Kapiti Expressway stage one: Review

This is a guest post by architect and our occassional Wellington correspondent Guy Marriage The first section of the Kapiti Expressway opened on 24 February, at 4am, with little fanfare. As an immediate response to this implicit request, that induced me to make some more traffic by driving up and down the new road, just to see what it is like. While the section opened up so far is long, from McKays Crossing just north of Paekakariki, stretching north over 20 km nearly to Otaki, it is also completely finished and the verges are well planted. Overall, of course, the Expressway has more to be done, both north (to bypass Otaki) …
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January-2017 Ridership

January-2017 RidershipWith Auckland Transport moving to having less frequent board meetings it makes it more difficult to get monthly updates. However, while not quite as detailed as the reports presented to the board meetings, we can get an indication as to how performance is going from this ridership report AT update monthly and has been updated to include January. The headlines are: Overall ridership for January was 5.64 million, up 6.7% on January-2016. Importantly, on a 12-month rolling basis ridership has now surpassed 85 million trips. That’s pretty good considering that only just passed 75 million just over two years ago. The majority of that 10 million increase has come from the …
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Guest Post: Hamilton Trumps Wellington?

*This is a guest post by regular reader, Mr Plod, who may or may not have worked for Fonterra in Hamilton. Hamilton now has a reason to be. Wellington has suffered hugely at the hands of the Kaikoura earthquake. An earthquake that wasn’t even centred on one of the massive fault lines that run through Wellington. “While the precise scope of damages and their ongoing effects are still being assessed, currently it is believed that 16 buildings comprising 11 per cent or 167,300 sq m of Wellington CBD’s total office building stock, have been closed to occupiers – 47 percent of this space is classified by CBRE as prime quality stock,” A …
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Guest Post: Airport parking idiocy in Wellington

This is a guest post from reader Andy C According to media reports, there has been ‘an outbreak of tyre slashing’ in the residential roads around Wellington airport recently. And the cause – people parking legally (yes, within the law) on residential streets. Like most Wellingtonians (I suspect) I’m keen to see this issue resolved, but I the potential solutions I outline below may not go down too well with some of my fellow local residents as they are a change from the current situation. But let’s back up a bit and examine what the problem actually is. For many years, astute Wellingtonians (and some out of towners) have been …
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Dear City, I’m in love again

This is a guest post from reader Isabella I’ve been with Wellington for a while. We’ve had our ups and downs, but it’s over 30 years together. Notwithstanding some flings with other cities, I’ve been faithful to you. But I can’t pretend I’ve not yearned for a few things you don’t have (like decent PT, some real bike infrastructure), and some things you’ll never have (better weather, lots of little tree-lined beaches). But after that night, Wellington…. Ohhh, yeah. Wellington, I’ve fallen for you again – better and more than ever! That night… I went on a progressive dinner party, traversing the city by hired e-bike between Wellington on a …
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Guest Post: Farewell Ganz-Mavags

This is a guest post from Wellington contributor Andy C who has previously written about the capital’s laneways and missing bus lanes Friday 27 May sees the final scheduled running of Wellington’s Hungarian-built Ganz-Mavag trains. They entered service in 1982/83 but have been progressively replaced by the Matangi trains over the past few years. According to the Greater Wellington Regional Council: There will be a short ceremony and opportunity to see inside the driver’s cab before everyone boards the train which will be a scheduled passenger service. The train will leave Wellington at 2.17pm, arriving at Melling Station at 2.35pm. You can then catch the return service to Wellington at 2.39pm, …
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Cycleways and T2 lanes – Wellington’s latest ideas seem to miss the bus lanes

This is a guest post from Wellington contributor Andy C who has previously written about the capital’s laneways. Last year I wrote a post about Wellington’s so called Bus Rapid Transport system. In the comments a reader wrote how they would like to see more bus lanes in Wellington and gave some suggestions. So this post looks at one of those suggestions in a little more detail. As some may know, the Wellington City Council has just finished consultation on improving the shared cycle path along the Old Hutt Road – a 3km long stretch of road. They are also asking about introducing peak hour T2 lanes there. That consultation covers the area in …
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Brightening up the capital’s laneways

This is a guest post from reader Andy C in Wellington. Over the past year, the Wellington City Council has started to get serious about brightening up some of our inner-city laneways. According to the Council, they have identified a total of 72 lanes and arcades in the centre of Wellington that could be improved. The plan is now to connect as many of them as possible into “a funky pedestrian network”. The catalyst for this seems to have been the decision to turn Bond St (which leads onto Willis St, one of the busiest streets for buses in town) from a little through street into a dead end. As …
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Wellington Update: Transdev and Diesel Buses and cycleways

They’ve been a few interesting pieces of news from Wellington over the last last week. Transdev to run Wellington’s trains Transdev – who run the trains in Auckland – has been picked as the preferred operator for the trains in Wellington. This is an interesting result as for one it means trains in both Auckland and Wellington will have the same operator. Whether this is a good or a bad thing will have to remain to be seen. The Dominion Post reported the company was surveying people earlier in the year asking about ideas such as quiet cars, indicators to say where seats were available and WiFi. All of which begs the question of …
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HOP in Wellington

Wellington has been making some noises about moving towards integrated ticketing and fares for some time and doing so is formally listed Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). In the RPTP they say “Improving the fares and ticketing system is the next significant element in the modernisation of Wellington’s public transport system”. As Auckland learnt changing a ticketing system can be very difficult, especi byally when you have some operators wanting to force their own system on the public. Now it seems that Wellington could be set to have a repeat of some of Auckland’s ticketing issues. The days of Wellingtonians swiping their Snapper cards on the capital’s buses could be numbered. …
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