A couple of articles caught my attention over the weekend that I think ultimately are somewhat related.

First up, following a number of articles last week about he new WX1 route, yesterday Todd Niall reported on how some senior managers from Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi tried it out.

Five senior transport managers have taken a peak-hour bus ride on Auckland’s new WX1 express service to see first-hand, troubles which have disrupted what was pitched as a taste of rapid-transit.


However, despite a $100 million spend by Waka Kotahi on the lanes, and two new bus interchanges, peak hour travel times on the WX1 route are as slow and congested as they previously were.

“We came to Waterview and then we came to a bit of a grinding halt, and that felt very bad,” said Stacey van der Putten, AT’s executive general manager of public transport services, who organised the trip.

Van der Putten and four other managers from AT and Waka Kotahi missed their intended city-bound service on Thursday, because of morning congestion even travelling against the flow, from the city centre to Westgate, by WX1.

“Just getting from downtown where it left, and up Albert Street took far too long.” she said.


Citybound, the first hurdle is that the Westgate onramp has no priority lane for buses, and van der Putten and the other managers spent four minutes crawling on the bus, until reaching the motorway bus lane.

Long sections of Waka Kotahi’s northwestern motorway have shoulder space that remains out-of-bounds to buses for reasons the agency describes as due to safety, or the cost of modifying obstructions.

Adding bus priority to the citybound onramp at Westgate, and westbound at Newton Road, is expected to be completed by May 2024, following work started by Waka Kotahi in 2018.

Waka Kotahi told councillors at the Transport and Infrastructure committee, that it was looking at the issues highlighted during the bus trip.

“We think we can change the onramp configuration reasonably quickly – the area around Waterview is more challenging due to a lack of space, but our team will do some brainstorming,” said Steve Mutton, the director of regional relationships.

The problem areas are not new. AT had to put pressure on Waka Kotahi in 2013, after the building of a section of motorway bus lane at Westgate but which the agency did not intend to open for 8-10 years.

At that time, Waka Kotahi said it would not be possible to change the format of the Westgate onramp to provide bus priority, although that design work is now underway.

Van der Putten said other areas noted by the managers were the layouts and the flow of people at the Te Atatu interchange, where passengers changing buses have to cross the road to access a narrow bus stop.

Mutton said the group would do a further trip next week on the westbound evening peak services.

“It felt really great being a bus customer on the bus today when you’re going past all the cars, but then you get to that stuff, you really notice it at Waterview,” said van der Putten who was confident the two agencies would be able to sort out those issues that could be fixed.

It’s great that these managers took this trip to see first-hand how the WX1 performs. Fixing some of the areas highlighted, such as buses being slow just to get out of the city, could have big implications for not just the WX1 but many other services.

Auckland’s public transport network would be a lot better off if this wasn’t just a one-time event but happened on every route on a semi-regular basis. They should also try using public transport for some journeys that involve transfers – or to/from areas where car mode-share is especially high.

Given Auckland has nearly 200 bus routes, riding all of them is not something that could be achieved quickly but they could also achieve a lot of benefits just by properly analyzing the huge amounts of data they already collect.

For example, some detailed analysis of their timetables or even better, their bus tracking data, should allow them to identify the locations where buses are at their slowest. Fix those slow spots and re-evaluate and see where to focus on next. Furthermore, the solutions to many of slow spots on many routes are likely to be similar, so once they’ve got some experience in dealing with them, it should enable that fix to roll out faster elsewhere.

This kind of approach is exactly what should have happened with the now stopped, scandalous Connected Communities project and I understand there was some unpublished work they produced doing exactly this. Maybe AT just need to dig into their recent archives.

The second article follows on from reports of hours-long queues to get out of the mall car-park in Newmarket.

The Automobile Association (AA) has hit out at Auckland Transport (AT) after Westfield shoppers were reduced to panic attacks during horrendous three-hour traffic queues yesterday, with the motoring watchdog demanding better traffic management for beleaguered commuters.

The line of cars winding around the Newmarket parking lot inched forward by a few metres per hour yesterday afternoon, forcing many shoppers to spend at least three hours stuck in their cars.

Anger boiled over as some motorists were desperate for food and water, and one shopper was even forced to wet herself in her vehicle as she waited in the traffic jam to exit the car parking building.

Westfield has blamed poor weather and high customer numbers for the debacle, and apologised to affected customers for the “unforeseen delays”.

AA’s Auckland issues spokesman Martin Glynn said “at the very least” traffic lights on nearby feeder roads should have been rephased to help clear the traffic once the severe congestion problems became apparent.

“The scale of Auckland’s congestion problem means decisions on how we use our road space need to be focused on what moves the most people on a particular road at a particular time and day,” Glynn said.

“Auckland’s public transport system is getting better but most people still use their cars to get to malls so the transport network still needs to be able to respond to this sort of problem.

“If the problem is an ongoing one at the weekends and can’t be addressed with changes to traffic light phases, AT may need to rethink what is the most efficient use of space on the surrounding roads at that time.”

There are many things that AT can be blamed for, but I fail to see how this is one of them. For starters, how focusing on with the mall that promotes thousands of free carparks to encourage people to drive and shop there.

Even if they had changed the signal phasing, it’s hard to see how that would make much of a difference other than just pushing the congestion elsewhere.

I do agree that AT need to rethink what is the most efficient use of space on surrounding roads though, because the reality is, there is very little space for anything but cars through Newmarket. For example, Broadway between Remuera Rd and Khyber Pass Rd has six frequent and four other bus routes passing through it yet there’s not a single metre of bus lane. There are, however, still two lanes of carparking.

Most of the bus and transit lanes that do exist in the area are only active at peak times on weekdays. And it’s here where, if AT were to get serious about the user experience on public transport, they could make some changes and perhaps more people might have given the bus a go – reducing the severity of congestion.

Finally, isn’t this carpark experience just the latest in a long line of evidence showing that traffic modelling and the transport assessments used in consenting processes are junk? They’re constantly made out to be some kind of precise science that can predict what will happen, but often fail miserably.

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  1. When driving InterCity buses to the City from the West I found it quicker to exit motorway at Carrington Great North Road Off Ramp and use existing bus lanes all the way to CBD. Perhaps it’s be better to actually plan where we live work and build? Oh yeah it’s Auckland, actually it’s NZ……

  2. I fail to see how even the dumbest of planners didn’t understand that both

    – if you try to run express bus routes but mix them with general traffic they simply won’t be express

    – if you add 3000 free car parks to an urban and centralised area if it doing to induce traffic.

    Its a absolute basics they are getting wrong.

    1. 3,000?! that’s insane.

      But also the outrage over a bunch of private vehicles stuck in a mall in the country’s wealthiest areas vs the everyday delays all PT users face and no one cares..

      1. Could be, they basically turned half of that entire city block into a car park building.

        (At street level that looks about as bad as it sounds too)

        I have seen something like this happen after the Lantern festival, but that was a special occasion. By virtue of being Sunday evening most PT also stopped running by then. But is this now a regular thing on regular afternoons?

      1. “Planners understand that. Unfortunately Waka Kotahi is staffed by highway builders.”

        Planners understand that. Lol. Planners were the people who for many decades FORCED developer to add enormous amounts of car parks.

        Sorry, but they don’t really understand much about transport. They DID understand that their politicians and much of their public whinge about not finding car parks.

    1. Other than stacking capacity, and then vehicles queuing back onto Fred Taylor Drive. Nope. Like everywhere in Auckland, and NZ. Modelling informing how much road space is allocated to each mode.

  3. Yes, it’s good they came and had a look… but that’s about as charitable as I think I can be.

    No, it’s not good enough that the problems they identified would have been immediately obvious but the remediation timelines accepted as part of the project were years away. At that point, you’ve accepted the issues that anyone who used that road on a regular basis could have told you would be a problem.

    Does not fill one with confidence given the ongoing nature of the planning around Brigham Creek and beyond. Are we going to get a similar half-implemented solution but the actual bits to make it work properly stretching into the 2030s?

  4. Wow that Newmarket article is hilariously sad.
    “forced to sit in their cars for 3 hours … Forced to wet herself” … Um no, I’m sure you could have chosen to hop out of your car(s), perhaps killed sometime in the mall, or at one of the many other businesses in the Newmarket area.

    Connected Communities work had plans for bus/cycle lanes through Broadway, but was always considered too risky to engage on such plans. I’m sure the same opinions will be had in 4-5 years time.

    1. A huge haze hung over the area for hours, The fumes from idling motors would cause dizziness, asthma, headaches and have long term effects.

      1. A huge haze hung over the area for hours. Sad lamentations echoed around the apocalyptic scenes. People sobbed.

        “If only we had listened to the likes of Simeon Brown or Bernard Orsman! But no! We built cycleways and busways everywhere, and now… now we are stuck. Woe is us!

    2. Ah, my heart goes out to those people who plumbed the depth of human misery; however, it could have been worse, had they been compelled to spend 3 hours inside the mall.

  5. That Newmarket article is absolutely hilarious, warms my heart to read about it

    The fact there are no bus lanes through Newmarket is absolutely absurd

    1. There are bus lanes across most of Broadway and Khyber Pass, just bizarrely not along the small stretch of road where the most routes converge.

      Now’s probably as good a time as any to actually develop that strip given how many empty storefronts there are in that section, not to mention the now almost entirely barren Rialto complex. Get in there while the business lobby which normally neuters these projects has less leverage

      1. You don’t do much business with retailers, do you? I don’t know whether there is ever a good time to remove car parks in the views of retailers, but I can promise you that if anyone promoted taking car parks or doing works on Broadway right now when retailers ARE suffering and lots of shops ARE empty…

        …well, the sob stories in the Herald would have the tone of an article about taking money from starving orphans while kicking their wee cute little dog.

      2. Those bus lanes aren’t active on the weekend anyway. Once I took a bus to Christmas In The Park. It was faster to walk to the domain from Broadway as the bus was stuck in the jam of people that somehow though they could park near the domain (!?!?!)

      3. haha ” Get in there while the business lobby which normally neuters these projects has less leverage” good strategy.
        Yes @ChrisW, these need to be 24/7 for events as I noticed at some thing I went to at night too. Also for other hold ups such as wet weather shopping chaos traffic as shown already.

  6. “AT may need to rethink what is the most efficient use of space on the surrounding roads at that time.”

    Let’s call the AA’s bluff on that line. Dedicated buslanes there make so much more sense than on-street car storage. Along with a more obvious entrance to the train station from Broadway, and pedestrianising the first block of Nuffield as a link from the station to the mall.

    Remembering how AT managers were so allergic to taking the train between their two offices at Henderson and Britomart that they put on a dedicated private shuttle service, the more public excursions the better.

    1. Agree!
      From the article: “The scale of Auckland’s congestion problem means decisions on how we use our road space need to be focused on what moves the most people on a particular road at a particular time and day,” Glynn said.”

      What moves the most people? Trains. What moves the most people on roads? Bus lanes and bike lanes. Not sure they want to hear that but it would be awesome if AT had the guts to say “Yes, you are absolutely right. We will close Newmarket to through-traffic and private vehicles to increase access by the more efficient modes walking, biking and public transport.”

  7. AA ” demands better traffic management for beleaguered commuters”. Since when did deciding to drive to a shopping mall ,become a “commute”. AT’s job is to provide safe acccess ways around Auckland,if one particular class of transit participant,collectively chooses to overload the system,they then should suffer the consequences.
    “Market forces” should be left to decide the outcome,no-one is forced to shop at Newmarket. AT’s response should be all about promoting alternatives to driving there.

    1. The “market forces” you talk of simply don’t exist. We would have to turn off all the traffic lights, get rid of all the speed humps and road obstacles to have a market forces situation.

      As a matter of interest this sounds like quite an appealing option! So much of out traffic is induced traffic caused by over-engineering and unnecessarily stopping traffic.

  8. $100 million spent on an express busway,that essentially doesn’t work, the solutions to which would require repurposing of road space. This just feeds the argument, that “money spent on other than cars is wasted”. As Paul has suggested above, buslanes work, who knew,just get on with it.
    Re shoulder space on motorways,maybe some “creative driving” from bus drivers could add to the length of current bus lanes,do it often enough and it becomes the” norm”.

    1. Some bus drivers do some creative driving but they face sanctions if an accident happens while doing so. Not worth the risk for drivers. It is AT -Waka Kotahi that need to be creative and make these legal for the drivers. They constantly use the inconvenience/ safety card as reasons for not doing anything that they don’t want to do.

    2. “$100 million spent on an express busway”

      Has there? What has that actually been spent on apart from a couple of bus shelters

        1. If only there WAS bus shelters! I was there in Newmarket last week, and along with about 50 others, waited in the rain outside that giant mall thing, no sign of any shelters. Fairly miserable experience. Then once got on bus, took probably another half hour to get to the corner of Khyber Pass.

          Get your shit together Auckland!

      1. One thing is the motorway due to the nature of the split interchanges having to have a lot of stops/shelters. Te Atatu has 6 and Lincoln Rd has 7! Westgate has 8 plus at least another separate drop off spot. Traffic management while they are constructed comes to mind too.

        1. Remember also that it wasn’t just building the shelters, the off/onramps (including the cycleway in part) had to modified and re-routed to accommodate them, the raised speed platform installed etc.

      2. I don’t know about the economics, but as someone who lives out west I can say they was quite a few months of work, mostly at night of course on the various aspects including modifying the offramps to fit the bus shelters and improving the shoulder lanes.

      1. I agree with your comments about inadequacy of traffic modelling. An absolute classic was at the planning hearing for the massive Soho development in Ponsonby. Traffic consultants had an expert report on how existing local street network could handle the expected flows. Completely blown out of the water by a local resident’s photos showing that existing traffic flows were impeded by limited space between parked cars – let alone anticipated increase to serve new centre. Thus discredited, the traffic modelling was withdrawn and it took well over a year to rework the traffic plan. Then the GFC if 2008 intervened so even though Soho was eventually consented the American financial backers had withdrawn their money to deal with major problems closer to home and the project collapsed and the local developers had to sell the site for less than they had originally paid. Despite this object lesson dubious traffic planning reports are standard fare for most large resource consents.

        1. Not forgetting, of course, that the “existing traffic flows” were impeded – not by dense development, which can have very low traffic effects -but by low density and its associated car dependency. The problem is giving too much space to vehicles, and thinking that “traffic flows” are the problem, when safety, access, and emissions are.

          The traffic modelling is very poor, but preventing intensification on the basis of this kind of misconception is even worse.

        2. “The traffic modelling is very poor, but preventing intensification on the basis of this kind of misconception is even worse.”

          I agree – and having been in the “achieving consents for development” business for near 20 years (for residential and retail mostly), I can tell you it was a lot worse before. When I started, development was essentially expected to predict the added car flows you created (at the high end of the likely range of course, because that was “conservative”, i.e. the prudent and adult way to go about things) and then identify what intersection size increases you needed to make things flow about as well in the model as beforehand.

          Even then, of course, when developers often had to spend millions up-sizing several intersections around, everyone of course did gloss over the fact that once it moved outside of your model, where you stopped adding more lanes and upsizing, impacts still persisted. And of course really questioned whether it was good to upsize – only whether it was doable (whether you could squeeze some more lanes in).

          There is still some of that happening, especially for larger projects, and Councils themselves are still trying to “optimise” their networks and find the worst spots where they could squeeze out more traffic – especially to “balance” projects like cycleways and PT which take some of the existing space – but oh gosh, it used to be so much worse even 10 years ago.

    1. The point is they wont change the phasing. The green times are allocated in response to information from detectors at the stop line! Yes, the signal controllers we use have no clue about how many cars are queuing in each direction, only how closely spaced the cars are crossing the limit line. Second the people who could actually change things in a crisis have walled themselves in a fortress at Smales Farm where even if you can find their phone number your call goes to an answer phone. Dumb controllers and staff who don’t care and are not accountable for their actions.

      1. Ah Miffy – you still believe changing the light phase would change anything? Then you are more behind the times than I expected, your transport politics being this or that.

        Newmarket is cooked because it’s a bottleneck through route to Remuera and Epsom, with few alternative routes AND has an interchange to the busiest part of New Zealand’s motorway system right in proximity. Any light phase change is just going to redistribute the traffic jam slightly differently. Plus, Waka Kotahi prioritise the motorway, so queueback from that goes right down the ramp, through Gillies, Morrow etc and up to Level 4 of Westfield.

        Change THAT with some light phasing, will ya? The biggest effect would be to also screw up the motorway (more/earlier than normal).

        Can’t traffic light control your way out of this madness. Leave the folks at ATOC alone, they don’t need the advice from you, me, or the commenters on news articles, lol.

        1. You can’t create capacity with phasing but you can prevent people being stuck for hours. The fault for that lies absolutely with AT. They failed to ration the capacity fairly or with any humanity.

        2. miffy: Are you saying that people who avoided driving to Newmarket should have been significantly affected to by changing phasing to help those who thought it was a good idea to drive there and then all leave at a similar time? How is that fair or humane that someone who has been smart enough to avoid a bottleneck is forced to be stuck for a long time because of someone who made that bottleneck and then failed to change behaviour when it became clear they were in a bottleneck. (As mentioned, some parts of the mall were surely still open as were other surrounding businesses. People stuck in the queue to leave could have stayed for longer.)

  9. I decided recently to catch the Southern train from Britomart to Penrose train station to bypass the 30-minute plus trip from Queen Street/The Civic to Newmarket. Also, save another 30 minutes not getting held up by the Royal Oak roundabout traffic queues travelling to Onehunga during peak afternoon times after work.

    At Penrose I have the choices & options of catching the Onehunga train from Penrose or catch the 66 Bus travelling to the Mt Smart Road/Victoria Street Bus stop to walk home to Grey Street, Onehunga.

    Saves me a lot of travel time compared to taking the 30 Bus to Onehunga from Queen Street/The Civic. More Bus lanes needed on the 30 Bus route to improve it.

    1. 100% the 30 can be ridiculous. Heading from Onehunga to town for a 6 or 7pm event means usually half an hour of extra traffic time in Newmarket. Very frustrating given its really such a short trip and the train option now involves inconvenient changes.

  10. Perhaps the problem is that Waka Kotahi still believes that cars are the most important part of our transport network.

    It seems simple when you put trains at the top of the hierarchy, followed by trams, followed by buses and bikes, followed by walkers, and of course last, but not least, scooters.

    Take out the car-tel and you no longer have a violent drug problem, otherwise known as driving a private vehicle alone…just ask a Mexican / Italian / Colombian / Central American / Australian etc.

    Waka Kotahi should mean together in our shared vehicle, not separated by our bubble cars!!!

    1. “Waka Kotahi still believes that cars are the most important part of our transport network.”

      So does Simeon Brown!

  11. Ironically the bus lane/pocket in Newton Road is slowing down the buses coming in on the off ramp. These lanes have to be continuous to have any real benefit. But of course that’s means difficult decisions and taking road space away from cars.

  12. As a regular no. 30 route user and bike rider through Newmarket it just blows me away how terrible it is through there. Manukau, Gt South and Remuera roads all have large catchments of residential zone that are easy bike rides to Broadway, especially e-bike. They are all so dangerous though with peak hour only clearways, plus the Broadway gauntlet can be pretty frightening to bike through. With all the routes converging plus major train station while also trying to be a main street with shopping district, something has to give.

  13. As a former consents planner, 110% concur with the last paragraph. Planners know as much and little about ‘evidence’ as the next person.

  14. An example of just how bad Newmarket is: i got an Uber to get from Newmarket to go to Parnell, and the google maps gave the fastest route… which was to get onto the motorway, down to Parnell and then drive up the hill to get there. Faster than trying to get through Newmarket cluster…

    1. Eh, that’s true for many of our city’s routes. We have far too many on/off-ramps in the city, plus the ramp metering keeps the motorways flowing reasonably well when local roads are congested.

      Guess what – Waka Kotahi already instated rationing of our road space (at least in a way more aggressive than Councils/AT). Maybe they know that too many cars are not so good, but haven’t thought the whole thing through…

  15. AA should talk about Westfield Mall management. AT did not ask for all those car parks in the middle of Newmarket. Drivers should just book a time slot to leave and be directed by Mall staff when to turn off their engine or go for a toilet break/ walk/ coffee break / meal while waiting for their car to move. Simple. Or fill in a petition for bus lanes, Westfield-funded bus shelters.

  16. Mall shoppers are clearly being overly influenced by car-advertisements which show the deserted open road, empty city streets etc. They need to adjust their thinking to the reality of gridlock that occurs when every idiot decides to drive to the same place at the same time. Factor this adjusted-thinking into decisions regarding where and when to drive, where and when to shop, whether to drive, where to live, whether to even have a car. A significant part of the answer lies in their own hands. Just recognise that every car-trip made is part of the problem (as is every vote cast for political parties whose policies encourage more roads and more driving). Open your eyes and see that you have the power to be part of the solution.

  17. Taking the train to Newmarket on the weekend was quick, easy and congestion free. I don’t see what people are complaining about.

  18. “Westfield has blamed poor weather and high customer numbers for the debacle, and apologised to affected customers for the “unforeseen delays”.

    When it’s rains always take the train to avoid travel on road lanes going to Newmarket Westfield Mall.

  19. E bike manufacturers should be all over this. Spoof car advert which shows someone pissing themselves because they can’t get out of their car with ebike zipping by.

  20. It is very obvious.
    Newmarket is extremely well connected by transport options in every direction.
    Thus it is a prime retail location.
    But this connectivity also means that it is a critical transport node.
    Adding more lane kilometres would be at the expense of retail space, (and the local environment) so is not a viable option.

    It is thus in an urgent need of decluttering. A drastic reset of priorities
    The most obvious clutter is kerb side parking.
    Get rid of it.
    The second most obvious needless clutter is the low occupancy cars,searching for, or departing from the huge local car parks.
    Get rid of most of them too, by reducing the number of carparks.
    Use this prime space more productively.

    Prioritising the existing roadway space for buses and micro mobility will both enhance public transport , and micro mobility alternatives. It will as well, considerably enhance the existing awful, and deteriorating, street side local environment. Make Broadway a better place to spend more time shopping.

    And for those, whose bus routes take them through Newmarket, faster transit on dedicated bus lanes increases both personal productivity and bus provision productivity.

  21. We have a fundamental transport planning issue by requiring developments to provide car parking and then leaving the car parking in private ownership without conditions attached.

    This means that transport authorities lose control of parking as a transport strategy component and a TDM measure. The ability to use pricing to manage parking demand is completely lost.

    The law needs to change. Developers should be able to provide as many car parks as they like, but the pricing control must stay with the transport authorities.

  22. I hope when their managers went on the trip they made a note of the lack of pedestrian crossing lights for those leaving WX1 and crossing to catch bus onto Peninsula.

  23. Next time they go on a field trip, I hope the AT managers will increase their ambition:
    1/ Each staff member should be given a different research task. One person use a wheelchair. One person have their legs tied together so their steps are small and walking speed slow. One person wear one of those devices that allows them to see everything from a child’s height. And so on.
    2/ Each staff member should go alone, so they rely on the system to keep them safe, rather than on other staff members.
    3/ The destinations should be chosen well. Not “where the buses go” but “where people go, whether the buses get them there or not”. This will highlight the dire state of traffic engineering.

    For example, my son and I went to a funeral at The Brigham, 164 Brigham Creek Road, Whenuapai this morning. It took 1hr45 to get there from Pt Chevalier. But worse, there wasn’t even a footpath all the way from the bus to the venue. WK had clearly included any footpaths grudgingly. Where footpaths existed, they still spilled us onto lethal stretches of hideous motorway-like roads which needed grade separation for active modes.

    Having to do that in a wheelchair or perhaps with a blindfold on, alone, might be a wake up call for the ELT.

    1. Did the bus part of your trip end at Hobsonville Road? If so, it seems like most parts without footpaths would seem to be be AT roads, not Waka Kotahi. Though I agree, the lack of grade separation through those roundabout interchanges (that WERE done by Waka Kotahi) is pretty disgraceful too. And it should be WK’s job that if they build paths through an interchange, they need to connect to something, not have several hundred meters missing to the nearest suburb, no matter who exactly owns the missing bits.

      1. Wisely Rd near Williams actually, because the 112 was the best bus at the time. Yes, that’s right. Waka Kotahi provided footpaths, though obviously grudgingly because they didn’t provide crossing infrastructure at all, let alone safe grade separated crossing infrastructure. Whereas where there’s no footpath on Brigham Creek Rd, it’s a local road. I reckon Council, AT and WK are all equally responsible for allowing the development to happen with that left as it is, as they were all involved in the planning.

        What’s appalling is that the sweeping curves without grade separation for people is lethal design that they still haven’t dropped. A recent example is the intersection of Te Honohono ki Tai Rd (formerly Matakana Link Rd) and Matakana Rd.

        It’s fully crap traffic engineering, and people should face charges.

        1. Did anyone find out how that link road was so expensive? I still do not understand now that I have used it.

        2. Ironically the “sweeping design” as far as I understand is a traffic safety feature, because without that, the upcoming roundabout would be less visible and drivers would just plow into that. Of course as you say, it has nearly zero account of the crossings for unprotected humans, and the dual-lane roundabouts designed for truck sizes allow some (still very high, just not motorway high) speeds.

          About the only thing “good” is that this design is now 15 or so years old, maybe older if including the design and consent time. New interchanges… well, Waka Kotahi still do build many without grade separation which I agree is shit. But at least the crossings tend to be signalised and/or raised. Their learning process is slooooow, but there is some, I tell myself, trying to cheer myself up.

        3. Thanks Amanin. I wonder how we can introduce a post-evaluation step that looks at whether the consultants/staff were using best practice at the time. They weren’t in any of these examples. Some clear expectations and consequences for future contracts could be useful in speeding the learning process up.

      1. Yeah, I’m sure they are. The damage to understanding could be massive.

        But what will shake them out of their “supporting the status quo to tick along nicely” mindset? Saying this as I nurse my wounds from yesterday’s wipe-out, which resulted from an ongoing refusal to maintain the Domain Drive cyclelane to a safe standard.

        There are so many people in my acquaintance who are in long-term pain or have ongoing health issues – some that have led to really serious conditions – as a result of poorly maintained footpaths and other issues that AT should be prioritising.

  24. Regarding Newmarket Broadway. Yes indeed crazy with all those high priority bus routes that there is no continuous 24/7 bus lanes. I’m sure half of us regular commenters on the blog could come up with some nice draft designs for through here.
    Might have a go right now on Streetmix for a start. More trees, bus & cycle lanes right through on each side, remove on street parking. Prioritise loading zones & mobility car parking down the side roads. We could submit them all en masse to AT.

    1. The fact that there are not even dedicated bus lanes through Customs st in the CBD adjacent to the busiest transport area in NZ and one of the widest stretches of road means I highly doubt anyone cares about what is happening in Newmarket.

      1. “I highly doubt anyone cares about what is happening in Newmarket.”

        Lot of people care, but sadly many of them care passionately about cars, and they only need to stymie changes to the Status Quo. Getting change is a literal order or magnitude easier than stopping change.

  25. AT has to extend the bus lanes through Broadway’s main traffic choke point, between Remuera Rd and Khyber Pass Rd. This would improve significantly the travel times for the six frequent and four other bus routes passing through Newmarket.

  26. Bus priority measures on Motorway onramps & allowing buses to use shoulder spaces for the new WX1 Bus route will reduce chronic delay issues. Continuous Bus lanes & Transit Signal Priority at Traffic lights at certain intersections for buses travelling through Broadway in Newmarket will deliver a fast, frequent, accessible, and reliable bus network. Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi please implement these rapid-transit improvements.

    The Five senior transport managers can again take a peak-hour bus ride on Auckland’s new WX1 express service & any Bus travelling through Broadway Newmarket to see if there any issues which need fixing to ensure rapid-transit. This will allow buses to glide through busy intersections and get more commuters & shoppers to take the bus.

  27. I’ve always thought that broadway itself is (ironically) way too wide. Surely it doesn’t need to have 3 lanes of traffic in both directions. I’m not sure how upto date this image is on google maps, but the first thing you could do immediately without too much disruption (in terms of digging i mean) would be to ban cars from parking along the side of the road and turn those into bus lanes. Having bus lanes that people are also allowed to park in on a commercial stretch of road makes absolutely no sense to me. I get why people oppose removing street parking on residential roads like Remuera road, because where else are they supposed to put their vehicles, but broadway? Get rid of them.


      1. The local MP may also be our Deputy PM, so get ready for the removal of those car parks requiring basically a three-quarters majority in a national referendum, because liberty.

  28. Here’s the Streetmix I did for Broadway between Khyber Pass Rd and Remuera Rd.
    The sidewalks including the width for trees & poles come to about what it is now, from what I could measure on GeoMaps, not counting where they have done build outs.
    The trees are probably a bit big in the illustration for the centre and maybe sides but there isn’t much choice. You could remove or reduce the centre planting/median if the width varied a bit or you really needed more width for anything, the paths are not really that wide for that kind of area.
    The main problem I could see is the nice rock wall, trees, street furniture, bike stand etc area just across from the end of Remuera Rd that comes out about another 2.5 m. So not sure how you solve that one if you were to retain it, is it historically important or beloved by the people there, you could? You could have the median start at zero width and widen as current painted one does but you would still have to find at at least another metre. Squeeze up the cycle lanes & buffer which is not ideal…I’ll try another mock up.

  29. Hi Grant, thanks for the Streetmix for Broadway between Khyber Pass Rd & Remuera Rd.

    Could please do a Streetmix to show “dedicated bus lanes through Customs st”

    Thanks & Kind Regards


    1. Thanks Patman. I’m doing some more Broadway ones. It’s an interesting exercise thinking it through, amazing what you can figure out with Street View too. The aerials on GeoMaps area getting old compared to Google, for example K’Rd cycleway doesn’t even show on it yet. I think the style used on Karangahape Rd is probably what would suit Broadway.
      Regarding Customs St, this already has rough design out in the public for this.

      The “City East West Transport Study March 2014” had come to the conclusion that:
      Bus routes are to deliver Regional Public Transport Plan approach for a simplified network based on a few high frequency corridors. For the east-west
      network, these corridors are to be Fanshawe Street/ Customs Street/ Beach Road and Wellesley Street
      • These routes are to be supported by high quality bus stops and infrastructure that is customer focused
      Fanshawe Street/ Customs Street/ Beach Road
      • Urban busway on Fanshawe Street, which completes the Northern Busway providing a fully connected, high quality public transport corridor between
      the North Shore and Auckland City Centre
      • Bus turn around/ interchange at the Wynyard Quarter
      • Kerb-side bus lanes on Beach Road and Customs Street

      Not sure if there is more recent info on this but here is this blogs post on it way back in 2014:
      As award winning project page on it, showing the transport flows clearly:
      and this one with the 2nd very nice image being the Customs St one: it turns out:

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