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CRL Mining

News and milestones are racking up with increasing frequency at the moment on the City Rail Link at the moment. This week they shared this video on progress on mining out the station at Karangahape Rd.

The recently named ‘Jean Batten’ roadheader has now just completed her first shift, 18-metres beneath the #linkalliance #crl #cityraillink #KarangahapeStation construction site at Mercury Lane..
Jean is currently making her way under Mercury Lane, where 16-metres of the 25-metre eastern adit (entrance) tunnel has been excavated. Once the adit tunnel is complete, she will then focus her attention on the 220-metre station platform.
The ‘spinning pineapple’ on the roadheader’s boom cuts the rock face while the apron beneath gathers the spoil and directs it through the back of the machine where it is picked up and taken out for disposal.
A second, larger roadheader machine is due to arrive onsite in early December.
#construction #engineering #infrastructureprojects #Rail #auckland #karangahape

Also they put out this video on the restoration of the Chief Post Office Building


Redoubt Rd

Auckland Transport have been putting in a dynamic lane installation on Redoubt Rd in Manukau. This is similar to the one they installed on Whangaparaoa Rd. This week the overhead signals were switched on and from Monday they will go live.


Road Deaths

It really does seem that without foreign drivers on our roads, New Zealanders poor standards of driving are really being shown up. Since we came out of lockdown 1 in June, every month (including June) has seen road deaths increase on what they were last year, with July and now October up significantly. October saw 32 deaths on our roads compared to 19 in October last year.

This means that on a 12-month rolling is now back to where it was in January but that includes the huge reduction we saw in April during lockdown.

On the topic of safety, Auckland Transport this week announced an interactive map showing deaths and serious injuries on Auckland roads.

As Auckland Transport (AT) continues its vital work to prevent deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s roads, an interactive map has been released today showing the extent of the problem.

The map shows the locations of crashes on Auckland’s roads that resulted in deaths or serious injuries between 2014 and 2020.

Three years ago, Aucklanders were confronted with shocking statistics that showed road safety was a serious issue.

Death and serious injuries were trending upward between 2013 to 2017 and too many people were being killed or getting seriously injured on our roads.

The AT board accepted all recommendations of the Road Safety Business Improvement Review that the board commissioned. One of these recommendations was the need for clearer and more accessible information on the state of road safety in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Bryan Sherritt, AT’s executive general manager of safety, says that every indicator on the map is distressing and shows why AT needs to invest heavily in road safety.

“These aren’t just marks, these are all real people. These are all loved ones – parents, children, grandparents… All who needlessly died or were seriously injured on our roads.

“It’s simply unacceptable to us and we don’t take this lightly. We have released this new map to show that we have a lot of work to do to achieve our Vision Zero goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050.”

“The map will be regularly updated and is a heart-breaking reminder of where we need to put our focus. We have always had this information available, but now we have a detailed single source of information that will also help raise road safety awareness in the community,” Mr Sherritt says.

On this map deaths are shown in black and serious injuries in red.

It is however hard to take some of ATs claims about being serious about safety seriously when you consider this recent post by our friends at Bike Auckland. It highlights that it’s been nearly three years since John Bonner was killed riding home as he crossed Te Atatu Rd and AT still haven’t made any changes to the road, and this is with advocates pushing hard to get them to do something.

Every day I cross here, and every day I see other people trying to cross safely. People trying to cross to or from the bus stop, “sheltering” in the central median in the very spot where John Bonner was killed. There’s plenty of school children crossing, and parents with small children stuck in the pedestrian refuge as they try to negotiate 4 lanes of busy traffic to or from the park.

Local people had been calling for a proper crossing in this location for several years prior to the fatality. They were told a crossing wasn’t warranted because there were not enough people trying to cross. That’s like saying a bridge is not necessary because no one is trying to swim across the alligator-infested river.

John Bonner’s death affected several advocates precisely because of this – they wonder if they had pushed harder, would the crash have happened?

The same is happening now – we’re dreading another crash with ghastly consequences. If only we could convey the sense of urgency we feel to AT.

The spot where it happened is shown below.


Parking Entitlement

The Herald’s defender of the inner suburb rule breakers and opponents to change, Bernard Orsman, has been at it again with a series of articles of residents complaining that AT are carrying out enforcement on people parking illegally.

The Automobile Association is lining up with angry residents in central Auckland over a crackdown by Auckland Transport on cars parked in the entrance to driveways.

AT has been issuing $40 fines after emailing permit holders at 14 residential parking zones to tell them that parking over driveways is an offence.

The Herald has received numerous complaints about the crackdown, including one woman in Freemans Bay who has been ticketed three times for parking in the entrance to her driveway in Franklin Rd.

Mark Stockdale, the AA’s principal adviser regulations, said it is unfair to ticket people when they are trying to do the right thing by using unused space to park.

He said photographs in the Herald showed houses without garages or parking on properties, and lots of space on wide berms.

“Why is that a problem if they can’t park on the street?” he said.

Stockdale said people should park on the street if there is space and it is a “no brainer” to fine people for parking over the footpath.

But, he said, people are trying to be courteous in getting their cars off the road, particularly in narrow streets, for rubbish trucks and emergency vehicles.

There are few things here. Firstly, people don’t own the space outside their property boundary, just like they don’t own the space on the street outside their house. Also Mark, people don’t have driveways if they don’t have “garages or parking on properties”

As noted, the areas AT seem to be looking at are those with residential parking zones. These are areas where AT are already bending over backwards to make life easier for residents by implementing residential parking zones to prevent anyone but residents from parking. Residents only need to pay $70 annually per vehicle to take advantage of this. A ridiculously cheap price to be able to effectively privatised public space – I believe there have even been some homeowners who have converted garages into additional rooms because it’s now so easy to park on the street.

While people may consider it ‘their driveway’, it’s common for drivers to block parts of the footpath in doing so.

https://twitter.com/GraemeGun/status/1323700571619037185

The Herald even highlighted their own examples in their articles. How would a person in a wheelchair get around this?

Of course because it’s AT, they’ll now likely stop doing this and continuing their tradition of trying to keep drivers happy, something one of the residents raises

“This is totally unjustified by an organisation that needs some popularity votes,” Kember said.

One of the issues we have with AT is no matter what they do lots of people will be annoyed at them. They need to stop worrying about it and just do the right thing regardless. Perhaps they should also just remove the parking zones and install proper paid parking at market rates.


Finally

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34 comments

  1. Could AT have a parking dob in website / app? Take a picture of someone parked over the footpath and upload it and they will instantly get a ticket. Council / govt need to get better using tech…

    1. Such a method also has great potential for bus lane enforcement, where every bus would have a front-facing camera and record vehicles illegally using bus lanes.

      Unfortunately it won’t happen because it’d require legislative changes that are unlikely to be a priority for any government.

  2. I park my car on my driveway. My car is short enough so that it blocks neither footpath nor road. In fact, I have even received messages of appreciation from a neighbour who uses a wheelchair saying that it is very considerate to leave them so much space. Auckland Transport is wrong – if it is my house I can park on the driveway unless I am blocking the footpath or the road. AT also don’t mow the berms and expect me to mow the berms, even though it’s ‘public land’. If they want me to stop parking on the driveway, they should stop being hypocrites and send someone to mow my berms.

        1. Then your brother in law should read the law he is supposed to be enforcing at it clearly isn’t legal. He should probably also listen to his bosses and the legal advice they have received, stating that the practice is illegal.

      1. “(2) For the purposes of this clause, a vehicle parked alongside any part of a kerb crossing provided for a driveway or within 1 m of the prolongation of the side of a driveway must be regarded as obstructing entry or exit.”

        So, does the driveway start at the kerb crossing or the property boundary? If the former, AT are right, if the latter, AT are wrong.

        1. That clause doesn’t restrict clause 1, it expands it. If you are on, infront, of, or too close to a driveway you are committing an offense. The definition of driveway in the same law clearly applies to everything from the property boundary to the roadway (i.e. the kerb)

          “driveway means a place used or appearing to be used as a vehicle entrance to or exit from land fronting a roadway”

          “roadway means that portion of the road used or reasonably usable for the time being for vehicular traffic in general”

        2. (2) is simply describing one particular type of obstruction, that of cars parked beside the kerb. It clarifies at what position “obstruction” can be said to start in that situation. It doesn’t limit “obstruction” to a driveway to just those situations, though. It can be any type of obstruction.

          There are a few rules that make parking in the vehicle crossing illegal, on grounds such as being inconsiderate and parking on the footpath (this latter one I’ve been into a great length).

          6.9 is just one – and AT are correct in using it.

          (Where exactly a driveway starts is not important.)

        3. If they don’t have a driveway on their property or the garage on the boundary has been converted into accommodation then AT should remove the section that is on their side and turn it into a grass berm .

          I have seen a show on Sky 5 called parking wars in the USA and if you block a footpath outside your house they class it as a safety violation and sting you a hell of alot more than AT does .

          And looking at that last photo of the car those owners should also be done for leaving their bins on the footpath also , as when they were given them they were told that the days they aren’t emptied they should be inside their property .

    1. By your argument I should be allowed to build a house on the council’s berm, or run a small business there.
      If they send someone to mow the berm they would have to pay someone to mow the berm and hence increase rates. I’d personally rather spend the 2 minutes it takes me to do it myself. Maybe they should raise rates, mow the berms, and give rebates for people that do it themselves.

    2. Phil, the difference here is that *your* driveway stops at the property line, and yes you can do anything you like inside your property.

      But beyond the property boundary it is all public road corridor, not your driveway. You don’t have any ownership of the driveway crossing the footpath, the berm, the kerb or anything else, just a right of access.

      If you think it’s legal for your to park in front of your driveway entrance on the public road corridor, then it’s also legal for me to park in front of your driveway entrance on the public road corridor. Think about that!

        1. It’s not legal, Jimbo. Note Orsman doesn’t quote anyone saying it’s illegal. AT only say they can’t ticket. It breaches Road User Rules:
          2.13 Driving along footpath
          2.14 Driving on lawn, garden, or other cultivation
          6.1 Vehicles must be parked with due care and consideration
          6.14 Parking on footpaths or cycle paths

          The first two are about driving there (which of course you have to do to get there) and it’s the police, not AT, that can enforce them.

          The third one AT should be using, and they have written about the problems it poses for other users, so they understand it’s inconsiderate, even if they have difficulty believing they can ticket with the fourth one.

  3. Well done, AT! Their stand on this illegal parking is a huge step forward. I think we’re making progress.

    There’s a lot of history behind this, but AT have done well to give this correct messaging:

    ” An AT spokeswoman said: “It is against the law to park a vehicle that is then obstructing a vehicle entrance. The entrance is not owned by the resident – it is part of the road.” ”

    The AA and all those residents may not understand what the public realm can be used for when it’s not dominated by vehicles, but they need to follow the law nonetheless. It suits them to ignore that parking private vehicles in this way that detracts from using the streets for socialising and walking. Cars parked everywhere is a major contribution to the lack of children’s independent mobility, safe access for people with disabilities, and to general dependence on cars for mobility.

    But it doesn’t suit the general public, so the AA can keep quiet, and the residents can learn to live with it, rationalise the number of cars they own and how they house them, move out of the prime city fringe area if they want to live a car dependent lifestyle, and free that property up for someone who’ll respect its privileged location.

  4. Those who like to make simplistic comparisons, will likely claim that the surge in road deaths happened at the same time that AT lowered speed limits and Waikato Police removed the unofficial speed tolerance, and will jump to the conclusion that they are related, even if there is no evidence of a causal link.

  5. Please let the sealed road be used for moving. Instal bike lanes on every street instead of parking.
    (Road reserves are just that for moving people) and the berm is used for delivering services (like water, power and telecoms.)
    We need to start to make provision for the future when we pay a premium for the ICE powered vehicles and that future should be now. We need to start making sure that the world is liveable for our children and children’s children.

  6. “Residents only need to pay $70 annually per vehicle to take advantage of this. A ridiculously cheap price to be able to effectively privatised public space – I believe there have even been some homeowners who have converted garages into additional rooms because it’s now so easy to park on the street.”

    I agree that $70 is far too low – $700 p.a. would be a more reasonable amount. However, if people turn garages into housing and use empty space on the road for parking that is good in terms of urban intensification, the supply of housing, and generally more efficient resource utilisation. Some of the side-streets where I live are ridiculously wide and using them for angle parking, green space, or even more housing would be quite sensible. Similarly, tax breaks for landlords (or being exempt from a land tax) could be contingent on adding rooms and houses to properties.

  7. Interestubg the comments about poor kiwi driving. Every time I come home to NZ I notice this. We are world famous (along with the Aussies) for being some of the worst drivers in the developed world.

    It’s poor, racist form for so many of us to blame Asian drivers when Singaporeans, Koreans and Japanese amongst others are miles better drivers then us.

  8. You can’t just blindly state that “without foreigners on our roads”… there’s still plenty of foreigners here. Couple that with increased numbers of NZers (typically there is a large number overseas on holiday/work at any one time) that are now travelling around NZ instead as well as Kiwis that have returned from living overseas.

    That said…. yes NZ driving habits are pretty bad. Several factors to that but it hasn’t always been this way. Driver training hasn’t changed much (in fact there’s arguably more of it now). What has changed however is that the police ignore bad driving be it lack of indicating/inconsiderate driving and drug driving etc and instead they focus almost entirely on speed. If they actually focused more on bad driving (including reckless speed rather than people doing 101km/h passing) then we would have far safer roads for all users (including cyclists). But no, speed brings in the revenue so that’s the focus. :/

    1. I would argue that younger kiwi drivers are better then the older ones who were vertually given licences on their 15th birthday (with no professional driving training being required until quite recently).

      When I come home, I’m appalled by drivers not aware of fellow road users, randomly pulling out, running lights, cutting up others etc. We are just poor drivers as a nation.

      Also our speed limits are pathetically slow on motorways etc compared with most other nations so to have such high death rates shows how bad we are as drivers.

      Our roads are not particularly bad either so blaming road or vehicle conditions again is poor form (NZ has more MOT/WOF checks then just about any other nation (gravy train for the car maintenance industry?)).

      I think you’ll find that most kiwis who’ve returned home have probably become better drivers due to living in Asia, North America and Europe (not so sure about those in Australia!).

  9. 3 years to build a crossing seems quick to me for council. There are deaths all over the place year after year. The waiting list for safety projects just keeps growing. With pedestrians/cycle crashes, there often is never a predictable pattern. Building a crossing there now statistically may be a waste of money because another crash may never occur there again. Better off just lowering speeds network-wide to lower the impact of crashes when they do happen. Rather than trying to predict where the next crash might happen. Having said that, if you have a clear desire line connecting two shared paths, seems a pretty obvious location to build a crossing.

    As for foreign drivers, I think when NZTA looked at it, 4% of crashes involved overseas drivers and 6% of fatal/injury crashes involved overseas drivers. This indicates that overseas drivers are involved in more dangerous crashes than local drivers. However, there is no indication of who was at fault in those situations.

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