Today Auckland Transport start a five day long CRL design showcase which is showing what the new stations and public spaces will look like. It’s taking place in QEII Square from 10am to 4pm so if you’re going to the Open Streets event tomorrow then consider popping along.

AT have kindly provided me with the images they’ll be showing and I can now share them with you. Not only are they exciting, making the project much more real but they provide a lot of new information about how the city centre will work in the future.

First up here’s a high level view of what Queen St and lower Albert St will look like after the works have finished. There are some more detailed views of a few aspects below but the unique parts are the precinct developments and the Lower Albert St bus interchange. On the Precinct development I quite like that the north/south lanes are offset which should make the area more interesting.

Lower Queen St and Albert St public realm

A closer view of the area around Britomart is below and you can see that Gaunt and Tyler St will still be in use for buses which seems a shame however given the number of buses that need to be accommodated it is likely inevitably. The good news is the rest of lower Queen St will be turned into a public space. That will be much better for those exiting Britomart compared to what we have now with thousands dodging buses (note: the current underpass is being removed as part of these works).

Britomart public realm

One of the intentions is that the space in front of Britomart will be used as space for events

Lower Queen St Event Space

And here’s Albert St after the CRL. I’m not too convinced that Kauri make good city street trees

Albert St Streetscape

One thing I do like is the suggestion of giving the bus lanes more definition. The image below looks like it could mean tiles which seems like overkill for a buslane but it could also just be concrete, either way the extra definition is welcome. It will also be good getting some decently upgraded footpaths on the street.

Albert St post CRL

Remaining on the surface AT are also showing how buses will operate in this part of town after the CRL is complete. This is shown below

Downtown Bus Routes post CRL

Moving on to the stations and AT say they want each station to have a unique personality which flows through from the entrances through to the platforms.

At Britomart it appears there will be a few changes. This includes moving the fare gates up to the ground level as well as removing that odd podium in the middle of the ground floor that helps to restrict pedestrian movement.

Britomart Axonometric views

It also appears that a better customer service/ticketing area will be provided.

Britomart Interior views

At Aotea we get to the first of the new stations. It appears that the focus here will be on the entrances at least some of them designed for development to occur above.  It even seems like they’re planning an apple store here – but more likely just a lot of artistic licence.

Aotea Station Concept

We’ve seen this image before but here’s a cut away of the inside of the station. It appears that there’ll be light wells to provide natural light on the platform. Presumably this will take us more space on Albert St and given it’s already tight through there I hope that doesn’t mean loss of the bus lanes on this section.

Aotea Station box cutaway

At Karangahape Rd there are two entrances, one in Beresford Square and one on Mercury Lane. The Beresford Square entrance is meant to be the main one and I really like that roof over the entrance which is meant to reference the mana whenua narrative of Hape and his arrival to Auckland by stingray. They say that below ground horizontal banding of modular cladding is meant to mimic its local geology of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone.

K Rd station Beresford Entrance

And it seems that the designers want light far down into the station here too. This also highlights how bug the station is. That’s a lot of earth that will need to be dug out.

K Rd station Beresford Daylighting

Below shows another angle of the Beresford Square entrance

K Rd station Beresford Underground

The Mercury Lane entrance seems like it will be similar to the Wellesley St Aotea Entrance where the entrance is eventually just part of another building.

K Rd station Mercury Lane Entrance

We’re starting to have a number of really good stations and I think that the K Rd station could end up the most impressive of all of them. It seems that it will almost definitely be so from an engineering perspective.

It’s fantastic to see more detail emerging. I suspect as we continue to learn more about the details of the project and as we get closer to the start of construction that we’re only going to see support for the project increase (it’s high already). It would be good for AT to take some of this info as well as much more about how the project benefits the entire region on showcase around the region.

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  1. [It would be good for AT to take some of this info as well as much more about how the project benefits the entire region on showcase around the region.]

    Seeming people come in from the rest of Auckland whether by bus or rail it would be extremely wise for Auckland Transport to take the tour to at least the 10 Metropolitan Centres. Furthermore if AT and Council want to continue to enjoy high support it would pay to really take this out to the 10 Metropolitan Centres and maybe some of the larger town centres.

    The City Rail Link benefits all of Auckland even if you do not travel to the City Centre. This point needs to be drummed in if supporters want to break the pro City Centre Mantra which is simmering away.

    1. +1

      Big placards showing the time saved from various stations, the new running patterns and the frequencies it will enable. And maybe one of that map showing how many Aucklanders live within cooee of a station. Maybe one of the history too, to try and counter the silly ‘Len’s Train Set’ meme?

    2. This could be the reason why the whole design showcase is set up in a bus. It means AT can take it around wherever they want to show all Aucklanders.

      1. If so it should have said at the bottom of the flyer and presser (Hey AT like to flick that my way please 😛 )

        The City Rail Link Showcase Tour starting in the City Centre will then travel over the next three months to the 10 Metropolitan Centres (Newmarket, Manukau, Papakura, New Lynn, Henderson, Westgate, Albany and Takapuna) through out Auckland. Dates coming soon.

        1. My guess is they’ll also take it to Aotea, K Road and Mt Eden to show plans to the locals (and to warn them about the upcoming construction…)

        2. Though residents of Helensville, Wellsford and Warkworth may only use trains rearly, however the time savings, capacity increases and accessibility that the City rail link brings to a large proportion of Aucklanders (not just those who are within 5 mins of a station, but also those who catch a bus or drive to a station), will increase rails mode share significantly,and also reduce our reliance on surface transport in the CBD. The result will be significantly less congestion affecting you in your car or bus when traveling around the CBD and suburbs

        3. Economically it benefits the country. A moving Auckland is a moving NZ, Auckland takes NZ’s industry international. The country needs Auckland just as much as Auckland needs the country.

          In terms of benefiting Helensville, Warkworth or Wellsford. Many people commute from these area’s to central or through central Auckland on a regular basis, this project not only reduces congestion on the roads, but free’s up a lot of space in Auckland’s public transport infrastructure to increase services across most modes including buses (with Auckland’s vehicle capacity we have a limited amount of buses able to enter the CBD, by re-routing buses to Rapid transport we can efficiently increase the number of services from area’s not served by rail). Many of these commuters will either choose to drive to their location, or connect to a Bus or Rail service to their destination. Either-way this project benefits them.

          I’m referring central Auckland to the wider central region here rather than just the CBD.

      2. It’s so they can packup and run from the angry mob protest. 😉 Not me in that crowd, love the idea of the CRL, can it be implemented faster than now with more $$ or not?

  2. Excellent work. Good to see the benefits of coordination between transport planning and urban design coming together. Movement technologies, land-use, and public realm are all so interlinked they can only work really well with proper effort and coordination between many separate parties, including private sector ones. This outcome makes it look like CCI, City Centre Integration, are doing a pretty good job wrangling all those cats.

    And, let’s not forget that that plaza in front of Britomart and the bigger better pavement zones elsewhere are only possible because so many people will be moving to and through here underground. The quality of whats above is only possible because of we build below. That’s the engine of the pace of the economic activity and the quality of public realm above.

    Add Queen St with just people and Light Rail, and the completion of the Shared Street network and at last we will have a City Centre to be proud of and that will really be able to function as the high performance heart of the whole city.

    Though it is going to be a struggle to get there; a great deal of construction chaos to go through along the way.

  3. I’m very impressed with all of this.

    My only immediate concern with the Beresford Station is for the mid level turn on the landing between the escalators. They’ll need to a bit of work (perhaps with direction arrows on the floor and prominent ‘keep left’ signage) to ensure that people flow smoothly here. U-turns involving opposite flows are confusing for a lot of people. I also hope that Albert St doesn’t have similar issues.

    And how’s this for irony: as far as I can tell, the Mercury Lane entrance will require demolishing Julie-Anne Genter’s office.

  4. I think the bus use around britomart looks pretty sensible and leaves the possibility of closing off the roads to rest of the (britomart) area as almost a certainty.

    The loss of the island on Customs street is a bit sad, as it’s a the only bit of plant life on that street and makes it safe to jaywalk, but obviously the trees coming in will be a massive improvement (right outside my front door!). It looks to be bringing some human scale to the whole area, finally.

    Quay street also looks so much better also. Hopefully Lower Albert is thoroughly de-shitified.

    Only real complaint is that this still shows Queen street as open to cars. Why?

    1. I’m not sure why the bus stops around Britomart are such a tragedy. The real tragedy is that we had a large central bus terminus in town and replaced it with something that wasn’t really fit for purpose in the first place.

      1. You can’t be serious? One of the happiest days of my life when that piss soaked carpark and bus grave got demolished for an underground train station. Now with electric trains, and about to be through routed. I know it’s taking a longtime but these plans above are just the rational continuation of that huge improvement.

        1. As someone who has no real access to rail where I live, I like having an actual bus terminal. So I guess I am serious. Or is it only rail users who get a fancy terminus?

        2. The CRL is about getting rid of the Terminus. Terminii are suboptimal whatever your mode, the bus route that connects to your area will no doubt connect at various points with other bus routes, train stations, and ferry wharves. To get all of those to meet at one place is expensive and inefficient, and makes for longer journeys as then everyone has to come in to the centre to make connections. This is what we had, and are, thankfully, now getting away from.

          Many buses will stop at the entrances of Aotea Station, others by Britomart, these and others will also pass by K’Rd, Mt Eden, Newmarket, and Grafton, to just to name the inner ones. Surely there’ll be some convenient interchange options for every conceivable trip with these and the other bus and ferry connections for you?

    2. They could be reserving those streets for tram lines/stops. Tyler to link Britomart with Wynyard Quarter, and Galway to serve as the end point for Queen St.

      Weren’t those streets originally used for trams?

  5. I certainly hope that the bus lanes aren’t lined with tiles etc. anyone who catches buses knows that despite their large wheels etc their suspension and shock absorbers are rubbish so that you feel every s i n g l e bump! The smoother they can make the surface the better!
    CRL plans look good!

    1. Pretty sure that is just textured concrete slab, much the same look but far stronger. Any kind of paving or tiling would be destroyed in weeks on a busy bus lane.

  6. One can only hope that people are trained to keep left on escalators. Also I hope that the platforms introduce platform markings and possibly attendants to show people how to stand back from the doors allowing passengers to disembark, rather than the two way push and shove that currenly ensues.

    1. Yes in London they have signs on the escalators telling people where to stand (on the right in their case). If you don’t do this you will quickly find yourself being abused for being an idiot.

      1. London Underground also make regular PA announcements reminding people to ‘stand clear of the doors’ and ‘let passengers off the train first’. It’s about time Auckland did something similar.

        1. Even better would be for platform markings showing where to stand to enter the train, Tokyo and Singapore have this where there are two entry lines either side of a doorway width exit line.

        2. They’ve recently added signs to signal to the train drivers where to stop on the platform for different train lengths so this might be something that follows? There are also some little ramps that have been put on the platform at Panmure to match up with the centre carriages of an EMU so this could be a trial for this sort of thing?

        3. I presume part of our current problem is that we have so many different train types. Soon we will have only one, and marking door positions should be easy.

    2. People are starting to get better at it here, although some ignore the signs on the escalator’s in Britomart and at Newmarket, it’s definitely a minority.

      1. I kind’ve enjoyed the ‘stand on the right’ in London. Being a ‘righty’ it’s more natural for me to hang on to the belt with my right hand, rather than my left. (Although I understand the tube is trying the ‘stand on the left’ idea, for tourists). Interesting to see how the locals respond to that.

  7. I do like how the concepts for QEII Square show it being used the way it was prior to its demolition. The only thing missing is a detergent-laced fountain.

    That bus terminal was a mistake from the get-go.

    1. It appears they are going not for a fountain but a large waka coming out of the ground, which is to be replaced with a light Christmas tree for Decembers.

  8. Does the through-routing of more train services at Britomart mean there will be more opportunity for new services terminating there in future? (Eg Hamilton, Tauranga)? Or will the three dead-end platforms effectively become redundant (like platform 3 in Paraparaumu after they extended services to Waikanae)?

    1. It depends on how many trains are using the CRL as to whether there will be any space for more services (including the Northern Explorer. Personally I would like to see Britomart reconfigured and dropped down to 4 platforms with platforms 2 and 4 made wider to handle the loads of people because at peak times they are very crowded.

      1. It is also perhaps a little bit short sighted actually having the dead end lines. Would be better having these also as through lines (to reduce dwell times and to improve service reliability for the different lines (eg Western vs Southern). Could definitely lose one of the lines also to allow for bigger platforms.

  9. K Road Station looks truly impressive; I never realised how long the structure will actually be. I can see that eventual Mercury Lane entrance being used by people on Symonds St. Quite a large catchment radius.

  10. I don’t know about Albert Street – I’d prefer it if the bus lanes didn’t look so similar to the pavement. Seems like a disaster waiting to happen

    1. +1

      Paving is almost always to indicate slow speed pedestrian friendly zones, shared spaces, footpaths. I guess the advantage of paving over paint is less maintenance required. Still not sure appropriate for bus lanes

    2. In my view from the pic’s above, it looks as if the bus-lanes will be saw-cut concrete while the footpath will be raised paving. Will def be enough difference if this is the case.

  11. Ausome pics .
    I seriously am looking forward to running down that up escalator when it opens, bring back some childhood pastimes lol

    My only question is with the k rd station.
    Why have they kept the rail platforms in the original TBM tunnel.
    With the tunnels just below the dig out why don’t they dig out around the tbm tunnel and make a much larger and more open platform, more like aotea or britmart station
    It will be cramped and noisy and be a pain fighting through people waiting to get on as you try find the platform exit tunnel.
    It just seams wrong having nice big open escalator shafts leading to old subway like platforms .

    1. To make the station more open they would have to excavate the entire station box which would mean digging out a structure 160m+ long and 30m+ deep. The TBM tubes will be enlarged along the platforms to create more space and there’ll be cross passages but my understanding is that the ground conditions mean it simply wasn’t feasible to mine out a large cavern.

      1. Works ok on the Underground, so should work here too. As long as the cross passages are large enough to handle the spillover like what happens in the Tube.

    1. Agreed. I would go for a mix of Puriri, Miro, Kowhai and Nikau Palms. It will be great to see more native trees in the CBD though.

  12. Can see benefits of gating ground floor, however this does break the connection in the laneway that goes from Albert to Britomart Place. Lots of people do use this as a through link, and not much room for pedestrians on Tyler and Galway as still used for buses and bus stops. Can see these streets becoming rather congested with people from east of Britomart heading to catch the NEX or NWEX.

    1. I’d worry about the backlog of people waiting to get through the gates. Currently, the stairs and escalators do well to slow the stream of people heading to the platforms, ensuring there’s a constant stream. Ground floor tagging would remove this completely.

      1. Just remember the numbers using Britomart to enter/exit the system after CRL opens will not be the same as the numbers using it now.
        Secondly, everytime I go into Britomart, there are queues of people at the AT service area, queueing all over the place, and that raised platform in the middle wastes a LOT of space

        All in all, I don’t see that moving gating to the Ground level is going to be that big a problem.

        As for using it for a shortcut, you can still do that – if you have a HOP card – you can tag on and off as you pass “Go” and you won’t need to pay $200.
        As 70% of rail journeys are paid for by HOP now, that means only a minority of people at Britomart could not do this. And they’ll soon, “get with the program” once they have a good enough reason to.
        And using the loo’s or as a shortcut will provide that I’m sure – and if you’re in and out in 10 minutes its free.

      2. But what if there IS crowding in front of the gates, and the escalators keep shoveling more people into the packed space at the top? People at the bottom will not be able to see it’s already full up there…

    1. Here in Melbourne (at least in the CBD stations), the toilets are always in the fare paid area. I think the only exception to this is Southern Cross as it handles bus and intercity rail traffic.
      Personally I think it makes sense, as it leaves the toilets for those ultimately paying for them, the rail patrons.

    2. One stage fare to use a urinal; two stage fare to use a urinal. 50c fare to use a hand basin, which is covered by the transfer fee. Makes perfect sense.

  13. Yea great idea… Make someone who’s busting to go buy a AT hop card to access the public barthroom, once they have one of them they might be tempted to take a ride on a train.

    Quick question can any one work out the other 1/3 of the access down to the platform deck in the k rd station. I see lifts and escalators stop short around 10m above the platforms.
    I guess another diagram will show it.

    1. Well it’s a rail station first and foremost, not a public toilet. They should be going there if they need to catch the train, not with the sole intention of using the toilet.

        1. The number and quality of public toilets in a city is a huge indicator of its liveability (particularly for those with disabilities, I’ve been told). So too is the provision of drinking fountains.

    2. “Quick question can any one work out the other 1/3 of the access down to the platform deck in the k rd station. I see lifts and escalators stop short around 10m above the platforms…”

      There’s a third and final set of escalators which drop down to platform level. They’re not shown in the view looking north because they are ‘in front’ of where the cross-section is but I think these are the escalators shown in the third image of the Beresford Street entrance. So when entering the station from Beresford Street, you’d go down the first set of escalators, do a 180 degree to go down the second set of escalators, after which you pass through the fare gates and then do another smallish right hand turn to head down the escalators to the central passageway, where you then choose a passageway to the left or the right to get to the appropriate platform.

      1. (cont…) I think the lifts are similar, one lift shaft to get to fare gate level then after passing through the gates, another lift down to the platform level (I think an older diagram showed that if you took the lift down to platform level you’d end up in a passageway that links to the northern ends of the platform, as opposed to the escalators which drop you down to the central part of the platform).

  14. I think that terminating all North Shore buses at Albert St is a massive mistake. It may work from an operational point of view, but is certainly not in the interests of passengers. Gravitas surveyed Shore passenger when the buses stopped at Victoria St and there was a marked drop off of bus patronage south of Wellesley St, indicating a general reluctance to walk to far from bus terminals, even in the CBD. AUT has grown considerably since then along with general employment in the area.

    There are a significant number of people who catch “uptown” buses at Busway stations. The Aotea and AUT buses on Mayoral Drive are very popular alighting spots. People ask for these locations.

    Yes, people will transfer between services, but I can’t see a transfer to Link buses this close to the final destination in the CBD being at all popular and patronage may suffer as a consequence.

    1. remember at the moment our fare system is not set up for transfers, and will be within the next year or two. Having to pay for the extra leg at the moment is a big deterrence for transferring services. That extra short link service trip shouldn’t cost you any extra under the zonal system.

      1. it’s not a finacnial cost Josh, it’s a perception/time cost “why should I transfer so close to my final destination?”

        given Patrick’s clarification it’s moot, but still a point to be considered, there are multiple “costs” in the system that aren’t financial

    1. thanks for the clarification Patrick, Maybe the diagramme should have said “Northern Express” instead of “North SHore lines”. As is it’s misleading.

  15. I wonder if that station at K Road is a colossal and expensive mistake, and I’ll try to explain why I think that it might be just that.

    Certainly it is by far the most expensive station on the network due to its scale and complexity and we could construct the CRL more cheaply and more quickly without it.

    Also we would get faster trips for all by having trains travel directly between Aotea and Mt Eden stations.

    What about service to K Road then? Well that’s where the recently mooted light rail is such a perfect fit. Light rail or trams can easily meet public transport needs for K Road going to and from both the CBD and the suburbs to the south, perhaps toward Grafton as well.

    If AT are right about needing the light rail at Dominion Road, then servicing K Road without requiring that hugely expensive underground station could save us hundreds of millions and get the CRL in sooner.

    1. We’ve already lost Newton to that thinking, in that case I think the substitute at Mt Eden is an adequate replacement, and that was an even deeper and trickier build. But for K Rd LRT at the Queen St end is no real replacement. I guess I feel this as K Rd will be as close a Station on either mode that us in Ponsonby and Grey Lynn will ever get (don’t see trams returning to Ponsonby Rd anytime soon, if ever). I will use it to head south (especially airport, via Papatoetoe until the line is in), and east, including close in destinations like Parnell.

      But it’s real strength is as a driver of development for the area. It would be a disaster to skimp on such a long term investment as our first underground line, it only needs to be built once, then we have it for decades, if not centuries. And remember the purpose of good transport investments is to uplift areas as well meet current demand.

      Am certainly not adverse to it being fitted out last, if that is possible, with the other stations and line running earlier. And I have asked about staging, the technique apparently is to mine the station boxes then drive the TBM through. So it’s not clear that this is really possible, as the station box hole needs to be dug first so that cost and disruption is commited or not. Also the Aotea build is no simple matter either and will take quite a long time.

      1. Interesting about staging as the AT slides say only one of Mercury/Beresford entrances will be built initially. So they must be planning on commissioning the second at a later date I’m guessing…

        1. Yes and my fear is that they will choose the cheaper Mercury Lane one. Well, it’s a fear if that precludes building the more visible and connected Beresford St one, if it speeds the opening of the Link and spreads the capital cost but still means they deliver the main one directly then it could be a good call. But if it kicks the Beresford St entrance into never never then it’s a disaster. K Rd will not succeed on the secluded side entrance alone.

          Anyway surely both are needed as emergency exists for the other? Plus ventilation etc.

    2. The CRL and light rail are doing two quite different jobs. LRT is about freeing up the buses from the central isthmus corridors while the CRL is the regional connector linking up the south, east and west. Given there is expected to be a huge increase in population in the area then connecting them to both systems will be worthwhile. Also K Rd is once again becoming a very popular destination in it’s own right. It’s finally starting to recover after being severed by the CMJ and that trend will continue as the light industrial areas nearby slowly redevelop over time. With the Mercury Lane entrance the station’s catchment includes the area north of Newton Rd which is only 600m away.

      1. Thanks Patrick and Matt … yes I totally forgot about the urban renewal aspect and this clearly has potential to create significant economic value in the local economy. Much more indeed than the cost of the station.

        If we’re lucky, Karangahape Rd could become like Auckland’s equivalent of Broadway in NYC or Soho in London, and it has a way better chance of becoming so if there are convenient and safe travel options for a night out in the area.

        All of these stations look nice and it’s encouraging to see public spaces revived and made into pleasant destinations to meet and do things.

  16. I have just returned from examining the CRL Design Showcase in its elderly Mercedes Bus in QE2 Square. Could have saved myself the trouble because it is all here on Transport Blog………………hooray! If you want the definitive transport news it will be here first – doesn’t seem to be in the Herald’s sight at all – they don’t seem to know what is going on in our city……………….

  17. Why is the Mercury entrance future?
    Route to k’rd concourse looks ok but then it doesn’t look very direct to platforms.
    It’d be nice to have daylighting to these platforms too

    1. Personally I think the obsession with getting daylight deep into the K Rd station is misplaced. Auckland, even with the CRL, will not have an ‘underground’. Neither Britomart nor Aotea are far from the surface, Mt Eden is open air. K Rd will be our only mined/tunnelled station for the foreseeable future. Why not allow it to feel like it is? Expensive or compromising efforts to get daylight down there could well be avoided if we accept this condition as unusual on our system and not necessarily something to be fought against at all costs.

      Furthermore Auckland is no wintery towering metropolis where millions may spend whole days with no peek of the sky, frankly a proper bit of subterranean experience could be considered a novelty and something to be celebrated. Having lived in London I completely understand the different experience between the Tube and the Underground, and used to enjoy the enclosure of deep stations like Hampstead.

      I fully get the cathedral-like experience of the cave-mouth at Foster’s Canary Wharf Station, but that is not what is on offer at K Rd. I could be wrong but as this is in an actual tunnel why not allow the authenticity of that experience to be the condition of design?

      1. I believe that making more stations on the network feel similar to what the general public perceive as ‘proper metro stations’ is key to changing peoples’ perceptions of PT. The designs for the CRL stations really excite me in this respect; K Road has a very London Underground-like appearance, especially with the separate platform tunnels, and Aotea’s long concourse seems similar to Sydney’s Town Hall station. I think we really need to embrace these as underground stations and take advantage of the fact that the experience of being in an underground station will not only be a novelty, but will also showcase PT as modern and exciting.

        Stations like Britomart and Manukau are beginning to prove that stations don’t have to be inconveniently situated in the middle of nowhere, but can be fully integrated into the surrounding land-use. I think there’s potential for a lot more of this perception-building to happen on the network; over-site developments linked into stations (eg: Orakei, Mt Eden, Grafton, New Lynn) would be a great way to achieve this. They link stations better into local communities, create a more urban and vibrant feel and help break down negative perceptions.

        1. While I totally agree with your comments, I find it ironic that you use Manukau Station as an example. A station that is way too far west from its city centre, and of which 180 out of 360 degrees degrees (the park, the motorway wastes) is surrounded by area that won’t be urban anythime in the 21st century… having the campus sit atop it is good, but otherwise, what a wasted opportunity.

        2. Agreed. The station should’ve been where the carpark currently is. Closer to the mall and Rainbow’s End.

        3. The Unitec student proposals for over-station development at their nearby Mt Albert station seemed promising a while ago. That tatty shopping strip is such a wasted opportunity for more close-to-cbd intensity right now.

  18. With respect to gating Britomart at the ground floor, what happens to the walkway in from the eastern entrance to the CPO, that comes in from the drop off area? The bridge ends right between the escalators, inside the gated area.

      1. Sounds messy, and it’ll reduce the building’s utility as a thoroughfare.

        I won’t have to tag on and off in order to walk through the damn thing, will I?

        1. You mean those dingy bus, taxi and service corridors? They aren’t suited to pedestrian traffic. I hope they’re able to spruce them up somewhat.

        2. yeah it is regrettable that Galway and Tyler will still have buses, but until there are more completed electric rail systems, above and below ground, we do need them to carry ever more people.

        3. Even then there are the loading bays and driveways to consider, so I’m not sure how much can be done with them. At the very least the lighting needs to be improved.

  19. Would be better to see the transport interchanges closer to each other. The idea of having an event space between the interchange points is not one that will help to get more people using public transport. Today’s ‘Open Streets’ event just demonstrates the point as it made using public transport more difficult. I noticed people with suitcases having difficulty getting out of the ferry terminals. Every time we have an event in central Auckland the first thing to be messed up is the bus network. With services being suspended, bus stops moved, and general aggravation for the bus user.

    One good point about the CRL is that it should remain open and running when the council and AT close the city for various events.

    What is happening to the Inner and City Link services? There is a line that indicates Inner City Link that does not follow the existing routes. The CRL will not replace the City Link for many of the Link users. While AT has proposed a light rail system this is not in the diagram.

    Regarding the Kauri I agree they are obviously not good trees for a city location, perhaps though they will be the ones from QE2 square which are obviously due for removal.

    1. Yes; the key advantage of underground systems is that they are unaffected by street disruptions, planned or otherwise, including everyday congestion. Speeding below the crowded city streets predictably and safely at all times.

      The City Link will be replaced by Light Rail. As will the Orange route on the map above. There was a desire to remove all bus services from Quay St so it could be closed for events more easily and less disruptively, however the problem of turning buses around I think has made that unworkable. All non-through-routing lines need a block to circulate, as above. Perhaps more should through-route?, although that does require balanced needs on each side of the high demand centre. Am not clear on this.

      Light Rail doesn’t have this condition, ie trams terminate then head back the way they came without needing to turn around by being double ended. This is one of their great spatial efficiencies. They will also have greater street priority than the buses and higher capacity; moving more people faster. The City Link is already too crowded and too slow.

      Agree about Kauri; magnificent in their habitat, not a great city species.

  20. In that beresford square picture, what is the large rectangular structure sitting in the middle of Pitt St?

    It’s currently 5 lanes wide, looks like they’ve reduced it to two lanes with a large median strip in-between. Can’t imagine that being popular with motorists.

    1. Ventilation tower. Yes the footpaths get widened. You’ll notice this is the case also on Albert and Customs, these are some of the great benefits of finally investing quality Transit, more of the the street can be returned to people out of vehicles. And they’ll have to be, because there will be more and more people on foot using them, as there already is. Motorists are just people in cars, as they discover the freedom and efficiency of accessing city streets not in a car [as is already happening] many will indeed be happy with these changes. There will always change-phobic moaners, some are councillors, noise will be made. So it goes.

      1. Bit worried these plans for Pitt Street will mean that the cycleway planned there for Stage II of the Nelson Street works will be up for grabs again… at least in a “lets not hurry this, lets look at the design again” attitude which already costs too many of what should be “fast and cheap” cycle projects in Auckland their momentum… maybe I am being too negative, but I’ve seen it too many times before. Just build it, it’s just a few Beach Road-style kerbs! Who cares if 5-7 years later they have to go again!

        1. Pitt st is wide enough to land a jumbo jet on, surely they can manage!

          Personally I think they need the cycle lanes to mitigate construction effects, assuming traffic will be compromised having cycle lanes will take the edge off.

      2. So at Pitt St today about 18:00, there were 4 buses in a row in the right hand lane waiting to turn right onto K-Rd. Two got through, and two had to wait for the next phase. Plus a bunch of cars going left, straight and right in the other two lanes.

        Now what would happen to bus reliability if there’s only one lane and the bus is stuck behind all the cars? Perhaps they will widen back to three lanes right after beresford st. They’ve got some quite detailed road layouts for Britomart and Albert St, but not for K-Rd yet…

        1. Close Mercury Lane to traffic would the first step. Nightmare of traffic stupidity and place despoiling south of K. The big severance of the motorway increased by smaller severance of narrow urban streets given the full suburban speed treatment of one-waying and sweeping curves. The whole she-bang of 20C urban disregard right there…. needs a full area masterplan and re-think like the City Centre is getting.

  21. I heard the toilets at the top of Durham Lane are to go to make way for the CRL.

    Will the stone entranceway be reused for another access way to the Aotea station, or is it too far away?

  22. Am I the only one who thinks that the trains stopping on the inside platforms in Britomart should merge at the end into the outside platforms on which the through tunnel is going to be on?

    It seems silly that only the trains passing through on the outside edges would be the only trains able to go through the new tunnels, Surely allowing at least 2 trains at 2 platforms each way would be sensible?

    The trains stopping in the inside platforms would still have to backtrack as they currently do at the moment.

    My two cents anyway.

    1. No. the inside platforms are for terminating inter-city services. All local services will through route on the outside platforms with up to 2.5 minute headways. 24 trains an hour in each direction, 20,000 people an hour each way! Merging the lines here at the station would mean the platforms could not be accessed and would not increase the capacity of the tunnel at all.

    2. What would be the point though? The tunnel only has two tracks from Quay Park to Mt Eden, and all the other stations only have two platforms… so there is no use in having more through platforms at Britomart as it basically becomes a metro line like Patrick says, with no tunnel trains stopping on the inside (and one can assume the cost of extra tunnel links and crossover galleries under the CPO building would be pretty massive).

      However, I think that keeping at least a couple of those terminal platforms in the middle is a wise bet. For a start, if the CRL needs to be closed for any reason then Britomart can still terminate a bunch of trains. Secondly, it leaves open the option of running longer distance regional and intercity trains right to downtown. I’m sure the timetable can spare a couple of slots an hour for trains to Hamilton and Tauranga 😉

      1. I meant kind of like the picture in my attached link below if you can kind of grasp a picture in your mind?
        Imagine the picture going both ways up and down for Britomart.

        Keep using the outside platforms as the main through lines but give the option of merging into the inside lines either direction.

        What if for example a train going either way breaks down somewhere in the through point, it means the entire through point would be choked without any means of pushing a broken down train into the inside platform lines, so as to allow the through point to be freed up again.

        The trains wouldn’t be obligated to use the inside lines but I feel the option should be put there for future provisions.
        Ramps for wheelchair access and steps could easily be put in on the inside platforms in future to go up and over the point where the two lines merge into one.

        1. if a train breaks down it needs to get pushed out of the way. Why focus so much on it break down at Britomart, what if it broke down in the tunnel? Whatever solution is designed for the tunnel can be applied to the station.

        2. If this is to be the case then, should the tunnels in each direction have a short strip secondary track running parallel to the main tunnel to allow for future breakdowns/maintenance should they ever occur?
          Perhaps say halfway between Aotea station and K’Rd station a short strip of track spanning only a few hundred metres.
          An emergency diesel locomotive could be stationed there to be used as a tugboat.

          Say for example a train broke down at either of those stations. Without a parallel line running alongside it the tunnel is effectively useless until the broken down train is pushed off the main tunnel, or until the rest of the network can divert along the short strip of parallel line around the broken down train.

          It’s like when you’re driving a car down a road with 2 lanes each way, you’re on the right side land and a car further up in front of you breaks down. You would then cut into the left side lane to go around the broken down car and get back into the right side lane.

          I feel it would be short sighted not to accommodate above.

        3. If the 50 km channel tunnel can manage without an expensive passing lane, im sure our little 3km tunnel will also be fine.

        4. You could say this about most of the network, though. Why would the tunnels require special treatment?

          I don’t even think diesel locomotives will be permitted to run in the tunnels, as they won’t have sufficient ventilation.

  23. Looking at the Tamaki and Mt Eden bus line squares around Britomart wouldn’t it make sense for them to run the other way?
    That way they are maximising the “free” left turns as such?

    Tamaki on that diagram has to turn left off Quay before turning right into Britomart and then right out across Quay.
    If reversed wouldn’t it be a “free” left turn off Quay, an easy left out of Britomart and only one right out across Quay?

    Same with Mt Eden if it turned right into Commerce it then gets a “free” left into Britomart and an easy left out at Albert / Customs.

    I’m guessing it is so when passengers are dropped off / picked up on Galway and Tyler they are on the CPO building side of the streets?

    If the Britomart squares were reversed it would also mean that all 3 bus line routes on Commerce were running in the same direction (North toward the port).

    I wonder what would be more efficient for time savings?
    Maybe I am not conceiving how little vehicle traffic and how much foot traffic there will be?

    1. Same with Mt Eden if it turned right into Commerce it then gets a “free” left into Britomart and an easy left out at Queen / Customs.

    2. Isn’t that simply all about the amount of space needed to turn a bus? A problem caused by using those narrow lanes either side of Britomart Station for buses. Suboptimal.

    3. One of the issues with left turns is the populated kerb on the inside. Drivers have to be aware of the path of the rear axle/wheels, for example turning left from Albert St into Customs (or is it Fanshawe already?) the driver has to go a fair way forward before commencing the turn in order for the back wheels to clear the kerb and the pedestrians standing on the footpath.

      Often the space options for bus drivers are reduced/compromised by other road users, so right turns with more available road space have an advantage. Free lefts in the CBD are an illusion as pedestrian phases tend to take priority (rightly, but peds don’t always stop crossing when the light changes), but right turns are a signal phasing issue and signal preemption or phasing heavily favouring buses should help keep delay within reasonable bounds.

      This is one area where AT should adopt and practice the pedestrian > PT > freight > car hierarchy.

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