50 Years of waiting for an Auckland Rapid Transit system.

Ian Reynolds 1946 by Brian Brake My father, Ian Reynolds 1922-2005, was an architect (as was my mother). He was also a what was then called a Town and Country Planner. After returning from working in England after the war he spent the rest of his career as partner in a big multidisciplinary practice in Auckland (missing the city of his youth: Wellington.…
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The New Old World Order

The demolition of the Downtown Centre for the start of the CRL and the replacement of this 1960s structure by Precinct Properties’ Commercial Bay office and retail development is an important moment for Auckland on many levels. Along with the obvious boon of the actual beginning of the CRL there is also something deeply symbolic here.…
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CRL Cost Blowout Overblown

On Saturday the Herald proclaimed that the cost of the City Rail Link had blown out by $500 million which came on the heels of Prime Minister John Key saying that the project will “almost certainly cost more than they thought” The cost of Auckland’s most expensive project – the $2.5 billion City Rail Link (CRL) – has jumped to more than $3b.…
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The alternative route

Congestion pricing has once again hit the political radar, with the news that the Auckland Transport Alignment Project has recommended it as an option to more efficiently manage the transport network. They find that variable road tolls – highest during peak periods on busy roads and low (or even zero) at off-peak times – are the single most effective intervention to improve traffic flow.…
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Let’s ban everything dangerous, like walking

This week, the Herald on Sunday published an article calling out a dangerous new practice: walking under the influence of a smartphone. According to them, careless walking causes literally dozens of injuries a year and should possibly be criminalised: Now legislation has been introduced in New Jersey that would slap a US$50 ($72) fine and possible jail time on pedestrians caught using phones while they cross.…
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Herald finds Aucklanders like bikes

It was wonderful to wake up on a Saturday morning to such a positive article on cycling in Auckland, and in the herald no less – although unfortunately the amounts talked about are wrong. Eventually, Aucklanders will be able to cycle from one side of the city to the other on an intricate labyrinth of bike lanes which weave through suburbs, past beaches and over gullies.…
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The Unitary Plan Roller-Coaster

Since first talked about back in 2013, the Unitary Plan has been like a roller-coaster ride. There’s been the hope and anticipation for a better future for Auckland as the cart climbs a steep hill followed by that brief micro second of confusion before you realise you’re falling as groups opposing housing pipped up and were egged on further by one sided reporting from the Herald.…
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Three storeys does not equal highrise

The debate about intensification has come roaring back to life in the last day or so following a beat up by Bernard Orsman in the Herald about the unitary plan process. Tens of thousands of homes in Auckland’s leafy residential suburbs are being rezoned for multiple townhouses and apartments and Auckland Council says homeowners will not be notified about the changes.…
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