet Stu, you promote the comments regarding people (cyclists) not being killed as a result of a mistake….

          I like trees as much as the next person, but how much do you think it will cost to maintain these new road spaces once the trees roots start growing and start to damage everything around them. Things need to be done properly.

          I would hazard a guess that the only reason why the LB thought the idea was great is because the thought of tree lined boulevard would look great (which it probably would) but operationally be a disaster. I don’t see anything else in the proposal or your responses that explain how the thing will work in real life, other than that this will be dealt to at detailed design…..

          My thoughts were that the main issue is the interaction of cross traffic at Stanley Street. The rest of the corridor you have identified for the most part is an industrial area hanging off a motorway interchange in-between two destinations being Parnell and the CBD. Is this whole treatment warranted? wouldn’t the money be better spent elsewhere?

        5. So patronising:

          ‘I like trees as much as the next person, but how much do you think it will cost to maintain these new road spaces once the trees roots start growing and start to damage everything around them. Things need to be done properly.’

          So typical:

          ‘The rest of the corridor you have identified for the most part is an industrial area hanging off a motorway interchange in-between two destinations being Parnell and the CBD.’

          It is only a low value ‘industrial area’ because it has been raped by the vile road rammed through it. The whole thrust of this proposal is to work to reverse this condition as much as possible while still carrying the volumes and type of traffic it does now, and in fact being able to move more. Damage to place value is not god given; we do not have to put up with crap by design just because it was done like this in the past. What currently exists in Grafton Gully is a shameful mess, and it is incredible that anyone with the slightest intelligence would try to defend it.

          ‘I don’t see anything else in the proposal or your responses that explain how the thing will work in real life,’

          What is it about people working in this sector in New Zealand? Solutions that work elsewhere in the world are never worth considering; because we have the subtlest minds designing our cities, clearly. Everyone agrees: NZ traffic engineering is world leading.

        6. “….It is only a low value ‘industrial area’ because it has been raped by the vile road rammed through it…..”

          not sure where to start with that comment… so I wont.

        7. That’s the thing, I’m not a professional, ie for sale. I am an amateur, from the Latin, amāre, to love. I do this out of passion; this is a labour of love and there is nothing to love about what was done to Grafton Gully. In fact there is a great deal to get angry about it and the system and the world view that perpetuates the idea that this is an ok way to design anything.

          It’s being pissed off with having to live with monumental fuck-ups like Grafton Gully that got me involved in this blog.

        8. Just for context, I had a look at the “hit-tree” crash stats for the past five years in NZ. Thousands of them to be sure, although in 50k zones only 1.5% are fatal (c.f. 4.5% in 100k zones) and 2/3 are non-injury.

          Meanwhile, if a tree-lined boulevard produced (say) a 5km/h speed reduction, we’d probably conservatively get a 10% reduction in all injury crashes…

      3. Be reasonable, Kent! We need to strike a balance between these competing transport needs. Let’s keep the trees, but prune ’em in the shape of a helmet and then wrap the lot in high-visibility safety tape. And if there’s still a mishap, we can blame the tree and indemnify the motorist. Alright?

        1. Trees are no joke. It’s one thing to provide no street lighting along the coastal path of The North Shore, but quite another not to trim the foliage.

          Walking at night, in the rain, with an umbrella and a torch, trees are a PITA.

          Just be glad we can’t have a Conker Problem I suppose


          Marbles are obviously a major risk, if they still exist. A pedestrian walking with marbles may drop one, which causes a cyclist to swerve and a car to take sudden action such as to cause a collision with a tree.

          On balance, it’s safer to stay in bed.

    1. If you think the cycle lanes proposed for the St Lukes upgrade are of a suitable standard then please don’t design any more. Thanks.

      1. Please let me know what you would like changed there Bryce, cycle action was brought on board for that project and everything they asked for was provided so I would like to know of the aspects you don’t like and what you would want to see changed.

        1. As editor of the CAA blog that is not correct Richard.

          CAA was certainly consulted but in no way did CAA get all the things it wanted and in no way was it happy with the result – trees or no trees. That St Lukes interchange will be a disaster for every form of transport except for the sacred SOV which is all you traffic engineers are really interested in, isn’t it?

          What a surprise that your response to this multiway boulevard is to claim that the way you traffic engineers designed that horrible road is perfect and doesn’t need changing. I guess we just have to wait until your generation of traffic engineers stuck in your 1960s paradigm is gone and hope you haven’t poisoned the young ones too much with your outdated ideas.

          To think what Auckland could have been without the destruction that has happened in the name of the holy (SOV only) Level of Service.

        2. Bryce P, Goosoid and Matt L. You guys are yet to give me any descriptive information about what is so bad about the 1.8m cycle lanes and 3.0m shared use paths that are being provided at Great North Road and St Lukes. I’ve asked here as well as emailed you and you have all said nothing. How do you expect the people who design and build these things to address your concerns if all you say is a global “it’s crap”, give some unfounded abuse and then remain silent.

          All I have to go by is that you love this boulevard with no cycle lanes but hate St Lukes Road that has cycle lanes which implies the thing you don’t like is them being provided.

          Discriptive email responses would be appreciated.

        3. Have been flat out with family visiting but I will respond once I have some time.

        4. Cheers, if you can make it nice and clear as to what you don’t like and how you think it could’ve have been done better that would be great. Just keep in mind the multiple different modes and abilities going through here.

        5. Richard people at CAA spent months trying to explain these things in detail to you and got nowhere. We only have so much time away from our family and friends (remember we are volunteers, not highly paid government employees like you) trying to show you guys how to do your job.

          I haven’t received any emails from you.

          Abuse? Really you think that is abuse? You must have led a sheltered life if you think that is abuse. But “unfounded” – no, I think it was well founded and backed up with facts. Just go cycling round Auckland one day.

        6. “Just keep in mind the multiple different modes and abilities going through here.” – In other words, do not suggest anything that will hold up motor vehicles – brilliant and just goes to prove where your priorities and loyalties lie.

          CAA tries to engage with you and your colleagues to get better cycling facilities and we are forced to compromise, compromise and compromise again. Then we are accused by people passionate about cycling in Auckland of being too far on the inside of NZTA/AT/MOT. For once, we want you traffic engineers to compromise your sacred (SOV only) Level of Service in order for there to be really good quality cycle facilities that will allow 8 to 80 cycling – just once Richard.

          You want to know what I (and CAA) want? Here is an article and video that sets it out in detail:

          Note that isn’t about a historic town centre in Europe – it is about a car centric 1960s development in Utrecht. It bears many similarities to the roads around St Lukes. Just follow all the guidelines set out there for arterial roads and we are all good. Thanks for your time.

        7. Goosoid, your last post really shows how you have your preconceptions set. I mention other modes, such as pedestrians, mobility impaired, visually impaired, buses and yes motor vehicles yet all on your own you claim I have some thing about SOVs with no facts or basis what so ever.

          In regards to your months spent trying to explain things to us, from what I’m told every open day you guys came along saying there was nothing for cyclist, once shown the provisions that are pretty much everywhere you left happy, had a mind wipe and then came back the next time saying there is nothing again and needing to be shown everything again.

          From what I saw myself, one of you did a review, came up with about 50 comments where we had already done about 40 of them, did another 5 but didn’t do some such as the underpass that would have taken out about 20 trees and 2 houses.

          Anyway I emailed the web master at CAA yesterday who you claimed you were, alas that must be someone else.

        8. Hmm, based on zero feedback suggestions or critiques it would seem you and CAA are 100% happy with what has been provided. A job well done it seems.

        9. I would probably say no one feels like talking to a brick wall over it as it’s not like you would change your mind anyway.

        10. It seems to me more that you are bound by two things.

          1) you want to complain about things and you are scarred that if you ever say what you would like to see to someone who can actually provide it you are worried that you will have either nothing to complain about or you will need to complain about your own idea.

          2) you are so set in your ways of complaining about anything done by a transport engineers that even when they do every you want you will still complain in sweeping statements and maybe pick out the 1% of things you don’t like and pretend the 99% you do like doesn’t exist

          As for me being a brick wall I think your confusing me with your mirror. Every time I ask you something either in post or email you just ignore it as you seem to be scared you will get what you want. Or maybe you are worried that someone can put mire than a millisecond of thought into your ideas or agendas?

        1. “I’m amazed how anti people were about the St lukes upgrade that put wide shared paths and cycle lanes pretty much everywhere at the cost of 6 trees”

        2. Ah I see, I wasn’t blaming the cycle lanes and shared use paths for the trees, I was saying I was surprised how amazed I was that people were so upset about all the new pedestrian and cycle facilities that were being added.

          Removing the trees allows a 2nd left turn lane and the extension of the bus lane which when combined reduce westbound bus movements along Great North Road by 9 to 11mins.

          I told Matt L about this about 1 month ago but he obviously decided not to let you guys know about the huge benefits to bus passengers. I’ll let him explain why he decided not to let you know of the benefits or of all the new on-road and off road cycle provisions. He did mention that they removed one zebra crossing but said nothing about the fact they put in a new one. Again he can explain that, I’m sure he has his reasons.

        3. Can’t help yourself can you.

          And yes Nick I have told Nick and the others about your email but there are other ways to get the outcomes you’re after, it just means not having quite so much vehicle priority including double turn lanes

        4. Well you never responded so I had no clue what your thoughts were. Last thing you asked was about a busway that would take out something like 500 properties and 10000 trees, Honestly if you don’t reply or be honest it’s makes it darn hard for us folk to make things better and address your concerns.

    2. Last post, but why are people so transfixed on the trees, does nobody care about the loss of access, doubling of road width, no on-road cycling, intersections that will need to be twice the size of existing, no ability to cross the road, turning what land could be developed into road?.

      From what I can see we will have a bunch of old railway tracks on one side, a bunch of car service shops on the other and then a massive road with potentially less trees than are there now.

      Strange that I’m the only person who doesn’t want an 8 lane road for SOVs here when the existing is only 3.

      1. I thought you’d decided not to comment here any more Richard?

        The fact there is a bunch of crappy panel beaters yards down there is exactly the point, the existing conditions lead to very low value land uses.

        Interesting how the engineer immediately defaults to intersections blown out to double the size with no way to cross the road! Why the hell would we want that?

        No access? Frontage lanes give far improved property access. Developable land? Precisely, all that land in a motorway designation that is sitting fallow, unable to be used either now, or if they could ever miraculously fund a port motorway on the land.

        If you need a primer on this idea, see the City Centre Masterplan for the strategic land use goals, and read ‘The Boulevard Book’ and the website ‘Stroad to Boulevard’ gives a nice overview.

        1. Nick, I really don’t won’t to get into this but. Can you explain to use all here on the blog how making a long one way access road improves access? If you relate it to your house, it is like telling someone that rather than turning right into their house they should drive or cycle another 500m and then do a u-turn and come back to their house.

          The entire point of boulevards is to reduce side friction so people can drive faster, the very opposite of the benefits that are claimed here.

          If you provided a simple 4 lane road here rather than these 8 lanes of paved extravagance you would have another 20m on the side of the road to do what you like with.

        2. You’ve basically got it already. With a simple four lane road you have to sit in a flush median (and provide a median) waiting to pull across two lanes of oncoming traffic in an uncontrolled movement, and conversely pulling out of a driveway you need to make an uncontrolled right turn across four lanes of traffic. You can ask the residents of the Ellerslie Panmure highway how well that works (you’ll find most rat run around the road to approach their driveway from the left in direction).

          With a boulevard you enter and exit left in-left out to the local, low speed lane, and make the turn on or off at a signalised intersection. Yes sometimes that would involve driving an extra fifteen seconds or so to an intersection, to avoid a death defying right hander onto a four lane highway.

          And I think you have the concept back to front. The purpose of a boulevard is to increase side friction and slow traffic down, it’s a design that adds a low speed, permeable, urban local road frontage to what are otherwise simple highways.

        3. Nick, there is a perfect example of what you are proposing out east going from manukau to bonanty which is regularly brought up as a classic example of autodependancy and poor urban design. Its pretty much a poor man’s motorway and manages to get the worst of both worlds.

          FYI, side friction is stuff on the side of the road, if you reduce the number of private accesses on the side of the road as shown you are reducing side friction, not increasing it.

        4. Nope, Te Irirangi is an example of exactly what not to do. It’s a large four lane limited access arterial with most of the adjacent properties facing away from it. A couple of short slip lanes with McMansions on them doesn’t make it a boulevard. Seriously, go get that book out of the library and have a read, it’s a good primer for those that don’t understand the concept.

          Don’t follow you on the last point sorry, we’re hoping to increase local access to allow the intensive development of all those empty and disused land parcels along the corridor. So that’s increasing side friction and slowing down local traffic.

        5. Ok, so Te Iriranga drive is an example of what not to do yet you are doing pretty much exactly the same just with no grass in the median or on the sides, oh and a footpath with trees shoved in the middle of it from time to time. Please tell us all how this is to different from Te Iriranga Drive on a technical basis as their appears to be no measurable difference.

          In terms of side friction, you are turning roughly 50 access points per side into about 2 or 3. As you know 2 or 3 is much less than 50 and so those central 4 lanes will be nothing more than a high speed arterial.

          If you can point out some actual differences between you road you propose and Te Iriranga drive I’m all ears, but right now it looks like all you are doing is building an 8 lane arterial and expecting offices cafes and apartments to come flocking in.

  19. I live on The Strand and agree that it definitely needs work. It actually looks like some work has begun in the last 2 days, with diggers in action near the U-Save / old railway station. Perhaps a tunnel portal for port-bound trucks to go under the railway tracks? Wouldn’t it be great if things moved so quickly!

    Something overlooked in this post is the Gladstone Road intersection with The Strand where, every morning, queue jumpers wanting to get onto Quay Street will turn left out of Gladstone onto The Strand, right across traffic into Sudbury Terrace, make an immediate u-turn, then turn left onto The Strand again. This crazy maneuver saves them waiting in line to turn right out of Gladstone, which is a give way where punters have to get across 4 lanes of traffic if they want to turn into Quay Street once they’ve crossed the railway tracks.

    Whatever the solution is for this important and dangerously fatal stretch of road, the planners need to take a lot of things into consideration, and I doubt everyone is going to be happy with the outcome.

  20. Just asking: would it be possible to do a tunnel-lite? – say one lane each way to the port, and then it double-lanes at Beach Rd/Parnell Rise with another entrance/exit there- that way there’s no lane changes underground. The small number of lanes would be more than compensated for by the fact that vehicles have no intersections to negotiate once they’re in there. Surely that would get most of the traffic off the road, and allow all sorts of possibilities for a much nicer above-ground experience, with trees. Lots of trees. Proper cycle lanes. People hanging out.
    You dismiss a tunnel due to cost and the need to build a large interchange at the exit. Just asking if there’s a via media?

    1. A tunnel-lite risks being a typical Auckland bodge, like our bridge-lite, bus-lanes-lite, cycleways-lite, etc. Correcting it in the future will be costly, which funnily enough bears a fractal similarity to the problem this boulevard solves.

      A boulevard is itself a “via media” ­— a tried and tested pattern that happens to suit this freight efficiency context, while remaining achievable, cheaper and hitting many of the right and under-served strategic notes of placemaking, liveability, etc. It’s also futureproof in that a proper tunnel could still be built when the time comes.

  21. This proposal won’t fly, as it fails to do the very thing that is needed – eliminate the intersections to keep traffic in free-flow from CMJ to the Port. This is the whole reason for the existing motorway extention proposals.

    When the last Labour government planned all the CMJ projects, the Grafton Gully portion was envisioned to be 3 stages. They did the first 2, but stage 3 to the port fell off the radar after they left government. My guess is the next Labour government will push for it to be finished.

  22. I think I’ve read all the comments and there doesn’t seem to be much commentary on crossing wide boulevards as a pedestrian.
    Basically they are a huge PITA. Because of course you have to use ‘beg buttons’ that are rarely synchronised, to cross one road you often need three crossings: each of the side lanes, and usually, just one for the centre lanes. This is usually much longer than the one cycle you’d otherwise endure.
    In Melbourne at least, on the St Kilda Rd and Royal Parade boulevards, mid block crossing is easier because the centre tram-only lanes normally provide a refuge space (albeit less so at peak hour with many trams). On a road with only car lanes in the centre this option would obviously be unavailable.

  23. I think I’ve read all the comments and there doesn’t seem to be much commentary on crossing wide boulevards as a pedestrian.
    Basically they are a huge pain. Because of course you have to use ‘beg buttons’ that are rarely synchronised, to cross one road you often need three crossings: each of the side lanes, and usually, just one for the centre lanes. This is usually much longer than the one cycle you’d otherwise endure.
    In Melbourne at least, on the St Kilda Rd and Royal Parade boulevards, mid block crossing is easier because the centre tram-only lanes normally provide a refuge space (albeit less so at peak hour with many trams). On a road with only car lanes in the centre this option would obviously be unavailable.

    1. I would think that crossing the single-lane local access (probably 30km/h?) side-roads would be easily accomplished by some zebra crossings (if even that was needed). So that only leaves a single pushbutton crossing of the main roadway.

      1. Yes, that’s the way crossing the intersections will work. We’ll show some drawings soon. Dave, St Kilda Rd is a different scale (twice as wide) as what is happening here.

        1. Would be good to see the intersection design. My initial thought was that the local access lanes would need to be left-turn-only at each major intersection, as I can’t see how the light phasing would work efficiently otherwise. That would enable the thru-traffic to enter the next section of local access without requiring separate phases for the thru and local access in each direction. But I don’t know if that is feasible.

          Also regarding the pedestrian crossing, I suggested above that for the major intersections that the ped/cycle crossing is achieved with a circular overhead bridge/roundabout.

  24. For the record Patrick, trees also produce CO2. Its called respiration. Look it up. What I am meaning is useless trees in the middle of the road. I cant sit under a tree in a median and read a book and enjoy the shade. Trees along the sides, great! We need more of them, and seats. Plus they are far far cheaper to maintain (no need for TMPs all the time). Trees along the central median, expensive to maintain and provide little benefit to anyone.

    Like I said right at the start. I don’t see this proposal being much better than what is current. You still end up with a huge wide road, faster vehicle speeds because you remove all the side friction, increased pedestrian delays at intersections because you have larger ones, and it is all paid for by my rates money, with all the benefit going to private land owners. The CRL I can support because it makes sense, but this, not so much.

    I can never seem to get the reply function to work. Always ends up at the bottom…

    1. Ari I see that botany is not your strength. Trees turn CO2 into oxygen through photosynthesis. While doing this they sequester CO2 as they grow, we call this wood.

      ‘So while we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, a tree breathes in carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen.’


      Anyway, in part I agree with you. While almost any tree anywhere is good, some trees in some places are better than others, and in general a tree over a footpath is better than one down the median. Although I still reject your idea that even these trees are ‘useless’. But more to the point is that if you look more carefully at the Boulevard cross section you will see that the trees are very much over the slow side streets and the pedestrian zones too. Those on the arterial part are an added benefit [after all its good to have shade in summer when driving too, and all those air quality benefits, but you are right its the trees at the edges that are more valuable.

      And ‘useful’.

    2. CO2 and other gases mix very rapidly through the atmosphere, so trees don’t provide a particular atmospheric benefit by being in one location over another. They do trap particle pollution somewhat, which is relevant on a through-route for diesel trucks.

      But who cares? You don’t need to justify trees on some complex environmental argument. Trees are nice. People like them. People like being around them. That in itself is enough reason to have them in cities. (Cities = the natural habitat for humans).

  25. As for the proposal. Its intetesting but it kind of has the feeling of putting lipstick on a pig. Im not sure making stanley street wider is the way to go.
    I wonder if churchill street could be the answer. Its a relatively useless road at the moment but with a bit of tweaking could provide a one or two lane city bound offramp to those wishing to head to beach rd. It could even join the left lane of beach rd without an intersection . It would be only one or two lanes and also hard against a steep hill so it would be comfortable for pedestrians to have walking bridge access over it or even for the new motorway exit to be capped.
    This would allow the current stanley st to have one or two lanes shaved off it.
    Creating two smaller roads to cross as opposed to one big one.

    1. I wrote “sometimes” for fear of being labled a heretic (a true believer® not only likes people but likes dense people).

      As for The Register and the subject at issue: Franz Kafka said it better.

      1. Hmm, as a dense or atleast stupid person myself, do I take that to mean I won’t be burnt at the stake with other heretics?

        Is there something in particular a true believer must believe? I have a problem with believing Brussel Sprouts are a vegetable and not in fact some toxin invented by the mad hatter.

        As for Kafka, it’s a shame he’s dead so unable to post to The Register and correct old CAPSLOCK.

        Did he same the same thing in a more sonorous voice? Better in what respect? Or did he say something completely different about vegative states, vegetables or Brussel Sprouts in general?

        Genuinely interested to know, which probably makes me guilty of something or other, or worse.

  26. Any updates as to where this proposal is at, as of now?
    Brilliant idea so I hope it’s in the pipeline somewhere.

  27. Auckland Transport’s response is in the transport update to the Waitemata Local Board’s October meeting held on Tuesday
    http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2014/10/WTM_20141014_AGN_5023_AT_WEB.HTM (item 13). I am not able to cut and paste the entire response into the space provided but the final 2 paras state:

    6. The Grafton Gully Multi-way Boulevard proposal presented to the Waitemata Local Board recently is similar to options that have been considered by AT and NZTA in the past. The proposal would have significant costs, but with fairly complicated at-grade intersections, it is unlikely to generate as many transport benefits as an even partly grade-separated solution, although the boulevard feel is recognised as being desirable from an amenity perspective.

    7. Options for the Grafton Gully corridor future configuration, including the Multi-way Boulevard proposal, will continue to be investigated as the city centre and this corridor grows and develops. As well as this, AT and NZTA continue to work on improving the corridor’s pedestrian, cycle, freight and public transport issues

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