Last night I received a wonderful letter from a reader that I thought I would share. Warren I can tell you that myself and my fellow bloggers really appreciated it, especially the bit about Patrick, so thank you very much
An Appreciation and more……
From the time I discovered the Auckland Transport Blog, a little before Josh Arbury discovered his dream job of Transport Strategist at Auckland Council and relinquished his editorship of the Blog, it has become a mandatory daily viewing for me.
I am particularly impressed by the quality of the analytical work of the blogging team and their amazingly sustained commitment to the noble and economically justifiable cause of a better transport system for Auckland. I have also been impressed with the very rapid comment responses to issues which have arisen and the quick posting of pertinent radio interviews and answers to questions in Parliament (TV) which I would otherwise have
missed. My wife and I appreciated the film evening initiative at the Capitol Theatre in Dominion Road.
Above all, I have appreciated the tenor of the Blog – it is always well mannered.
It seems to me that with the possible exception of Patrick Reynolds the blogging team is very young which makes widely scoping analytical work even more creditable. And I enjoy Patrick’s pithy comments. He has the ability to get straight to the nub of an issue and on occasions get the discussion back on track.
Personally I am in the older age group and thought you may appreciate some comment from a senior citizen.
I well remember the trams all passing through Queen Street before dispersing to their respective suburbs. We frequently took the Meadowbank tram through Newmarket and Parnell to Queen Street. It then went up Queen Street, turned right into Karangahape Road and finished up at Avondale. The City Rail Link will allow the same efficient utilisation of Britomart with an up to date Metro system.
Over the years we have de-humanised parts of Auckland’s CBD. For a long time I have felt dismayed at one way raceways, such as Hobson and Nelson Streets, extra wide motorways with more than two lanes in each direction, continual motorway extensions into the countryside which only encourage distant living and make close–in motorway entry points more difficult and so on.
Even though I am a natural conservative I am disappointed at the present Government’s wasteful Roads of National Significance programme and appalled at their failure to revise it, in view of changing circumstances and trends, and the now increasingly evident business case deficiencies. This intransigence is not smart government. And being fairly widely travelled also confirms the belief that the CRL is vital for all the reasons set out in the Auckland Transport Blog.
At the time of the last general election the local Campbells Bay Community Association arranged for all North Shore Electorate candidates to address a meeting and answer questions. When I asked Maggie Barry what she would do if elected to persuade her party colleagues to abandon the “holiday highway” in favour of the CRL she made this out to be a stupid question and blathered on about supposed benefits to the Northland economy.
I have been greatly impressed with the quality of Julie Anne Genter’s questions in Parliament to Steven Joyce and more recently Gerry Brownlie and singularly unimpressed with quality of their answers. In order to extend awareness and to de-mystify the benefits of the CRL to my Rotary colleagues I invited Julie Anne to address our Rotary Club last October which she did, performing with credit.
A better Auckland ?
I am not an architect but architecture has been my hobby all my life and I have travelled the world to follow this passion. I have built two houses using the services of an architect for both. The architect for the first house was the Czech, Vlad Cacala, at the time not recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects, but now considered an icon of New Zealand Modernism and the subject of an exhibition in the Auckland Art Gallery a few years ago. We lived in this house for 28 years and brought up our family of four in it. But by 1990 I had worked my way through Modernism. Much of it had become bland, boring and repetitive. Many early examples had not worn well. Furthermore, other unsuitable designs (aping Mediterranean dreams) for our wet and windy climate led me to choose an updated arts and crafts design from Dunedin architects, Mason & Wales for
our new home. It elicits favourable comment from strangers, is comfortable and a joy to live in.
Intensification for the growing Auckland is inevitable and I support it but generally favourtownhouses/apartments of no more 4 to 7 storeys in most instances, as with the possible
exception of New York such cities are the most satisfying to visit – for me at least. They could possibly be higher in the CBD – maybe.
Once upon a time city buildings were built for their intended occupiers and reflected that ownership and status. Now developers develop buildings for letting and the most personality an incoming tenant can aspire to is usually limited to naming rights. It would be nice to think that in the CBD we could attract one or two say Louis Sullivan or even Quinlan Terry type buildings. Overseas I detect a return to some classically designed buildings but regretfully I don’t think New Zealand owners or clients have the inclination or ability to produce other than more bland mediocre modernist structures.
My Transport Conversion
Being self- employed (and nearly retired) I am not a commuter. When I need to visit the city I drive over the hill and catch a northern busway bus from Sunnynook. It is fast enough and enjoyable. If I want to go to a location beyond the city I go by car over the bridge.
When I first received my Super Gold Card I didn’t use it because I was of the view that senior citizens should pay their own way, as they were often more able to do so than other citizens. More recently I have realised that there is an element of promotion of public transport with the Gold Card – anything that gets people out of their cars to be publicly transported or walk must have some merit.
In recent months I have travelled on Wellington’s Matangi trains to the Hutt admittedly in off peak times. For the user they are quick, clean and efficient. I hope that we do not wait too long for the CRL to be completed and that it together with the new EMUs revolutionise travel in Auckland. We deserve it.
So thank you for the fantastic Auckland Transport Blog