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Photo of the Day: Concrete Journey

Lovely day so Max and I went for a short walk down the middle of the CMJ. Here’s a peek at what we found, it was surprisingly pleasant:

CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9746CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9748CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9749CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9755CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9756CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9761CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9770CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9778CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9783CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9789CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9759CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9794CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9792CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9798
CMJ CYCLE ROUTE_9800

Stand by for a post with an exciting proposal for forgotten flyover from CAA’s Max Robitzsch…..

36 comments to Photo of the Day: Concrete Journey

  • Lennart

    Just the other day I was wondering why nobody ever went there. It is such an awesome place for a cool bit of graffiti or a (permanent) artwork.

    • thms l

      I wonder if the CAA plan involves some sort of High Line style pathway.

    • Scott

      People don’t often go there because it is illegal (as a pedestrian). Technically this disused off-ramp is part of the motorway network, so you can receive the same penalty as somebody anybody who walks on the motorway. It was on one of the police reality shows at some stage. somebody went onto the disused overpass to take those cool long exposure night photos with streaky car lights. The police kicked him of,and told him that if there is a motorway incident that police and motorway control can move the barriers, open the gates and divert the southern motorway northbound traffic onto this off ramp.

  • The Norman Bel Geddes Memorial Shared Path? I hope there’ll be a coffee cart in the middle — perhaps called “Futurama”, or something suitably ironic.

  • Does anyone know how the bridge was originally used?
    I drive past there all the time, and I’ve always wondered why that bridge isn’t used anymore, I’m guessing the road layout has changed.

    • Yeah it was just the off ramp to Nelson St from SH1 northbound, but used to exit from the right-hand lane. The powers then built a new off ramp from the left hand lane, cos you know, money no object for motorways, build as many versions as you like till you feel you’ve got it right….

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

      “The New Zealand Transport Agency was in November 2009 investigating a plan to extend the off-road Northwestern Cycleway through the intersection, to join it to Symonds Street and achieve better cycle linkages from the west into the Auckland CBD.[5] In mid 2010, it became public that a preliminary alignment had been chosen, with the cycle path using the Upper Queen Street bridge to cross the motorway.[6]”

      What is it now? 2014…

    • When they rebuilt the CMJ they wanted all off ramps from the left so *obviously* had to rebuild an entirely new one

      • Funny thing is I never minded the old one, and this is my off ramp, the way to get to Ponsonby when driving from the south. You learnt to just hang in the right hand lane from as early as you like, it made getting through the complications of the previous on and off ramps and changes in lane widths from the Newmarket Viaduct to Nelson St very straightforward. Trickier i’m sure for any noob, oddly took me quite a while to undo that habit.

      • Dave B (Wellington)

        And no-one could find a few measly $,000’s to fix the footbridge at Kaiwharwhara station in Wgtn (tho’ of course it ballooned to a couple of $million for a gold-plated wheelchair-accessible one), and so the station has closed.

        • I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many who would agree with the statetemt that providing wheelchair accessability is “gold plating”.

          • Dave B (Wellington)

            Except that it potentially made the difference between having a station accessible only to those who could climb stairs (as it has always been), or else no station at all which is what has happened. Now, everyone loses and disabled have gained nothing. Great outcome guys! And in all honesty, given the location of the station and the mainly industrial area that it served, it is hard to imagine more than a small handful of wheelchair-users per year using it even it a massive zig-zag bridge was built.

            However I think it is quite likely that Greater Wellington Reg Council wanted to close the station anyway and simply used the footbridge as an excuse. Patronage figures while low, were talked down to absurdity by officialdom. Likewise I believe bridge repair costs were grossly talked up (or cheap options were ignored). $500,000 was being talked about just for a cheap fix, while a wheelchair accessible bridfge came in at $2.5 million. Killed it, stone dead.

      • mfwic

        An engineer who built much of the Northwestern motorway as well as some south Island dams once showed me a crash analysis that showed the right hand off-ramp was actually safer than the others. But you know how managers are: if they see nine wrong things and one good one they have to smash the good one.

  • Max

    What did you film, Bryce?

  • Dan

    I love the plan to open this up. I just hope it gets called Noodle Park.

  • Too obscure I know:

    ‘A dreaded sunny day
    so let’s go where we’re wanted
    and I’ll meet you at the cemetery gates…’

    • Rob Mayo

      Channeling Morrissey now are we?

      “Cause there’s always someone, somewhere with a big nose, who knows and who trips you up and laughs when you fall…”

  • Ahhh, what memories this brings back. This from almost exactly eight years ago:

    Organisers of an 8000-signature petition to restore rail services to Onehunga say the suburb’s rusting 3.4km branch line could be reopened for less than the cost of a motorway offramp.

    Campaign for Better Transport convener Cameron Pitches said winning funds for rail projects was like getting blood from a stone, as these were given far closer scrutiny than new roads.

    He presented the petition to the Auckland Regional Council last night, saying a new multimillion-dollar offramp carrying traffic from the left-hand side of the Southern Motorway to Nelson St under the council’s headquarters had made no significant dent in Auckland’s traffic congestion.

    The old disused right-hand ramp was to remain in place “presumably as an everlasting monument to how easy it is to get funding for roading projects”, he said.

  • Bryce P

    I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the off-ramp, once you get across Pitt St, is a much nicer place than I expected. A green barrier between the old and new off ramps would fix 99% of the remaining uglyness.

  • David K

    This would make a rad slice of shared public space. Wouldn’t take much, either. Maybe no ball sports or frisbees though.

    • Glass it all in, double glazing and some good air quality filters, and make a public all-weather park connecting from Hobson-Nelson right through the CMJ. With a bike path through the middle too. #makeitso

      • No need, just sort the access points and it’s ready to go. Seriously air quality is probably better than Queen St, worst bit is at the Nelson/Pitt intersection and the only noisy bit is under K’Rd where the traffic sound is trapped.

  • Concrete Journey would be a great name for a band. Maybe Brownlee could resurrect his singing career.

    Looking forward to Max’ post. So much potential for cycling and walking.

    • Considered Asphalt Opportunity too, but too cheesy. Some readers may have heard of ‘cardboard journey’ -> acid trip.

      Yes looking froward to the plans of the hardworking Max.

      Amazing that all those highly skilled people we pay to consider what’s best for city don’t seem to be able to do this work; it’s up to advocates to do it in our spare time…?

      • Yep – though it must be hard for them when they are so boxed in by political BS. Of course some of the more senior people are just stuck in the prison of their limited imagination – which is much worse.

        I cant believe that it took Luke and Cameron to formulate the Fanshawe Street bus lanes. Really? Are there no big picture people at AT? There must be a strict hierarchy that stops people being able to suggest new concepts because I am sure some bright young sparks there must have some great ideas.

        Or do they only recruit people with the “right” ideas about traffic planning?

  • PBY

    Heres an idea… Seen how the NZTA likes building interesting pedestrian bridges all over Auckland at the moment…

    How about an enclosed pedestrian and cycle bridge swooping over the CMJ from the end of this disused of ramp to the north western cycleway in Newton (Ian McKinnon Drive area). This would provide a really pleasant 900m off road cycle and pedestrian path through the busiest part of Auckland linking Newton with K’Rd (west tce) and Nelson Street. The bridge between Newton and K’Rd would be about 500m shorter than the current cycle route…. Just an idea that would be great for pedestrains, cyclists and give NZTA a flash new bridge to show off. :)

  • Andrew

    They just started to turn our community garden into apartments at Vic Park car park. Who do we contact to turn the old off ramp in to a garden?

    • Max

      I suggest you don’t – while it was nicer than we expected, it will still be a rather contaminated part of Auckland with several hundred thousands of vehicles directly below every day. I suggest that a flower garden or park might work, but you wouldn’t want to eat anything from up there!

  • nonsense

    would it be prohibitive to have a cycle ramp down from Kroad or West Terrace? I can’t really tell the difference in elevation

    • PBY

      Looking at Google streetview its hard to tell, but it looks like a 3-4 m drop from West tce to the end of the abandoned off ramp. Some sort of curved pedestrian/cycle ramp would have to be created to connect the off ramp with the existing streets, but im sure its not too much for the design team at NZTA.

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