Imagine you’re spent years pushing a motorway project, promising it will deliver travel time savings and economic nirvana for an entire region and then add in that you’re on the cusp on construction as the contract for the project, that will end up costing you over $1 billion, is about to be signed. Yet you also know that after it’s finished, the first time there is a holiday, the users of that road will wonder why you bothered as they’re all forced through an intersection that can’t handle the volumes thrown at it resulting congestion and frustrated drivers. There is a potential solution but it relies on a 3rd party and they don’t have it as a priority. What do you do?

That’s the situation the NZTA found themselves in with the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway which is due to have its PPP contract signed off in October. The vast majority of the users of the new motorway are expected not to head to Northland – like the rhetoric claims – but to Warkworth and the nearby eastern beaches such as Omaha. That would continue to see huge volumes of traffic forced through the notorious Hill St intersection which has long been the bane of many locals and holiday maker’s journeys. The solution is a new road that bypasses the intersection for those travelling to Matakana and beyond but is a project not on the current funding agenda till after 2025.

Hill St GIS
The Hill St intersection as it is today

To address this, yesterday Auckland Transport and the NZTA agreed to fast track the $25-40 million Matakana Link Rd (below) which is not in the council’s current Long Term Plan so it can open at the same time as the new motorway in 2022. The NZTA will even pay for it upfront and have AT pay it back in the future, or more specifically the NZTA won’t give them as much money for future projects.

Matakana Link Rd location
The Matakana Link Rd is shown by the green arrow

Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency have signed an agreement that will speed up improvements to transport links in and between Warkworth and the eastern communities and help ease some frustrations around Warkworth’s Hill Street intersection.

The Transport Agency will provide early funding for construction of the Matakana Link Road project if Auckland Transport funds are not available.

The agreement means the project can be delivered ahead of schedule.

Once completed the Matakana Link Road will provide a connection between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 (SH1), just south of the intersection with the Transport Agency’s Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Warkworth highway, expected to be open in 2022. It will give locals an alternative route between western and eastern areas of Warkworth and will bypass the SH1 Hill Street intersection, improving traffic flow and safety.

Both AT and the Transport Agency recognise that there’s an urgent need to improve transport links in Warkworth ahead of its expected future population growth, and to address frustrations around Warkworth’s Hill Street intersection.

Andrew Scoggins, Auckland Transport Group Manager Major Projects, says: “With Warkworth expected to grow by an additional 7,900 new dwellings over the next 30 years, the Matakana Link Road will be a key road network improvement to help address existing and future travel needs of the community”.

The Transport Agency’s Auckland and Northland Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon says the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway has always been a part of a bigger vision to provide Warkworth with the transport connections it needs to ensure its residents can easily move around the growing town for work and leisure, as well as improving safety and efficiency on the link to Auckland.

“Over the years the Warkworth community has told us that Matakana Link Road is a priority for them. We’re grateful for their ongoing support while we work with Auckland Transport to speed up the delivery of this important transport link.”

Planning and consenting works for the Matakana Link Road project are already underway and construction of the road is expected to begin in the second half of 2019. The new road is scheduled for completion just ahead of the Transport Agency’s new state highway opening in 2022.

The new Matakana Link Road will also align with AT’s new Warkworth Western Collector project – a three-stage plan to improve road connections to the west of the state highway. Stage One of the Western Collector route, connecting Mansel Drive to Falls Road, is currently under construction and will be completed in February 2017. The exact route of the remaining two stages have yet to be determined but will connect to the State Highway in the vicinity of McKinney Road in the south and the Matakana Link Road intersection in the north.

AT say the cost of the project is likely to be $25-40 million but that will depend on the final design and they haven’t even agreed on some of the basics yet, such as whether it will have two or four lanes, be a rural or urban road (footpaths, kerb & channel, lighting etc.). Some indicative costs were included in a closed session board paper that was later released.

matakan-link-rd-cost-options

Below are some basic cross sections for the types of infrastructure options suggested and priced above

matakan-link-rd-possible-cross-sections

What do you think of this project jumping the queue to get funding? Imagine if the same urgency was put into projects like needed bus and train interchanges which are a vital part of getting the new network to work.

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72 comments

  1. This is good news. However, the existing intersection will still have some problems, if only because some people will not want to use the tollroad and It is still the alternative nonpaying route. Because things happen so slowly in New Zealand were looking at six years until this is finished. Ridiculous!

  2. This is entirely a RoNS and Steven Joyce made situation. Before the absurd inflation of road duplication to economic miracle status that is the RoNS doctrine, brought in by Joyce at the beginning of this government, Puworth, or as it began the even bigger Puford, was nowhere on NZTA’s agenda. Instead they planned safety improvements on the existing SH1, including, critically, a Walkworth and Hill St bypass. If I remember correctly these would be complete by now, or at least underway.

    Instead the we are getting the personally selected massive toll road which has delayed solutions to the real problems. And of course the dangerous sections of SH1 remain and will become AT’s problem. Also; this is so a holiday highway. This necessary add-on proving that the entire traffic pressure, outside of the need for a Warkworth bypass, are the holiday peaks.

    This will not, as claimed, move Northland’s economy forward at all meaningfully.

    1. Of course this will never live up to the bullshit Joyce rhetoric so you have to ask why the massive spend up of our money by a government who claims to be so fiscally prudent? Is Fletchers et al going to cash in yet again?

  3. If it didn’t involve so much money it would be funny. But the sums involved are ridiculous. And will not fix the problem. As long as there are a multitude of entrances to deal with, this wont be solved. Expensive disaster.

  4. The title of this article must be a misprint. Some of us have been hammering away for over a decade on getting this road built. Warkworth Farms tried to get everyone interested back in 2006 and Rodney council did Engineering Assessments for the route getting preliminary costs for the road. Brookland Farms reiterated the initiative in 2011 championing the idea at the October 2011 Auckland Council Transport Committee meeting believing it to be the coordinating body between Auckland Transport and NZTA. Submitting to every available forum and process since, building websites, erecting billboards and engaging politicians and government bureaucrats at every public meeting for years. I obviously support the outcome but I very much hope this is tongue in cheek when using the word fast-track in the description. If not, what can we expect for future infrastructure projects?
    https://www.facebook.com/warkworthnorthernringroad/
    http://www.firstthingsfirst.co.nz

    1. Absolutely it is being fast tracked, it wasn’t considered a high enough priority to do within the next ten years and it’s suddenly being funded. There are more important projects that have been needed for longer that will be pushed back as a result of this decision

      1. I think the rink road is a must but it needs to be in tandem with the western bypass of Warkworth. To do it any other way is complete madness. And nothing should be spent on the Hill St intersection until after this is done.

  5. “Auckland Transport and the NZTA agreed to fast track the $25-40 million Matakana Link Rd which is not in the council’s current Long Term Plan “. Skypath was not in the Council long term plan but that didn’t stop the Governance Board proceeding with the PPP and didn’t raise any questions on this forum. Seapath is exactly the same as the Matakana link Rd, a fastrack bailout. But don’t get me wrong, I’d use both.

  6. What do I think?
    1. The Warkworth bypass is long overdue
    2. The Matakana link is long overdue.
    3. To quote my father who lives in Snells Beach “Get a sunny day in the weekend and suddenly going to Warkworth to get groceries takes two and a half hours to get there”

      1. Somewhat, but the point is made. It is a huge part of my decision making process when navigating the area as to what time of the day, what day of the week is it practical to traverse that intersection.

        1. Neglected is the future impacts of the Matakana ring road. This will inevitably open up much more development near the area’s beaches so traffic will continue to grow. I wouldn’t be too sure of continuing easing of traffic congestion even if the ring road is built. Just saying..

  7. “The vast majority of the users of the new motorway are expected not to head to Northland – like the rhetoric claims – but to Warkworth and the nearby eastern beaches such as Omaha.”

    Is there a source for this statement? What are the numbers on the expected breakdown

      1. Yes but how does that relate to the 60Ha + area in the north set aside for employment related light industrial Land in the recommendations? How does it change patterns if a secondary school is placed either north or east of the hill street intersection? Medical Facilities to the east of the town, Grocery shopping to the North of the town? The area is targeted for a five fold population increase, and the demand is such that I have no idea how they intend to stop growth when it hits 20,000. The placement of elements of the structure plan for Warkworth will have a huge influence on traffic flows. Do we know exactly where people are going at peak traffic times of day, week, season, and if their purpose had a more convenient location, have we modeled and simulated their change in route?

        1. If there is one thing that has emerged recently, modelling is flawed. You need to look at it, drive it and try and use your own intuitive. If you expand Hill St intersection to get more traffic through, more traffic will come. It’s a never ending circle. 🙂

          1. If you are a fan of Supply side constraint then look forward to affordability of houses for ever more. In the same amount of time I’ve been working on this issue, a decade, it is predicted that vehicle to vehicle communications and automated vehicle control will have existing road capacities doubled or trebled. In another decade we are likely to have car sharing 100 fold on what it is now with computer controlled ride sharing halving the number of cars on any given road. What is more they will be mostly plug in electric. A five fold increase in population for the area can still have a reduction in congestion.

          2. All that tech stuff is a) unproven anywhere and b) will take decades to reach the volumes required to make any difference. Rest assured, there will be no decrease in congestion despite what the tech industry tell you.

          3. You may legitimately argue speed, but you would have to be a Luddite to argue direction. The sharing technologies, Uber, Zipcar, AirBnB have market Caps of 100s of billions of Dollars, and all car manufacturers and many internet companies have billion dollar research and development budgets dedicated to car automation. Anything with a computer/communication aspect to it isn’t on a linear growth curve its on an exponential one. Gauging what has been achieved in the last couple of decades to assess the next couple of decades is folly.

          4. A luddite? No. I am merely giving my opinion, based on every failed prediction I’ve heard in the past 46 years of my life.

        2. Yup, well it is interesting Greg that this version of a techno-future basically means we should immediately stop adding more roads, especially expensive duplicate roads. It says the massive spending on new duplicate highways has no economic foundation based on future need, and is a theoretical disaster, building for yesterday’s technology. And, of course The RoNS doctrine was always a backwards facing program, based on a failed Thatcher era programme called Roads for Prosperity, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roads_for_Prosperity and https://www.theguardian.com/society/2006/dec/13/guardiansocietysupplement3

          As discussed here, from 2012: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2012/09/03/can-these-rons-make-a-right/

          1. I don’t agree with your assumptions, but I imagine that some roads may revert to pasture as transport needs change in the future, in much the same ways as rail lines have converted to cycling trails and commercial Wharves have become fishing spots. I can imagine the day when 150 electric cars will be traveling as a train a meter apart at 150 km/hr carrying three to four hundred people down the soon to be built Puhoi-Warkworth expressway contributing zero carbon to the environment at less deaths and injuries per distance traveled. I also imagine more local employment including more telecommuting reducing peak demand for road capacity, (I’ve been working from home since 1993) I love Warkworth and can’t imagine there isn’t as much demand to live there as its analogous Pukekohe to the south, currently at 29,000 population. This is what one of your links indicate, I can’t imagine it.

          2. Greg – in that scenario it’s hard to see why we would need to waste money on a four lane motorway. If all the cars are going to travel at the same speed arranged like a train then there would really only need for one lane each way.

          3. If you are traveling at 150 km/hour you need distance and space to join the train and be extracted from the train when you reach your off ramp. The whole network will know where you are going and automatically provide space in joining and exiting but you will need that extra lane to accomplish it. I’m afraid its due to a nasty thing called physics. The advantage over a traditional train on rails is that you get closer to that last kilometer to your final destination. Indeed that last kilometer may also be electric in the form of park your electric car, plug in for a charge, and use a hover-board using existing infrastructure we call footpaths. All this technology exists now.

          4. Greg – I fail to see why that would need more than one lane in each direction. All it would need is for the computer to control the merging and de-merging, all this would need is longer on and off ramps than we currently have to allow for merging and de-merging to happen at speed, once on the motorway there is absolutely no need to have more than one lane in each direction.

          5. Agreed, but what is a longer on ramp and off ramp but another lane. The more space for the software algorithms to work with the more surety of being able to join the queue and exit the queue without risking there isn’t a solution to your programmed route. Rest assured at 150 km/h, a meter from the next closest car, it will be a software solution that will get you on and off safely. You won’t be driving, and if there isn’t a safe solution, you will be forced to the next best alternative.

          6. Greg, I am not claiming to know the future, nor even disagreeing with your version, but just simply pointing out that it is an argument for us needing less roadspace not more. I just don’t get how techno-evangelists argue that the spatial efficiencies from Automated and Connected road vehicles are an argument for building more roads? If it comes to pass that’s great, and it means we get to move more on fewer lane kilometres more safely, so this must a serious risk factor to all cost benefit analyses of major road projects, and I repeat, especially duplicative ones.

            I will also add that there is a different risk to this kind of futurising narrative, particularly with regards to Carbon emissions and other negative externalities. It’s like the Augustinian urge to ‘god please make me pure, but not yet’. As a plan for seriously reducing carbon emissions EVs are all well and good but far too far in the future. And if this duplication is predicated on incentiving sprawl around Warkworth then it is doubly poor by that reckoning. But hey, it is official gov policy to stick our heads in the sand about that…

          7. I suggest you do some research on graphene and super-capacitors you might get just a little excited about what is technically possible now, and the implications on energy and transport into the future. Graphene is pure carbon and it is technically possible to suck it out of the air and oceans to produce material many times stronger than steel and super-capacitors many times smaller and lighter than lithium-ion batteries. You don’t try to use technology to solve one problem, you try to solve many problems all at once, including reversing the drivers of climate change.

          8. Greg while my option differs from any here at Transport blog on the RoNS program and in particular the Puhoi to Warkworth section, the Matakana Link Rd is defiantly NZTAs project to build when their road building reaches Warkworth.
            Your idea of electric cars platooning together and zooming along at 150kph and I would assume driving themselves sounds grand but very far in the future. I’m sure we will still be hearing about it and thinking the future sounds nice when NZTA is building the Kawakawa to Ohaeawai section of their grand north to south motorway.

          9. The idea that everything is going to change is not a great argument for doing exactly what we alway did. Anyway; looking forward to this brave new world of yours; like Nuclear Fusion; it’s been a decade away for 60 years now, coming on great!

          10. Greg – the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway is 18.5km long and as far as I’m aware has just one on-ramp and one off-ramp along it, a south facing set at Puhoi. There is a huge difference between making this whole motorway dual carriageway and simply having longer on/off ramps at Puhoi to allow driverless cars to merge. If this occurs as quickly as you are suggesting, it would be a huge waste of money to build this motorway with more than one lane in each direction.

          11. And yet virtually nothing would be saved in the volume of earth moved from the vast cuts being made in the hills, or the expense of the bridges having a single carriageway road. What is more the transitional period for the new technology to be adopted won’t be catered for, I’m afraid we will be doing 100km/h and driving manually for a little while yet.

          12. Greg – you talk about technology significantly impacting on volumes within 10 years ‘In another decade we are likely to have car sharing 100 fold on what it is now with computer controlled ride sharing halving the number of cars on any given road’, which is 2026, this sounds to me like a very strong argument to not waste vast sums of money on a 18.5km dual carriageway motorway that wont be completed until 2022.

            While you might be right about the cutting volumes, there would still be significant savings from bridges and the actual roadway being only two lanes wide rather than four.

          13. “I’m afraid its due to a nasty thing called physics”

            Firstly, physics is not nasty. Secondly, having played the physics card the least you could do is determine whether physics (the simple Newtonian variety) supported your position.

            It doesn’t.

            From a complete stop (assuming the control system has determined that you have to wait for a gap of more than 1 metre in the stream and a modest 2.5 m/s² acceleration) to a speed of 150 km/h requires a distance of 350 m…not too dissimilar from current on ramp designs.

            “Indeed that last kilometer may also be electric in the form of park your electric car…”

            More physics and a bit of geometry:
            That one lane of (say) 3m long vehicles travelling at 150 km/h with a 1m separation is going to be capable of delivering vehicles to a city at the rate of 625 vehicles per minute or more than 10 per second. Add in, say, another one lane from the west and another from the south and we are at a capacity capable of delivering around 31 vehicles per second onto the city street network with its intersections, speed limits, pedestrian avoidance mechanisms, conflicting vehicle movements etc. By now you should be developing a picture of horrific tailbacks onto that 150 km/h motorway lane rendering the maximum speed a pipe dream.

            As for the parking; that one lane from the north will (based on some reasonable allowances for random-acess parking) require around 60 hectares of parking per hour or 180 hectares per hour when 2 other routes are added. One could advocate autonomous vehicles that would go somewhere else…but that just adds to the automotive overload in the city streets. If you think SOVs are bad ZOVs are going to be a nightmare.

            The greatest gains in terms of lane capacity for computer-controlled vehicles are on the highest speed roads with no intersections, no pedestrians and no cyclists (ie. motorways) since following distances can be much less and there are minimal speed variations. Once city roads and streets are taken into account the relative vehicle per lane hour advantage of such vehicles diminish markedly. They will get you to the jam much quicker and safer though.

            The companies developing these vehicles don’t tell us this…but then they wouldn’t, would they?

          14. “Nasty” was tongue in cheek. I might just have well said ” Practical realities”. .In the couple of decades I was talking about I would see having 150km/h capable roads from Whangarei to at least Hamilton a possibility. Given our narrow gauge tracks and our windy rail network, I can’t see high speed rail meeting those speeds between those major centres soon. Something like a virtual rail system seems more plausible, and given that a lot of people rail against roads and push rail I’m pointing out that the function of passenger rail can be achieved through software and roads. Thanks for pulling out your kinematics texts for the benefit of the larger audience.

          15. Greg – same way we resurface our numerous single carriageway or for that matter dual carriageways, night time closure, there is a good alternative road that is currently SH1. Are we getting to the point now where the only reason for extra lanes is redundancy, the ultimate waste of money?

          16. What you’re imagining is a Jetsons / 1950s vision of the future, where we basically do the same as what we do now, travel around quickly to different places consuming stuff, but in more exciting and technologically advanced ways. I’d hope that as the reality of climate change, poverty, inequality etc hits home that society might choose a different path, one where we don’t need to zoom to Hamilton at 150kmh in a computer controlled chain of autonomous vehicles consuming Newspeak broadcasts on our VR devices. Instead we might choose to live close to where we work, where our family are, where we enjoy life, travelling on foot or bike, or by public transport, and interacting with other people.

          17. I doubt you can meet your own ambitions. The restriction of freedom of movement is better known as prison. How about we put up some walls around Warkworth, install some market gardens, maintain a subsistence lifestyle?

            See Garath Morgan’s latest blog entry on growth. It can be achieved without depletion of resources. See the science of graphene, it can reverse the drivers of climate change. You are what you think about. I suggest you spend just a little more time thinking about the brightness of the future.

          18. @Jezza – Railing against redundancy is about as wise as the architect going “I hate using flashing to keep the weather out because they spoil the look of my building” (actual quote from a building inspector about an architect at a council sponsored conference)

            Oh look, the control centre for the rail network is in Wellington, someone broke the comms, we have no redundancy in Auckland, all the trains just stopped.
            Oops, the mobile phone control node for the entire south island went down, spark has no redundancy, all the mobile phones just stopped working
            Oops, the Ministry of Education decided to swap over to a completely new payroll system with no way to fail back the original system, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being incorrectly paid or not paid, we can’t go back to the old way, sure wish we’d run them side by side for a month or two before we swapped over.

            Redundancy = Resilience = Survivability
            Redundancy = Cost = Overheads = Waste

            Too many people fail to consider the first point.

        3. I like you’re idea of a train Greg. But rather than having them all sit behind each other in their little bubbles let’s have some real ones up there where people can even talk to each other as a community if they wish to, as they travel.

    1. According the modelling for the project, northern destinations make up only 5,930 of the predicted 13,700 veh/day (both ways) for the Project toll road. This is mentioned in the CBT closing submission:

      It is not clear from the Traffic Report and subsequent evidence, but presumably the volume of traffic travelling between the northern tie-in of the Project toll road and the direction of Warkworth would roughly equate to 13,700 – 5,930 = 7,770 veh/day.

      However the modelling assumed that the Matakana link road would not be built, and it also did not consider tolling impacts. So it is reasonable to assume that more traffic will be induced to use the toll road and turn right now that the Matakana link road will be built – remember, the new toll road wouldn’t offer much of a travel time saving at all for Matakana destinations without it. However, this could be mitigated by the level of tolling for the new route.

      As a guide to what level of diversion might eventuate depending on tolling, consider the Northern Gateway Toll Road (NGTR), between Silverdale and Puhoi, has been operated by the NZTA since 2009 and offers motorists travel time savings of approximately seven minutes in each direction.

      The level of the toll for the NGTR has presumably been set to optimise revenue. At the current toll tariff ($2.20 per car or motorcycle and $4.40 per truck), 21% of traffic on the Project toll road elects not to pay the toll and instead travels via the free Hibiscus Coast alternative.

      We estimated that the travel time saving offered by the new toll road will only be about 3 or 4 minutes between Puhoi and the Northern junction (assuming the Western Collector is built), so the level of diversion could be much higher if a substantial toll is put in place.

  8. The National Roads Board assumed people would start their trip in Wellington and stop in Kaitaia and funded their roads accordingly. Then came Transit New Zealand who did the same and now we have NZTA. Same assumption, same roads. Problem is that isn’t where the people actually travel. $1billion to build a road for the smallest movement. FFS!

    1. Continuous stretches of motorway-standard roads make the map look nicer. I’m sure there’s a Borges story about mistaking the map for the territory.

  9. The scandal isn’t that the project is happening – it’s a no brainer that makes sense given growth in the area and the disaster of the current intersection.

    The scandal is why this wasn’t required as mitigation for the impacts of the RONS. It should be 100% NZTA funded as part of the RONS.

    1. In their Evidence-In-Chief, NZTA insisted:

      17.3 I have reviewed the potential impact of the Project on the operation of the Hill Street / SH1 / Elizabeth Street intersection (the Hill Street Intersection). I do not believe that improvements are required to the Hill Street Intersection or that the Matakana Link Road needs to be constructed prior to operation of the Project to address any adverse effects of the Project.

      This was taken at face value by the Board of Inquiry.

      1. On reflection, “taken at face value” is not the right term. The claims and counter-claims were considered at length by the BoI, but never to the point of engaging their own experts to get a truly independent understanding. So perhaps “ultimately accepted” is a better term to use.

  10. I completely love how these highways are designed using the crappiest 2d linework style straight out of a 1980s 1-bit display terminal. No wonder they end up looking so ugly and ruining the context around them.

  11. > With Warkworth expected to grow by an additional 7,900 new dwellings over the next 30 years, the Matakana Link Road will be a key road network improvement to help address existing and future travel needs of the community

    This is nicely illustrative of a big problem. Who says there’s going to be 7,900 new dwellings in Warkworth? Auckland Council. Why do they say it? Well, because NZTA is planning a huge new motorway to there. But then NZTA comes right around and uses Auckland Council’s figure to justify that very same motorway, and a bunch of new roads like this.

    What we have in effect is NZTA doing land-use planning without being explicit that that’s what they’re doing. Build it and they will come.

    This is actually better than what it used to be. Back in the day, the NRB/Transit/NZTA would say “traffic is growing, we need to widen the road to cope”, and thus the prediction would unintentionally come true. For all of their many, many faults, the RoNS are at least explicit about trying to foster growth. “Lead infrastructure”. So now the Government are conscious of what they’re doing.

    Of course, it ends up as a similar outcome. Does Auckland Council or the public want Auckland’s growth to be hideously expensive far-flung car-dependent exurbs a long, long carbon-belching drive from anywhere down a tolled motorway? Not as far as I can tell. But that’s what we’re being given.

    In that context, the Matakana link road itself is probably a good idea. If we’re going to have exurbs, they might as well have sea views rather than be in Warkworth itself. You can have a chance to swim twice a year when you’re not wasting hours of your life and a small fortune every day driving to your job in at best Newmarket, and knowing your luck, Highbrook.

    1. Stephen exactly right. In the same way that local road traffic engineers have also all been doing urban design, disastrously. They deny they are place makers, are not trained in it, and frankly all that they are trained to do is destroy place quality, yet they have the authority over all others and it is their machine centred world we have to inhabit.

      And it is still going on. In trying to work out how we in Ponsonby now have a the top of Williamson Ave turned into a horrible 5 lanes place-ruining car gyratory just as the pedestrian numbers shoot through the roof because of intensification of land-use, it’s clear that it’s because of a hierarchy with Traffic Engineer project managers at the top. This simply is going to have to stop as they are clearly untrained in, and incapable of understanding, place and placemaking. The outcome here is like they really want to force heavily peopled P Rd into their idealised people-less type of urban form like say Highbrook….

      1. Patrick exactly right. Auckland was perfect place (albiet a small shit-stained place) until those damned traffic engineers made everyone buy a car. Then to make it worse they marked some lanes on the already wide roads our founding fathers built and allowed people to drive from where they wanted to live to places they wanted to go to. It should be against the law. I have never trusted those pestilent traffic engineers, all we have to do is get rid of them and we can go back to living in a perfect compact place.

        1. Yawn, the prince of the strawman is back; a tired binary is not the situation. You will find no claims of an idealised past from me, I am, sadly, old enough to remember plenty of Ponsonbys past and am not interested in returning to any of them. Just an adequate present will do, thank-you. And no that doesn’t involve trying to reduce everywhere to Albany or whatever other dreary auto-pia these people pray to.

          Additionally you prove my point; this whole idea that design should react to possible vehicle numbers by striving to accommodate them is exactly the problem. Design is an active skill not a passive one. Predict and provide is long dead. If all you can do is count, you have no place designing anywhere.

  12. Once again NZ’s scarce transport dollars are wasted by the NZTA on a project of low priority.

    You have to wonder what their incentive-structure is, because it’s clearly not about delivering value for money or efficient outcomes.

  13. Was a southern link ever considered. Somewhere around McKinney Rd and Wilson Rd and bridging over the river to join Sandspit Rd. It maybe completely unfeasible but it would be another way of diverting a chunk of traffic away from the intersection

    1. Yes it has been and is Auckland Transport’s list. They had some pretty strange logic associated with it to influence other aspects of their network plan but it is being considered. Unless you want to lose the pleasant tourism aspect of boats coming up the river to visit the cafes of Warkworth, the bridge necessarily has to be high to allow clearance for the boats. This means expensive, and ultimately takes traffic away from connecting to the RONS. Until the Southern Future Urban Zone of Warkworth is developed and people are living there, this bridge will probably remain on the drawing board.

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