The most contentious issue with the City Rail Link these days is how Albert St will be reinstated following all of the construction works. It’s important we get it right and time is short given the trench is already starting to be refilled.

The issue with Albert St was summed by Simon Wilson last year following a meeting of the City Centre Advisory Board who were shown one a video of the plans for Albert St.

But the board wasn’t excited. They were, in the words of chairperson Viv Beck, “frankly, deeply disappointed”.

That’s what you say when you have to be polite in a public meeting and what you really want to do is scream and throw things.

Why so upset? Because the board gave CRLL $20 million of business ratepayers’ money to fix Albert St. Because the CRLL plan showed it looking worse than it used to be, with no trees in the top half, lots of roadway for buses and cars, and lots of bays for buses to park in.

….

We hoped for more, said Beck and many of her board colleagues. The CRLL people mumbled about being required to restore it to what it was, which simply isn’t true. The board gave them that $20 million to ensure it wouldn’t be true.

Then the CRLL people blamed Auckland Transport. AT drew up the plans, not CRLL. It was their fault.

Last night City Rail Link posted a new version of the video for how they are planning to reinstate Albert St. On the whole the video appears to be largely the same as what we’ve seen before, with primarily just a bit more polish. But disconcertingly, there seems to be an effort underway to deceive viewers to help justify the existing poor design.

The key issue with the design has been that over time previous concepts of a gorgeous tree lined street have been scaled back and in places the road is now planned to be a barren landscape. One of the culprits for this is the addition of indented bus bays that Auckland Transport have demanded be included even though they’re not needed.

Their key justification for the bus bays is so that buses can leapfrog each other on their journey up Albert St. While it sounds useful to have, if often doesn’t really save any time an can lead to poor customer outcomes, such as buses at the back of a bunch leapfrogging those ahead of it and not seeing the customers waiting for it further up the stop. For the few times that buses might genuinely need to pass a stopping bus ahead of it, they can usually use the general traffic lane, which even prior to the CRL works starting on Albert St was usually empty.

Seemingly in a bid to prevent discussion of that option, the video now shows the general traffic lanes clogged with cars in both directions. The image below also highlights one of the serious problems with having indented bus bays on Albert St, they eat significantly into the footpath. You can see in the image lots of people on the footpath, presumably waiting for a bus and likely blocking people trying to walk along Albert St.

The images look remarkably like parts of Symonds St and Anzac Ave, and not the tree lined part outside the University.

There are a few other changes worth noting, many of which are positive.

  • Mayoral Dr, just before Wellesley does appear to have a few more trees than previous videos but I’m not sure if these are existing trees or new ones. The video also shows a bus stop canopy
  • The previous videos had what appeared to be on-street carparking right outside the main Aotea Station entrance. This appears to be confirmed in this video. Why do we need on-street parking right outside what will be the busiest train station in the country.

  • As well as more cars and buses, what is noticeable in this new video is a lot more pedestrians shown on the streets. This is good to see but also helps to highlight the issue of needing more footpath space.
  • The central median that holds the skylights above the Aotea Station now appears that it will have grass or low planting. This at least brings some greenery to the southern part of the street.

  • The Victoria St Linear Park is finally shown, including the narrowing down of the street to two lanes. The previous video still showed the street with 3-4 lanes.

In addition, they’ve published these renders of the street at ground level.

You can see the full video here

and here is a link to the previous version.

The Strand works

While on the topic of the CRL, on Sunday they also published a couple of videos showing the works that happened over the Christmas/New Year holidays near the Strand where Kiwirail were shifting the Britomart bound track to enable a better connection to the stabling yard which is needed post-CRL.

The first video includes some commentary about the works that took place.

The second video is just a timelapse of the works

There is also this older video explaining the project

Rail Network Review

Also generally related, just before Christmas Auckland Transport published a tender for a high level infrastructure review of the rail network, the description of which is below.

Auckland Transport and its partners have invested heavily in the Auckland rail network over the last 18 years with patronage growing from approximately 2.5 million trips per annum in 2002 to over 20 million trips in 2017. With Auckland being one of the fastest growing cities in Australasia, with an anticipated growth of an additional 300,000 people over the next 10 years, Auckland rail patronage is expected to climb even further.

In the next six years further investment in the City Rail Link, increased rolling stock, third main between Wiri and Quay Park, electrification between Papakura and Pukekohe, and broader investment in public transport will likely see patronage grow three or four-fold to 60 to 80 million per annum over the coming decades.

The number of services operated over the network will increase significantly which will place greater demand on infrastructure and increase the impacts of infrastructure failures. A series of recent failures, and trends indicating an increase in resulting delays have impacted on service levels expected by customers. There has also been an increase in consequential delay post incident due to timetable changes increasing service levels and narrowing headways between services.

In that context it is critical that the railway infrastructure is capable of safely and reliably delivering on this growth. Failure to deliver a safe, reliable and resilient network will undermine both the confidence and achievement of the targets that Auckland Transport has for rail and more broadly public transport in Auckland.

It is interesting to see AT suggesting we could reach 60-80 million trips on the rail network, up to four times more than we have now. That would be a fairly impressive outcome for our lean network. We’ll hope to see what this report comes back with.

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115 comments

  1. Albert St is the least pleasant part of the city to be in when it rains. Not only is there little continuous shelter, it’s also a wind-tunnel with little street-level activation or shops. I’m not sure we’re really fixing any of this for our $200m here.

        1. I understand the 20 million is additional to the costs of reinstatement, which CRLL would have to do anyway. 20 million is actually quite a lot for one street, IMO.

          1. $20m is the contribution from the City Centre Targeted Rate, ie extra rates paid by CC residents and businesses SPECIFICALLY to fund great street environments in the CC area (eg O’Connell St). This is another layer to the outrage. The City Centre Advisory Board administers (well advises) the spending of this money and we agreed to contribute this money to the reinstatement on the basis of earlier renders and plans with wider footpaths and a consistent canopy of street trees on all or almost all of the street.

            The Board is not happy with the currently proposed design, nor with the process that has lead to this point. We are still discussing with the other parties.

          2. It’s important to note that the whole street has to be rebuilt from scratch, there’s nothing there now. There is no additional cost to the curb line being here or there.

            There is additional cost to trees and tree pits etc, and to more area of fancier paving, however, and this is what we understood we were buying… It is very hard to see any or much value for this contribution now.

            I wonder if CRLL are expecting further contributions from our fund around the other stations?

          3. Patrick It looks like you are getting a couple of seats and a handful of trees for your $20 mil. Don’t be too greedy…

  2. The debacle of Albert street will become an Albatross around the neck of PT in this city. The opposition to the Quay street work seem heavily motivated by retail disaster they’ve seen going on out on their door step in Albert Street, and you can expect the fails of design and continuity planning in the Albert Street work to become a rallying cry for the anti-PT crowd.

    1. Agreed. If this is the best street design they can come up with when given a blank slate and a reasonable budget, then it’s a sorry state of affairs.

      On the topic of Quay St: It was reduced to two lanes as planned just after Christmas. Did anyone notice how, just as the nay-sayers predicted, this has been disastrous for the CBD? The sky fell down, traffic was gridlocked everywhere, children were effectively orphaned because their parents couldn’t get home from work etc.

  3. Albert Street revisited, in AT’s best hoped for version highlights how we need to get rid of buses, their need for stops, everywhere, accompanied by a wall of diesel fumes and high decibel engines and have light rail sliding up the middle.

    1. Or at least put the buses up the middle? Maybe that should be a city centre policy because you are right they are noisy and disgusting.
      Would it have been a good time to create an underground bus corridor on top of the CRL?

  4. In a post Access for Everyone world, I find it hard to believe that cars will be able to traverse the length of Albert Street. It’s part of the queen Street Valley and encircled by the pedestrianised queen street and federal street laneways.

    The blocks where space is an issue just need to have cars removed, as is the plan for Wellesley Street – another bus boulevard or whatever we’re calling them.

  5. Why are those “skylights” needed, blocking more space which could be available for vehicles. Everybody knows that part of the railway will be underground, so why not make it completely underground and avoid the skylights? To give credit for the minimal amount of “greenery” around the skylights is ludicrous. If it is grass, who will mow it? How would their machine gain access? To me it is a sign that the Green activists in the design team will do anything to restrict vehicle flow!

    1. It’s the architects obsessed with natural light for the 90 seconds passengers will spend in the station each time they use it.

      1. I’m totally in favour of light descending down to the Underground below. The ‘greenery’ is definitely a bit on the pathetic side, but the importance of skylights, connecting the surface below with the heavens above, is a really important design principle. And yes, I actually do know what I am talking about.

        All the Underground tube lines in London, except for the Jubilee Line Extension, are devoid of external connections like light – you’re stuck down there, and can’t feel what the weather is like up above. With the JLE, the importance of light was a key design principle for architects and engineers alike, and also one of the reasons why the JLE is enjoyed so much more than the older, darker, more rabbit-warren type Tube stations of old.

        1. I find the Jubilee line the most sterile of the tube lines the others have more character. My favourite stations in Sydney are Museum and St James and I’m looking forward to having K Rd, a genuine underground station in NZ. I can get light anytime I’m on the surface the only time I can get the underground station experience is when I’m in the station.

          I imagine people have many different views, I only hope that architects account for this and don’t assume because they are the experts that they always know best.

        2. Sure, but this isn’t the tube and we aren’t building an underground. It’s not like London where you might spend an hour a day in the dark tubes getting around.

          We’ll have a 3km stretch of tunnel with three subterranean stations that will take five or six minutes to pass through. The entirety of the rest of the network and stations are above ground.

          So why wring hands over skylights for a tiny stretch?

  6. I have to say Durham Street is a shit hole. It is close to if not THE filthiest most horrible street in the CBD! Although the spiral stair case near Swanson Street to Queen, soaked with human excrement is horrific in its own right.

    And no elderly couple would ever want to casually loiter outside that public toilet consulting with a map either!

    1. People said exactly the same thing about O’Connell Street. Piss soaked back alley. But turns out you can actually change things. And building a new underground train station next door is a pretty strong catalyst for change.

  7. I’m still of the belief that they could put a light rail loop through the city and then have buses terminating at the loop with people transferring to light rail. Wouldn’t that fix a lot of problems (including this one)?

    1. Auckland recieves about 300 buses per hour at peak, with around 12,000 passengers.

      The scale of transfer station facilities and ‘light rail loop’ required to force all those people from one vehicle to another for the last 500m of their journey would be mind boggling.

      1. Where would the buses go to turn around and where would they be held before they start their return journey?

        The extra transfer near the end of the journey would do nothing for encouraging people onto public transport.

      2. There would be a number of different transfer points, so it might only be 30 buses per hour (one every 2 minutes) at each transfer point.
        Not everyone is going to go right around the loop so there would be much less than 12,000 passengers per hour at any one point of the loop.

        1. That would still leave each of these interchanges as busy if not busier than Panmure. The Panmure Interchange wasn’t cheap and has full grade separation to help with transfers and plenty of space to turn buses around. How would you fit this in at say the corner of Symonds St and K Rd, where I assume the loop would meet the 27, 70 and 75 buses, which incidentally have a higher combined frequency at peak than the 30 buses per hour you mention?

          1. A bus pulls up every two minutes outside the light rail stop, the 50 odd people get off, they wait for light rail train (2 minute frequency), they get on, rinse and repeat.

            AT love building unnecessary interchanges. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of examples overseas that would have significantly more people transferring from bus rail to without a full on interchange.

          2. There’s a lot more than 50 people on many of the 27 and 70 buses, and doubt there is enough room on Symonds St to have an LR station and also bus stops on each side of the road.

            There is good reason busy interchanges are grade separated it helps trains, buses and people flow without getting in the way of each other. It could be done without grade separation but it wouldn’t be an efficient transfer.

            I’m still none the wiser as to where you plan for these buses are going to go in between their journeys.

          3. I imagine the buses do a loop around the LR stop, so each stop would only have buses coming from one direction. E.g. The 27 bus goes up Symonds, drops people off at the LR loop, then goes down K Road, Queen Street, Alex Evens, then back up Symonds (this is just a hypothetical example). Also I imagine the LR loop would just run in one direction. If everything runs in one direction then the transfer is very easy.
            In terms of holding buses, I personally think it is unnecessary in a frequent bus network. The holding point should be at the end of the route, not the city.

          4. I agree one direction would make the transfer easier, however that would force someone who works lower down Symonds St to go the long way around the loop for one of their trips.

            It is at least becoming obvious now why this is not a common layout around the world, all it does it makes peoples trips more difficult, which is not really the aim of a successful PT network.

            If the problem is bus congestion replace some of the existing routes with bi-directional light rail and/or improve bus priority in the CBD. If the problem is bus pollution and noise, then introduce electric buses or hybrid buses that shut their diesel engine off when in the CBD.

          5. Here are all the problems I was trying to fix:
            – Bus congestion
            – Bus pollution
            – Road space allocation (change to walking and cycling)
            – Not obvious how to catch a bus from the city to a destination you are not familiar with
            – Difficult to transfer in city (unless same stop)
            – Difficult to get around the city unless you walk

            A figure 8 LR instead of a loop would probably decrease the distance most people need to stay on the LR for.

          6. “all it does it makes peoples trips more difficult”
            It makes some people’s trips more difficult, and some peoples easier. It would be interesting to know what percentage of people fit in each category.

          7. My guess would be about 5 % would have an easier trip and about 95 % a more difficult trip. Most PT systems around the world try and avoid mass transfers if possible, the idea is that the majority stay on board and the minority transfer, not the other way round.

    2. Where would the buses go to turn around and where would they be held before they start their return journey?

      The extra transfer near the end of the journey would do nothing for encouraging people onto public transport.

      1. Surely they are better off holding and turning around outside the city than inside?
        The transfer would only be discouraging for people who’s bus currently takes them near where they want to go. That probably isn’t many people (for example my bus only goes to Midtown which is rarely where I want to go). Also most buses take an age to meander through the city, it would probably be quicker to transfer to frequent and fast light rail.

        1. Buses need at least a timing point, if not a layover in the city. That requires a lot of stop space. Otherwise they’ll never keep to schedule and instead of frequent service with a bus every five minutes you’ll have a bunch of six or eight buses arriving at the same time on each line. That also requires a lot of space.

          Anyway the bigger issue is not buses arriving, but those departing, especially in the PM. If you want a steady even departure every threee minutes on a given route group, you need an extensive staging area so that drivers can arrive and position their buses ready to pull into the passenger stop on time.

          Quite frankly, if you can find a way to make all the problems of a ring of bus terminals around a light rail loop go away, you can just as easily make all the problems of our existing bus terminals and corridors go away, and you don’t need to force everyone onto a last mile loop.

  8. The bluestone wall continues to bother me. Keeping heritage features is great. But if they can’t stay where they are then the choice is to remove them or move them. If the bluestone wall is important enough to move at great cost, then it is important enough to showcase, not have hidden in a foul piece of car dependent infrastructure.

    1. Do you have any thoughts how this could be achieved? It would be great pedestrian space through there but I don’t see Council closing the the area to cars even if it would solve quite a few problems (notably the awkward connection of the service lane to Albert St)

      1. What about, along that lower lane of Albert St:

        North of Durham St W: pedestrianise it. There aren’t any vehicle access points that I can see on street view. There’s room for a gorgeous fern garden, complete with a bluestone wall as a feature :).

        South of Durham St W: one lane going south. This leaves room for at least a row of trees between the one lane on the east and the (much wider now) footpath on the west.

        Both halves become lovely spaces and would make sense of the cost of moving the wall.

        1. Doesn’t that mean we have to keep cars on Queen St for at least a small portion (Northbound from Victoria) just to maintain access to Durham? I’m not sure trading off a fully pedestrianised Queen St is worth the improvement to Durham West and Albert.

          1. Yeah, I also haven’t looked at the zoning idea for the city centre fully yet. Do you have any ideas? Could you either one-lane the whole length, making wider footpaths and trees, or keep the southern half two way, but pedestrianise the north end?

          2. I’m not sure I have too many answers (hence why I’m asking too many questions!), there are a few options I can think of but they all have drawbacks in one form or another.

            1) Completely pedestrianise Durham St West and the service roads, with only out of hours access for loading. This is probably the best outcome but will be (understandably) fought strongly by Wilsons and CityLife.

            2) One way shared space from Queen St to the southern access road, closing the northern access road. Maintains vehicle access on Queen St however.

            3) One way shared space from the northern access road to Queen St, closing the southern access road. Like 2) but worse as it introduces a right turn onto Queen St.

            4) Two way shared space from the northern access road, no access onto Queen St. This might be a possibility, but the Albert/Wyndham/Durham intersection would be messy; this could be simplified by closing the eastern end of Wyndham however.

            5) Take advantage of the fact that the wall is being moved and Albert St being excavated and put a shared space underpass through to Kingston St (like a more pedestrian friendly Wellesley/Symonds), close both access roads and prevent vehicles entering Queen St. Cuts off Kingston St from Albert Street (for vehicles, pedestrian access could remain). The public toilets would have to be removed and the new Kingston St would be on the steep side but this does reduce the severance imposed by the wall and provides a pedestrian shortcut from Queen St to St Patrick’s Square.

            I’m not sure that you could get two way vehicle access from the south end, I could be wrong but it looks simultaneously too close and too far from the intersection two roads so closely in parallel (whereas the northern end terminates at the lights). Additionally there is the additional complication of the ramp to Crowne Plaza.

      2. They need to do a few things to activate that area:

        -Build a shortcut/alleyway via President Hotel/Countdown
        -Build a shortcut to Wyndham st via Coffee Club and make that ‘Public use’ instead of private trespassing.
        -Build a shortcut to Mills lane via Wyndham st
        -Create a pedestrian crossing to Kingston st via albert st and build a direct stair walking down to Durham st West
        -Close off the driveway from Albert st, or at least pedestrianize it with raised tables and give way to pedestrian
        -Repave the alleyways to Elliot/Fort st standard and put in place-makings
        -Encourage Commercial land use to Retail and Hospitality with outdoor dining around the area.

        In order to do so, the council should encourage private owners to build lane-ways in return for some tangible incentives.

        The blue-stone wall should be moved a little bit to create a connection via albert st.

  9. Horrific. Please also keep calling out renders of the linear park for not actually being a linear park. Grass is required, not paving, for it to be a park.

  10. AT again failed us. It appears the restructure does not fix the fundamental issue of this organization.

    With some creativity, they can use the empty underground space below the Albert street to be an underground bus terminal, leaving the street above it mostly pedestrianized and fully landscaped.

    Unfortunately AT just fill that space. What a lost opportunity.

  11. Has anyone heard whether the works for the third main include all of the enabling works for the fourth main?

    I’d hate to think that we’d need to go back and rebuild bridges a second time to accommodate the fourth main when it is needed years ahead of expectation, due to some poor modelling.

    1. It appears that the 4th main will be on eastern side of mains from westfield junction southwards to wiri/homai. The major rebuild will be Middlemore station. Have not seen any plans for this that shows 3rd and 4th mains through the station.
      The rest to Wiri look doable without major bridgeworks. The next southmost
      Issue will be Manurewa where there are road bridges and the whole station platforms that will need rebuilt to accomdate 3rd and 4th mains.

      1. Manurewa has lots of space to be quad tracked (car parking), though the bridges would need replacing. So is a budget issue only. Would be great to have a proper two island platform quad tracked station there. Though I suppose they could get away with one platform and two bypass tracks.

        Middlemore is trickier. I too would love to see the proposed design…. and works process.

  12. This is extremely infuriating. We (City Centre Advisory Board) are still engaging with the various parties that are determined to reinstate Albert St to this miserable state.

    This new fly though is a because the first was a total fabrication showing rows of trees instead of the bus bays. I guess while the previous one was dishonest at least it showed some shame about the vandalism they are perpetrating.

    So now those traffic lanes show what they think is best; more traffic! It is important to note that the street being all but closed to traffic now has caused no access impossibilities nor increased congestion on parallel streets. Streets which will, in any case, also be calmed in the future further reducing driving demand in the whole city centre. Pretty clear that our traffic models can’t conceive of reducing traffic trough space reduction. These models are, afterall, simply an expression of traffic engineers’ values.

    This is best understood as the latest internal push back against the new very clear Council directive to reduce general traffic in city centre. These are, afterall, the same forces that sought, with the same argument (but the traffic model!), to kill the Victoria Street Linear Park….

    1. So it appears what I commented concerning the AT restructure is really true?
      ‘In reality nothing much will change. The old Moar road guard will still be there generally resisting change and treating everyone else, especially AC, with measured contempt.’

    2. I was worried when they got an Aussie CEO. The Aussies do have better PT than us, but I reckon it is by good luck more than good management. Just much of the same really.
      Could they not find someone from Europe?

    3. So what I commented in the AT reorganisation post is true?
      ‘In reality nothing much will change. The old Moar road guard will still be there generally resisting change and treating everyone else, especially AC, with measured contempt.’

    4. “the latest internal push back”

      Any managers who signed this plan should be fired immediately. They have all had their chance. If the culture has not improved, keep weeding out the shitheads who are polluting it. Paying them to leave would be less costly than letting them stay.

      1. There is actually an Executive General Manager, Culture & Transformation now. What a job to take on!

        How’d you like to write to her and ask what mechanisms she’s setting up to track their Culture Transformation, and whether designs like this can be held up as Study Cases of what is still wrong, and of what must change?

          1. 🙂 That’s the advantage of typing to a screen, and the delete key!

            In any case, I’d imagine someone in this role should probably be receiving our encouragement. Within AT, attempts at transforming the culture might receive as much cold distrust as warm encouragement?

          2. Do you hear the drums my son’s playing, Mike? If not, you might be in a different room to me. 🙂

            In which case it was probably your keyboard at work. Chuckle.

  13. “It is interesting to see AT suggesting we could reach 60-80 million trips on the rail network, up to four times more than we have now. ”

    It might be interesting, but surely not surprising? I recall that GA advocated for 9 car train sets so this must have been in anticipation of much greater volumes?

    I also note that this growth is expected over a long time frame – “will likely see patronage grow three or four-fold to 60 to 80 million per annum over the coming decades.”

  14. Why do you have to cross the road between the station and the bus stops?
    Why aren’t the bus stops directly outside the station, or integrated with the station?
    If they have to be across the road, why isn’t there another station entrance there?

    The island for the skylights could surely be significantly narrower to allow more footpath space?

    Why are there no yellow lines anywhere?

    Nice to see the bike racks. I’m happy to continue cycling in the bus lanes.

    Interesting to see lower Albert St is bus only.

  15. What if Albert St had only the one general traffic lane? Is that somehow an option? (Not sure which direction it would travel.) It would allow the paths more space for interesting features and have the bus bays… or just wider paths.

    1. Have suggested that, but frankly just having the buses use the general lanes too is probably more straightforward and flexible. Though certainly would be happy with this solution.

      The key issue is that we all agree that Albert St is a pedestrian and bus priority route. All other modes are secondary. Bikes etc have 0% of the space, yet somehow the mode we are supposed to be reducing in the City Centre still gets 50%, at the expense, in this design, of pedestrian space and public realm quality as they are insisting on buses taking a third lane at significant points to preserve general traffic space.

      Backwards thinking. Not consistent with the principles set for the street nor the strategy for the city centre.

      1. I totally did not notice that there were no bike lanes. Seems all the more reason to get rid of at least one of the general traffic lanes and do it like Beach Road. Some differences in the specific layout, perhaps, to make it easier to have large numbers of people where the busses are meant to stop but it’s hardly like Auckland doesn’t have places like Beach Road which offer potentially obvious alternatives.

        “Not consistent with the principles set for the street nor the strategy for the city centre.”

        Sadly not surprising. Is it as bad as the Flag Commission recommending 1/4 flags that followed their /own/ list of design principles/guidelines? Or do they have the “excuse” of being a different set of people?

  16. They need the indented bus bays so the drivers have somewhere to site for half an hour with the engine idling at 100 decibels while belching particulates.

  17. Great to see that vast paved pedestrian plaza opposite the Council Building though – outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. But wait! Isn’t it there already? It’s just that it’s full of parked and moving cars rather than the pedestrians in the video.

  18. The driveway near the historic stonewall should be redesigned to make the sidewalk continuous and safe. The lane ways near Durham st west should be regenerated and pedestrianized into something like Elliott st.

    The raised medium in the middle should be removed so that the side walk can be widened and trees can be planted.

    The NDG should be setback more to make way for wider pedestrian sidewalks near the big intersection.

    The driveways along should have raised tables and the sidewalk should be continuous and giveaway to pedestrians.

    Sidewalks should have planter barriers and placemaking landscapes.

    1. We were writing at the same time about the same thing, Kelvin. Have a look at my comment – am I right that we don’t need car access on the northern half of that lower lane?

    2. I raised tickets about this years ago (July 13 2016) – the slipway access/exit from Albert down along the bluestone wall.

      I was told they won’t do anything now because it will be resolved by the CRL project. This render shows it as reinstated as is now, it’s all such a disaster.

      I’ve filled up on the 2.5 year old case number and will see how we get on hah.

  19. I’ll say it again….AT doesn’t give a sh*t.

    Access for Everyone, PT, cycles, pedestrian amenity and safety. All secondary to traffic flow for the private vehicle. They know they have to address all these things, but they see them as necessary once their primary focus is sorted.

    And nothing is going to change it in the immediate future because none of the leadership seem to have the [email protected] to change it either.

  20. With the trees, central median that holds the skylights & some other minor details of the video: Is it a problem with the design or is the video just not reflecting the actual design?

  21. Auckland is a rainy place. Why can we not have street designs that include continuous proper awnings along our footpaths, especially in zones like this with heaps of pedestrians?

  22. re the other things in this post: That Strand project; the whole of the shutdown period it was on the back of my mind and bugging me that I didn’t actually understand what they were specifically doing, so I’ve just figured it out by pausing the videos and taking screen shots to read the plans (not sure if there are other plans publicly available anyway). It’s a new cross over from the west most track of the northbound southern line into & out of the stabling yard. With that is a realignment of the main tracks to allow for the cross over. The commentary is so fast, but it’s so access can be made during peak and not just out off-peak times & more reliable etc.

    Here’s public link of the screen shots I took, red circle around the new cross over, a shot of the wider view with key, and older layout from GeoMaps to compare:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cz1d5pjl3cpn1q5/AAAMvBoR6dpc4Kg0XG59Rt_ha?dl=0

    1. I too thought that this was a very over complex realignment of the northbound track to ultimately provide a set of facing points to permit a northbound train to cross over the southbound track into the stabling yard.
      Why the track realignment to a greater radii for just a set of low speed points? The video title ‘flyover’ initially fooled me into thinking we were getting an actual rail track flyover to allow uninterrupted access to the yard.
      Or was this just a track maintenance team’s warmup preparing for 3rd main job?

      1. I understand the main purpose is the new crossover and perhaps they took the opportunity to smooth the radius too to make it smoother too…? after all that whole set of curves is slow and suboptimal, any possible improvement there is welcome.

      2. It’s to allow the strand platforms to receive trains at relatively high frequencies, something that the single track backs hunt didn’t allow.

        Presumably this is for when they need to shut down Britomart for the CRL works, so they can keep the trains running relatively well.

        1. You could imagine Western line trains being terminated at New Market with Onehunga, Southern and Eastern trains running through or being reversed at the Strand station. With a continuous conveyor of buses traveling from the Strand to K road and return. Might work out quite well especially if we got the cars out of Queen street.

        2. Why would Britomart need to be closed? All of the CRL work concerning Britomart will soon be completed except for the track laying and ole for tunnels. This only affects platforms 1 and 5 so the middle three platforms could continue in use. Anything more complicated could fit into a new year network shutdown.
          Still seems like a lot of relaying and realigning tracks just to get points on northbound track to redirect trains into strand station/yard.

          1. Don’t knock it it is done and it add flexibility too the network. It might even allow for another long distant train to use the Strand station. Better than the talk and arguments about the CRL and light rail projects which will take another 10 years to complete. Humanity has only got 10 years to change it ways or the earth fries. So what use are long term projects. Its the small things we can do now which might make a difference.

          2. Excellent point, Royce. Which is why I get so annoyed when people say they can atone for their carbon emissions by planting trees… Is a very long time before those trees put on any significant carbon. Good to do, of course, but it is no replacement for reducing their carbon emissions.

          3. Access to the Stand station would now be ideal for the Hamilton Auckland RR trains to terminate and originate from. Just a matter now of finding time slots for the Wiri to Westfield busy section.
            Although it would be nice to have some proper station passenger facilities at Strand and some decent pedestrian access walkways or over bridges to main roads.

          4. Error 520 Ray ID: 49ac4bcb9c8018fc • 2019-01-17 22:36:55 UTC
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            it, ideal for RR trains.
            Just need Strand passenger facilities and better station access

          5. Bogle – I think a stop at Otahuhu would be more valuable as it would give people a train every five minutes that runs all the way to Britomart. I agree though it would be good to see The Strand upgraded to be more accessible than it is now.

          6. jezza, yes Otahu would be much better drop off for RR than Papakura. The only problem I see is that it’s unlikely the platform 3 and the loop track would be available (built) for RRs to use in 2020
            The Strand however is available right now because of that new points that would allow the diesel powered RR to drive right into the station then run through out the NIMT to Westfield for servicing/storage.

          7. The Strand was never a hopeless station its a pity we can’t incorporate it onto the network anyway its better now. The next thing to do is to build the southern link into Manukau. That could be used for long distance trains.

  23. So, uh, maybe I’m out of the loop on this one… But if that’s going to be the busiest public transport station in New Zealand, where are people going to ride and park their bicycles (and scooters?)
    Scarcely an active cyclist anywhere in that video… I know there are alternative routes, but seriously? 1960’s road design with some lipstick on it is quite a disappointment by any standard.

    1. This might be an unpopular opinion, but cycle parking should be a very low priority at our central station. I struggle to see what trips cycle parking here would actually serve. Any points of interest are well within walking distance, or are easier to access on a bicycle from Britomart, K Road, or Mt Eden. There will be so many pedestrians here that I think cycle parking (like bus bays, car parks, and ‘lightwells’) should be sacrificed for footway width.

  24. “Why do we need on-street parking right outside what will be the busiest train station in the country.”. Yes right in the central city in THE most busiest station in the largest city in NZ and we put on street parking?? Even a kiss and ride is wrong here. Sylvia Park maybe but not here.

    1. It is a glaringly obvious failure, just like the carpaks on the roundabout in those recent plans for Browns Bay. Why should we put up with such basic unprofessional nonsense from people we all pay?

    2. My guess is it’s parking for emergency vehicles (fire, ambos, cops) but it’s being sold to car owners as metered spaces so they feel their needs are being met too.

      1. Nah, my guess is that it’s simply been specified by someone stuck in 80’s thinking, who just can’t imagine a station without parking taking the prime spot.

        Of course, if space is at a premium, to ensure there’s access for emergency services, the last thing you should include is a line of parking spaces. That’s designing in obstruction to the emergency services at the country’s busiest station. At best, you could call that taking risks.

        1. I didn’t mean that. I meant the spaces will be reserved for emergency vehicles only, but right now the public is being sold the idea that there will be metered spaces for their SUV’s to make the concept palatable.

          1. Yes, I did understand. I was just wondering how space could be reserved for emergency vehicles without the Auckland public thinking that means free for all parking ‘just for a little while’.

          2. “I was just wondering how space could be reserved for emergency vehicles without the Auckland public thinking that means free for all parking ‘just for a little while’.”

            We can make it a footpath. Emergency vehicles can park on footpaths in emergencies.

  25. Don’t worry! With advances in VR technology and augmented reality, we can just add in a whole bunch of virtual trees all over the place! In the middle of the road even! Then you can walk around with VR goggles and see all the great virtual trees everywhere. Problem solved.

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