With the election of a new Government, we can have a little rethink of several proposed projects. One of these projects is AMETI, also now known as the Eastern Busway. This is a project that has been underway since before Auckland Transport existed and all political parties have supported yet seems to make little progress. Naturally, it’s also included in our Congestion Free Network proposal, along with bus rapid transit up Pakuranga Road to Howick.
Getting it Done: The first priority for the new Government is getting both AT and NZTA to bloody well get on with it. This project has been around for years but has just stalled at every opportunity and recently has had to be re-notified because the traffic modelling was so old. We need to get going much faster on this project, delivering as much as possible preferably by the time the City Rail Link opens. East Auckland has seriously poor transit options at current this is a much-needed piece of infrastructure.
Rethinking the Flyover: A serious rethink of the Reeves Rd flyover needs to be done. It is hugely expensive and will be a blight on what in the future could be a fantastic town centre. It really is the 1960s thinking as many countries are ripping down flyovers as we discuss building one. One of the serious obstacles in the way of rethinking the flyover left Parliament last term and with a change in Government, the political pressure won’t exist anywhere near to the same extent. The other obstacle which is the outdated way we do traffic models, as well as the large under modelling of transit demand, is also something that can be overcome.
Pakuranga Rd Bus Rapid Transit: In the CFN 2 we proposed BRT on Pakuranga Rd. Adding a Bus Rapid Transit upgrade to Pakuranga Rd would be a smart move complementing the upgrade to Ti Rakau Drive delivering high-quality transit for a poorly served area. By bringing Pakuranga in scope the project would better serve most of East Auckland. Pakuranga Rd id was zoned for decent scale in the Unitary Plan with much of the length being zoned for Apartments or Mixed Housing Urban. Pakuranga Rd in most sections is 3 lanes each way with a median as well as extra stacking space at intersections and is a little bit of a traffic sewer. A re-think of Pakuranga Rd could deliver a multimodal high quality and amenity boulevard with centre running BRT and appropriate signal priority, protected cycleways, footpath/crossing upgrades and much more trees all very easily as well as affordably especially if the savings from cancelling the flyover are used within the existing corridor.
A flyover dies, a boulevard lives. Fair Trade.