1. +1

    That will be the starting point, as soon as people sees the benefits of it, it will be easier to open more and more roads.

  2. They need to start making this a regular thing in the long holidays to start off. Then make this every weekend, then every wed-sat night. Then every night. Then extend it to other streets near by.

  3. One of the issues with the 27x Mt Eden bus route is that it begins outside Britomart. It frequently takes 3 changes of the lights to move the few metres from the bus stop and out round the corner into Customs Street. Given the timetable is only 3 mins apart at peak, you can end up with the situation of two 27x buses waiting at the lights, and a third one getting ready to leave the stop – if it can actually move.

    Moving the buses out of this street and closing it off to traffic is actually a win for both bus passengers and pedestrians.

  4. The video shows that this road closure achieved next to nothing.

    All it did was create space for a busker (yawn) to take half an hour to do one trick and a space for people to attract melanoma. All of which could have been accommodated using exiting public space rather than cutting off a road.

    I really wonder where they found some of the people they interviewed. The best thing about Auckland is the contours?? WTF!!

    Would have been good to explore with the blonde lady exactly what things she does in Auckland. She describes Auckland as a place with lots of things to do. Whilst I’d be keen to explore Auckland with her I’m totally bemused by what she does. Personally the best times I have in Auckland is when I’m on the Southern Motorway leaving it and heading to Coromandel, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, National Park etc.

    1. Auckland’s a fantastic place even with 60 years of transport spending in completely 180 degree the wrong direction focussing on one mode only. But now direction locked in on liveable by Auckland Transport, now multi modal with immediate focus on rapid transit and active modes. If Auckland Council, MOT, NZTA did the same we are heading for No1 and a better place for future generations. A full turn at the helm takes courage, leadership, but once on course it’s easy and everyone just makes it happen.

      1. I agree with The Real Matthew. He wants to get away from the petrol fumes and congestion the motorways and roads through Auckland he promotes are creating and get away to more liveable places. I’d like to see Auckland become a more liveable place.

  5. I really enjoyed Auckland CBD during the Auckland Anniversary Weekend. The closure of Quay and Lower Queen Street created so much space for recreational use for the locals and tourists. In other cities, their CBDs are full of people in the weekends too, and Auckland is usually dead quiet when there’s no event happening.

    We should make the CBD as the place to be for Aucklanders in the weekend, closing Lower Queen Street or even the whole Golden mile, and run street markets or other events will bring businesses back to our Heart of the City.

    My wish is also cheap / flat rate public transport during the weekend. Driving in from East Auckland and paying $7.5 for full day parking for a family of 3 is still way cheaper than using any public transport at the moment.

      1. No, it’s not only if you don’t count the cost of the car. A trip along Tamaki Drive will cost you $4.50 for a single adult on a bus on HOP. That’s $9 return. My insurance costs me $2 a day. I can do that drive quicker and quite happily cruise in 4th or overdrive so I use bugger all fuel in a Corolla. There’s no busways on the weekends so the bus has no real time advantage once you include stopping time. My car is has done about 300,000km so depreciation by now is largely nil. Given our older fleet, this is not going to be an uncommon scenario. Rego is a dollar a day.

        By my calculations, once you include a car park at off-peak rates downtown in the council car park (and you can just park on the street), three stages is the point at which it becomes increasingly cheaper for me to drive, and that’s just for one person. Throw in an another adult and two kids and you’re well past break even. Then factor the time involved in actually waiting for the bus to arrive….you get the idea.

        I would suggest his assertion is largely correct. PT is fine for Point A to Point B travel at the moment if you’re going to and from work on your own. But anything more complicated than that is something our system isn’t currently capable of handling. PT isn’t yet time/cost competitive, but it should be.

        1. The buttwizard is right. For people in cheap vehicles (and there are a lot of these), with more than one person travelling to a destination, a car is the cheaper option. For people in expensive vehicles their time, comfort, and convenience are worth more than the lower cost.

          What do we need to do? Make it cheaper, more convenient, more comfortable, and faster. As long as it is expensive in relative terms, then it will lag across non-commuting journeys.

        2. Is there any stats on weekend PT usage? My observations are most buses and trains are usually running at <50%.

          ~$3-5 pp flat rate travel on all PT in the weekend would be very ideal.

        3. George D I guess the good news is that it doesn’t need to be that way. Perth has this sorted out – a family can travel on all modes all day for $11.80 (two adults and up to five kids), during weekends and holidays. We can and should just copy them.

        4. Agreed David. Perth the weekend,holidays model. Calgary the all day pass model $10. Do school kids at 25%.

        5. “My car is has done about 300,000km so depreciation by now is largely nil”

          Maybe so but with 300,000 km on the clock expect some major repairs soon (By the way, from experience, the AC on Toyotas gives up around 300,000), or a series of moderate ones. Comes a time when it is better to flog off the old Corolla and get a replacement. Generally the replacement will cost more than what you get for the old one. You could call the difference depreciation or you could call it something else but it is still a cost, the magnitude of which correlates with the number of km you are doing. I suspect you are underestimating the actual cost of running a car, both marginal and overall.

          That being said, I drove 5 of us into the CBD last Saturday evening for dinner at a Korean restaurant. No congestion, cheaper, faster and more convenient than PT. We wouldn’t do that for lunch on a weekday, but then we wouldn’t take PT either. We just wouldn’t go.

        6. Yes, and you live on a lifestyle block in the country, right? Don’t think we should be trying to design a transport systems that makes it especially convenient for you to have lunch on a weekday downtown. But one where your nearest Metropolitan Centre is sufficiently dense to attract restaurants as good as or nearly as good as downtown is a reasonable goal. How you choose to get there is your business, but from a farm or farmlet driving is almost certain to be the best way at least for some of your journey (park ‘n’ rides at the urban fringe are good).

          That you can currently drive to the city for a special occasion in the evening efficiently shows just how lavishly served is driving in Auckland. Time to overwhelmingly invest in the complementary modes for balance, resilience, and overall efficiency. And so you can continue to do that drive easily if you choose.

        7. “Don’t think we should be trying to design a transport systems that makes it especially convenient for you to have lunch on a weekday downtown”

          Neither do I…so please don’t. The (secondary) point I was making is that there are times when using a car is a rational choice, particularly with 5 occupants. I don’t like traffic congestion (who does?) and my strategy is not to participate in it (a strategy that I can highly recommend to others). At 7pm on a Saturday night the Southern motorway has a significant excess of capacity and we took advantage of that . Any more capacity would be profligate.

          We have numerous restaurants in Franklin within easy reach which we patronise in spite of the excellence of the home cooking (and local ingredients) available to us; perhaps you could join us at one of them to partake of their fare and some conversation sometime (I’ll buy)? In the example given we were following up on a recommendation of a specific restaurant but on a weekday we would go somewhere local.

        8. Agree entirely with you there. And absolutely delighted with the kind invitation; would love to.

        9. +1. Totally agree on this. Auckland’s public transport needs an off-peak and weekend fare that’s significantly cheaper than the current price if it’s to compete with the equivalent trip by car.

        10. And this would almost certainly be at least revenue neutral. No additional cost to adding users off peak, halve the fare income and double the pax = much economic gain for zero financial pain. And is possible it would actually increase overall uptake at all times, boosting ridership and fare income. I assume those conducting the current fare review are all over these basic facts. I just hope the HOP structure is intelligent and flexible enough to accommodate such subtleties.

  6. Personally I don’t think Lower Queen Street is really what the council should be focusing on. Why not make progress on removing cars on Queen Street itself? That’s where all the shops are, that’s where there are 4 lanes of cars and no destination, and yet not a single bicycle lane. To me it feels like they’re taking the easy route more than likely because Auckland Transport would never agree to closing Queen Street to cars, in fact things appear to be going backwards considering the double pedestrian phasing seems to have been dropped from some of the Barnes Dances.

    1. Yes the Council’s love affair with the car continues. They are only too happy to sacrifice scarce public space for a new building but the precious car parking is not touched. As for our harbour – they are dumping rubble into it to create hectares more car parking spac and associated visual/noise/water pollution. I’m starting to wish we didn’t have an Auckland Council with the damage that this one is doing.

  7. On this subject and as we are losing QE2 square I went over to Queens Wharf yesterday. In essence it’s now a road and the road that diagonally crosses the wharf too to make the most of its available surface and a bus terminal/taxi rank. So I avoided the highway and went over to the last remaining part where pedestrians can seek refuge where the tug’s tie up and had to step out of the way of a container truck using that part as well.

    The rest of the wharf was caged off from the public for cruise liners with the exception of the very end of the wharf.

    So this once was a nice space and a great idea for the public to use, but now an extension of the city’s roading networks and money making business. My question is, are they going to be so kind as to put a gas station there for the convenience of motorists, even a truck stop perhaps?.

    Major thumbs down Auckland Council!

    1. The plan is to move the cruise ships east, remove the Cloud, add the Michael Parekowhai Lighthouse and other public realm improvements, but also probably more ferry business…. but the traffic will go with the ships, is the theory. The buses need to to go too. And, I reckon, a great building would be good too.

      1. It was great to see so many architects,and urban Auckland at the save the harbour rally. Around our waterfront is so critical and maximising the natural splendour we have around our coastline. Again transport focus wrong to blame for stuffing things up!!!! I’m not sure how many engineers, I guess I was one. There was a joint Brent Toderian talk with architects/town planners and Engineers last year this should happen more often so we are all working together in the right direction.

      2. What would be truly revolutionary is restoring the “small scale” fishermen’s wharf.

        A fancy wharf with grass and sculpture is all good and well, but you cannot beat the atmosphere of real, good honest workers’ boats… a little rusty, a little old, a little fishy smelling, but it drives away the sterile, bourgeois wharf and restores man’s interaction with the sea.

        One of the reasons I still like PoA remaining where they are, only enabling more interaction with the public (e.g. so they can watch the straddle carriers going, the ships unloading) – think of it as industrial entertainment.

        1. Agreed Scott we have done the industrial rustic at Wynyard Quarter. Queens Wharf, Quay St, Queen St is our centerpiece it should be pretty fantastic. Needs style, activities/events,places where people want to be.

  8. You’ve got Wynyard Quarter looking nice time to hit the epicentre so everyone wants to come in like Anniversary Weekend but way better not just temporary closed roads and artificial turf and bean bags , toys for kids and entertainment but even that was absolutely fantastic. Queens Wharf is ours now is it not? Could say the same thing for Quay St, and Queen St. New Urban Design Team go crazy!!!!!

    1. Did the sky fall down when we closed it for 3 days. Were there more people than usual? What did the majority want on the whiteboard, would love to see all comments. LTP results done a 180 degree turn, Auckland Transport board done a 180 degree turn. Got to say all those people on the streets when the trams were around in the large old photos vs now hostile environment and waiting at beg buttons for the minority to have right of way, even on Queens Wharf 150 people moving for one car at end to get out of carpark? Has the world gone bonkers? Urban Design Group do a letter to the Transport Board direct and say what you want to do, active modes is now officially Strategic Fit.

  9. We need to be careful that “open for people” doesn’t become “open for capitalism.”

    I am all for freeing up spaces for people to play and relax, but we need to ensure we don’t then fill those places with stores and stalls for the kulak-class.

    There’s a fine line to draw.

    1. Heaven forbid someone who isn’t a peasant grovelling on a collective farm wants to enjoy life in the city. How dare they consider buying lunch, off to the gulags with them!

      1. How did you arrive at that?

        The fact is, public space is not about capitalism, and we need to ensure public funding doesn’t subsidise the profiteer class.

        1. No, we actually want to encourage people to open shops, restaurants, cafes, bars etc in and around these places. That’s what gives them life. Capitalism is vital in making these spaces work.

        2. Why not? ‘Capitalism’ as you call it, is simply human exchange in this instance. Do you never want to buy anything? The street was always a market way before the car was invented and shoved trading into expensive buildings. Informal street trading is way more accomodating of non-corporate commerce than regulation and zoning. Opening the street to people will always mean commerce, it’s a basic human activity, no need to brand it with a political slogan.

  10. Fantastic so it was a street and they didnt like that so they made it a square, no one used that so they made it a street and people didnt like that so they made it a square and then a street again. This process seems to be getting quicker.

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