At the end of last month Auckland Transport launched two consultations aiming to improve road safety in two of Auckland’s most iconic seaside villages – Mission Bay and St Heliers. AT say that between 2013 and 2017:

  • Mission Bay had 46 reported crashes resulting in 14 people injured
  • St Heliers had 38 crashes with 8 people injured.

The Design

In both centres Auckland Transport plan to roll out a number of raised table pedestrian crossings and kerb build outs while Mission Bay will also see a redesigned intersection at Marau Cr and Selwyn Ave. Here are the high-level maps of what’s proposed.

Tamaki Dr has long been Auckland’s busiest route for bikes and in summer averages around 1,700 cyclists per day. The number of bikes have made the existing shared path setup completely inadequate. As such, one of the first things that struck me about the designs was that it didn’t seem to do anything to improve conditions for cyclists by separating them from pedestrians. In fact at the Marau Cres intersection, AT actually propose to make it worse by removing the existing painted eastbound bike lane. The proposed new intersection can be seen below

I won’t go to much into the detail but our friends of at Bike Auckland have put together a great post looking at the issues and solutions. Some of the issues include they didn’t even bother to read their own rules, let alone the Tamaki Dr Masterplan.

Meet the Locals

When the consultation first came out I immediately suspected we would end up with locals very vocally opposing any change and sure enough that came to pass at a meeting on Monday night.

Image from Desley Simpson’s Facebook page

A lot of attention following the meeting has focused on Auckland Transport not showing up.

In an email to the chairs of the St Heliers business and residents associations on Sunday, AT chief executive Shane Ellison said he was aware of comments about the crowd being “hostile”, saying he had “a duty of care to the wellbeing of AT’s employees”.

Ellison was also concerned about some of the behaviour AT experienced at a drop-in day at St Heliers Library

….

“In light of all these factors we don’t believe there is anything to gain in AT having its people attending the meeting,” the email from Ellison said.

AT should front wherever possible but I can certainly understand them not wanting to send staff into known hostile environments. I also wonder if health and safety legislation would play a part in this too as there’s not much point having people turn up just to be verbally abused. For example, the article notes.

One young man got up to speak in favour of the changes, saying he did not want to be living with the consequences of being hit by a car in future.

What wasn’t reported was the abuse the boy received afterwards

https://twitter.com/kiwipippa/status/1117858112839376906

For some demographics within Auckland, abusing and shouting down anyone who doesn’t share your view is the preferred modus operandi. You may remember this is also the same community that a few years ago angrily heckled people who supported the Unitary Plan, both at the council and in many meetings before before that.

Spend the money elsewhere?

It’s known that it is usually much easier to get people opposing changes than it is supporting them but a community (and not just the vocal part) truly doesn’t want a change, it does raise the question of whether the money should be spent in areas that do want to see improvements. I suspect there are a number of local boards or areas that would fully support similar interventions.

Of course just shifting the money to supporting communities may have its own risk, especially in setting precedents in how much opposition is needed to stop something. Also, some projects may be local but also have significant benefits for the wider community. A good example of that is the Mt Eden Rd changes that were consulted on last year.

Are AT just a political whipping boy?

AT certainly don’t get everything right and deserve criticism when they get things wrong but increasingly it feels like they’re just becoming a convenient whipping boy for politicians, something only likely to increase in the lead up to elections later this year. I worry about impact that must have on the staff within the organisation, both in terms of moral and direction, especially when AT are doing what those same politicians have asked them to do. In this case we have Phil Goff at a council meeting yesterday.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff has torn a strip off Auckland Transport for not fronting up at a public meeting in St Heliers last night, telling them they are not a dictatorship, but accountable to people.

….

Goff said it was politicians’ job to front up to public meetings with hostile crowds, citing unpopular issues like a new water treatment plant at Oratia and a new town square for Takapuna he and councillors had fronted.

AT, who under legislation make decisions separate from the council, are not a “dictatorship”, said Goff.

“They are accountable to the people as we are. They need to show that they have listened to what the people are saying. If people are not agreeing with them either they haven’t got their message right or they are doing the wrong thing,” he said.

Goff said the feedback he receives is AT and some of the other council-controlled organisations are arrogant because they are not elected.

While I agree that AT need to be accountable, let’s not forget that the council, as outlined in the Mayor’s Letter of Expectation to AT, have asked for them to focus more on road safety.

Earlier in the letter it states “It will be necessary to consider options to reallocate street space to more efficient uses (e.g. bus or transit lanes, freight priority lanes, and removing some on-street parking).

This isn’t the first time Phil Goff has not supported AT for doing something he asked them to do, for example, he only gave lukewarm support for ATs plans to change speed limits in the city centre.

The consultation for these two town centres close at the end of the month should you want to have a say.

Update, another one

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91 comments

  1. I totally support Auckland Transport’s decision not to throw staff under the bus of an angry mob. What disgraceful behaviour from St Heliers locals.

    1. They probably should have someone who’s job it is to show up though. Maybe deliver some facts (not that anyone will listen but it might help a bit) and pretend to listen to their issues.
      But at the end of the day if there does need to be a consultation (which I personally don’t think should be needed for a minor change like this) then it should be based on the opinions of the whole community, not just the angry mob.

      1. Since Goff thinks it’s a politician’s job to front, I kind of think he should’ve done so. And shown support for AT’s safety programme.

        I agree that consultation about minor safety improvements shouldn’t be consulted on project-by-project. This resistance to improvements of our city’s safety is literally ruining children’s lives. Some great research released today: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/8/1361/htm

      2. Just get some big brown bouncers to accompany AT.. You know how fearful those sneery eastern suburb types are of people of ethnic descent.

      3. I wish they had been at the meeting with some security staff & see what would of ensued just to show up how hideous this crowd can be.

  2. “You may remember this is also the same community that a few years ago angrily heckled people who supported the Unitary Plan, both at the council and in many meetings before before that.”

    I remember this being the community with minimal public transport who were faced with proposed intensification after they had the chance to consult on a very different draft Unitary Plan, and the snarky Spinoff pieces that did nothing to actually address the problems that jamming thousands more people into Glendowie would have entailed.

  3. An Angry torch burning mob of pensioners circling like rabid hyenas ready to strike with their walking frames.

    I’m sorry but the vast majority of those 38 crashes could be as minor as a parking incident, or a slow nose to tail not a car on it’s roof. AT are going way outside their self imposed social engineering description, St Heliers is a very mild slow suburb. Taking away car parks takes away business and for the many elderly the ability to go there in the first instance.

    And good luck finding that bus to throw AT staff under.

    1. The safety push isn’t just about preventing injuries and deaths, it is also about making people feel safe enough to do things like ride a bike or cross the road. Considering this area is well used by cyclists and pedestrians, the environment should feel safe and allow numerous places to cross the road. This is significantly more important than a few car parks.

  4. Yeah and their public meeting is probably not representative of the community as whole, just the ones who are “angry” about the plan. Its a safety improvement, to save lives and prevent injuries, they should be happy to get any say in it at all. Doesn’t seem like they have anything constructive to add beside whinge about a few less carparks. Its a growing city, we are moving away from SOV’s. Theres also plenty of parking nearby in residential streets if needed. Also I am sure the businesses there will be quite surprised how many people are coming by bus/e-scooter/rideshare/walking etc.

    1. Quite right Patrick, rather they are an unelected fiefdom that does what it wants, spends what it wants how it wants and there is nothing we can do about it.

      And when the locals get unhappy with their grand plans they run and hide and will still do it anyway.

      They stuffed businesses in Northcote Point with the mega pointless bike lane and spent up large for what??

      Hence there is very little point voting in local body elections!

      1. How do you know if a bike lane is pointless? It may have saved a life for all we know.
        If a business is reliant on having valuable public space dedicated to them to survive, they shouldn’t be in business. We shouldn’t be subsidising private businesses.

        1. You are more likely to see Elvis on Northcote’s Queen St Northcote, that is why it is pointless!

          And you didn’t seem so cut up about Lime scooters using valuable public space for free the other day.

          1. Touché!
            Although I would be happy for Lime scooters to pay to use valuable public space if all other road users also paid to use valuable public space.

        2. The original plan was a cycleway which would connect to Skypath on the southern end.

          But we don’t have a Skypath. We also don’t have a cycleway on a large section of Queen Street. What we’ve got over there is this:

          https://www.google.com/maps/@-36.8205246,174.7474561,3a,34.4y,172.31h,78.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1scQQ064OuEdUE1aso0_788g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

          Which brings us to a few additional observations:

          • If you are bicycling you MUST NOT go over the green bit. You’ll be in the door zone of those parked cars.

          • The plantings are in the way should anyone ever decide to build (or paint) a cycle lane.

          All in all that exercise was pretty pointless.

          1. We definitely need a set of street typologies like the Dutch have, don’t we? For all modes. And then we just prioritise the money to put them in according to where the safety is calling out the highest.

            None of this project-by-project justification.

          2. I don’t know how busy Queen Street is, but I would be surprised if it was super busy because it is only a small peninsula.

            I guess the Dutch would build the entire part south of Stafford Road as a “woonerf”. So, 20 km/h speed limit, no priority for cars at all (which also implies no cycle lanes). And most certainly not a 13m wide roadway.

  5. It’s a shame the proposed changes aren’t more ambitious. How great would the public space be in both town centres without cars cluttering up the street between the businesses and the waterfront?

    With a few intersection changes and some pavement upgrades, Tamaki Dr traffic could be diverted a block back from the waterfront. That’s via Marau Cr at Mission Bay and Polygon Rd at St Heliers. The freed up bits of Tamaki Dr could be made dedicated bus lanes (with pop-up bollards to control access if necessary). This would greatly improve the street for pedestrians and cyclists, plus improve the competitiveness of bus journeys on this corridor.

    Of course local opposition would be even more fierce…

  6. Yeah except most of the people parking there are not pensioners from what I have seen. Its not sustainable. If they are able-bodied but cant walk far maybe they should look at an e-bike, if that doesn’t work for them there are ride-on scooters or mobility scooters, or you could get a ride using a rideshare service or something… like theres plenty of options. Often theres no parking in the main centre anyway, so what difference is it going to make? Changing the timelimit on parking spots or changing to paid parking will probably free up heaps of spaces, and have the affect of having more parking spots and is something AT has suggested, why don’t they talk to AT about that instead of beating them up?

  7. You mean the Glendowie buses that stop at 8pm under the new network, which used to get services until 11pm? And even then that was an hour less than Glen Innes?

    How about finding some rage within the transport community about taking away the only public transport in the area? All that GA and others can seem to muster is surprise that people who are given no alternatives to driving by AT are protective of being able to drive?

    Or how “park in a residential side-street and walk along volcanic gradient” is good enough to dismiss accessibility concerns in St Heliers, but apparently a huge issue when it comes to the CBD

    Or is it “Sit down, shut up, pay your exorbitant rates and underwrite the improvements in the rest of the city”?

    1. I was up in arms about west loosing half its nightrider (or “Night Bus” now unless you live in the South where they haven’t been updated, and actually have duplicate Night Bus service for Manukau Rd…) service, whilst yes the routes were less straight forward they covered a lot more ground then they do now.

      Similarly I was annoyed how Red Hill in Papakura had it service until midnight stripped back to 9pm…

      Nobody really seems to care, and people just end up giving up.

      Was also really annoying how Gen Zero ran a night bus campaign and claimed “victory” once west lost half its night bus coverage… unfortunately most of these groups seem very city centric, don’t get me wrong they are awesome but we need more representation out of the center for transport direction… Local board and MP’s are locked out of any of AT’s decisions…

      1. Right on Bogle, I have given up arguing about the service extension some time ago, they just find the same excuses which we have countered and replay them over and over as if they never read or took in our responses. Yet when anyone raises a concern about one of the projects they support; you get labeled a “concern troll”, even if it is a far more valid concern.

        1. Peter, I’ve encouraged Bogle to pull apart the business case for the train to Huapai and to send me his analysis. I’m really keen to analyse it from a climate change, safety, land use and modeshift perspective. I’m also really busy working on all those things elsewhere.

          I haven’t seen or discussed in detail GA’s analysis but I understand it centres around the need to prioritise funding – that all the reasons it would be a good idea exist elsewhere too, but with even more urgency.

          As you know, I’m also working on trying to get the whole “What we spend our money on” totally shaken up. This might be a good project to show that once all externalities are included, Huapai train should indeed be advanced, now. And that it’s one of many. But that road widening and what they call ‘improvements’ must stop to provide the funds necessary.

          Unfortunately, Bogle has not sent me any analysis to get my teeth into. Instead, he says he’s started campaigning for road improvements. That’s counterproductive, and why his complaints here annoy me now where once I was empathetic.

          Can I extend this invitation to you, too, Peter? I don’t have time to start from scratch, but if you can organise a critique of the business case, I’m happy to go from there.

    2. The 744 runs well after 8pm and runs right through Glendowie, I’m not sure what you are on about.

      Also this resistance in St Heliers has nothing to do with Glendowie buses, even if both the 744 and 783 were frequent there would still be just as much resistance. This is all about resisting change.

      Bus schedules are not an excuse to abuse people at public meetings.

  8. Older people especially benefit from raised single level crossings, more visible crossings, and calmer traffic. The idea that they’re safer with more carparking is nonsense. They are also more likely to not be driving but using taxis/transit or mobility devices.

    To oppose this in the name of more vulnerable citizens is disingenuous at the very least.

  9. Incredible situation.

    Is there any progressive mayoral candidate? So far Goff’s appealed to the status quo angry older people in his response to safer speeds, micromobility and now safety measures. I don’t get it – surely these aren’t the people who’d generally vote for him anyway?

    1. You can only win an FPP election like Auckland Mayor by straddling both left and right voters. Goff has always done that, as did Brown before him.

  10. In a city with such poor statistics for safety, I would’ve thought anyone questioning AT’s statistics on crashes should take a big breath and do a bit of self-examination.

    I hope, though, that AT can learn from this: consultation before education is pointless. And maybe, given the dire need of so many parts of Auckland for safety measures, they should choose to focus on areas that are both high risk AND have a high proportion of children. Because while both elderly people and children are particularly vulnerable, elderly people are lying in the bed they’ve made. Children aren’t.

  11. What lives would be being saved, 38 accidents without a single fatality, looks like a pointless waste of financial resources to me.

  12. So was the opposition to the 30 km/h speed limit itself? Most comments from locals that I’ve / read say you can’t generally drive faster than 30 km/h for much of the day. Which you could either as: no, we don’t want 30 km/h because we it isn’t merited or OK, we’re happy with it won’t change things much.

    Or, was the opposition to the loss of 40 car parks? Sounds much more likely to me. (And whilst removing car parking in densely populated and busy city centres well served by PT is logical, that doesn’t necessarily follow in small towns and suburbs, where many local shops and cafes depend on customers popping in on their way somewhere by car).

    Or was it the raised zebra crossings? Great for pedestrians, not so great for bus passengers. And they don’t come cheap.

    Or was it the design? Which is frankly hideous! It’s like some traffic engineers have just splurged motorway paint all over the place. Yellow, white, green paint everywhere, roundabouts, signs. It’s ugly as!

    I’d contend that none of those things are needed to achieve the outcome of greater safety: no 30 k limit, no raised tables, no loss of parking, no motorway markings.

    That’s not to say none of them would help (not least the 30 k, which I think is merited, and which I don’t think is strongly objected to, in this part of the city, in and of itself, in locations such as town centres, schools and quiet suburban side streets).

    In any event no-one is objecting to the outcome of fewer injuries and deaths.

    As for AT’s lack of engagement: what’s the point of putting something out there for consultation, if you’re not prepared to to deal with the feedback (and that’s not to excuse any meeting chair from failing to shut down inappropriate or offensive comments – that can’t be tolerated, in St Heliers or anywhere), what’s the point of putting it out there for consultation? We live in a democracy after all: the streets are public spaces. They are ours. AT needs to present the evidence for why their design is the best one available and convince the community to accept it.

    Proper meaningful engagement with the community is exactly what they need to do. Being defensive, not fronting up isn’t remotely acceptable.

    What’s wrong with adapting and changing their plans for the better, with the local community’s input? Isn’t this exactly what happened with the Grey Lynn cycle ways and town centre improvements?

    Besides, does no-one at AT travel? There must be 1000s of examples around the world of local town centres on the scale of St Heliers where cars, buses, bicycles, pedestrians are managed safely in a way that enhances rather than detracts from the urban environment.

  13. Buttwizard, regarding “jamming thousands more people into Glendowie”, what infrastructure needed to come first? In terms of transport, intensification brings a reduction in vehicle km travelled, and provides the demand that justifies and provides revenue for the public transport services. For other infrastructure, intensification means more rates to pay for improvements.

    1. Heidi: Can you tell me why residents should have any faith in the provision of any services at all, when at every opportunity, AT has reduced the already poor levels of service in Glendowie? Forgive me for understanding why the locals aren’t crawling over broken glass ‘for the greater good’ out there.

      1. Yay the reply button is working again.

        The St Heliers proposal is to improve things for vulnerable people. Elderly with walking frames, children, people taking sustainable modes. These pedestrian crossings are for people, including St Heliers people.

        What’s going on here is positioning around modeshift and changing urban form, Buttwizard. Why should St Heliers oldies care? First, because they are people, and should have empathy for people who are being sacrificed for their car dependency. And secondly, because with their voting for low rates and low taxes, they’ve created any infrastructure deficit themselves.

        1. Heidi: I suppose it’s much easier to remove car parks from local shopping areas than, oh I don’t know, not winding back bus services in the area, or doing something meaningful like bus lanes in Tamaki Drive – anywhere in Central East, really. I don’t think there’s a single bus lane in that part of the district. If you really want mode-shift in the Central East, that’s what it’s going to take. You can ‘change the urban form’ all you want, but if you’re not actually giving people alternatives to driving, should you really be surprised when you make using a car even more difficult for people?

          1. makes them upset*

            Sorry, too eager on the post button.

            Now as far as the proposals are concerned; you can’t really do more than 30kmh through St Heliers anyway – there’s already a raised pedestrian crossing (in the wrong place) and you run the risk of people drilling you as they turn out of the main road. In that regard, yes, fine absolutely, and put the crossing where it should be in the first place. But 40 carparks is a lot of carparks. Especially after hours in a part of Auckland that is pretty poorly served by PT.

          2. Reducing travel from 49 to 28 billion vkt by 2030 might suggest they need to reduce by 110 carparks rather than 40.

          3. St Heliers does not need this. Christ, AT make it sound like the Indy 500 when its a non threatening quite seaside village. I cannot think of a more backwater place than this shopping area and its beaches

            What is it with AT?? They seem intent on slowing Auckland to a crawl and ensuring only the able bodied have access to anything whilst enriching contractors with the extra zero’s on the end of each quote per job and giving us answers without the question being asked.

            As for the elderly, once the car parks are taken away and the competition heats up for whats left, you can forget about them even getting there cos’ they wont be taking the bus, even if there was one.

          4. Well if we want these villages to survive we will have to one way or another make sure people can reach them without taking up a car park.

            The able bodied could for instance walk to the shops instead of driving. We could paint zebra crossings so they can actually do so in a dignified way.

            Or ride their bicycle (which is usually more convenient than either driving or taking the bus). I wonder how many people who pretend to be so concerned about those businesses would also scream bloody murder at any suggestion of cycle lanes.

          5. I guess that’s less of an issue because there’s already a shared cycle path from one direction and volcanic gradients in the other direction. You aren’t going to get many pensioners walking up Polygon Road in a hurry, which is a problem because there’s two medical practices in St Heliers.

            I wonder how many people insisting the residents should just get over it have ever actually been further east than a casual cycle along Tamaki Drive or tried to commute around the area without a car.

          6. I live close to Birkenhead, which is also full of steep gradients, and plenty of people are finding their way to the town centre on foot.

            Also, there is no law which says pensioners have to drive. Quite the contrary, there is such a thing as being too old to drive.

          7. My grandmother used to live in Tarawera Terrace near the top, and she walked to St Heliers despite the hills. She believed walking up and down hills and staircases was important for keeping fit into old age.

            When she had a stroke and was unable to do this, she was also unable to drive. I was the grandchild who was closest to her, and returned from my OE in order to be able to spend time with her after her stroke. I spent a lot of time with her, including driving her around. What we needed wherever we went, was good pedestrian amenity. It was really hard to walk with her across roads without pedestrian crossings, because drivers don’t just wait for you when you’re going as slowly as we were. Anywhere parking was at a premium I was happy to pay for it – it’s never expensive for a couple of hours. But poor walking amenity wasn’t something I could overcome with a few dollars.

            She was a mighty fine woman, a strong advocate for the young. And she’d be appalled but not surprised at self-serving hate towards vulnerable road users shown by these old people in St Heliers who ought to know better.

            I know this area intimately well. The reason I didn’t choose to live there when I set up again in Auckland was because in returning to NZ, I felt the eastern suburbs were in a bubble of privilege and it made my skin crawl.

          8. Roeland, there are car parks for Africa in Highbury and walking is an option that is really only taken up by the very close at hand. Most others drive.

          9. I’ve measured how long it takes to go there by car, vs going there by bicycle. For me the bicycle is a couple of minutes slower or faster, once you take into account finding a parking spot. Despite the car parks for Africa approach. Even if driving is a bit faster the difference is probably not worth the cost of parking. But hey, it is 100% subsidized so why not.

            You also lose the ability to use Birkenhead Square for anything else than parking.

          10. I might also add, another possibility to get people in town centres without needing a car, is to allow people to live in a town centre.

            This may sound stupidly obvious, but it is not. Almost none of the town centres have any population.

            I don’t think there is a single mixed use building in the entire Kaipātiki local board. Not even sure about the entire North Shore, but probably you’ll find a couple in Takapuna or Browns Bay.

  14. Car parking in these suburbs for much of the time is hard, to near impossible.
    If just 40 carparks are added, car parking in these suburbs most of the time will be hard, to near impossible. Conversely if 40 carparks are subtracted, car parking in these carparks most of the time will be hard to near impossible, but pedestrian and cyclist safety and amenity will be improved and emissions removed. In other words nothing significant is dependant on the number of car parks. Mission Bay and St Heliers will remain incredibly popular destinations. Provision of parking is just like the provision of more general transport lanes. If they are provided then they are quickly used, and congestion returns to previous levels. If they are removed, strangely enough, evidenced by current CBD works, the congestion relaxes back to close to previous levels. Some people just find other ways and places and their places are just taken up by more people. No doubt these business operators have no compunction in parking their own vehicles and having staff park in potential customer parks though as anybody who has witnessed the P120 coordinated vehicle shuffles from staff at nearby buildings will attest.

  15. I agree with what you’ve said, why do anything there? The locals don’t want it and there doesn’t appear to be a major safety problem. I’m sure there are better spending priorities for AT.

  16. Don, top comment. And this is public space we’re talking about. The status quo bias for using it for the driving mode is insidious. Here’s another example: In Pt Chev we have grass verges, commandeered every day by a caryard to store and advertise their Nissan Leafs: https://i.imgur.com/itlKzfO.jpg Yet where’s the proactive enforcement?

    Yet when a community organisation interested in pursuing the tiny house concepts in order to get our younger generations actually housed without having to commute at great expense of carbon, time and money from the outskirts, what happens? The Albert Eden NIMBY’s put a stop work notice on them, on the basis that it’s public land.

    I’ve been following this case, and it’s utterly appalling. A no- to low-waste build by a community member raising awareness of better building techniques involving reuse and recycling, in which everyone who wants to take part can, and does – offering much used advice and expertise. Anyone wanting to support the next generation who are trying to get some housing equity could sign this petition:

    https://www.change.org/p/phil-goff-aucklandcouncil-govt-nz-keep-the-tiny-house-build-at-gribblehirst-hub?recruiter=11322366&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive&utm_term=Search%3ESAP%3ENZ%3ENonBrand-Tier%201%3EHead%20Term%3EBMM&recruited_by_id=4b5183c0-78ef-0130-d7ff-3c764e049c4f

    1. GA – you must change your website to open any links pasted into the comments in a new window rather than the same window taking readers away from your website. 🙂

  17. Unfortunately, it seems to be the norm today that if you don’t like what someone has to say then it is acceptable to shout down that person or even threaten violence – too often the behaviour is rewarded. I think AT should normally talk to the community even if the community is “hostile”. However, if that hostility starts to become violent or abusive then I understand AT’s position. I don’t know if the community in St. Heliers crossed the line but it does not look good. Those that are attempting to shout down AT should be excluded from the debate rather than rewarded.

  18. Just don’t spend any money in the whole area. Ever. Let the roads fill with pot holes as “alternative speed management”. If they want the roads fixed, they have to agree to parking removal, zebras and improved safety.

    1. Yea I’m sure the people of St Heliers/Glendowie will be really overwhelmed by a wind-back in AT services in the area.

      /s

      1. Then maybe they should ask for additional services as part of agreeing to the upgrade?

        I get your point that making it difficult to drive and park, without a corresponding lift in PT amenity, is not the way to go. But I don’t think the residents actually care about PT. They are just resisting change.

        if we offered them better PT/cycling/walking amenity, they’d be on board for the changes, including removal of carparks for private businesses? I feel a Tui ad coming on…

    2. You mean removing footpaths and driveways and bluestone kerbs and roads and water drainage? And going back to mud roads? That’s going a bit far.

      AT should just paid parking across the whole area. If the parking is so valuable, then people should pay for it. Private businesses should not outsource their business operating costs for the public to subsidise.

  19. I see the linked article claiming every car park brings in $200 of revenue per hour. Where does that number come from?

    Wait — “One man at the meeting said every car park in the village is worth $200 an hour to local restaurants.” — that should have those Wikipedia tags attached to it. Like [Citation needed] and [Whom?].

  20. The way I see this is not to do with safety. Adding crossing definitely is a good move.

    The reason people are angry because it removes 40 car parks which the local shop depends.

    AT needs to migrate those issues.
    I think changing the parking time limit would help to release more available car-park for shoppers. If land is available, AT should also build a infill car-park.

  21. Interesting that the wealthy, well-heeled residents of a suburb like St Heliers end up being just as feral as those they would normally look down on.

    Really, a mob’s a mob.

  22. I feel that there is too much consultation going on these days. Why? So that the politicians can effectively put the responsibility for every micro decision back to the bureaucracy and whoever responds to the consultation process. So you get this situation where the council bureaucracy does what it thinks best and there’s some negativity, the politicians can simply say “we consulted with you” (even though we might often ignore you). We vote for council members to make the tough decisions and ultimately manage the council staff. If we don’t like what they’ve done, we vote them out. It should be that simple. Why weren’t local board councillors present at this meeting?

  23. That redesigned intersection probably takes the cake for the most stupid placement of angle parking ever.

    I don’t know, but can’t we close that little vertical leg (right of the grassy area) and turn that into a regular 4-way roundabout?

  24. These are the same St Heliers locals who abused Marshall Cook and his design of the Turua St mixed-use development. I would like to question them now whether it ‘killed the village’ (a collection of caryards and single storey sixties commercial blocks.
    The same people who got what they wanted from the Unitary Plan- 3 storey max in a Town centre, while Northcote got 9 stories in the same zone due to HNZ submission.
    For the road safety proposals, they could amend Charlton Heston, “I will give up the steering wheel when you pry it from my cold,dead hands.

    1. Hey remind me, isn’t Northcote adjacent to a rapid transit link? Because it seems like if you’re next to a rapid transit link, you should damn well be mopping up more intensification.

      Small seaside suburbs with a paucity of public transport options on the other hand? Yea, I’m OK with them being treated differently if no one is going to actually improve services to them.

      1. Interestingly enough, it is not even adjacent to any Frequent Route. Despite being one of the largest blobs of intensification in that area.

        Coincidence or not, it is also an enclave of higher deprivation index in an otherwise affluent area.

        Glen Innes also an area which just happens to have both a lot of intensification planned and a high deprivation index.

        Tell me again how we came up with that plan?

      2. This project IS improving services to them.

        You’re showing a whole other side of your politics today, Buttwizard. It seems the inner west gets up your back, but something about the eastern suburbs has you protecting them.

        “Small seaside suburbs” are exactly where lots of people would like to live if they hadn’t been priced out by NIMBYs. Tamaki Drive can become a Rapid Transit Route if they cleared the cars off it!! Man that’d be great.

        1. Heidi, I would be running trams down Tamaki Drive like they do to St Kilda if it were Sim City. Hell, I’d be closing Main Street St Heliers and running them up St Heliers Bay Road and to Eastridge along St Heliers Bay Road and St Johns Road. And I’d be running shuttle buses around Riddell Road to give Glendowie some off-peak transport options. Turn up and go.

          As for the inner West vs. the East: Everyone seems to be happy for things like bus services and routes to be taken away from Glendowie but still want people to be super enthusiastic about limiting options for using your car and increasing density. It’s kind of like asking the residents why they’re hitting themselves when you’re holding their fist and smashing it into their faces.

          I don’t blame the residents of St Heliers for being annoyed about this from AT; they watch other areas get bus lanes and bus ways and so on, where as they lectured for using their cars by the same outfit that keeps taking away PT services and no meaningful improvement in travel times or options for them. Maybe if AT could point a single success they’ve had in the area, it might help buy-in or engagement. But until then they should probably expect the same reception.

          1. Offer them bus and cycle lanes, at the expense of parking spaces, to support the changes.

            See what happens. I’m guessing it won’t be a change in attitude.

            AT aren’t blameless here. But let’s not kid ourselves about what the residents want: its status quo.

          2. I agree with you BW. There seems to be a bit of a West v East thing on this blog sometimes.

  25. Drive around and around in circles looking for a carpark outside the shops until you die. That will teach people to vote for Key and Joyce who’s relentless quest for growth at any cost filled up Auckland to the brim top and overflowing with people and cars. You reap what you sow and when you sup with the devil use a long spoon your goose is cooked and you made your bed so lie in it.

  26. I like how the picture only show a car stopping for pedestrian before the roundabout, but not cars exiting the roundabout stopping for pedestrian which cars usually accelerate to exit them. Also when all the street are queued up. Such busy area with design like that I think will make traffic chaos, with pedestrians constantly crossing, making cars stop/accelerate into and out of the roundabout while trying to give way/squeeze in.

  27. To feel afraid of mostly over-60s, you must have something wrong with you. AT, and Matt Prasad, grow a backbone. By not showing, AT have diminished the integrity of the public consultation process, and therefore the project should be halted until that is rectified.

    The proposal isn’t a good one for pedestrians in my view, as each proposal adds almost half a kilometre of jaywalking zones to each community. Better to just slow the traffic and let people continue to cross wherever they like, instead of corralling pedestrians into designated crossing points.

    1. Were your children particularly tall? Or were they quite old before you let them move navigate around by themselves? And was this in the days before there were so many dangerous (to pedestrian) SUV’s around?

      Safe pedestrian crossing infrastructure is necessary before parents will give their children independent mobility. Rightly so. And that’s why our children are not getting the physical activity they need. It’s an international problem, but Auckland’s stats are atrocious.

      But you can just decide what’s required based on what you need, if you want…

  28. This furore that is ravaging parts of St Heliers is playing out just the same way as it did when Panuku wanted to remove 200 car parks from Takapuna. The problem in Takapuna is that 50% of parking is occupied by commuter parkers (still) and I suspect this will be an issue in St Heliers – except of course for the park that is producing $200 per hour. (I saw a 7 Sharp TV piece and the shop owner was pointing to a $100 per hour park. I wonder what differentiates them?)

    In the Takapuna case the Mayor won the day agreeing with the small majority.

    Goff says to AT, “If people are not agreeing with them either they haven’t got their message right or they are doing the wrong thing.”

    It is amazing that politics is this simple. It seems that there is not another option where AT might be right, can’t convince people this is so, but press on regardless because it is right.

    Unfortunately Goff’s sort of thinking, of always agreeing with the status quo, is that public official led change is slight. Auckland is lucky that they have had bold leaders who have delivered real change: Christine Fletcher with Britomart and Len Brown with CRL come to mind.

    Currently Auckland is just drifting towards a congestion and emissions crisis where politicians are not bold enough to make real change.

    1. “except of course for the park that is producing $200 per hour. (I saw a 7 Sharp TV piece and the shop owner was pointing to a $100 per hour park. I wonder what differentiates them?)”

      The only thing that differentiates them is just how thin the air they were plucked from was.

  29. This whole thing is overkill, and reeks of Auckland Transport not listening or caring about the people who pay the bills. As someone who drives along Tamaki Drive at least twice a day, I have no problem with them making things safer, but it needs to consider all users.

    They have made an absolute mess of West Tamaki Road with the same concept, the raised crossings are badly designed, you just need to look at the gouges in the road to see. Mission Bay is a complete overdesign. St Heliers I can kind of relate to but once again half of what they are proposing would be fine.

    I only know one person who has been hurt in Mission Bay and that was someone crossing the road who was hit by a cyclist running a red light. Hopefully they address this problem as well, which is also a major problem in St Heliers.

    There is a solution, what they propose isn’t it, it is somewhere inbetween what is there now and what they are proposing

    1. “As someone who drives along Tamaki Drive at least twice a day, I have no problem with them making things safer, but it needs to consider all users.”

      You should be the lowest priority in this design. Cities should be designed primarily for people walking, then people cycling, then people on public transport, and finally, for people driving alone.

        1. Both ejtma and Sailor Boy are discussing designing for safety, for which the design must prioritise people cycling before people on public transport.

          I’m imagining you’re thinking about priority from a network point of view; that the most important thing is moving people around and that public transport can do this over long distances (for our city that has sprawled too far).

          Even from this perspective, there is no reason to design the network to prioritise public transport over cycling. Many trips are very short, so the missing walking and cycling amenity must be resurrected. And at medium distances, many people can cycle with e-bikes.

          For network design, there is no reason public transport and cycling wouldn’t be on an even footing, so in reality, it’s the safety considerations that mean walking and cycling needs to lead the design.

        2. Heidi’s kind of right. We should be designing for great places, not lot’s of movement. Cycling should take priority over public transport, and both should take priority over private vehicles.

  30. Firstly, it’s terrible that AT’s design doesn’t even consider the masterplan. This is the perfect opportunity to design the cycleway, even if it can’t be built out of the current budget.

    Secondly, if any young, non-white person acted like some of the people at these public meetings, they would be arrested. I think that the police need to visit some of the worst offenders and reminding them that verbal harassment is a crime. It’s not acceptable that a small vocal minority has used the threat of violence to suppress dissent to their viewpoint.

    Thirdly, I can entirely understand why AT didn’t send representatives. Knowing how previous meetings in St Heliers have gone, there is a significant risk of violence and it would be neglectful to send employees into that situation without security and would be seen as heavy handed to take security with you. AT almost need to go on the offensive in the media.

  31. In San Francisco the bridge, waterfront and bike ferry circuit is a major tourist drawcard. With SkyPath, NZ will be well on the way to matching it. St Heliers would be the natural eastern endpoint and therefore an obvious place to build a bike ferry pier linking to downtown and Northcote Point. I’m sure the residents of St Heliers are as excited as I am to welcome hordes of athletic people (many either lacking wrinkles or foreign) parking hundreds of bikes everywhere and occupying all their favourite cafes (often in lycra pants).

  32. We knew 30 years ago that large public meetings were totally pointless. You only hear from an aggressive few who want to tar and feather you. Drop-in sessions and leaflets are a far better way to find out what more people think. AT should never agree to attend large meetings as they are a waste of time and only serve to make a few locals look important.

  33. I think any design that doesn’t include a designated cycleway is flawed from a health & safety perspective. The only other option is to ban people from cycling or scootering on the mission bay, Kohimarama & St Helliers cycleway’s at certain times of the year. Ideally Weekend summer days. An option I don’t support but believe is necessary given the influx of people to the beach communities on a nice summers day. Some cyclists in particular are particularly unreasonable, they take the attitude, its a cycleway & i’m going to go 25 km/h on it & if people have a problem, stuff them. I don’t know if Auckland transport comprehend how dangerous the status quo actually is & it is only going to get worst. Every apartment that goes up in the CBD is another 200 people that will take the new Tamaki Link or jump on a bike out to the eastern bays.

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