Follow us on Twitter

Guess where this is?

Little pop quiz for you all. Can you guess where this place in Auckland is.

Auckland Then

Click though to the post to get the answer.

It’s now home to a monument to our road building obsession. The road pattern and density would be similar to what Ponsonby is around today.

Auckland Now

223 comments to Guess where this is?

  • Bryce P

    Imagine what the land would be worth as residential. Not to mention rates income.

  • Mundungus Fletcher

    Breaks my heart to see that. My word we’ve destroyed Auckland, all to make driving easier.

  • Geoff Blackmore

    The same thing has just happened at Waterview, but nobody seems to be complaining?

    • I complained plenty, although the scale of demolition at waterview (205 houses) is nothing in comparison to what they did for the CMJ.

      • Geoff Blackmore

        It wasn’t just for the CMJ though, it was also to establish light industry in the area. Had the motorways not been built, my guess is the houses would still have been bowled, and it would just be an industrial area today.

        • The directly affected properties would run into the thousands for the whole CMJ, but I disagree that the industrial would have happened anyway. That only exists because the motorway lowered land values so much and left a series of dead end neighbourhoods surrounded on two sides by freeway. Without the motorway cutting it into four non-neighbourhoods Newton would look like Ponsonby today.

    • SF Lauren

      Its hardly that similar to waterview, most of that was built on parks that only existed as part of a rail designation. The CRL is going to have a far greater impact then waterview taking out half of Mt Eden.

      • It doesn’t take it out though, sure it demolishes a whole pile of warehouses in Eden Terrace but the sites will be redeveloped again afterwards, at much higher densities and with higher land values due to Newton Station.

        The CRL will result in far more buildings in Eden Tce after it is built, not less.

        • SF Lauren

          Well certaily a large part of it will be cut and cover at great expense however there will still be some large new open trenches and plenty of new building restrictions.

          In a way it will be like the christchurch earthquake in that a large area will be destroyed so that it can come back better than before.

      • Geoff Blackmore

        I’m referring to where a few hundred houses were removed, at the north end of the Waterview project. No railway desgnation up there.

  • mb

    Jarbury had a post a long time ago that talked about capping some of the sections of motorway. Would be fantastic if possible. I think there was something in acouncil document about it too.

  • Glen

    Horrendous.

    Interesting also that much of the residential area in the lower right of the top photo has been replaced by larger commercial buildings, even though it isn’t directly part of the CMJ.

    We can only hope that the CRL will lead to a revitalisation of this area as a residential neighbourhood (though of course its original rich fabric has been destroyed). IIRC there is now a large golf gear warehouse in this area… of all the things in what should be a desirable inner-city neighbourhood…

    • Well they wiped out most of the residential on all sides of the motorway anyway so I guess the commercial is what they replaced it with once they were finished with the CMJ

    • Part of the second order effects, put down a huge motorway interchange, disconnect all the local streets and remove most houses from the neighbourhood and you are left with very undesirable, low value land. The remaining houses fall in to disrepair and are replaced with cheap light industrial.

  • Think of the rateable value of that inner city real estate. All lost so distant inhabitants can drive their cars to work in the old city centre. How stupid.

  • SF Lauren

    Of course you guys are imagining a city without that which was only made possible by having it.

    If the CMJ was never built Auckland and even New Zealand would be fare worse off than it is today. In all likelyhood the CBD of Auckland would be somewhere else in the city that has had good road provisions for the past 50 years. Just like pretty much every other major city in the world.

    • Bryce P

      Rubbish. Much of the traffic that uses this section of motorway does not have the CBD as a destination.

      • SF Lauren

        Clearly you have a rather limit grasp on history and that it emcompases more than just what happened today.

        The entire dynamics of a city work on having centralised commercial areas that people can get to. If Auckland had left its CBD with the few slow and low capacity roads that were congested 50 years ago the central city would have just stagnated and the outer areas that were growing at the time would have taken over an dominated. Auckland could very well be called Manukau.

        • Bryce P

          Limited grasp of history? I remember riding on the Farmers trolley bus with my grandparents. I’ve got a pretty reasonable grasp of Auckland’s history.

        • Bryce P

          And motorway based planning has been so good for Manukau right? Bad example to use.

          • SF Lauren

            Um Bryce, in case it wasnt obvious enough I was refering to a version of Auckland that didnt have the CMJ. Obviously if there had been no CMJ the entire city would have been very different, Including Manukau which is basically a large living are with a big shopping centre in the middle. All the commercial growth in Auckland has been around the CBD as transport projects like the CMJ have enabled it to grow.

          • Bryce P

            But instead of the CMJ we could have had a combined road network (not motorways through the CBD), a ring road and a functioning rail system. But we just built the CMJ at the time. And the reason Manukau has been rubbish is the fact it was designed a) as single use zoning and b) with only car access in mind which has been that way for 40 years until now where it is slowly being unravelled and dwellings built.

        • I say bollocks to that. Adelaide did a fair job of retaining its CBD in the same place the CBD had always been without resorting to building freeways. It did so with normal arterials, a CBD centred bus system and a CBD centred railway system. CBDs exist because of the provision of public transport, rather than because of freeways. Commercial strips in the burbs existed around tram routes, and then have spread, mostly dispersed and single story, around road infrastructure. Roads don’t cause agglomeration like public transport does. Roads lead to sprawl. In Auckland I reckon your suggestion is bollocks as well. Best bit of city building Auckland’s done in the last 50 years has been Britomart. Best it’s going to do in the next 50 years is going to be the CRL. Capping the motorways would also be a great idea.

    • Fred

      No motorways through central Vancouver and it does pretty well.

      • SF Lauren

        Keep in mind that high capacity roads dont need to be called ‘motorways’. 8 lane normal roads do perfectly well feeding CBDs just like Vancouver, London and Paris all have.

        I guess back in the day they could have tripled the width of all our roads to make us like them however that would have ment we would have demolished even more buildings and likely ones of more relevance than what was a very poor area at the time.

        • Arry

          I’m sorry, mate. I’m calling bulls*it on this – at least for your comment on London. I currently live in Brighton, and as part of my previous job, I regularly drove to London to work at the Shard construction. The motorway from Brighton (M3) finished well, well, well before the city centre. The A3 going into London from the South ceased to be an Auckland style highway and became, what is essentially, a Dominion Road sort of road (yes, with bus lanes).

          The only road leading to the centre of London resembling a ‘motorway’ is the M4, which stops short of Gunnersbury. And the subsequent A4 (only 8 lanes at some parts, mostly 4 lanes by the time it reaches Cromwell Rd), which stops short of Hyde Park. From then on, it became a 4 lane, normal London Road.

          So, yes, I’m calling bulls*it on your call of London having ‘motorways’ or “8 lane normal roads” feeding its CBD. There is nothing here, at least close to its centre, to the scale of the Auckland CMJ. Nothing close. Bear in mind, I’m not saying that London is perfect.

          • SF Lauren

            So you have never seen the A501 that is a 6 lane high capacity road that links into a bunch of similar roads that completly wring the CBD?

          • Arry

            Are you being serious????
            Which part of “there is nothing here, at least close to its centre, to the scale of the Auckland CMJ” that you don’t understand.

            The A501 is nowhere near – I repeat: nowhere near – the same scale as the CMJ. Nowhere near. I repeat again: nowhere near. For a starter, there are tonnes of pedestrian crossings on the Inner Ring Road. There are bus stops on the Inner Ring Road. There are shops and rail way station on the Inner Ring Road. There are traffic lights, lots and lots of them.

            Yes, there is the Westway, but that’s tiny in the scale of London.

            The closest, in terms of scale, proximity and, I’d argue, damage, would be the A3211 in the City.

            Again, nowhere near the same scale as the CMJ.

          • Dan C

            Have a zoom along that street map link. In some parts they do add a buslane making it 5 lanes. Sometimes even two bus lanes making it 6 lanes in total. But allot of it is only 4 lanes.

            And do you notice something else you don’t see in the CMJ? People. See how there are people on the left, and people on the right, and all along the road people are crossing from the left to the right. Your friend might be on the other side of the road and you can just walk on over and say hello. It’s quite a different experience living in a city built around people.

          • Arry

            Hi Dan,
            For the record, I was replying to SF Lauren.
            I’m in complete agreement with you. Heck, we were doing the monopoly pub crawl in the weekend. And we crossed this road – what SF Lauren thinks to be the same as the CMJ – many times. On foot. A couple of the pubs are actually on the Ring Road. Don’t think I have ever seen a pub on the CMJ (yes, I’m being facetious).

          • Dan C

            Ah yes lower thames st aka the A3211. I used to cycle that every day too after i moved jobs to a Lower Thames St address. That area had the misfortune of being heavily bombed during WWII so it got a bit of the post-war treatment of urban throughways that aucklanders are so fond of.

            It is quite a hell hole, and working south of it you really feel cut off from the City proper. Nothing like the CMJ though, for starters it has numerous pedestrian crossings, and cycle ways along it. http://www.ralphsmyth.me.uk/citycyclists/thamesst.html

            It’s also the planned route for a fully segregated cycle ‘superhighway’ in the next few years.
            http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3707692.ece

          • Arry

            Mo Gaz – sigh – which part of “Bear in mind, I’m not saying that London is perfect” that you don’t understand?

            Paradise? Far from it. Driving in London is horrendous, but we are not talking about that, are we? We are talking about how the Auckland CMJ is destroying the CBD. We are talking about the transportation infrastructure choices our forefathers took. We are talking about the presence of large and destructive roads in the CBD. We are talking about the lack of transportation choice in Auckland (try going to the North Shore from Howick outside peak time).

            In my opinion, transportation in London is generally better than in Auckland (NOTE: I did not say perfect). How do I know? Well, I grew up in Auckland and I now live in Brighton and do lots of business and social activities in London. Yes, of course, you could disregard my opinions and rely on the “fine” publication that is The Standard. But please, do not put words in my mouth! I never said “London is some sort of transportation paradise.”

          • Arry

            Mo Gaz
            Again, Where? Where did I state that I am comparing Auckland to London. SF Lauren started it by saying: “Just like pretty much every other major city in the world” when referring to the CMJ. I was merely saying that his comparison is not entirely accurate.

            I don’t know why you keep on trying to put words in my mouth. I did not say that it is easy to get from London to Oxford. I did not say that transportation from Brighton to London is better than in Auckland. I did not say that transportation in London is cheaper than in Auckland. I did not say that transportation in London is better than in mainland Europe. I did not say that the Poms aren’t going to be debating HS2 for years to come. I did not even mention anything about lefties. I did not mention Copenhagen, Amsterdam or any other place. I did not say Auckland is not a nice little city. I did not say Auckland does not have a reasonable PT system. I did not say any of these things. Please read my posts. What I did say is, and I quote: “In my opinion, transportation in London is generally better than in Auckland (NOTE: I did not say perfect)”. THAT is what I said. And yes, THAT is an opinion.

            I’m not sure whether you’re joking or just being super thick when you said your friend is “apparently the only straight guy living there”, but I don’t know how or why that is even part of the discussion. If you’re trying to make strawman out of me by making an assumption of my sexuality based on where I live, then well, having this discussion with you is basically pointless. Good day to you, sir.

        • Dan C

          Yes please do post the google maps link showing where the 8 lane roads cuttting through the heart of london are. I must have somehow missed them on my daily commute. Surprised none of the taxi drivers knew about them either, but maybe they are just so congested like aucklands are that the taxi drivers avoid them and only take the backstreets?

          • Dan C

            Funny how you could get from one side of town to the other on the ‘back streets’ without passing over or under any of these eight lane roads though.

            Perhaps are they tunneled underground? That would explain it. Kinda like the blackwall tunnel under the thames, only twice as wide and really really long.

      • SF Lauren

        For reference, vancouver has 56 lanes of traffic from main roads entering the CBD, before the CMJ we almost didnt have any main roads and you pretty much had to rat run through the suburbs, from what I can make out we had 4 main roads with as much as 16 lanes. Getting from Manukau to the CBD would have taken over 1 hour even if you were the only person on the road.

    • Charles

      Every major city. Really. Paris? London? Both still have crap roads to the CBD. New York? Maybe Manhattan could be called well connected but it’s sure a lot less road per capita than Auckland. Developing cities anywhere? No.

      Actually only cities that were on a particular cusp of development within those years had that development pattern.

    • Max

      You are positing a false “either/or” choice here, SF Lauren. Apart from the fact that the inter-regional connection (as in “freight traffic” and long distance traffic) need not have gone across the harbour bridge (instead, could have used the western ring route), if we had invested more into rail, buses etc…, we presumably could have done with a much smaller motorway, or, gasp, a couple of arterial roads.

      The argument that “you need motorways or your city will not prosper” is as false now as it was then. Even more frustratingly, you don’t even need motorways as a NECESSITY for good car mobility. If people have alternatives, and the settlement patterns support it, much less invasive roading networks will serve the people who want or need to drive just fine.

      Or of course you could just widen the motorway again as we are doing on SH16 now. If we keep doing that a bit longer, maybe we will need a second layer on top of the CMJ. Or we simply bowl K’Road too, instead of just cutting away the body of the city around it as we have done in the past.

      • SF Lauren

        Max you are getting the completly wrong end of the stick here. I never said a city needs motorways, i said it needs good road provisions. Back before the CMJ we had 4 main roads with about 16 lanes of traffic and they were unable to feed the CBD. We could have uograded each of these to 8 lanes and been more like Melbourne before their motorways however this would have likely been more distructive than the path we took and would havr still left us with slow and dangerous roads that would be even worse for peds and cyclists than what we have today.

    • Bullshit. Melbourne cancelled their central motorway junction plans and prospered just fine for forty years with only outer suburban motorways, in fact growing from one to three million residents. It helps that they didn’t remove their trams and built their city rail link in the late 70s of course.

      Remember that the CMJ scheme replaced the earlier plan for the motorways to skirt the city and be true strategic highways, not get clogged up with commuters driving to work on Queen St. Previously city commuters would simply drive from the motorway at waterview and the harp of Erin on Great North and Great South roads respectively, or over the bridge to Fanshawe St (ironically what NZTA want to do with a harbour crossing, bridge just for city centre access and strategic traffic on a bypass route).

      • I’ve seen some suggestions that one of the reasons they ended up putting the CMJ in rather than the strategic bypass like was originally planned was to force more vehicles over the bridge which was subject to a toll. Not sure if it is true or not but certainly an interesting suggestion

        • tuktuk

          My version of the story around doing the harbour bridge instead of the original inter-regional bypass was……. that it was all about those with power owning land on the North Shore (Takapuna, Milford etc) which they knew would go up hugely in value if they could just persuade the ‘powers that be’ to build the harbour bridge and re-direct SH1 as part of the business case. We flatted on the ground floor of a Milford home owned by the family of one of the 1950s North Shore property developers for a spell.

          • This article (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10575356) quotes Mike Lee as saying: “Mr Lee said the bridge’s inadequacy for even the growth of local traffic was compounded when the Holland Government yielded to lobbying by Sir John [Allum, Mayor] to make it part of SH1, instead of developing the western ring route for that role. That led to the destruction of Auckland suburbs such as Grafton and Freemans Bay “and now we’re trying to put back the ring road at enormous cost.”

            This apparently was because Allum was determined that the bridge would not fail because of inadequate traffic (as so many motorways in Australasia now are) and routing SH1 over the bridge was the best way to ensure that.

            The bridge was also apparently a trade off for abandoning the rail link at the time, a link that almost everyone in Auckland wanted, including Allum and the next mayor Luxford until it was traded off by Luxford for the bridge:

            “It is difficult to avoid the impression that central government assent to spending on the Bridge was contingent upon Auckland City Council sending the railway proposals off to a committee chaired by Dickson, with the fact that this had been done before the November 13 general election perhaps an added bonus.” (from “Slow Train Coming: The New Zealand State Changes its Mind about Auckland Transit, 1949-1956″ – CE Harris)

            A sad history for Auckland.

          • Yes I think it’s fair to say that we had a period when the government wanted the right solution but the local politicians wanting the wrong solution. Now we are starting to see that reversed.

          • SlowJoe

            Yeah, and we got a pretty lousy bridge out of the bargain too. It was virtually a lose-lose situation.

      • SF Lauren

        Nick, you lived in Melbourne, nobody should need to tell you just how massive the normal roads in Melbourne are. They could have not built a single motorway and still have vastly more road capacity going into their CBD than what we have today.

        • You do realise that fewer people commute to Melbourne’s CBD by car than Auckland’s right, and that it has slightly fewer carparks than we do? FYI it has about three times the working population too.

          If they have vastly more road capacity then they don’t need it.

          Anyway, I would have much rather seen great north and great south rds as six lane boulevards and still have Newton, Grafton and Freeman’s bay intact. We widened them both in the 60s regardless, so they wouldn’t have had much extra impact (bit perhaps fewer car yards(.

          • SF Lauren

            Nick, you do realise that its 2013 and Melbourne didnt just appear one day in its current form?

            It actually had to grow to get to its current size and it didnt do that with a crap road network.

          • Melbourne also did it with a large tram network, a large metro train network and a country train network (which has a lot of city commuters). It also has a busy port and more cheap flat land for industry than Sydney.

          • No, it did it with a four track city rail loop and a large tram network. It didn’t need need traffic capacity, motorway or large arterial, to get a city centre three times the size of ours, it just has 85% non-car modshare to the CBD. Certainly it’s suburbs sprawled from the 70s onward with the construction of motorways, but that wasn’t required for the city centre to grow so strong.

          • SF Lauren

            So your saying Melbourne has had an 85% non-car mode share its entire life and that all those large arterial roads that feed into the city sit empty all the time?

            Strange as those roads seemed pretty darn busy when I lived there.

          • I never said they sit empty, I said they are only carrying 15% of the city commuters which translates to about the same amount of actual drivers as Auckland has today, just to a city centre three times the size. They stay relatively and evenly busy across the day, but the point is Melbourne relies squarely on it’s public transport to move it’s city commuters and keep the CBD growing and prosperous. If they can thrive with only 15% of people driving to town then we could have too.

            Yes the non-car modeshare has stayed low like that since before World War II, it increase a little through the 1970s as the rail network got run down and trams fleet was yet to be replaced, but then dropped again once the City Loop opened and the Z class trams fleet was introduced. This is in the context of a constantly growing city, traffic briefly picked up a greater share of the growth as investment in PT waned, but it lost back again once funding shifted and remains not far of insignificant in terms of commuter numbers.

          • SF Lauren

            You do know that commuters arent the only people who use roads right? In fact some 80% of users arent commuters.

          • Yes, precisely why our city wouldn’t have depended on a lot of peak road capacity to the CBD, and why the motorway network would have been better skirting around the isthmus rather than driving all the routes right into the core and having a big interchange wrapping around the CBD.

          • SF Lauren

            Um hello, 6 VPH is not heaps of peak time capacity, is crap all capaciry 24/7. Without sne decent road upgrades every little side street would be saturated with vehicles if the city was the size it is today with the roads if 1950.

          • Yes quite correct and exactly my point (arguing with yourself now?), 6,000vph isn’t heaps of peak time capacity. Perfectly adequate if you don’t require a lot of peak road capacity to get commuters to the CBD. More than adequate for non-commuter access to the CBD.

            You are wrong it is crap all capacity 24/7, it is actually just over a million vehicles a week 24/7. Again, more than enough if you don’t need to move all your commuters in cars at the same time. Go run the numbers on all the roads leading to the CBD today and add up the figures for the busiest interpeak hour, see if those add up to anything close to 6,000vphpd.

          • SF Lauren

            Well Nick, given SH16 carries between 3k to 4k vph in just the eastbound durection alone throughout the day reaching 6k very every road feeding the CBD would be rather easy. Would you prefer all those people drove along Great North Road which would require it to be 6 lanes without any buslanes.

          • So you counted all the traffic on SH16 eastbound, that’s pretty stupid.

            Sorry my bad, let me rephrase in more simple and very specific terms: Go run the numbers on all the vehicular traffic actually entering the CBD interpeak (not simply all traffic on any road that points towards the CBD at some point).

            There is easily enough capacity on Great North Rd interpeak to take all the traffic from the SH16 corridor that is actually going to the CBD. Given that the main Nelson St exit only carries about 9,000 vehicles across the *entire day*, the number of people driving along the SH16 to that ramp would hit about 600-700vph interpeak at best (yes I realise there are other city exits from Sh16, but I can’t be bothered adding it all up).

            No one is saying, except perhaps yourself, that everyone currently driving on the motorway would otherwise be forced to drive along Great North Rd into downtown. The simple fact being that most people on SH16 aren’t going to the CBD, especially not during the interpeak, they are headed north or south to places further afield. If the earlier plan had been built those people would have been driving north or south on a western bypass motorway, and only those actually driving to the CBD would be driving to the CBD.

          • SF Lauren

            Well you have about 1000vph using juat the fanshawe st off-ramp and another getting on so that 2k just in that corner.

            For the SH16 traffic its rather narrow viewed to think only those going to the CBD would use great nortg road. If you had built the WRR back in the day the most populous parts of Auckland would be needing to use the few central city roads we have. You can cleary see by the WRR numbers that most people are still wanting to use SH1 even though its highly congested as it actually takes them to where they want to go. The WRR is a bypass route for which percentage wise is a rather small number.

          • Bryce P

            Now you are arguing for the motorway that you said you were not arguing for. The heat must have got to you. Have a beer and a lie down.

          • Fanshawe st and the harbour bridge were built before the CMJ, you’ll recall that was one of the four multilane arterials I’ve already mentioned as being adequate to provide for general traffic access to the CBD. So thanks for proving my point again.

            The harbour bridge is definitely worse off after being connected to the motorways with the CMJ. We should have stuck to the original plan where the harbour bridge was for arterial access between the shore and the CBD and the motorway went around the harbour to the west.

    • Dan C

      No motorways through London and it does pretty well. No overland railways either for that matter – that’s why all the terminal stations are scattered in a vague circle around the outside of the central city. They figured out in the 1800′s that was incompatible with a pleasant place to live – if only we had such vision.

      • SF Lauren

        You do know that when they built the CMJ that the CBD was were it is today, as in to the side of the CMJ and not under or over it. Its only with time that its grown along with the little villages such as Newmarket.

        • Arry

          Are we looking at the same picture?

          Yes. On the original post. In case you can’t see the picture, it has the original K’Road and lots of houses in Newton.

          Nope? Well, I guess it’s a matter of perspective then.

        • Dan C

          If we had the vision Londons planners had 200 years ago we would not have built the motorway where it is. We would have an orbital by-pass aka WRR – like London built the circle line to connect the train stations built at the periphery of the city (operational in 1884) because they didn’t want the city blighted by noisy smelly train lines. Then, as the city grows, it can grow organically outward into the existing suburbs. These fringe suburbs are where lots of interesting high value things happen as cities grow, you know kinda like ponsonby.

          Instead we bowled half the inner suburbs and have a city disconnected from it’s heart. A city where it’s damn hard (and expensive) to find a home not miles from the centre that’s not blighted by traffic noise. O the irony that it’s far easier to find a quiet residential street in a city of 9 million than it is in a city of 1.4.

        • to quote from wikipedia

          ” the junction was a major project in a scheme that led to the forcible acquisition and demolition of 15,000 dwellings in the inner suburbs, causing 50,000 people to move away from the area when the central motorway network was constructed – with major negative effects on the nearby Auckland CBD, and especially the Karangahape Road shopping area, which fell into decline for decades.”

          didn’t touch the CBD at all did it?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Motorway_Junction

          • Stu Donovan

            friggin hell. 15,000 homes? 50,000 people were displaced? At a time when Auckland’s population could not have been more than half a million I guess? Which suggests that 10% of the population were displaced …

            No wonder the city went into decline afterwards. That’s a disaster of national proportions …

      • TheBigWheel

        Agree.. “no motorways through London and it does pretty well” Unlike Glasgow which has motorways right through the middle, like Auckland..

        http://goo.gl/maps/82sMA
        http://goo.gl/maps/DvkjP

        This from Wikipedia..

        “The M8, more explicitly the Glasgow section, is unusual amongst UK motorways in that it directly serves (and bisects) a large urban area, whereas most other motorways bypass such conurbations. The central Glasgow section is elevated above much of the surrounding area on a concrete viaduct, including a number of incomplete constructions including several pedestrian overpasses and adjoining arterial roads, and including slip roads that enter and exit from the passing (right-hand) lane. It contains one of the busiest river crossings in Europe at the Kingston Bridge.”

        Quite like Auckland really. I suppose the route was just smashed through in the 60s / 70s because whoever was in charge didn’t give a flying fish about the locals.

        It’s beyond me how anyone, never mind a group of people, could ever have concluded that the route of the M8 through Glasgow or SH1 through Auckland was the best option. But that’s what they did. Fascists! There are probably worse examples from the former Soviet Union or China.

        Also like Auckland, Glasgow has no rail to the airport, and useless provision for cycling.

        • Rather than Russia or CHina, I think the worst examples would have to be in the US. they built downtown freeways there to serve downtowns which then caused blight like in Milwaukee and soon to come to Wellington) and with all the sprawl elsewhere their city centres declined. Some of their city centres feel like ghost towns even during working days (try to find lunch in Jackson Mississippi’s downtown for instance) and hold on with post offices and court buildings, but hardly any retail.
          . When built underground (like in Phoenix, undergrounded (like in Boston) or removed (like the Embacadero) they are better (but the amount of money pissed up the wall on those 3 is amazing).

          I think Patrick’s 8.18am nails it. Auckland doesn’t need more, and capping them (which may pay for itself, selling air space) should be considered.

          • TheBigWheel

            Some shockers in the US too.. and as you say massively expensive to retrofit underground. Cap and cover parts of Grafton Gully shouldn’t be too difficult though, you would think. At the end of the day if the land value is high enough, cover the lot or take the motorway out and build it somewhere else.

            Yes, looking forward, the key point is not to build yet more traffic lanes through the centre. By all means replace the present bridge if and when needed (although I’d argue there are already too many car lanes), but don’t duplicate it with yet more roads.

    • john smith

      SF Lauren: ‘Of course you guys are imagining a city without that which was only made possible by having it.’

      This is the fallacy of assuming a counterfactual that is only different from the present in the one respect you are focussing on. ‘If we had not built motorway X, traffic would be chaos’ (tacitly assuming that everything else about the city – population, density, travel patterns, mode share, therefore total traffic – would be as at present)

      That’s only one possible counterfactual, and not a very plausible one. A more realistic counterfactual is ‘IF we had a) not built motorway X, AND b) generally followed transit-friendly (not car-dependent) transport investment and urban planning policies, THEN our major citites would be somewhat different and probably more pleasant places than they are now.’

      In the second counterfactual, there is every reason to think that the cities would still have strong central activities districts in the historic locations. It’s the present of motorways, not their absence, that encourage ‘edge city’ dispersion.

      • Well the counter factual was the factual at the time, as Fred Mentions the 1946 plan. It basically involved building the western ring route around the city from north to south but not the CMJ or any motorways inside of waterview or ellerslie. City access was to be via the then version of the city rail link, plus main arterial roads from Great North and Great South Rda, Tamaki Dr and eventually the harbour bridge (which wouldn’t have connected to the motorway south of the harbour).

        That sounds perfect to me, lots of transit and some main road access to the central city, Ns a strategic motorway network that didn’t get clogged up with city commuters.

      • SF Lauren

        You guys are all on a rabid argument over something I never said.

        I never claimed a CBD needs motorways, I said it needs good road provisions. Auckland did this with its motorways but many other cities did this with a vast network of high capacity local roads, be they 4, 6 or 8 lanes.

        • You often do this dodging and weaving when people present counter evidence. The fact is you are saying that the motorways are a good thing and without them some other form of roading would have been necessary, eventually.

          Other people are saying that trams/rail/bus would have served the inner city for a long time time before huge roads that displaced 50,000 people would have been needed. If the CRL or equivalent had been built in the 1950s and SH1 routed via Waterview, as originally planned, we would still need the same roads?

          Are you saying the city would have been less successful? I see very little evidence for that.

          • SF Lauren

            Gossoid, feel free to read my first post and many others that say that in order for a CBD to grow it needs good road access. Not once did I ever claim a city needs motorways or a huge interchange in the middle of the city.

            About the only city of note I can think of with poor road access is Venice and that is hardly a commercial hub anymore but rather a tourist trap.

            Cities like London all have huge road networks that let them grow in size to a point they were so massive that underground rail became the only option.

            If it had not been for our motorway or some other significant upgrades thinking Auckland would have grown to its current size on rail and buses alone is like suggesting Waiheke should be a sprawling metropolis as it would have been just as easy to get to.

          • I wonder if that 50,000 figure is true. 50,000 people within walking distance to the CBD displaced… in total only some 50,000 people drive to the city each day, today.

        • Stu Donovan

          SF Lauren, you wrote “If the CMJ was never built Auckland and even New Zealand would be fare worse off than it is today.”

          You’d have to agree that statement presumes Auckland could/would not improve its roads without the CMJ. As people have pointed out to you this is spurious, given 1) what other cities have achieved without things like the CMJ and 2) you don’t know what the counterfactual may have been.

          Note also that no one else here is (I think) arguing against “good road provision” (as you are now trying to imply), they’re arguing instead against the *CMJ* (which as your comment quoted above shows you were initially defending).

          So rather than twisting your position away from your earlier statements, I’d suggest that you front up like an adult and acknowledge you were not sufficiently careful in your earlier comment. Do not flippantly accuse others of being “rabid” – that’s a patently obvious attempt to deflect attention from the (largely indefensible) position you have got yourself into.

          • SF Lauren

            Stu think of it this way in terms of an argument for education.

            If I said ‘if it had not been for St Johns I would not be where I am today, everyone needs good education’. That does not mean I think everyone should go to St Johns but rather I think everyone needs good education.

            From what I have seen nobody besides myself has really mentioned how important goods roads are for a city, they just keep telling me how we dont need motorways or the CMJ and claim the city would be even bigger and better than it is today if we had made no road improvements (given they never mention any)

          • Erm, if it had not been for St Johns you would have got your education at another school and be in much the same place you are today, perhaps better even. One school not being there doesn’t mean you go without an education, like how the CMJ not being there doesn’t mean the city goes without transport.

            A city centre needs abundant transport access to thrive, that is a given. However it doesn’t need masses of motorway or arterial road capacity to thrive if there are other ways for peak time commuters to get there. We could have easily taken the Melbourne path, by maintaining and expanding our commuter PT system and having a very small modeshare of drivers to the CBD. Or take Wellington for a closer to home example. They have a sum total of six inbound lanes between the inner area and the suburbs (and the rest of the North Island for that matter) three on the motorway, two on the Hutt Road and one on Burma Rd. Thats it, and they prospered just fine by virtue of the rail network taking most of the peak commuters. Their CBD has abundant local road connections to the inner suburbs, the same way Auckland has abundant local road connections to the isthmus. About half of the Wellington Region lives in the Hutt Valley, and that is connected to the rest by a simple four lane arterial, oh and a very well used commuter rail system. Why would West Auckland, or South Auckland need more than that? They are each in the same order of population as the Hutt, and the could have similarly had a four lane arterial and two track rail line linking them to the city.

            You have to separate out the peak commuter traffic from the base level road demands. We would only need big inner city motorways or masses of extra wide arterials leading to our CBD if we are trying to accommodate peak commuters in private cars.

          • SF Lauren

            Erm, are you intentionaly being moronic Nick or did you honestly complelty fail to see that was my point. Be it St Johns or the CMJ has nothing to do with it, the point is you need education and a good road network.

            And stop referring to the melbourne path, melbourne doesnt and never did have a crappy little road network that required people to weave through little side streets to get to the CBD.

            A better example would be the massive CBD we all know and love at Glen Innes, oh thats right there isnt one.

          • Mike

            A CBD does need access from a good road network, but building that network through the edge of the CBD as a major route for traffic that is just trying to pass through is rather like the Vietnamese village that had to be destroyed to save it.

          • Auckland CBD had a good road network in the 1950s, four lane arterials to the north, west, south and east. That is perfectly sufficient for access to a CBD as long as you don’t assume that 50% of the people accessing the CBD would drive. If you assume it’s 15% then you have no need for masses of peak car capacity.

            You seem to be arguing that a “good road network” means massive capacity on motorways, multi lane arterials or huge boulevards. You are talking about access and volume by road, I am talking about access by road and volume by transit.

            I see your main point is a claim that Auckland would always have needed very high levels of road capacity for the CBD to prosper. I disagree with that entirely. You don’t need “a good road network” as you put it, by which you appear to mean a very capacious road network. You only need that if you expect a lot of people to drive to the CBD at the same time. Many cities more prosperous that us didn’t make that failed assumption.

          • SF Lauren

            So what majo CBD can you name that has a poor quality road network similar to what Auckland had in the 1950s.

          • David O

            Dublin, Ireland had pretty poor road access to the CBD (still does)

          • SF Lauren

            From what i can see on google maps dublin has a crap load of large roads crossing over the CBD like a spider web.

            True they arent motorways but then I never said a city needs motorways.

          • Auckland didn’t have a poor quality road network in the 1950s, it had four main multi lane arterials heading north, south, east and west, and eight or night other main roads leading into the core. That is more than adequate to support a city centre that doesn’t rely on single occupant car driving to get commuters to downtown.

          • SF Lauren

            Grom what I can see 1950s Auckland had 6 main roads heading into the CBD with all of them running through the middle of the surounding villages. These are the same roads we have today that are totaly congested where we are wanting to out bus lanes and often dont have enough space.

          • Stu Donovan

            SF Lauren you’re getting owned and funny/sad thing is you don’t even know it. Like I said, nobody’s arguing against a good road network. Your mistake is to equate that with the CMJ, as everyone has pointed out!

            C’est la vie.

  • Warren S

    How to wipe out a whole suburb! And it really stuffed up Karangahape Road as a vibrant shopping area!

    • Yes Warren. When I was younger and before all of this blog type stuff, I always used to wonder why K Rd was ever popular at all due to the crappy land use around it. When you see this and see how many people would have walked there every day you can see why it would have been popular.

  • Dan C

    I don’t get it, in the original picture, where is the gully under K’Rd that SH1 was built into. You mean that gully never even existed before the CMJ?

    I’ve always assumed that was a natural gully and there was alway a bridge connecting the two halfs of K’Rd.

    • Nope, K Rd uses to be a normal street like Ponsonby Rd or any other. That cut is 100% man made, as was most of the stuff across the back. Upper Queen and Symonds Didn’t have bridges, all that was carved out. Go stand by St Benedict’s Church, the graveyard on KRd used to come right across to the church.

      • nonsense

        wow no way. How could 500000 people afford that at the time but 1.5 million can’t afford the crl?

        • Dan C

          We can afford it easily. It’s just a question of prioritisation. Right now saving 2 mins on a 2 hour trip to Whangarei is the priority.

          • Why not just dig up Whangarei and move it 2 minutes closer? It achieves the same as the holiday highway – a 2 minute time saving and a whole lot of money pissed up the wall.

        • Stu Donovan

          I think it’s because the development of highways paid for by central government, whereas public transport was (and still is) at least part-funded by local government?

  • KLK

    People calling out Strawman Lauren for talking rubbish – who would have thought?

  • Fred

    It’s obvious that if Auckland had built the Western Ring Route rather than CMJ while also building CRL as originally planned, we would be a much better city.

  • Stu Donovan

    OK, on the basis of evidence I think we can conclude that: 1) building the CMJ rather than the WRR first was a poor political decision (another example of where technocrats had it right and politicians had it wrong) and 2) the CMJ has subsequently caused irreparable damage to the city.

    That said, what do people think we should do about it now? I’m thinking cap, road pricing (to reduce demands), and reclaim space in whatever way we can.

    • Sailor Boy

      Cap whateve we can and seeing as we have these motorways for cars and trucks let’s dedicate the streets to transit active modes and local access

  • Problem is we still have to stop them doing more. The crazy plans to put six more lanes across the harbour involve new off ramps into the city and an attempt to stuff more vehicles through the CMJ: NZTA’s vile and foolish singularity.

    Of course this is all in complete contradiction to what the Council is trying to do: slowly returning civility to our city by reducing the numbers and the dominance of vehicles on city streets.

    It’s very simple: Fewer Cars = Better City

    Yet NZTA and powerful sections of AT work as hard as they can in the opposite direction. Go Figure.

    The wrongheadedness of this whole venture is caused by the fact that the NZTA has no exposure to changes in Land Value in its work. It’s only metric is time savings for vehicles. This is no real substitute for the discipline of the property value change. AT is similar, it’s work is divorced from many of its real outcomes, even though it relies on property tax for half of its income [rates]. No wonder we get a result that moves tin more quickly but destroys value through the place it goes.

    What to do with it now? Tax its use more to fund fixing the ruin by capping the most egregious sections and stitching the city back together above. Happily this will also help calm the volumes further. But most of all stop adding to the monster; what you feed grows. We have much else to invest in that is of so much higher value, and that will make the better alternative more effective.

    • SF Lauren

      Have you ever seen the plans for the new crossing Patrick? They dont add a single new ramp into the CBD and the VPF is completely removed. They may even dowegrade the St Marys bay section and add in a proper bi-direction busway.

      • Sailor Boy

        Then why build it at ? Why ot just remove the flyoverbuild skypath and build a pt li

        • Nick R

          Makes you wonder doesn’t it, no more lanes through the CMJ or to any other motorway, nor any new ramps to the CBD. So the best it can do is funnel more traffic onto Fanshawe and Cook Sts? Sounds like agree at idea…

    • I have been reading a really interesting paper by Chris Harris at Griffiths University on this called “Roads, Railways and Regimes: Why some societies are able to organise suburban public transport – and why others can’t.”. It compares the corporatist/statist model of Europe vs the libertarian, neoliberal approach of the USA.

      It is basically all about how in Europe the state has used rail and “cluster and connect” models of urban planning to leverage the increased value of land to make PT pay for itself. Of course this involves actual planning, which is Socialist (I can hear the gasps of dismay).

      The libertarian way is to hand that increase in value to the private sector but the state builds motorways at public expense to allow the value capture to happen. This also involves planning but somehow that planning is not socialist because private, already wealthy interests ptofit from it rather than the state and so everybody.

      the really interesting thing is that NZ is pretty much unique in abandoning the corporatist planned model (e.g. the development of the cluster and connect projects in Porirua and the Hutt) in favour of the American inspired, libertarian, motorway based system in the 1950s which has created modern Auckland. Of course we would have built roads anyway (just as Northern Europe has, despite its excellent PT and cycling networks).

      • Alastair

        Woah. Woah. Sorry, It’s several months on now but I just saw this. I have to correct your statements about libertarians.

        “The libertarian way is to hand that increase in value to the private sector but the state builds motorways at public expense to allow the value capture to happen”

        No. The libertarian way is that transport is built by the private sector EXCLUSIVELY. That means, if it is more profitable to build a road than a railway, a road will be built.
        Unfortunately, historically it has almost NEVER been more profitable to build a road than a railway (because railways move more people and are easier to charge for).

        The London Underground was built by PRIVATE railway companies. Only once the state came along and started building roads everywhere did they undercut the business of the railways, leading to them not being profitable. Subsequently they were nationalised.

        If the libertarian had his way, large scale roads like the abomination I can see from my window at work – the Northern Motorway – would not exist.

        • Of course you are right Alistair, that is exactly what a libertarian would say and, in a purely theoritical world with a perfect free market, that would work. However, in a purely theoritical world Communism should have worked. And your analysis of rail is bang on and would also apply to street cars in the US.

          By libertarian, what I really mean is neoliberal, which is when you say you are libertarian while favouring a distorted market (while calling it a free market) with rules that favour certain types of investment that are perceived as private and unsubsidised (i.e. roads) over others that are perceived as public and subsidised (i.e. public transport). The fact both are heavily subsidised is an inconvenient truth that is ignored.

          I was simplifying my terms too much.

          • Alastair

            I thought that was the case :D.

            Yes, another phrase for such people is “crony capitalists”, such as the current regime in the US (and to greater and lesser extents, the entire first world).

            I do, however, have to disagree that in a purely theoretical world communism should have worked. Communism is based on violence. The state knows best and if you don’t like it – good luck. Such a system could never work, and indeed was invented by a lazy sociopath called Marx who never worked a day in his life.
            To the contrary, a perfect free market is based on the ABSENCE of violence. Every trade is voluntary, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want. Whether humans are capable of restraining from ruling over other humans is another matter.

            Absolutely that inconvenient truth is ignored, and I cannot fathom how people can parrot on about the cost of PT as if the roads just magically “appear” out of nowhere at no cost to anyone. In fact they cost far more, as they take productive land and render it useless.

            The introduction of road pricing in Auckland cannot come quickly enough. We need a level playing field. If you don’t use it, you shouldn’t pay for it (and vice versa).

            P.S. what is that in your picture? A bicycle painted on the side of a train?

          • “Every trade is voluntary, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want” – but that is why I say it is good theoritically – that system could never exist in the real world, just as real Communism could never exist. Both assume that human beings are rational and benevolant beings – which clearly they are not.

            Re communism: It is interesting, I was discussing this with my Romanian father in law over a whisky last night. He was the leader of the Young Communists in Bucharest through the 1970s.

            He basically said exactly the same thing as you about the system being based on violence. Also that it could only survive where people were willing to lie to others and themselves day in and day out. His biggest flaw in communism was the one party state and lack of a democracy.

            Of course the system in Romania would have made even Marx physically ill.

  • Ian Auld

    This really is a tragedy. What a beautiful city Auckland could have been if we hadn’t dug half of it up to ram a big road thorugh. Just imagine Grafton, Newton and Freemans Bay as leafy neighbourhoods with medium-density, Ponsonby-esque villas. Instead we have a ring of open traffic-sewers and crappy light industry in these areas (including lower Parnell) before you get to any of the nice city fringe suburbs (Parnell, Ponsonby, Kingsland, Mt Eden). St Mary’s Bay and Northcote point could also have ben lovely seaside villages. Traffic could easily have been dealt with by providing the western bypass for SH1, upgrading the main arterials into the city and keeping the tram network. Please, please, please let us learn from our mistakes!

  • Bullshit, they were perfectly adequate to feed the CBD as hardly anyone drove to the CBD until the motorways were pushed through to it. We got 40’000 vehicles a day driving to the CBD because we built radial motorways and the CMJ in Newton, not the other way around.

    • SF Lauren

      Exactly, if we hadnt build some decent road connections the CBD would have just stagnated and so it would only be a fraction of the size it is today.

      • More likely we would have done the earlier plan, and like Melbourne and many other cities, had only a 15% vehicle modeshare to the CBD at peak times while most commuters would have taken public transport, like they used to, and like we are heading to again. Not building the CMJ wouldn’t mean doing nothing, it just means not pushing all the motorway traffic headed all over the place through downtown. Sure maybe we would have widened Great South and Great North a bit more than we did, but the likely outcome is we wouldn’t have dismantled the public transport system and built so many car parking buildings if we’d not built the CMJ. Again, like Melbourne. They had a plan to bust five different motorways into their CBD, but flagged that and instead built the City Loop system. They are better off because of it.

        Sure, we put in the CMJ and inner motorways and through the 70s to 90s car trips to the CBD climbed to almost 75%, but that was an unsustainable blip and since the late 90s all growth has been due to public transport. We’re down to 45% car modeshare now and it keeps dropping.

        • SF Lauren

          Nick, your still completly ignoring that fact that melbourne and indeed most other cities have a large network of large and direct arterial roads, that than the few we had.

          If we had upgraded those existing roads to 6 lanes and kept the trams places like Newmarket, Mt eden, Kingsland, Remuera would have been completely destroyed and not exist today.

          Im not saying the CMJ was the best option, however it let the city grow to what it is today whilst leaving a lot of our heritage untouched. Add to that it put a huge green belt around our CBD even if we only get to look at it rather than walk through it.

          • I’m not ignoring it at all, it’s irrelevant. We had more than enough traffic capacity for vehicle access to the CBD without any widening or extra roads… simply because people didn’t drive to the CBD as a rule. We built huge motoway connections and half a dozen carparking buildings and in doing so changed the rule. You’re taking the existing travel patterns decades after the CMJ was built and saying “oh my god we’d never survive without the CMJ”.

            You seem to be ignoring the fact that only a tiny percentage of the people accessing Melbourne’s city centre drive there. Melbourne didn’t need either it’s unbuilt motorways or it’s built avenues for the CBD to survive and prosper , simply because six out of seven people don’t drive to their city centre. We could have been exactly the same if we had followed the 1946 plan with ring motorways and the early CRL, instead of the 1955 plan with the CMJ and inner motorways.

            We would have been just fine with three main regional arterials of four lanes each (Great North Rd, Great South Rd and the Harbour Bridge), possibly with two of those widened to six. Then there are nine local arterials, general two lanes each (Tamaki Dr, Shore Rd, Remuera Rd, Mt Eden Rd, Dominion Rd, Sandringham Rd, New North Rd, Great North Rd, Jervios Rd). Newmarket already has six lanes down broadway, hardly beautiful but hardly destroyed either. Mount Eden, Kingsland, Remuera etc would be much better if that had kept the tram lines and a single lane for traffic each way.

            That is plenty of traffic capacity for a city centre where 85% of people don’t drive in.

          • SF Lauren

            Nick, you do know that all those roads you mention feed into about 4 roads in 1950s Auckland right? Assuming we had bus lanes or trams on those roads thats 8 lanes of traffic that could handle 6,000 VPH heading into our CBD. Compare that to what Melbourne grew up with which has about 17 large and direct roads on all 4 sides if the the CBD with about 68 traffic lanes and enough capacity for some 50k VPH.

            What the current mode share is at is irrelevant as the city did not just pop up over night. The city had to grow to get to its current form, in order to grow people needed to get there and for that people need to want to get there.

          • SF Lauren

            And stop coming up with this stupid comment that implies I said the CMJ and motorways was the only possible way. As I have said about 10 times a city needs good road provisions, if we hadnt done the CMJ we would have needed to make some massive changes to our local roads. Feel free to read any of the previous 10 comments where I said this. Including my very first post.

          • Wow, you think the motorways are a kind of greenbelt? You really do live in a parallel universe to the one I inhabit.

            Looking at the city, I can only assume this is a common trait with traffic engineers. Where I see infrastructure that severs the city making walking and cycling unpleasant and encourages the use of fume belching vehciles, you see a green belt.

            That really is a divide that cant be crossed. I shudder to think what this city would be like if people like you hadnt had some opposition. Just awful.

          • Well it could be a pretty awesome greenbelt if we capped the entire thing for parks. But that’s unlikely

          • SF Lauren

            I never said the road was a green belt but the huge amount of planting in and around it certainly is. The CMJ actually has a huge amount of biodiversity compared to most other urban parts of Auckland. Had it not been built there would have been just a constant sprawling lanscape of buildings an concrete, as can be seen in the photo.

            In terms of if it had not been built, if you think the existing roads are unpleasant to walk and cycle on they would be even worse without the CMJ as those would be the only roads to drive on regardless of where you are going.

          • Planted motorway verges don’t qualify as a green belt in my book. They are partially effective deuglifiers, blight softeners, pollution reducers perhaps, but they are not effective as green space.

            A green belt to be worthy of the name would be a place you’d walk and relax or sit and relax. i.e. a kind of pleasant place. It’d have public access and not be noise and air polluted.

            Auckland doesn’t have a green belt. Wellington does. Adelaide does. Auckland just has disparate parks.

          • “In terms of if it had not been built, if you think the existing roads are unpleasant to walk and cycle on they would be even worse without the CMJ as those would be the only roads to drive on regardless of where you are going.”

            Not true as before the CMJ there were a myriad of other roads that criss-crossed the area and that could have been used for walking and cycling. Also the more grid like nature would have helped to distribute cars better rather than funnelling everything onto a few crossings of the moat

          • Mr Lauren, I also disagree with you point that if we hadn’t built the CMJ we’d have to build a whole bunch of big arterials instead. I am arguing against that too. We would only have needed massive changes to our local roads if we were still trying to get a whole lot of car commuters to downtown at the same time. If we aren’t concerned with masses of peak car capacity, then the existing city arterials plus suburban motorways would have done just fine.

            Yes, four main arterial roads from the 1950s leading to the CBD would have been fine. Sure 6,000 vehicles per hour as you say, which would translate to about 12-15,000 car commuters across the day. With that level of arterial capacity we could have had 100,000 city commuters and had about the same modeshare split as Melbourne (which is has been more or less the same since cars became accessible to the public). Thank you for providing that extra evidence supporting exactly what I was saying.

            The city centre doesn’t need “good road provisions” as you put it (by which you presumably mean converting all the arterials to six or eight lanes, if not motorways, based on your previous comments) if only 15% of people accessing the city drive in.

          • SF Lauren

            That myraid of little side streets would be full of cars rat running as the fee main roads we had would be well over capacity, assuming the city had grown to its current size.

          • SF Lauren

            So what your imagining nick is that if we had strangled our CBD provinding extremely poor transport the city would be bigger than it is today? Well with that imaginary argument we should just close all our roads and rail lines and the city should be up to 1 billion people by the end of the week. I guess the port would be really booming as well with all these containers coming in and not going anywhere.

          • What do you mean strangle our CBD and provide extremely poor transport, I never said that. Like I said previously, you only need mass road capacity to the CBD if you want all your commuters to drive to the CBD at the same time. There are cheaper, easier and less destructive ways to move a lot of commuters to downtown at the same time. FYI transport covers a lot more than just big roads.

            If they had stuck with the earlier morningside deviation, the earlier CRL plan, there would be extremely good transport and not an ounce of strangulation. That one rail link alone would have brought more people to the CBD the all the lanes of the southern and northwestern put together, let alone the lanes that actually feed into the CBD streets. So yes, it would easily been bigger if we could have delivered 35,000 people an hour to the CBD on the rail network rather than strangling it with the need to provide motorway capacity and parking for them all. Do you think Nelson St and Grafton gully can bring 35,000 people an hour into the CBD, dream on!

            FYI the earlier scheme moved the port to Te Atatu next to the northern motorway and a rail extension to Southdown. Building all the motorways to the centre ensured that the port stayed in the centre. But yes, we would have been much better off without a container terminal on the downtown waterfront and freight duking it out with citybound commuters. I suppose the freight companies would agree.

          • SF Lauren

            So what your saying Nick, if we had left the CBD with poor road access but with the train line people would have flocked there to a similar or greater extent?

            Why is it then that places like Devonport, Waiheke, Glen Innes that all have great PT provision yet are horible to drive to didn’t take over from the CBD given it was so small back then and the upgraded road connections apparantly only made the place worse and provided no benefit?

          • Yes, to briefly answer your leading question. If we didn’t build the CMJ or the inner motorways and built the morningside deviation instead then we would have had at least as big a CBD, if not more so.

            The CBD didn’t have poor road access before the CMJ, it just didn’t have masses of peak capacity for car commuters.

            For a start there would have been an extra 50,000 people (according to the above, not sure if that is accurate) living within walking distance of the CBD, instead of relocated outside of walking distance. That would have helped immensely.Without the CMJ and with the morningside deviation, the CBD would have been at the centre of an electrified rapid transit railway system stretching to the edge of the developed city, plus the nexus of a dozen tram lines (or bus routes that replaced them), and the central terminal of all the harbour ferries. Yes people would have flocked to the CBD on fast and capacious PT.

            Devonport, Waiheke and Glen Innes don’t have great PT provision, so you’re position is false (although the real answer is they have land use zoning that prevents more than two story buildings and now requires masses of carparking to be built). They each have one service of reasonable quality that links them to the CBD. The CBD on the other hand had about twenty core PT routes linking it directly to basically everywhere in Auckland.

            Just like the Melbourne CBD was in the 1950s and still is today, we could have had an Auckland CBD where six out of seven people caught public transport, walked or cycled to get there.

            Absolutely the CMJ and inner motorways made central Auckland worse, and I do agree that they had less benefits than the then alternative of the Morningside Deviation scheme.

          • SF Lauren

            Well fair enough, you obviously have a preference to travel to places that are extremely hard to get to, require you to wait long periods if time and travel indirectly.

            If we look at historical evidence however most humans who are given the option would take the easy option rather than the hard option.

            You claim the 6 main roads from back then would suit auckland just fine yet they were at capacity in 1950 and unlikely to start flowing better over the next 60 years if the cities population doubled in size. Your reasoning for this is that Melbourne with about 10 times the road capacity managed to grow in that time yet for some reasoning failing to grasp that it has 10 times more of the very thing we are talking about, road capacity. As you can obviously see in any CBD once it gets very large and dense the mode share shifts to PT which is why Aucklands CBD is getting up to 60%.

            Now as to why you think Devonport, waiheke and Glen Innes dont have good PT I do not know. Do you really find it easier to get to those places by car?

          • Richard, I don’t care one iota about traffic capacity to downtown, it is all but irrelevant. If as you say those roads carried six thousand vehicles an hour to town in the fifties then that’s great, six thousand an hour would still be more than we need today if we had invested in the public transport plan for city access, rather than the motorway plan. Simply because you’d have ten times that number of people getting to the city without driving.

            I don’t know why you keep saying that an Auckland CBD with a rapid transit underground in the 60s would have been extremely hard to get to. Are you really so road blind that you can only consider car access? Even without the pt investment and having built the rolls Royce motorway it is still easier to get to the CBD by public transport, as evidenced by the fact that a minority chose to drive.

            As for Melbourne, I likewise couldn’t care less about the level of road access. What I care about is the fact that 85% of people in their city get there without driving (this doesn’t include those that live inside the CBD by the way, so it’s actually probably closer to 95%). They could close every road around the CBD to private vehicles entirely and the city economy would barely flinch.

            And please, defining a place having good PT because it is hard to drive to? That’s a massive failure of logic. Wow, Raglan must have excellent public transport because it’s a dog of a place to drive to, right?. It amazes me that you have to use cars to measure everything.

          • SF Lauren

            Actually Raglan is very easy to drive to compared to any mode of PT. You seem to think people have a preset mode of transport and they wont change no matter how poor it is.

            It is very clear that for you if you wanted to travel to the corner shops you would wait 10mins at the bus stop and spend 15 mins doing a trip you could have done 5mins on foot. For most people however they tend to take the easiest and fastest mode. If all the roads are congested then people will likely take the bus if the place they are going to is worth it, if its not they may well go somewhere else.

            In the case of the CMJ you cant assume the only people using it are people heading to north south, they are likely heading to all sorts of places with a large amount going to or from anywhere between Pt Chev, St Heliers Penrose and Mt Roskill.

            Without the CMJ or some other massive road upgrades all those roads you seem to think are exclusive for the CBD would be congested to hell, just like they were back then.

            Basically you are claiming that the one and only purpose of a transport system is to get people to and from work in the CBD and that any other travel throughout the city and throughout the day is completly worthless. I suggest you have a read of the ecconomic evaluation manual to find that you are miles from the truth.

          • No, I am not claiming anything of the sort, you’re failures of logic are failing you again. You are arguing with yourself, or at least your own preconceptions. I know I have said this before but perhaps you should consider taking a course at the university in logic and critical thinking. I might help you understand arguments like this better.

            For the record, saying that we don’t need motorways or big arterials to the CBD if we have rapid transit to the CBD means only that: if we had built the mornignside deviation the central city would have survived just fine, prospered more even, than if we had removed a lot of the city fringe to run big roads into it instead.

            If you chose to interpret it as meaning “the only purpose of a transport system is to take workers to the CBD and other travel anywhere else is worthless” then you are wrong, and misleading yourself. Do you really believe that, or are you now just arguing for the sake of it? How could any rational person think that me saying improved rapid transit would have been better for the city centre than commuter traffic on motorways means I’m advocating that everyone would have to always use buses instead of walking five minutes to the shops? I can’t follow it, were those people previously driving on a downtown motorway to get to the shops instead?

            I’ve said several times that I preferred the plan that had suburban motorways and a western ring road, but avoiding the CMJ and inner motorways and left the major peak capacity to downtown to be served by PT. I think everyone here would agree that the motorway and roading system in Auckland would work better if city commuters were out of the equation and if it didn’t focus all trips on a big junction in the centre, whether they are going to the centre or not.

            I’ve also said many times that people drive because there is lots of road provision, and if we had done lots of PT provision instead they would take PT instead. How do you interpret that as me thinking people have a preset mode of transport? That means the opposite, people don’t have a preset and simply use whatever works the best for them. If anything your claims that all the growth would have evaporated and Auckland withered away without huge traffic capacity to downtown suggests you think people have a present mode, driving, and wouldn’t do anything else. I don’t mean to be nasty but it just seems you are incapable of thinking rationally.

            Yes you are quite correct, those roads main roads would have been congested. That is not a problem for the CBD if most people can get to the CBD without driving on them. Again the CBD would have survived just fine without the CMJ and with the congested arterials if it had proper rapid transit. Spaghetti junction or some equivalent of massive trunk roads would not have been necessary to keep downtown alive. It may have been a problem for the nearby neighbourhoods, but traffic congestion is always a problem in most neighbourhoods. It’s not like the CMJ has stopped their being considerable traffic congestion in Pt Chevalier or wherever, arguably it has created more from ramps on Great North Rd.

            (FYI, the 1946 plan had motorway connections to Pt Chev, Penrose and Mt Roskill on the ring road, so they would have been just fine driving to those destinations. St Heliers I don’t know, it’s not well served by the current motorway or CMJ, and would have been much the same without it.)

          • SF Lauren

            Nick to prove your point can you please name one city in modern times that has been able to grow are large CBD which has only ever been feed by small local roads.

            As we have seen the usual suspects of Melbourne and Vancouver all have huge roads to feed vital goods and services into the CBD and so those two are discounted.

          • Where did I say only small local roads? I said four multilane arterials, nine other main roads plus a rapid rail system, buses and ferries.

            You only need go far as Welligton to find a city with a dense and large CBD with less road access than that (but naturally a well used train system that has 20% modeshare on it’s own).

          • Adelaide.

            They built a freeway though the hills in the 70s and stopped it where it hits the city grid. Later there have been some other freeways, including the silly reversible flow one, that again stopped when it hid the grid, and then some in Industrial suburbs in the north. They are upgrading South Road now, a very busy arterial, with overpasses and an elevated section, but Adelaide still doesn’t have a freeway anywhere near the city centre.

          • SF Lauren

            Um this entire debate is about people refuting my position that Auckland would not be the size it is today if it had not been for the greatly improved road access.

            Your ‘multi-lane arterials’ are a select few roads that were designed to be one lane each way with parking with all but one going through small villages.

            If you refer to a map of wellington you will see that it has a large motorway leading right to the CBD. I dont know how you missed that.

          • SF Lauren

            Matt, if you look at a map of Adelaide you will see it is feed by a bunch of massive roads from all 4 sides. Adelaide is known for its giant local roads.

          • I could draw the map from memory Mr or Ms. Lauren. And only Port Road and Anzac Parade have more than 2 lanes in each direction. Some of the arterials like Prospect Road even go down to effectively single lanes.

          • SF Lauren

            I count 16 main roads with 76 general traffic lanes feeding into the adelaide CBD with additional buslanes ontop of that. If thats not enough roads I dont know what is.

          • Dan C

            SF Lauren,

            To prove your point please name one city in modern times that has been able to grow are large CBD with only large road access.

          • So the harbour bridge is one lane each way and designed to have parking on it? The thirty metre wide Great South Rd was designed for one lane each way? The four lanes plus parking through Grey Lynn town centre, that doesn’t really exist? I suppose you’ll try and claim that Broadway isn’t actually broad!

            Yes Wellington has a motorway, one motorway next to a highway and nothing else. Less traffic capacity that Auckland had before the motorways, about the same as the harbour bridge alone.

            Auckland alone is proof enough, it developed a large and prosperous centre based primarily around tram access.

            Anyway, I’m bored of this. You think Auckland needed to add either motorways or extra multilane arterial roads for the CBD to prosper, I think it would have done fine with the existing main roads and a rapid transit system. I get it, you think lots of peak road capacity for commuting into town is essential for a CBD to grow, I think we could have grown with almost all city commuters on rapid transit instead.

          • SF Lauren

            Interesting, I never once mentioned the need for lots of peak road capacity and I even said the CMJ was to big. Thats one impressive imagination you have going on.

            Wellington is a good example of getting the balance right however. They have a fast high capacity road that links the rest of the city with the CBD, something Auckland never had before the CMJ. It also had a fast and direct rail system that due to the long narrow nature of wellington was on everyones travel path making it a great option.

          • Whoever said the road in from Ngauranga to Welly is fast? It’s congested most mornings. It is also as ugly as an ass’s ass. Under the bridges is blight.

            The road is so lovely I catch the train.

          • SF Lauren

            Matt, who ever said anything abiut congestion free roads during peak hour.

            Dan C, if you think my point is that cities only need large roads and nothing else you have obviously completely failed to read anything I have said or get the point.

            However quite a few cities have been able to grow to huge sizes with almost entirly road based transport, her in NZ you have pretty much every city as an example. You would struggle to find a city of more than 50k without large arterial roads these days and even cities like melbourne have vast portions of them based on road transport.

  • Jacques

    Can’t wait for my grandkids to see spaghetti junction fully underground. I’m 12. :-)

  • aa

    K Road could be fixed with buildings each side of the motorway bridge. You wouldn’t even know the motorway was there from K Rd and with continuous retail would function better. The value should almost be there to pay for new bridging and apartments facing north from there would get great outlook.

    • Very hard to support those buildings however, there are two levels of motorway ramps underneath with hardly a gap between them.

    • Stu Donovan

      while you can reduce the visual impact of the CMJ on the street, you can’t replace a residential catchment of 15,000 homes! I think it’s the latter that explains more of K Roads decline.

      In saying that I think K Road is going to do very nicely going forward, largely thanks to intensification in areas that were not destroyed by the CMJ. And if the CRL goes in then, well, we’ve got nothing to worry about.

  • JohnP

    In 1918 my granddad was 12 or 13 he delivered food to people in this area where the whole household had the flu. The food was organised by a jeweller on Queen St and he was one of many who would collect meals and drop them on people’s verandahs. One night around 630pm he walked home along K Road towards Grafton Bridge and he was the only person on the whole street.

  • “Cities like London all have huge road networks that let them grow in size to a point they were so massive that underground rail became the only option.”

    I assume you know that the underground in Lonson existed before the car? London had a bigger population than Auckland long before the private automobile was commonly available and survived on PT, walking and cycling – so that statement is just wrong on a lot of levels. How did a city of <500,000 people need the motorway network that was built in the 1950s in order to grow? There was still massive room for growth through PT before huge motorways were required.

    But please, tell me now how I have completely misinterpreted your plain words and you meant something completely different – your usual tactic.

    • FFS – that was a reply to SFLauren’s post at 10.37am

    • SF Lauren

      Simple, by nature people like to travel to places where it is easy to get to. In the 1800s the train was the easiest way to travel and so growth occured around train lines. Before that it was rivers. After that it was automobiles.

      So if you look at london that grew to a very large size back when horse, river boat and train were the ideal modes of travel you got a buslting CBD.

      Auckland started in the rail era however most of its growth was in the time of the automobile. Had you left Auckland CBD extremely hard to get to by comparison people would have gone to other places.

      You need to take into account that cities dont just pop up over night but take many decades to grow and its the technology at the time that drives the way they grow to a large extent.

      • Dan C

        “Had you left Auckland CBD extremely hard to get to by comparison people would have gone to other places.”

        You don’t have to build massive roads to make places easy to get to.

        Central London is hard to get to by car. It costs 12 quid per day, and the general traffic lanes are congested. But Central London has prospered because Central London is easy to get to.

        There are ways of getting into the city other than by car, they take up far less space, and lead to a far more pleasant city to actually be in (rather than just going through)

        You seem to be suggesting the only way for the CDB to prosper is if most of the city can drive their cars into it? I think Central Auckland would be more prosperous if their were less roads through it, less cars, more people and more places.

        • SF Lauren

          Um, london has plenty of large roads and the reason they are congested is that swarms of people live and work there. As i mentioned before london grew during the time when horses, trains and river boats were the fastest and easiest ways to travel and hense competing against other areas limited to that same technology. Lucky for london however they still built large roads that have been able to keep on feeding the city for centuries. Unlike auckland that only build roads large enough to last 20 to 50 years.

          Also when in the world did i make any claim about most people driving to the CBD, if your going to just make stuff up argue with yourself not me. All I have ever said, abou 20 times now, is that a city needs good road provisions to grow.

      • It’s like talking to someone who actually speaks a different language. You say things that to me completely back up what I am saying and yet you see it as backing your argument.

        “Had you left Auckland CBD extremely hard to get to by comparison people would have gone to other places.”

        But we did leave it extremely hard to get to by eliminating PT and people did go to other places – that is why we have quite a dispersed employment pattern just like other auto dependent cities.

        • SF Lauren

          We’re talking about Auckland here Goosoid, the railway, ferry and bus services have never been eliminated. They have been in operation pretty much from the day they started.

          I certaily wouldnt fancy taking the bus to work like I do currently if everyone was forced to drive on the local roads like they were in the 50s

  • FFS, London!.? You can’t recruit London to your autistic argument Richard I have just been there and private cars are almost completely absent from the CBD now, like Paris. London has one little fragment of motorway; the Westway and they are about to take a lane off that for a cyclyeway. Make driving illegal in central London and it wouldn’t look any different or function any different.

    You really are deeply mistaken and need to do some travelling with your eyes open one day.

    • SF Lauren

      Um, who ever said anything about private cars and motorways. As clearly written in pretty much every post i have made I said a city needs good road provisions.

      Trying reading with your eyes open one day.

      • Stu Donovan

        you obfuscate. You started (derailed?) this thread by claiming that without the CMJ AKL would be much worse off. That’s what got the whole discussion started, and as it has proceeded you have changed your story without ever acknowledging the untenable nature of your initial position.

  • john smith

    SF Lauren: ‘in order for a CBD to grow it needs good road access’

    Hard to comment without knowing what you mean by ‘good’. I would be more specific:

    ‘In order for the densely developed central activities district of a million-plus city to prosper it needs:
    1. good access by public transport and active transport (since these modes are best at providing high capacity in little space, and do least damage to the urban amenity of the centre); and
    2. adequate access by car for the (hopefully small) residue of special needs that can’t be handled by 1.

    This suggests a reorientation of future transport investment away from roads towards public and active transport, compared with the past.

  • Ari

    I think the Auckland CBD did die because of the motorways. Or rather was on it’s death bed. The only thing that really saved it was a few large companies with their offices and the UoA sticking around in the CBD during the 80′s/90′s and other tertiary institutes moving in attracting lots of students to live in tiny apartments.

  • OK pick on one semantic point. Well I dont count buses on surface roads as real PT and rail was almost completely killed. Ferries have never carried more than 1-2% of trips.

    Do you agree that the motorways have strangled the CBD and led to dispersion of employment?

    • SF Lauren

      I responded to the one and only point you made, a touch better than you guys who keep pretending I said that a city can only exist if it has motorways slammed right through the middle.

      In terms of the motorway strangling the CBD its done it to the same extent as the railway or a row of houses. Victoria park has even imposed a spacial constraint.

      However what I was clearly refering to was the freedom of transport and not a spacial strangle.

      The fact the city as a whole has had motorwaya has resulted in more spread out living but not more spread out emplyment of commercial spaces. Road transport has enabled things to become centralised as people can easily travel great distances to get somewhere, you no longer need to live within walking distance of work or a train station like you did back in the day when london was growing.

      Unfortunatly city planners thought that with the increased travel distance that should put everything into distcret zones and provide for cars here than and everywhere. This is what has destoyed the sense of space and not the fact that there is a motorway over the hill.

  • The really sad thing is, SF Lauren isnt even trolling. He honestly believes what he is saying.

    This is how traffic engineers gained the authority to destroy this city in the past – by convoluted, baseless arguments that only make sense to them and then claim they are the only ones “expert” enough to design the city. This was the main tactic in the 1950s to elimiate the trams and slice the city up with motorways.

    A tragic history for what could have been a very nice city, luckily saved to a certain extent by its superb natural setting. It is only now starting to recover.

    • SF Lauren

      Goosoid, traffic engineers or any other type of engineers are not city planers. City planers are city planers and hence their name.

      There is not point blaming us for what city planners decided to do to the inside of the CBD. You will note that if you look at the engineering layouts of the CMJ it had half the number of ramps and it was the city planers who wanted all the extra connections.

      All we do is provide the connection to an area and tie it in the way the local body wants it.

      • Actually no, if you read the 1955 Master Transportation Plan it was written by traffic engineers who specifically note that the traffic problem is a “technical issue” that is best dealt with by themselves as specialists. City Planners didn’t get a look in, it was city planning by default of traffic engineering.

        • SF Lauren

          Yep, the motorway network was desinged by engineers, all the crap streets in the CBD that are only niw getting given back to the people in the CBD is the city planners great work. Along with all the lovely zoning.

          I was also meant to tell you before Nick that todays zoning didnt exist in 1950, and it could be changed just like it still can today.

          • Bryce P

            If you care to read some history on Auckland’s highway and auto oriented planning you should have a look at this. Caution, it doesn’t match with your ideas on what happened. http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~cthombor/Pubs/AKtransportMees.rtf

          • SF Lauren

            Bryce, your responding to a post where I just said Auckland had poor planning to tell me I’m wrong and that Auckland had poor planning.

            What am I wrong about in saying the city had poor planning if you appear to agrer that the city had poor planning.

            And keep in mind that the presence of one motorway does not force policy makers to plan out an auto dependant city.

          • Bryce P

            Because in the report it shows that the plan did not just include motorways as you allude to but getting around Auckland in general including how to plan the CBD to house the cars, in effect traffic planners over-ruling town planning.

    • SF Lauren

      Now dont get me wrong goosiod, I dont think the CMJ is the greatest thing, although geometrically impressive its too big and had no urban integration when built. Although I like all the planting there was no integration with the urban environment and the way they did K Road, upper queen st and Symond street sing of lost opportunity.

      What it did do however was greatly improve transport in auckland, except for the fact there is no way to cross the lower parts of Grafton gully.

      Of course after being built nobody took over the free space on all the local roads to put in some fixed space for PT and cycling.

  • Exactly Nick R.

    SF – I would really encourage you to read some of the excellent papers written by the late Paul Mees and the very much alive Dr CE Harris. They give an excellent explanation of why Auckland is the way it is and very little of it is to do with what the local bodies or the public wanted – a public that overwhelmingly relied on rail based public transport.

    The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of “expert” traffic engineers at NZTA and MoT – egged on by a National government that was determined to destroy the tram networks nationwide, stop the successful Hutt Valley/Porirua rail projects in Wellington from spreading (Chch and Auckland – as was intended) and ensuring motorways were built. Sounds oddly familiar doesnt it?

    This was contrary to the recommendations of every single UK/US consultant engaged by the government to advise it. Really – read the research papers.

    • SF Lauren

      Goosoid, your blame us like blaming an elephant for having ivory tusks. No body forced anyone to drive to work, the trains that were there before the road was still there. People vote with their feet and they chose to drive as it was faster and easier than the rail, bus, tram or ferry they had been using. As much as you may like to believe they didnt start beating people off the buses and trains.

      • Yes there may have been trains but with what kind of service. The western line for example was only double tracked in the last few years and before that at best there were 30 minute services which was probably about as good as it got in the 50′s too. With crappy service it’s no wonder people looked to driving as an alternative and we saw the same thing when the trams were ripped out to be replaced by buses stuck in mixed traffic. Driving was preferred because the alternative was worse. That is not evidence of perfect choice but rather people being rational. Had we invested in improving the rail network and bus (or tram) system then we would have had very different results.

        • Nick R

          Right, so once they dismantled the tram network, pulled the funding on the rapid rail upgrade, removed most of the ferries and spet all the money building motorways to downtown, people “chose” to drive.

          If they hadn’t spent the money on new motorways to downtown and instead built the commuter rail scheme and maintaining and upgrading the rest of the PT system, city commuters would have chosen public transport instead.

          • SF Lauren

            Of course they would of because driving would have remained crap. But then we would have to wonder where the growth would have gone. Wellington maybe.

            FYI they replaced trams with more flexible buses, the rapid transport network never had funding to start with, it was meant to get built with the motorways but their budget was to small and it sounds downright unbelievable that a ferry that us racking in the cash would just stop.

          • Nick R

            Right, so the masses of congestion free transport capacity to the CBD would have driven away chance of CBD growth. Presumably because Aucklanders would have ignored the rapid transit direct to Queen St and insisted on all driving there instead. Then they all move to Wellington, a place where everyone catches the train to work? Not sure if I agree with your hypothesis.

            Yes, quite unbelievable, but the closure of competing ferry services was written into the act enabling the tolling of the harbour bridge. They shut down profitable ferry routes to ensure they could meet the intended revenue targets to pay back the construction loan. That was 100% intentional dismantling of public transport so that people would have to drive.

          • Bryce P

            Likewise replacing trams with buses knowing full well that commuters loved the trams. Destined to fail. Or not upgrading rail rolling stock.

          • Nick R

            I do wonder why flexible public transport is a good thing, I’d much rather the vehicle just stuck to running straight down the main road that being changed.

            Flexible seems to be a euphemism for “not having it’s own infrastructure that puts it in the way of cars”. They removed the trams which had their own tracks, for better or worse, but never gave the replacement buses their own lanes. Largely because the whole point was to free up more road space for cars.

          • Dan C

            “the closure of competing ferry services was written into the act enabling the tolling of the harbour bridge.”

            See this is why i think SF Lauren (mostly or at least partly) encourages healthy debate here rather than being a pure troll.

            We get to learn things like this from Nick R in the responses.

      • SF Lauren

        The western line got to the way it was because hardly anyone wanted to use it. If everyone wanted to take the train and spend their day transfering between buses money would have been thrown at the rail system. With the exception of a select few road projects tou dont see NZTA throwing money at all the empty state hughways whilst leaving the congested ones to fall apart. We are throwing money at PT now because people are wanting to use it and it would be down right daft to keep adding more road capacity to the CBD and such places.

        • Hardly anyone wanted to use it because it was crap. If we had invested in it then more people would have used it. You seem to think that transport is an example of there having been a perfect choice where people picked what the best option was but almost entirely it is a case where what people used followed what was invested in.

          • SF Lauren

            You sure about that, based on your graphs people loved it back in the day before they started driving.

            I dont think there is a perfect choice as every mode has its issues no matter what. If Auckland put $20 billion into rail next week and then the roads became empty I would probably drive as it would have become nicer than it is today where I bus.

  • Richard you are making an arse of yourself.

    Even more so than usual.

    • SF Lauren

      If your so confident Patrick why dont you tell us of a city that has grown a large CBD during the modern era whilst having a small and congested road network.

      We got told of 3 very all cities before but they all had larger road networks than Auckland had.

      • Bryce P

        They have road networks (and modern PT networks), not an equivalent to our CMJ.

        • SF Lauren

          Nice to know, however I never said a city needs a CMJ or equivalant. Having 40 4 or 6 lane roads would work just fine.

          • Dan C

            “however I never said a city needs a CMJ or equivalant.”

            Yes you did, and then you quickly back-pedalled. You’d make a fine politician.

            First you implied that the whole of NZ would be shit if we hadn’t built the CMJ.
            “If the CMJ was never built Auckland and even New Zealand would be fare worse off than it is today. In all likelyhood the CBD of Auckland would be somewhere else ”

            Note that you didn’t say “If the CMJ or some alternative transport capacity improvements…” You said specifically NZ would be shit if we hadn’t built the CMJ.

            Then you back-pedalled a little bit and suggested we didn’t necessarily need the CMJ, and in fact most cities make do with 8 lane arterials.
            “8 lane normal roads do perfectly well feeding CBDs just like Vancouver, London and Paris all have.”

            Then, as the evidence piled up that those cities don’t have 8 lane arterials, you back pedalled a little bit more and suggested a 6 lane road would be sufficient. As evidence suggesting the A501 which is mostly 4 lanes with a long section of 6 lanes out west, and goes down to two lanes as it gets closer to the centre. Also note that the A501 goes around the city, not through it.
            “you have never seen the A501 that is a 6 lane high capacity road ”

            Finally you have settled on the vague notion that a city needs good roads, a position few of here would disagree with, but very far from where you started.
            “As clearly written in pretty much every post i have made I said a city needs good road provisions.”

            I say, having lived in cities that don’t have a motorway encircling the centre, that Auckland would be far better than it is today if the CMJ had never been built. That doesn’t mean i think we should rip up all the roads and start walking barefoot to work. Just that a motorway through the middle of the city is shit for the city, it’s noisy, it makes half of the inner suburbs noisy, it takes up loads and load of space that in other cities would be filled with interesting places. The auto mode-share it encourages makes all the remaining city streets shit places to sit outside and have a coffee at a cafe. And to top it all off it fails miserably as a transport solution to get people to and from work in the city as any Aucklander will readily profess. If we had built alternatives to private car travel for peak commuters, smaller roads would be perfectly “good road provisions” for the inner city.

          • SF Lauren

            Dan C, do you know how to read? You will see in my very first poat my poistion was clearly stated and no back pedeling was required.

            About the only change I made was in reference to 8 lanes which was just one example which certain people took as meaning a road could never have any more or less lanes.

            Indeed 99% of most the arguments made against my first point are from people who treat it like some stone carving with all sorts of hidden meanings where you need to imagine what it says. As I said before, if you want to make stuff up argue with yourself as I never said it, unless you take select words and ignore others.

      • Fool. The CMJ shrunk the CBD; it is now only considered to exist within the motorway severance.

        But why am I bothering? People refuting your idiocy is clearly the only attention you get.

      • Sailor Boy

        How about Christchurch? Pretty limited roading into the CBD there yet it grew alright due to the bus use.Would have been even better if they had gone for rail in the 50′s. As has been mentioned previously both Adelaide and Vancouver have limited roading provision into the CBD, Sydney is pretty poor too.

        In fact I struggle to think of any modern cities with successful CBD’s that have really goodroad access at all. /All of the American cities with good road access generally do pretty badly and have very weak CBD’s Houston, Atlanta, LA etc.

        • obi

          “As has been mentioned previously both Adelaide and Vancouver have limited roading provision into the CBD, Sydney is pretty poor too. ”

          Sydney CBD is tightly bounded by the motorway Western Distributor, Eastern Distributor, Cahill Expressway, and Cross City Tunnel while the Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel extend across to North Sydney. Vancouver has a huge number of traffic lanes coming in to the CBD, but they’re part of the city’s grid system rather than being grade separated.

          “All of the American cities with good road access generally do pretty badly and have very weak CBD’s Houston, Atlanta, LA etc.”

          New York? San Francisco?

          I’ve not been following this comments thread closely, because I don’t have half a day free. But people are throwing out the names of a number of cities that are claimed to not have significant road networks skirting their CBDs, when I’ve been to those places and there are substantial motorways ringing them. Melbourne CBD, for instance, is skirted by the M1, the M2, and pretty much by the M3. How do people visit these cities and not notice the motorways?

          • Obi the issue is not about orbital motorways but rather inner urban ones like in Auckland. In fact we are arguing that if the original plan had been followed and the WRR built first and optimised for inter regional traffic then the extreme level of destruction as caused by the CMJ could be avoided. So the fact that Vancouver, London etc have orbital motorways but did not smash ones through older built up areas and sever their CBDs from inner suburbs in fact supports this claim not visa versa. The other claim is that Auckland could have developed a less auto dependent model, especially by not running down and demolishing its PT systems, as did other cities which also would have meant we could have enhanced our road systems much less destructively and expensively. These are reasonable claims as those plans did exist and Auckland could well have developed differently. However this idea is clearly beyond the imagination of one of our duller readers.

  • This still going on? What I must be up to the second bottle of Gin by now reading most of the above :\

  • Lloyd

    In the 1980′s I used to cross Euston Road regularly on a bicycle to get to west end shops, theatres etc. I would find cycling across SH1 at the CMJ a little too risky even in my younger days. Other than traffic lights, the density of traffic on Euston Road means that vehicle speeds are often slower than bicycles. Clogged roads are good for cycling. Is this benefit of congestion ever put into the cost-benefit analysis of road widening and motorway building?

    A major reason for the removal of all those house in the Newton Gully (yes there was a gully there, just not as we know it now) was the houses were little, had poor services (eg outdoor loos), were often poorly maintained and had very small sections. And it was in a gully and therefore not too sunny. So they were described as “slums” and every politician can gain favour by saying he voted for getting rid of slums. If you can replace those terrible slums full of people who have a pinkish voting record with wonderful new motorways well that’s just dandy.

    The politics of building the CMJ were also supported by local body politicians with connections with the car selling industry, it is a pity that train manufacturers and sellers don’t appear to have the same political pull as the wide boys of the car dealerships. If you are a Councillor who goes to Council meetings from your car dealership why would you ever vote any money for public transport improvements that could attract people away from cars?

    • Nick R

      While it was true that the houses were little, had poor services and were poorly maintained, the exact same can be said for Parnell, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Arch Hill, Grafton and Freemans Bay at the time.

  • Lloyd

    If Auckland had built Britomart and the CRL in the 1950s the development of the CBD might have been faster and resulted in a much more centralised city than the one we have now, and it would have been served by only those roads we had in 1950, without major roading investments.

    Has anyone done modelling on that?

    Arguing that the CMJ was the only way to keep the CBD vibrant over the past 40 years is a crock.

  • Lloyd

    Building small houses now is much more logical than it was in the early 1900s. Average household size keeps falling. Contraception means families have only one or two children. Divorce and separation generate single person families. Aging populations are more likely to have widows. A Newton gully full of small houses would be a wonderful solution to the housing crisis. Mr Key and Mr English, take note.

  • Lloyd

    There were better train services before WWII. Sir Edmund Hillary commuted from Tuakau to Auckland Grammar by train. Try doing that now!

  • SlowJoe

    Since Melbourne has been mentioned often throughout these comments, try to picture this: imagine if Collingwood, Carlton, Brunswick and Parkville were mown down and a gigantic tangle of roads built in their place. That was what happened to Auckland.

    • nonsense

      +1 good example.

    • SF Lauren

      You dont need to imagine, they already have a massive tangle of roads 1.5km from the centre of their CBD along with a massive tangle of rail lines 500m from the centre of the CBD. That compares to our roads tangle 1km away and our rail tangle 1.5km away.

    • Actually it was worse than that, the 1969 master transportation plan had not one but two freeways inside the downtown Hoddle Grid, as well as ringing around it. Luckily they resisted the temptation to carve up their city centre like we did, and only in the 90s did they build any inner motorways at all, mercifully a couple of ks out and mostly tunneled or elevated.

      • Yes they are under pressure again with a proposed east west freeway that has been universally derided by every local government area in Melbourne. And a cost like $8 billion.

        Melbourne also wants to spend $8 billion on an underground rail line to relieve pressure off the at capacity city loop.

        Makes Auckland’s CRL look like a bargain.

        • And a bargain it is: Every other city of comparable size would leap at the chance to get such a substantial region wide Metro system only for the cost of one 3.4 km tunnel and three stations.

          It blows every single other proposed transport project of scale in the country out of the water for value… but our dear government can’t see it because they have a mode fixation.

          And yes because they insist on controlling this sector so much we need the government to get on board to fund it.

      • SF Lauren

        You mean 500m further out than the CMJ. But yes melbourne was lucky in that they had such a good road network to start with.

        • Alexandra Parade is 2.5km from the centre of Melbourne’s CBD. The equivalent for us would be if the motorway ran through Western Springs, Eden Park and Mt Eden.

          Our CMJ is 900m from the centre of the CBD at it’s furtherest point (or as little as 550m on the sides), the equivalent for Melbourne would be a motorway interchange where the Queen Victoria Markets are, or between Russel St and Parliament buildings on Spring St.

  • Frank McRae

    -adopt contrary position – make false analogy – misrepresent then dismiss opponents argument – shift away from initial position without acknowledgement – repeat

    Yours Sincerely

    SF Lauren

  • David O

    It’s pretty much a given on here that any thread with more than 100 comments will prominently feature SF Lauren

    • SF Lauren

      And whats impressive is that even after stating my one and only point about 100 times people completely fail to read it and just make something else up and keep arguing against a completly different point pretending I said it.

      • You must be very bad at stating your point then.

        • He or she* had a point?

          * It would be presumptuous to assume SFLauren is male, but they do have a girl’s name for a surname, so it is all very confusing. I’m not betting male or female, I’m guessing a chat bot. The geeks in the computer science department are pissing themselves at us arguing with their chat box. Probably.

    • SF Lauren

      I fail to see how confusing it was, all I said was that CBDs need good road provisons and that Auckland only got to be the size it is by having a good road network.

      Thus far everyone else, excluding Nick who sees no real value in roads, have flapped on about some other random stuff.

Leave a Reply