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Give us our Waterfront

Most people who visit the Wynyard quarter love the development that has occurred there so far. It is very different to how we have developed things in the past and a lot more emphasis has been put on pedestrians and how it ties in to the water. It has quickly become one of stars in Auckland and that is only set to continue as the redevelopment of the area carries on. The development isn’t just a favourite with the locals as it has now won numerous awards with the latest just the other day beating out a host of other international cities to claim a top waterfront development award.

Now if you are winning awards like this it is probably a good indication that you are on the right track and also suggests that extending the development as far as possible is probably a good idea. Well even before this award, Waterfront Auckland and the council were quick to realise the success and smartly decided to try and emulate it further down the waterfront and so in the City Centre Master Plan (CCMP) called for Quay St to be turned into a boulevard. It was also mentioned in the Waterfront Plan.The CCMP and Waterfront Plan went out for consultation at the same time as the Auckland Plan allowing anyone who wanted to to give feedback.

I think that turning Quay St from a 6 lane almost de facto motorway into a more pedestrian friendly zone while still retaining some space for cars is a pretty good compromise. Of course now, months after the consultation finished various elected officials of the eastern suburbs are now up in arms about the plan. Their key issue seems to be just how unfair it will be that they can no longer drive to the ferry terminal. The Herald today reports:

Anger has erupted over plans to turn Quay St into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard within three years – and the greatest upset has been caused by what critics say was lack of public consultation.

But Waterfront Auckland says it kept the community well informed about the “exciting project” and it “couldn’t have done more” consultation.

Waterfront Auckland’s plans, revealed in the Herald on Friday, could result in more crossing points, a wider footpath taking in a lane of traffic or two and opening up parts of the red fence to improve to the water’s edge.

The first stage – from the Viaduct to Britomart – is due to be finished by 2016.

But critics of the project say the Tamaki Drive Master Plan hasn’t been taken into account, the traffic plan is “just nuts” and the local board most negatively affected by the proposal was not consulted.

Tamaki MP Simon O’Connor said he was disappointed by the plan, which he said would take cars off the street in the name of beautification.

“This is a surprising development that does not appear to have been thought out …

It seems to be motived more by ideology than practicality.”

Mr O’Connor said Waterfront Auckland was pinning its hopes on the “unfunded, yet to be built rail loop and a new ferry service”.

Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer said the suggestion that Quay St was not a busy road outside rush hour was “just pie in the sky”.

“This is a critical piece of transport infrastructure that carries over 30,000 cars a day. Taking out lanes and directing more traffic down the likes of Customs St is just nuts.”

This is an absolutely stupid argument. For starters 30,000 vehicles a day don’t need 6 lanes of traffic and there are many two lane roads that handle much more than that. Hell Dominion Rd carries about that same number of vehicles with only two lanes, one of which is a bus lane for a large part of the day. What’s more there are a number of other routes that these vehicles could use and very few places you can actually drive to that you can’t get to by other routes. There are still heaps of trucks going to and from the port using Quay St even though less than a decade ago we spent hundreds of millions upgrading Grafton Gully and providing direct connections from there to the North Shore specifically to get them off Quay St. There are also a number of improvements that could be made to other city streets that could be used to help spread that traffic out.

At the end of the day despite claiming the opposite, the arguments from Simon O’Connor and Cameron Brewer seem to be the ones based on ideolgy, they seem to be beholden to the notion that we must put cars ahead of people. It is people that make places interesting and lively and attractive. It is people that spend money and it is people that we should be building this city for. The recent improvements from things like Wynyard and the shared spaces have been outstanding successes and the best thing we can do is to continue these kinds of developments. The waterfront is to valuable for us cut off, all in the name of saving 5 seconds when driving and I suspect the economic benefits of improving it would vastly outweigh the impact to any vehicle movements. Its about time that these idiots go out of their cars and had a look at is happening in the city as even international press are starting to acknowledge the cities improving urban style.

84 comments to Give us our Waterfront

  • Beat me to the punch on a post about this sir :P :D

    All good though as I upon reading you post actually agree with you (in part) and was the deliverer on some bad news to Orakei. Ah well trying to be neutral and keep things in perspective here.

  • Steve Barnes

    The Sun is not exactly a reputable international publication, The Times maybe! Not so sure that being viewed as an American styled city rather than say European or Pacific styled is a good thing!

    Why does the Herald seem to publish negative press about any change for the better in relation to public transport/pedestrians etc? Seem to constantly throw cold water on any public space creation and dispute any benefits from trains for example.

    Some of the comments made by Mr Brewer appear to indicate never having ventured beyond the Parnell/Newmarket borders, except for maybe council meetings.

    • Sure The Sun may not be that reputable but it is just the latest in a line of recent comments from international press about how Auckland is a much more attractive destination. As for Brewer, I don’t think he has said a positive thing about anything in the last two years. He has set himself up as the anti everything guy.

      • Jeremy

        You know what the muslims say – having a common enemy will unite muslims under islam. These fools don’t even know they are playing to their egos.

  • swan

    The route from Tamaki Drive to the North Shore is still marginally faster via Quay St than the CMJ depending on traffic. So alot of people still use this route even though they have another option that is almost as good. If it is 30000 vehicles a day now, I would say it could easily halve without causing anyone any great hardship. These guys dont know what they are talking about.

    Still, what is with the tram? Expensive and unnecessary in my opinion.

    • Louis M

      Tram has been planned for ages. Extension of the Wynyard loop across to Britomart. Eventually up Queen Street…

      • …but not eastward to the location in the artists impression. To be fair they should show a couple of new hybrid double decker buses instead, but it seems urban designers have a bit of a hatred for the humble bus no matter how cool I think they are!

        Do bear in mind all those images are wistful artists impressions, they seem to want to chuck a light rail vehicle in every picture whether AT and AC are seriously considering one or not.

  • Patrick Reynolds

    Consistently across the world what has worked as urban stimulation are improving connection to waterfronts and the quality of passenger transit. And what doesn’t is building huge stadia and convention centres.

    Luckily the council are more sophisticated and well read than the government and this bunch of illinformed and over-entitled little whiners in Orakei.

  • Jeff H

    Suggest a compromise on Quay St:

    – Raise it’s height to footpath level and pave it nicely between Britomart and the the Viaduct.
    – Build single lane roundabouts at each end of this paved zone as a go back option when the road closed.
    – Allow it to be open for all traffic at peak traffic times, eg weekdays 6-10am and 4-7pm.
    – Close it to all except buses at other times or when there are special events on.

  • patrick

    i do hhave concerns with where the traffic willgo. customs st is already packed.with no rail to the north shore where arethe cars meant to go

    • Nick R

      Well hopefully there would be a net reduction in traffic, but the rest can go to the new but largely underutilized motorway bypass that runs from the eastern waterfront to the harbour bridge.

    • Mr Anderson

      They said the same “where will the cars go” about the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco. Somewhat surprisingly (to the engineers at least) the traffic actually did just disappear when the freeway was demolished.

    • David O

      I hadn’t figured out until reading this that the motorway on-ramp in Grafton gully on to SH16/SH1 North is the intended ‘correct’ path from Tamaki Dr to North Shore but it makes a lot of sense, and whaddya know google maps thinks so too… http://goo.gl/maps/9q0GJ Really, why would you not go that way?

      • David O

        Just to comment on my own comment. Having built the insanely over-the-top central motorway junction, we should at least be going out of our way to maximise its use – and any non-stop through-CBD car trips ought to be top of the list to divert on to the motorway. That way maybe we could reclaim some streets (Quay, Fanshawe, Albert, Nelson, Symonds) at least partly for people!

      • Up until earlier this year when VPT opened fully that route may not have had enough capacity and may have been slower but now that the third lane is open it should be promoted as the only way to get from the eastern suburbs or port to the Shore

  • KLK

    There some excellent recent shots of the waterfront area in a thread at skyscrapercity.com: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1550797

    My question is – why can’t we have (at least) Captain Cook wharf now? Those shots seem to show just what an inefficient use of land the port is running at the moment, at a time when they are advocating more harbour landfill.

    I am not one who thinks the port should move. I like the contrast it provides in the west to the development towards the east. But looking at those shots, do they really require anything east of Bledisloe Wharf? There seems to be an awful lots of spare space without even taking into account using CCW as an occasional parking lot for second hand import cars and bananas.

  • KLK

    Sorry – got my east and west back-the-front….

  • Daighi

    My personal opinion is that this development should definitely go ahead, and my ‘gut feeling’ would be that a Quay St Boulevard and the surrounding network would still be able to accommodate the expected traffic. However, surely some modelling of expected traffic flows should be included as part of the consultation/consent process..? Until I see some decent quality analysis of the proposed changes then I can’t help but think that both sides are just speculating as to what the final outcome will be.

    In saying that, I think it would be worth restricting capacity around parts of the central city in order to promote pedestrian access.

  • Louis M

    Really poor form here. Shows how backwards these people are. The boulevard would be hugely transformational for the city.

  • bbc

    This project is critical to reconnect the city to the Harbour. At present this whole area feels dark and windswept in the evenings, but it has the potential to be a great drawcard to the city. Brewer’s comments should make us all worried as to what will happen if he wins the mayoralty in a years time….anything that involves changing the status quo or spending money will be cancelled.

  • Linz

    God they are such dinosaurs. Reminds me of Banks wanting the Te Wero bridge to accommodate buses to get them off Fanshawe street so more space would be available for cars. Yeah baby – let’s have 10 lanes through there. Put up the speed limit to 100 while we’re at it.

  • St Nick

    What these politicians should be asking themselves is if Quay st is more important as roading or pedestrian infrastructure. They shouldn’t be saying that don’t change it because 30,000 cars use it a day, without looking at how many pedestrians use it per day. I would guess the number of peds using it would be greater than people in cars. The street is part of a major transport hub (ferries + britomart), and is the major link between Wynyard and Queen S. Giving the priority to roading is stupid when it isn’t the main mode of transport in that area.

  • Jan O'Connor

    Daily over 17,500 North Shore & Western bus commuters enjoy the views of the harbour as they travel through Quay St. In the summer they drool over the cruise ships. Quay St is key to many bus connections.

    However at 11.30 a.m. this morning there were few pedestrians walking on the wide, well maintained, windy & blustery boulevards. .Auckland’s climate is not tropical. It warmer in the bus.

    • Jan they aren’t proposing to remove cars completely and no one has ever mentioned removing buses from the waterfront, just to reduce the number of lanes. You may think that there is plenty of wide space already but it isn’t very pleasant when there are a dozen heavy trucks thundering through heading to/from the port

    • James B

      You are aware that it is wet Monday morning in early spring? On the weekend there were far more people and few cars. Taking one point in time and extrapolating it for the rest of time is an invalid assumption.

      Auckland’s climate is sub-tropical, we’re not Norway. It’s only really cold for a few weeks a year. There are many places with colder climates and nicer waterfronts.

    • OrangeKiwi

      Wide and well-maintained does not guarantee pedestrian-friendliness nor does it equal a people place. Quay St might have wide and well-maintained footpaths, but with a de facto motorway running in between them, these amenities are all but negated. So yes, that would result in low pedestrian numbers and not because it’s windy & blustery – although that could tip the scales. Welcoming, pedestrian-friendly people places exist even in non-tropical climates believe it or not.

  • KLK

    Where does it say buses won’t be able to go down Quay St?

    Thats right – it doesn’t. Now, back to the facts…..

  • Sarah

    The day Brewer leaves politics the better this city will be. Isn’t he the Urban design lead too? Absolutely clueless. Yes give us our waterfront!

  • obi

    I think turning Quay St in to a waterfront linear pedestrian zone is a no brainer. It wouldn’t be hard to do or to pay for either. But… Trying to sell the idea with a black and white “before” photo makes the plan about as honest as a dodgy diet scheme. Do the Council really need to resort to such transparently dishonest tricks?

    • Come on Obi, you know that the future is in colour yet today is mere black and white; they’ll probably have those computer thingies there too…. it’s like every NZTA document has a picture of a cyclist in a leafy scene on the cover…. Oh wait, come to think of it perhaps they are being accurate about the future there…..?

      • obi

        I look at pre-WW2 photos of just about everywhere and wonder if life was actually as dull and grey and miserable then as the b&w makes it look.

        Regarding the Quay St “before” photo… There is only a whisp of cloud in the sky, and the shadows from the lamp posts are distinct. So it is a bright day and the sun is shining on the sides of the buildings on the left. Someone has loaded the photo in to PhotoShop and adjusted the brightness and the contrast to make the place look even more miserable than it actually is.

    • Filde

      Exactly what I thought obi… But Patrick is right; they do this all the time. Unfortunately it appears to work for most people!

  • Jan O'Connor

    KLK – Where does it say buses will be able to go down Quay St? That’s right – it doesn’t.

    They moved buses out Quay St for the World Cup & tossed long suffering Northern Express commuters up onto one of the dirtiest filthy buses stops one has ever seen in Albert St – the only stop worse than that is the North Star bus stop – further up opposite the Stamford Plaza – chewing gum cemented permanently in the footpath, & left over food scraps from an adjoining Noodle Bar in the gutter, this afternoon/

    Quay Street only a few years back had many $m spend on its pristine, barely used boulevards. Eastern Albert Street footpaths above Customs Street, which have not been upgraded for over 20 years urgently need treatment.

    • Nick R

      That’s a lovely story about the Rugby World Cup and Albert St Jan, but what does that have to do with taking a traffic lane each way off Quay St to make it a less traffic choked nasty place?

    • Andrew

      Sorry Jan but the invalidator to your argument is that the NEX movement was temporary. Yes, those North Shore bus stops on Albert St are terrible, and personally I’d rather use the NEX and switch buses at one of the nice shiny busway stations than wait for a direct bus from those Albert St stops in their present condition.
      If you look at the maps on this blog post, you’ll see that most buses will be leaving Albert St anyway.
      Even if that wasn’t happening, those Albert St stops could be upgraded to something more pleasant if the Quay St closure was more permanent than just one special event.

      • Andrew

        Correction – Quay St – not closed, reduced in vehicle space.

      • Jan O'Connor

        Andrew, to Takapuna and/or walkway to Hauraki via NEX means:
        In the 1st instance an extra $18.00 per week
        In the 2nd instance another $36.00 per week i.e. one extra bus to from Akoranga to Takapuna Central & then another to Esmonde Rd to link with the Hauuraki walkways.
        Akoranga Station is almost 2km from any housing & was really built as access to AUT

        • There is no appreciable difference Jan. The 802X (which I assume is your peak time bus) costs $4.50 per single trip from Hauraki Corner to the city. The lower zone unlimited transfer pass costs $4.70, a nearly negligible difference. However if you commute daily, a ten-trip would be $40.50, while a seven day unlimited transfer pass would also be $40.50.

          The obvious benefit of the latter is that you get all your bus travel on Saturday and Sunday thrown in for free, and being a weekly pass you can use it as many times as you like in one day, to make as many trips as you like around the lower North Shore and to and from the city. Plus you also get unlimited free train trips as far as Kingsland, Glen Innes and Ellerslie.

          With the Northern Pass it is cheaper to travel by bus across a week, whether that be a single service, a connection to the busway or all sorts of trips all over the Shore and city. Quite frankly, I have no idea why anyone would commute from Hauraki Corner without using the integrated pass.

          http://www.maxx.co.nz/info/pricing-passes/types-of-tickets/northern-pass.aspx

  • KLK

    Jan, please….its about reducing a lane in each direction, not stopping vehicles from accessing it.

    You’ll still be able to ride your warm bus and stare at the peasants walking amongst the discarded chewing gum which probably fell from their mouths while they too, were “drooling” over the cruise ships. Being able to stroll up alongside them on the wharves, they probably got a better look than you.

  • Jan O'Connor

    I did say Quay Street has already had many $m spent on its pristine, barely used boulevards. It is the Albert Street – eastern side -footpaths which have not been upgraded for 20 years & urgently need treatment. Go up there opposite the Stamford Plaza and look at where the North Shore people (sorry peasants?) have to await their PT. Quay St needs no more money spent on it.

    • Albert St will get some decent Streetscape upgrades as part of the CRL as the street will be dug up as part of that.

    • A R

      Jan, you keep going round in a circle. The reason the boulevards are barely used is because pedestrian amenity is very minimal on Quay Street. The whole point of this upgrade is to make it more pedestrian friendly. You seem to be suggesting that we do nothing because you didn’t see anyone walking while being perched on top of a bus while drooling over cruise ships? I don’t get it. Should we deny Aucklanders to finally reclaim their waterfront because you think North Shore commuters will lose their sea views while travelling on the bus?

      • Jan O'Connor

        How many fine have there been in Quay St in the last three months???? 3 or maybe 4. Quay Street has fine weather for 3 months of the year that is why nobody goes down there unless they are rushing off to a ferry or a Viaduct pub

        • A R

          Then by your logic Queen Street must have tropical weather for 12 months of the year to justify the pedestrian activity?

          • Jan O'Connor

            No there are verandahs over all most every building in Queen St – to keep the rain off – not so in Quay Street

          • Jan O'Connor

            Soory I meant a verandah coming out from all most every building (not the old BNZ frontage though)

          • A R

            Your arguments:
            1) We should not upgrade Quay Street because it doesn’t have many pedestrians because there are no verandahs.

            Again, the whole point of this upgrade is to make the area more pedestrian friendly. Look at the render that has been posted above. It includes verandahs and people strolling around the waterfront. Don’t you think maybe, just maybe there is the possibility that property owners will respond to the changes by activating their shop fronts? Again, look at the render above – it shows what is possible.

            2) We should not upgrade Quay Street because “North Shore & Western bus commuters enjoy the views of the harbour as they travel through Quay St. In the summer they drool over the cruise ships. Quay St is key to many bus connections.”.

            I haven’t come across any plans that propose relocation of bus stops and a change of bus routes. I have a feeling you are opposed to this just for the sake of it :)

          • Jan, the proposal for Quay St includes adding verandahs for shelter from inclement weather. You can even see them in the picture above. So Queen St and Albert St have verandahs and Quay has none as you note, which you suggest is the reason people don’t walk there… well surely that is one very good reason for a Quay St upgrade then?

  • Stu Donovan

    Matt, all I can really say is that “I concur”.

    Those comments from Simon O’Connor and Cameron Brewer were very uninformed: You simply don’t need 4-6 lanes to move 30,000 vehicles per day. I just had a look at peak hour traffic counts on Quay Street and they hover around 1,000 – at most 2,000 vehicles per hour (east of The Strand from the looks of it).

    One vehicle lane plus one peak hour bus lane (which reverts to on-street parking at off-peak times) would do it. And as other people have noted, in the event that capacity on Quay was reduced a lot of that vehicle traffic would probably use other (uncongested) routes, such as SH1 via CMJ.

    I suspect O’Connor and Brewer are simply trying to kick up a stink about Quay Street because Len Brown has identified it as one of his signature projects. So like typical Tories O’Connor and Brewer have decided to be as obstructive as possible. Sure there’s a lot to work through on the plans for Quay Street – but the principle of reducing vehicle capacity here is quite sound.

    Customs Street does need some work too though … in fact I think that with a bit of TLC Customs Street could be a glorious street. But I’m off-topic …

    • Jan O'Connor

      Stu, you obviously have no idea that buses to and from the Shore are full all day otherwise you would not be making statements such as this.

      “One vehicle lane plus one peak hour bus lane (which reverts to on-street parking at off-peak times) would do it”.

      Buses are right down the food chain as far as you guys are concerned otherwise you wouldn’t accept all the services that have been pulled from Queen Street to give more room for your beloved cars.

      • Jan I have no idea where you get your information from but Stu is the world’s biggest bus advocate, he doesn’t own a car, I suspect he dreams all night about buses, he spends all day trying to find ways for them to operate more effectively and productively all over Auckland and to save us from self-strangulation by automobile. Play nice now or we’ll lose him to some country like Holland or Denmark where he’ll get the respect he deserves.

        • Jan O'Connor

          Well, thanks for that Patrick, as least you and I don’t hide behind nicknames. I haven’t a clue who Stu is so do you blame me for my comments. I can well remember some years ago (1995) a person from the Campaign for Better Public Transport – who lived in Grey Lynn- opposing the then proposed bus lane in Esmonde Rd which has really made the Takapuna services boom. So maybe I have still a chip on my shoulder about this site.

          We need mega $m to build bus lanes on every arterial but haven’t seen too much many encouraging signs from AT to enthuse me.

          • Perhaps it would be better if we all focussed on the facts at hand than nursed old grudges; what someone else once said about something else is not really relevant to this issue is it?

          • Stu Donovan

            Jan, I’m not sure if the first sentence in your comment is intended as a dig at me, but if so then I should point out that Stu(art) Donovan is my “real name”. For the record, I have two nick-names “Hungry Stu” and “Disco Stu”; feel free to use whatever you prefer in addition to my real name. The only name that’s off-limits is “Stuey”: Only my Mum can call me that thank you very much.

      • Jan buses were pulled from Queen St in part due the number of lights and pedestrian passes which makes a trip up there very slow on a bus, it’s faster walking. This site has never once called for anything else other than for Queen St to be closed to cars. There isn’t a need for them as there isn’t a single vehicle entrance north of Mayoral Dr. Don’t know where you get the idea that we want more cars on there but sounds like you want to argue for the sake of it.

      • Stu Donovan

        Hi Jan,

        I recognise that buses from the Shore still need to turn around on Quay Street and I have been advocating for this ability to be retained in future plans for Quay Street. What I do not support is the continued dominance of Auckland’s waterfront by a de-facto motorway, i.e. Quay Street. That’s why I suggest getting a lot of cars out of there, which if done right should also benefit PT.

        Insofar as we need bus lanes on arterial roads: I completely agree. I would support the *immediate* construction of a northside busway on Fanshawe Street and Customs Street, plus a east-side busway on Anazc/Symonds Street/New North until about the intersection Dominion. I have a post forming about this, the topic of which has been keeping me up at night (as Patrick suggests).

        As for whether I’m the “world’s biggest bus fan” I’m not quite sure. I just happen to think that they have the most untapped potential out of any PT mode in Auckland. Potential that could be realised with relatively little capital investment, by comparison to other initiatives. I think we’re in agreement here? Probably better for us to build on this common ground (and work together to improve better PT in Auckland) rather than undermining each other’s enthusiasm? No one knows the whole truth you know.

        Insofar as Queen Street is concerned – I quite support what has happened there. Mainly because the City Link isolates the most congested and slow street in Auckland from the rest of the network. That allows all the longer routes to operate (on parallel streets) much more effectively. Yes it’s a short walk – but that’s a reason to improve pedestrian facilities because, after all, PT users are pedestrians too.

        Regards,
        Stu (that’s my real name ;)).

        P.s. I’m 30 years old and have not owned a car for 10 years. In 1995 I had just started 4th form at Waiuku College, so doubt it was me causing trouble in Grey Lynn, mind you I did cause some trouble in the class room – which I hope my teachers have been able to survive.

  • Bing

    I am all for this project but I feel like there needs to be much much more green included in these city plans. The shared spaces are brilliant but the I find the constant grey a bit monotonous. (Especially on Queens Wharf..off topic but I find the wharf disgusting and in desolate. Its in desperate need of more amenities, trees, and green. A resurfacing at the very least.)

    I love the steps down to the water on the western side of Te wero bridge and in my opinion I think the waterfront development needs to find a way to bring us closer to the water some how.

    Some quick google-ing, I’d love to see some of these ideas that are from washington state come to fruition in Auckland. While I love all the developments, I cant help but feel underwhelmed by the creativity of our city planners

    http://www.djc.com/stories/images/20041209/Waterfront_park.jpg <–Seattles plans after they tear down the ghastly Alaska way viaduct
    http://www.jdland.com/dc/images/other/yards-park-100827-173.JPG

  • Chris

    IMO the Lower Hobson St flyover should be closed (and removed) first so that they can do a decent job on the Quay St upgrade.

    Those heading into the CBD will be forced to turn onto Customs St East via Lower Albert St and Tangihua St. Access to and from Quay Street should be reduced with the removal of lanes and as a result most of the traffic heading to the motorway will do so via Grafton Gully.

  • KLK

    Jan: “Buses are right down the food chain as far as you guys are concerned otherwise you wouldn’t accept all the services that have been pulled from Queen Street to give more room for your beloved cars.”

    I think you’ll find most of us are champions of buses and bus lane, Jan – the more the better. We are also keen on pedestrian-friendly spaces within the CBD. Its possible to have both.

    “Beloved” cars????

  • Jeff H

    Some are of the view the bulk of cars on Quay St are heading from East to the Shore or vice versa and the problem will be solved by diverting them onto motorways through the Grafton and the CMJ.

    From daily observations over many years I would say peak morning traffic on Quay St is primarily CBD or fringe West destined and going home in the evenings to Parnell and the Bay’s. Closing Quay St will mean Customs St or the other cross Queen St routes will be the only alternatives and soon of course we’ll have more cars wanting to get into the new Viaduct business area.

    As long as there are copious parking buildings in the CBD people are naturally going to use them. Perhaps that and public transport should be the first issues to address before we pedestrianise the CBD?

    • Jeff, I know this is being pedantic but the words you used are a pet hate of mine: traffic doesn’t go home and cars don’t want to get into anywhere. People want to get into places, and some of them decide to drive there. It irks me that some people (not yourself) talk vehicles are these unstoppable things that must be succumbed to, or that traffic is some sort of physical law rather than the effect of people trying to get about.
      Ok pedantry over.

    • Also Jeff doesn’t every car loving right thinker always go on about the great adaptability of the private vehicle as a means of transport. Let drivers adapt as they see fit; it has happened every else in the world where roads and highways and flyovers have been removed, and hell, they’re only proposing to downscale this one. Of course among the adaptions available is leaving the thing at home.

      I happened to be on Quay St for much of the day as I was working there and the speeds driven are insane, especially post peak; the thing is built like Brands Hatch, it’s crazy. Build a six lane highway and it will driven on as such; even if just between the lights…. idiots in Imprezas mostly.

  • KLK

    I would have thought there were already “copious” parking buildings and plenty of PT (bus/rail/ferry) capacity into the CBD.

  • KLK

    Apologies – you are (quite rightly) looking to reduce parking buildings. But surely there is more than enough options for people to get into the CBD by PT already?

    Its getting to the point where, yes, we need to continue improving/enhancing PT access, but also start to ‘penalise” those who want the privelege of driving in.

  • Andrew

    One thing I think is worth considering is sinking lid policy on dedicated parking buildings and open/vacant spaces used for car parking in the inner CBD.

    Perth has them on the CBD fringe, from there you take a bus the rest of the way in. Council could lead by building a new carpark building somewhere around the Fanshawe St offramp, and then sellling off the Victoria St and Downtown carpark buildings for demolition and redevelopment (thus funding the new fringe parking building).

    • Newnewt

      As part of the Victoria Park Tunnel project, a parking building has just been built adjacent to the Fanshawe Street off ramp. It’s run by the church whose former carpark was truncated by the widening of the northbound on ramp and construction of the tunnel portal.

    • Stu Donovan

      That technically already exists in Auckland, in the form of parking maximums that restricts the amount of parking that individual developments can provide.

  • jan o'connor

    Nick R
    There are 3 buses going to Hauraki Corner in the afternoon & 4 in the morning. They let off at Esmonde (2 zones) to the walkways leading to the Hauraki Peninsula – no where near Hauraki Corner.

    There 105 North Star buses going Takapuna to CBD daily via the Esmonde Rd bus lane and the same number returning. The Northern Express doesn’t feature on these guys radars at all. It is used mostly by AUT & Rosmini Students as there is no all day park ‘n ride

  • Jeff H

    I see a couple of letters in the Herald today on the subject, including the suggestion of an elevated roadway over Quay St.

  • OrangeKiwi

    Oh my, I just read it too. Not that letter writers to the Herald are anything to go by, but the general public is very much unaware of the exact problems at hand and the details of the offered solutions and their effects. Full pedestrianisation of Quay St, the apparent existence of not one but multiple bus stations around Britomart, trams are not a good idea for Tamaki Dr because cycles get jammed in tram lines, suggesting an Embarquaydero – and that’s just today’s yield. Are these misunderstandings the result of poor communication about the project(s) or the public death throes of the tunnel-visioned carpers refusing to allow any change to their beloved car-dominated world?

    • I think they are the death throes of the cars come first part of our society. I would almost guarantee that the AA will eventually chime up about it saying how unfair it is that people can’t drive their car somewhere (even though the proposal still retains general traffic lanes). I know that they threw a hissy fit when AT confirmed the new parking scheme for the city. These people and the AA probably can’t understand what is happening after getting their own way for so long.

      • OrangeKiwi

        Yes, and if Quay St were to be transformed some commuters just might be possibly *forced* to change modes when travelling into the heart of the CBD of a city of a million and a half (!). I’m sure the AA and other car-centrics would be up in arms about this, which would strike me as very hypocritical as for so long so many people around the city have already been practically forced into using one particular mode.

        Anyway, the hissy fit you mentioned. It’s like rightly taking away toys from a spoilt child that shouldn’t have been allowed so many in the first place. And I’m worried about who’s going to be perceived as the victim by the voting public when it does cry foul. Especially if the intentions of plans like these are poorly communicated…

  • That corespondent lives in Beachlands: Perhaps they feel the city will look better with an Embacadero when viewed from the ferry….heh. Anyway how come Panmure gets a double stacker and we can’t get one in the city! And Welly is getting one of those really modern and futuristic flyovers, it’s just not fair. Isn’t it 1960 already? Come on NZTA.

  • patrick

    This has been an entertaining topic, I agree that cars can use the grafton connection to the harbour briidge, there is an observation I have made
    about onramps with signals. With the VPT completed the onramp from the western motorway and grafton have their own lane now, so are having signals really necessary? they just hold up the traffic that is using the onramps when they could be freeflowing with little interuption to the other two northbound lanes. I’m guessing the hold up puts off people using that onramp and use Quay street instead.
    With the Wellington street onramp opening soon, I guess that means these signals will be needed now

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