Here’s our roundup for the week.
Making Driving Worse
The Spinoff’s Hayden Donnell has written a fantastic piece on why we need to make driving in Auckland worse. I’d highly recommend giving it a read if you haven’t already.
If we make driving impractical for the people who don’t really need to use a car, those who really do need one might finally have space to get around. The roads would likely be a little clearer. Once we make driving in Auckland worse, it might finally, after all these years, get a bit better.
Aotea Station Development
Panuku Development Auckland announced this week a development to be built above the Aotea Station entrance on Wellesley St as well as the former carpark site behind the Bledisloe Building.
New homes and space for business will be created at the heart of Auckland’s public transport network as a key city centre site is destined to become a new mixed-use development.
Panuku Development Auckland is partnering with international property developer Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) who, with experienced local development and project management company RCP, will deliver the urban regeneration of the site above City Rail Link’s Aotea Station at the corner of Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street which is currently under construction.
The over-station development by MRCB, known provisionally as Aotea Central, will be designed to revitalise mid-town and support what will be Auckland’s busiest train station.
The new development will be a 21-storey building with a mixture of retail, commercial and residential space. Early concepts show a striking design with terraced planting being a key feature. As well as integrated access to Aotea Station, the development will connect to the surrounding area with laneways, offering places for people to meet and spend time.
The 4780m² site, formerly a car park used for Auckland Council fleet parking at the intersection of Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street, is currently being used to support the City Rail Link construction.
It’s great that a development will go ahead here, though it won’t start till after the CRL is completed in 2024. Though I can’t help but feel the $40 million paid for a 125 year lease is on the light side given this is such a prime location.
Speaking of the CRL, this week they shared some images from inside the Chief Post Office refurbishment and it’s looking great.
The building is due to reopen to the public next month and I’m looking forward to being able to exit out on to Te Komititanga
Southern Motorway Widening
Waka Kotahi NZTA announced this week they’ve awarded the first contract on their project to widen the Southern Motorway from Papakura to Drury in order to get people to the congestion a little bit faster..
The first of the government’s NZ Upgrade Programme projects in Auckland will go into construction within weeks with the award of a contract to widen the Southern Motorway from Papakura to Drury.
This is a significant milestone for the NZ Upgrade Programme (NZUP) which is investing $6.8 billion in road, public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure to get our cities moving, save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The programme provides a pipeline of jobs and work for the construction sector, with 700 people already working on projects.
Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 major NZUP projects for the Government, including four in Auckland, that support a shift to greater transport choice. Waka Kotahi is also delivering 19 regional state highway projects with funding of $88.25 million.
This section of work is the first stage of the SH1 Papakura to Drury South project which delivers a range of transport choices by providing a third lane in each direction, an adjacent path for walking and people on bikes, wide shoulders for future bus services and improved local road connections across the motorway.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has announced Fulton Hogan as its construction contractor.
The first stage of construction awarded to Fulton Hogan covers works within the existing motorway boundaries from the north side of Papakura interchange to the BP motorway service centre north of Otūwairoa (Slippery) Creek. It will extend capacity improvements north of Papakura delivered by the Southern Corridor Improvements project and includes the replacement of the Park Estate Road overbridge, and a new noise wall on the eastern side of SH1 between Papakura interchange and the overbridge.
Future stages will include interchange improvements at both Papakura and Drury and a new interchange at Drury South. Several motorway bridges will be replaced, being raised or widened to allow for extras lanes underneath, provide for the electrification of the Papakura to Pukekohe rail line, allow for oversize vehicles and to respond to flooding risks.
It’s hilarious that they keep pretending that this is a multi-modal project by saying that buses could use shoulder lanes. Buses on motorways is really a last resort and even then only work if there are stations. Given there is already a parallel rail line with huge capacity, especially in a future with 9-car trains and additional tracks, I find it hard to see any useful route that would use these motorway lanes. It’s PT washing plain and simple.
While they’re pushing on with the road widening, perhaps they could also give themselves a hurry up over the cycleway from the previous widening. The section from Manukau to Papakura was completed for cars back in 2019 but the parallel cycleway is still no open yet.
Auckland’s first trial of a low traffic neighbourhood has gotten underway in Onehunga as part of the Innovating Streets programme and it’s looking great. Peter has tweeted some amazing images and we hope to run a more detailed post about it shortly.
Th amazing wahine toa @people_weaver telling th story behind her designs gracing pedestrian refuge areas in Arthur Grey LTA [email protected] began install 2day. Stoked 2 hv her & @The312Hub supporting this kaupapa. Local talent telling local stories helping locals move safely round Onehunga❤️ https://t.co/qPEnHAhVth pic.twitter.com/PDQYQzUzbq
— Peter McGlashan (@PeterMcGlashan) March 8, 2021
Love it when a plan comes together! @people_weaver from @The312Hub design given to @nz_urban from HUE with @matty_prasad to draw up working alongside @MRCagney team of @kiwiradler @mackyclaire @urbanistfromwhk, paired with @tigerturfaunz & Local Stencilmakers Parkin & Payne ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jWtBHhp706
— Peter McGlashan (@PeterMcGlashan) March 9, 2021
Meanwhile another innovating streets project, Ponsonby Rd, is out for another consultation.
After feedback from the public late last year and three community design workshops held over the past few months, nine ideas have been developed that AT would like your feedback on by March 21.
The changes will be temporary, installation will be quick, and adjustments can be made once the changes are in place.
There is more detail on each of these but the nine proposed changes are:
- Barnes Dance crossings e.g. Queen Street/Victoria Street intersection
- Safety improvements to mid-block crossings
- Improve pedestrian crossings on side streets
- Dedicated delivery & taxi pick-up and drop-off areas
- Restrict right-turn crossings
- De-clutter the footpath
- Expressing the Ponsonby character: storytelling, cultural expression & history
- Shared lane
Some of these do sound positive but others not so much, for example the section on mid-block crossings talks about it being to “reduce jaywalking” and that last one is described as:
Encourage slower and more considerate driver behaviour on the outside lanes of the road through artwork and signage, where bikes, buses, and scooters can feel safer sharing the road with cars.
A bit of paint isn’t going to make it safe.
Karangahape Rd Cycleway
The Karangahape Rd upgrade isn’t even finished yet but it’s already clear the poor design at the eastern end is going to cause problems. For example, here’s the end of the eastbound cycleway
And on the other side.
— Alec Tang 鄧振揚 (@AlecTang_) March 9, 2021
Finally, here’s a great thread involving five ferries and beer
Today in Public Transport Jaunts: I went on every Auckland Harbour ferry and attempted to sink as many craft ales as possible in the process. First up: the 10:10 ferry to Bayswater, followed by a drink at my bro's place which seemed a lot more similar to tea than to beer. pic.twitter.com/UFhAVHJS0C
— David Hoggard (@HogGuardian) March 10, 2021
Have a good weekend