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Enhancing Karangahape Rd – Consultation

Karangahape Rd has long been one of Auckland’s most iconic streets and also one of the most important from a transport perspective, with a history stretching back to pre-European times.

In the first half of the 20th century it was one of Auckland’s premier shopping districts but over the second half it declined, in part due to the central motorway junction that cut through the area. The area has been making a comeback though with a culture all of its own. And once the City Rail link has been completed it will be teeming with even more streaming out of the K Rd station – although it would be even better if Auckland Transport built it properly with the Beresford Square entrance constructed at the same time.

After what feels like a very long gestation period, Auckland Transport are finally formally consulting on the Karangahape Rd Enhancement Project which among other things, will see safe, separated bike lanes added to what is already a popular and important route into and through the city. It is of course also an important walking route and a key bus route, serving buses from the west. In the future it could also be served by light rail from Dominion Rd.

As is normal with making street changes, some of the most nervous about change tend to be the retailers. To date the business association have been supportive of making improvements. As part of the project, AT conducted some research looking how people travel to the area and the results matched similar surveys done elsewhere. Businesses on the street thought that about 41% of their customers drove to the area yet when customers were asked that number was just 17%

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-travel-survey

The project has been split into four sections, each with different proposed solutions

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-sections

Ponsonby Rd to Pitt St

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-ponsonby-to-pitt-visualisation

This will see the proposed protected cycle lanes on Gt North Rd carried on through a more permanent and attractive implantation that will include planting and rain gardens to manage stormwater. There are also bus lanes but they will revert to parking in the off peak (AT say hours could be extended in the future). It will require the existing pedestrian build-outs to be removed and the trees relocated though. There will also be less clutter on the footpaths as furniture like street poles will be moved to the cycle lane separator. On side streets there will be pedestrian build-outs to narrow them and reduce speed.

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-ponsonby-to-pitt-layout

K Rd bridge

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-k-rd-bridge-visual

This is a tricky section being more constrained – although the bridge is quite wide. There are also bus stops on the bridge which were rebuilt a few years ago and take up a lot of the limited space dedicated to pedestrians. AT say they’re looking at a couple of options but at the least they are proposing to move the shelters closer to the road to create more space for people and bikes behind the shelters. They also say they are investigating whether they need to have offline bus stops because if they don’t it allows for even more space for pedestrians. This seems similar to the issue with bus stops on Albert St.
The options with and without offline bus stops are both shown in the image below

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-k-rd-bridge-layout

Pitt St to Queen St

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-pitt-to-queen-visualisation-1

AT are going for a temporary solution here with a more permanent one in about 10 years time. That will mean after the CRL is completed and closer to the time when Light Rail might be being constructed. They want to use planters to trial different road layouts, such as for special events. Some earlier suggestions we’ve seen have included narrowing the road down to just two lanes with very wide footpaths to allow for more people space. Like the Ponsonby to Pitt St section, this will require the removal of the pedestrian built outs and the relocation of the existing trees. The current proposed design includes retaining the on-street parking during the off peak.

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-pitt-to-queen-layout-1

Queen St to Symonds St

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-queen-to-symonds-visual

ATs proposed solution for this section is similar to the western end of Quay St and the cycle lane will be raised to be level with the footpath. On the southern side next to the cemetery this will mean the footpath will be slightly reduced.

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-queen-to-symonds-layout

Upper Queen St

People on Bikes coming from the NW Cycleway will be able to access the Karangahape Rd cycle lanes via some new separated cyclelanes being added to Upper Queen St on either side. These lanes replace the painted median that currently exists so doesn’t affect any traffic lanes or on-street parking.

k-rd-enhancement-consultation-oct-16-upper-queen-layout

Overall the proposals look great so make sure you submit supporting them so they can become a reality.

90 comments to Enhancing Karangahape Rd – Consultation

  • Ricardo

    All these roads need a minimum of 2 lanes traffic flow each way otherwise you simply get congestion and annoy more people.

    • Alex F

      The best way to reduce congestion is to have fewer cars using roads. Two lanes on Karangahape Road is counterproductive.

      • The best way to reduce congestion is to disincentive driving while improving all alternatives. Traffic congestion is nothing other than too many drivers. People will soon learn not to bring their cars through here as they have in Queen St and other streets where place has been improved over vehicle speed.

        Drivers are the same as everyone; they are rational enough over time. We cannot expect to improve city quality while continuing the big mistake of last century; treating city streets as highways. The corollary to this would be to allow pedestrians and cyclists on motorways. We don’t do that, and nor should we prioritise highway conditions where place has value.

        • The Real Matthew

          “The best way to reduce congestion is to disincentive driving while improving all alternatives”

          But that is not what’s happening here. The bus lanes aren’t much of an enhancement to what’s already there so we are essentially substituting better cycling facility for lesser vehicle facility. Yet the former is not a substitute for the latter. Cycle trips are good for 0-5km though no don’t highly competent cyclists go longer than that. Vehicle commuting tends to be 1-unlimited distance.

          As has happened in Melbourne the result of this project will be longer travel times, reduction in productivity, reduction in living standard, increased vehicle pollution. Then the transport fraternity will come out and say “measuring driving times are a bad way to measure commuting times”. I can almost hear it now.

          • No this is exactly what’s happening here. Short term there is the enhanced bus lanes to Pitt St, remember almost all buses turn down Pitt St and of course the cycle lanes. Then medium term there is a little project called the CRL, if that doesn’t qualify as an ‘enhanced alternative’ it isn’t clear what would. Local business will improve with this scheme, as is consistent with evidence from around the globe.

            Notwithstanding my point below about the Pitt-Queen section for buses, and the lack of the Beresford Sq station entrance from the start, this is enhancing alternatives.

            If your point is the alternatives are insufficiently enhanced and general traffic still too dominant then yes I agree; it does have all the air of a compromise about it, but one that is still more optimal than not and that can shift further over time.

          • The Real Matthew

            Patrick I agree the CRL is an enhancement to this area but it’s years away and as you say not relevant to the short term. Also, the CRL would work just as well with the existing infrastructure as it will with the new plan.

            The proposal is a gain for some who are fortunate to be able to own a house within a 5km radius of K’Rd and aren’t required to have a car for their jobs. For everyone else it’s a reduction in accessibility to this area which will only be mitigated for a small portion of these people once the CRL comes on board.

          • mfwic

            “For everyone else it’s a reduction in accessibility to this area” I don’t think anybody has driven to the shops in K Road in more than 20 years. They have long since gone elsewhere. As for the loss of a couple of traffic lanes- they are only needed in the peak when people can easily swap to a bus. The cycle lanes are probably a good idea, just dont try and call the scheme an ‘enhancement’ for the area. It’s a cycle lane and bus lane project. with a reduction in amenity with a few bushes in ugly little boxes.

          • Sailor Boy

            “The proposal is a gain for some who are fortunate to be able to own a house within a 5km radius of K’Rd ”

            I would argue that improving the place for the 200,000 people who live nearby at a tiny cost to people who want to drive at high speed through the place is a really good idea.

          • Well except that’s not how things work IRL. People in cars very infrequently access this area, they are not stopping, they are on there way elsewhere, and not using the vast infrastructure we have built for vehicle though movement here, at enormous cost both financially, but also to the economic and social life of this once premier shopping district, they’re rat-running through here. We know this from the survey and from simple observation. Local businesses relay on people who can walk into the shops, and these in the vast majority are walking, busing, or biking.

            Furthermore you are being a little pessimistic about how far people ride their bikes, remember this is at the end of the booming North Western bike ‘superhighway’ and the confluence of the two city bike bypasses: Grafton Gully and the Nelson St/PinkPath. And, as ever, are not reading how dynamic the city is in this regard; like Transit use bike use is responding rapidly to new infrastructure, it would be a mistake to take todays numbers and build for them. This is a growth mode.

            Thirdly, there are a great many new residents in the area now and more to come. Around 1000 new apartment dwellers on Hopetoun St alone are there or about to be. And Great North Rd is sprouting apartments, and cycle lanes like topsey.

          • The wider point is that the driving era destroyed this place and the walking/biking/transit age we are now in is its best chance at redemption.

            Not suggesting that this model suits everywhere, but if it suits anywhere, and it does, it’s K Rd, P Rd, the City Centre, Devonport, and others [but surely here first].

          • “As has happened in Melbourne the result of this project will be longer travel times, reduction in productivity, reduction in living standard, increased vehicle pollution” – data to back this up please. As I understand it, cycling and PT infrastructure has been a huge success in melbourne. Which is why so few people commute into the CBD by car.

            And remember, the plural of anecdote is not data.

          • The The Real Matthew, Ricardo and mfwic – I trust we will not ever see you at any restaurants, cafes or street events held in K Road if (actually when) it becomes a buzzing exciting place to be as a result of these changes. Like everywhere else in the world changes like this have been made.

            You must stay in your suburbs and never come into this inner city area.

            Deal?

          • What’s perhaps missing is a reasonable way to cycle from all the apartments between Myers Park and the spaghetti junction to cycle to K’road. The Lightpath is great but if you’re on Hobson Street or Vincent Street you still have to brave Cook Street to get there. Or you can go via Pitt Street if you take the shortest path. All of these are bad places to be on a bicycle.

          • @ Roeland Pitt St is getting a cycle upgrade as part of the Nelson St Cycleway project.

          • If you’re doing ‘unlimited’ trips, you’ll be very excited to find a nice big motorway very close by.

    • JBM

      You always have the option of not driving through there.

    • Multi Kulti

      That’s what public transport is for.

    • Sailor Boy

      I see a minimum of 6 lanes on every cross section, with at least 3 in each direction. We are above even Ricardo’s lofty standards!!

    • Nick

      Car congestion doesn’t matter as long as sufficient space is given to other modes such as buses, bikes and walking. This is a city centre street – people who insist on bringing their 1 tonne lumps of metal with them should be at the back of the line.

  • mfwic

    So turning it into a highway for buses and adding cycle lanes is going to ‘enhance’ the place for shoppers? Looks to me like it will be even more of a thoroughfare and less of a centre.

    • George D

      You haven’t been anywhere with cyclelanes, obviously.

    • Well that doesn’t seem to accord with the experience of every other city in the world that did it. But I guess there could be something really unique about Auckland. I cant think of anything though.

      All over the world better PT and cycling has been great for business, especially retain, as well as making streets safer for all road users. Surely those are things we want for K Road aren’t they? Or do you think there should be other aims for it, like getting as many SOVs through as possible?

    • Andy White

      Wider pavements and an extra ‘buffer layer’ of a cycleway would be so much nicer to sit beside at a pavement cafe than having your view blocked by a parked-up SUV.

  • Cool – is this where I lobby for a pedestrian stairwell adjacent to the old Rising Sun Tavern building (sorry, don’t know what it’s called now) to connect K Rd with the Magenta Lightpath below? There’s actually a little bit of council owned land down there that would make it possible (see where the letter ‘R’ is on your second graphic, where the K Rd bridge is located).
    This would connect pedestrians directly with the light path and would be a great addition to these planned improvements, IMO.

  • Actually I worry that the Link buses are the losers here. And we need the Links to perform well as they are the local access devices for people not driving or parking further away.

    On the key Pitt to Queen section I see the Links being held up by parking off peak, and general traffic on peak. I think it would be better to make this lane loading and ten minute parks off peak and buslane on peak.

    • Harriet Gale

      Why I submitted with put Bus Lanes on these sections

    • One thing I’ve learned from 2 weeks in central London is that if you’re going to have bus lanes make them bus lanes, not part time car parks. Especially in instances like this where you are reducing lanes. I drive a car and I like to park on the street (right outside? – cheers!) but in situations like this you need to bite the bullet and just nix those street side carparks. There is a rather large carpark building behind the George Courts building anyway, so people can park there.

      Looking at the Queen St to Symonds St graphic we’re only talking about 4 car spaces on either side anyway, so at the very most they should be P10 only ie time to load/unload, not stroll along K Rd and window shop.

      EDIT: I misread your original comment and the Pitt—>K Rd graphic. I just assumed that it was one lane for cars and the other for buses (albeit shared off peak w car parking). Scrub the off peak parking!

      • Well that’s the weird thing about Auckland, especially in the weekends: It’s both full of people circling around for parking, and empty parking garages (like the one behind Cross Street). The problem here is Wilson Parking, which pretty much only bothers with weekday commuters. Look for example at the pricing for that particular garage (*):

        • During weekends it’s $10 for any stay over 1 hour 15 minutes, which makes this an expensive option for short stays.
        • But on weekdays commuters can park all day for roughly the same price — $11. (in their opinion someone arriving at 9:59am is still an early bird). Note the requirement to stay until after 2pm to get the reduced price.

        The result is predictable, come any time outside office hours and all those garages are empty, while the on-street parking is full.

        (*) http://www.wilsonparking.co.nz/park/825_Karangahape-Road_24-Mercury-Lane-Auckland-CBD

        • James B

          I’d like to see more short term parking provided on the street, say 15 minutes. Perfect for if you need to pop in and grab something. If you want to stay longer go to a building.

          • Sailor Boy

            That’s the idea of AT’s parking charges. $3 an hour for first hour, $6 per hour afterwards. Encourages long stay off the street.

          • Yes but unfortunately that’s only the case during office hours.

            After 6pm and on Sundays, parking is free, while on Saturdays it’s $1 per hour regardless of how long you stay. And at the same time, parking buildings still charge at least $10 if you stay for a couple of hours. So generally on the street = cheap or free, while AT’s buildings = expensive, and Wilson = very expensive. They’re doing it wrong.

    • Yes agree, a number of buses on new network (& now presumably) going through this section. These will include the city link, inner link & the north shores NX3 all doing at least 10mins peak. Should perhaps all day bus lanes, given the all day use of this area. Think they have picked the best vehicle/cycle lane/ped separation configuration. Not sure why there is no bus lane for the Queen to Symonds St section. Where are these general vehicles coming from or going to, given the Grafton Bridge is not open to them during normal working hours? I remember in my 80’s/90’s era car days that I would naturally always travel up Queen St then left at K’Rd and onto the Symonds St motorway on ramp. This seemed the easy/lazy natural way to get home on the southern motorway (& traffic not so bad then). Given that Hobson St on ramp traffic conflicts with this flow anyway, people should just use Mayoral Dr, Hobson to get on if going Southern motorway. I guess those going to Mt Eden Rd could/do/should use Upper Queen St. If heading to Newmarket or beyond, I’m sure could use Upper Queen as well. So bus lane etc priority on this section would just mean more cars would move to this other way & more priority could be given to lights going via Upper Queen St if necessary for cars. The New Network 30 (8 min peak), 295, 309 & 309X will be going through here! One things I notice are they are willing to be “trialling road layout changes”, a good sign AT acknowledging that their outdated traffic modelling is of limited use?

      • The really interesting thing is that people at NZTA tell me that they would love to close the Symonds St on ramp, after all it was always only a temporary measure for when the motorway terminated there, when there were no Grafton onramps, no Hobson St onramp, no SH16, and no connection under K Rd to the Bridge. And it creates more problems than value on SH1 itself; too many merges in too short a distance. Too much ‘friction’ as the engineers say; this disrupts their god; FLOW.

        So imagine just how much clearer it would be to think about what’s best for K Rd if we really had integrated transport thinking and the option of closing this was on the table? How that would enable K Rd to return to being a street and a place, and not merely an onramp at the eastern end. The only negative outcome I can see is drivers on Symonds St [a declining creature] having to travel further to head south, probably on balance a bearable trade-off.

        And what a great cycling and walking connection that would make to the Grafton Gully path…

        • Yes, probably should be closed or maybe just can be used by buses (or same hours consistent with Grafton Bridge), some express ones use this I think? Alternatively could have only bus left turn at Queen onto K’Rd? Once LRT comes up through there, I wonder what the traffic turning plan is?

          • Yes. But I do wish AT would get over this LR will sort Queen St and we won’t do anything about it till then. The tendency seems to be that we have to wait for huge, hard won projects to be finished before we can think of local place improvements. I get the thinking, but reckon both place and movement changes need to ride in parallel more. Pe heaps this is a natural outcome of transport centred thinking. AT and NZTA need more place focus at the highest levels IMO.

          • mfwic

            Patrick I suspect that is the actual point of light rail. They are not going to build it, just use it as an excuse to do nothing at all. It has worked for them as a means of not making any provision for rail to the airport. Kind of like ATAPS and road pricing.

          • @ Patrick, Yes agree and LRT is 10 years away?! Hopefully Phil Goff can speed this along.

          • Well if only AT actually understood that they are charged with improving place I could believe they are doing this. But as we see with their post CRL street plans they still don’t understand or value place much at all.

            Not helped of course by NZTA’s Economic Evaluation Manual, with its total bias towards travel time savings, and nothing on place value.

  • Harriet Gale

    I like this however my two issues are

    1. No Bus Lanes between Pitt & Grafton Bridge, this isn’t great for the Inner Link Services
    2. Bus Lanes should be 3-7, in the evening the peak is more stretched due to Part Time Workers, Students, People who skip lunch to be able to go home earlier etc. the lanes need extra span to cover this.

  • Frank McRae

    The designs look good. Of course the street is performing many functions (peds, cafe tables, cycle, bus, loading, parking, driving) and has finite width so tradeoffs have to be made. But these tradeoffs seem pretty small in the scheme of things. The loss of a couple of street trees, curb build outs, and vehicle priority for full protected cycle lanes.

  • Adrian

    Bus lanes and proper cycle lanes between Pitt and Grafton bridge would be good. There are so many parking buildings around and on the side street so losing a few won’t hurt. Also no more nikau palm trees – they always look dead. Maybe something that flowers and so what if it is exotic? Maybe some fruit trees would be an interesting idea. I’ve seen that in other cities

  • Alex B.

    Suggestion.

    Colour the cycleway pink and/or make them glow during the night (this has been done so many times around the world).

    Making the pathway colourful fits perfectly with the K-Road culture. Plus its a very ideal location with the Pink/LightPath just under the bridge.

  • Ted F

    Remove the parking at all times.
    Bus lanes here for buses 24 hours 7 days a week please.
    Increase the parking costs so that at least 15% of spaces are free at any time.
    Start with all on street parking and then include council owned parking buildings/

  • KLK

    This “peak-only” bus lane nonsense has to end. Our major thoroughfares should have bus lanes 24/7. Its clear the small window allocated by AT at the beginning and end of each working day is insufficient for actual patronage across the day.

    According to the survey, only 17% of people arrive by car and only 2% park on K-Road itself. There simply isn’t any need to provide for additional parking amenity outside of peak, other than short-term bays which don’t impact the bus lane.

    Do it once, do it right.

    • Alex F

      Absolutely. I’m all for permanent busways. Get rid of the peak only busways and clearways so that they can’t be abused by morons parking in them when they shouldn’t be there.

    • James

      +1, and needs to happen elsewhere too. Red routes in London are no-go throughout the day, only reverting to all access after a certain time in the evening until very early in the morning. And the fines if you even get half a car width into it…150quid.. everyone knows their purpose, and they tend to stay clear outside of those hours too as people are too scared to go in them even if theyre allowed

      • Yes, though like the simplicity/same travel pattern and less cluttered signs when 24/7. If reverting to normal lanes way outside peaks then it’s probably unnecessary anyway for there is not enough general traffic to worry about, but if so then you should have the bus lane still running anyway! Late at night, a special event say, could really screw up any buses that would otherwise be the transport of choice.

        • James

          I’m all for that solution. As I mentioned, when they are really restrictive for the vast majority of the day, and the consequences (fines) bad enough then people learn pretty quick and then don’t really use them even when they are allowed to.. so, you may as well just make it 24/7

  • Matthew W

    I dont see any details of the intersection designs. Does anyone have details of this? Most interested in whether they have proposed proper cycling priority.

  • Despite a number of comments there are still a number of destination shops on K road where people purposefully drive to. These visitors to K road will have not have captured by the survey as they park outside the relevant shop go in and come out and as the survey team were located on the corners of the road will not have been counted by them.

    The pavements in various parts of K road are too narrow for the peak traffic flows when the Auckland Girls Grammar are moving to and from school. I am not sure I would want to cycle between the bus shelters on the bridge and the pavement before or after school,

    With moving the some of the bus stops to Pitt street is not a bad idea, it would better if restoring the additional bus stop on the bridge so that the girls who use public transport did not have so far to walk, reducing congestion on the footpath.

    • Nobody on K Rd parks outside the relevant shop, goes in and comes out. Have you ever tried to park on K Rd? There is currently about one on-street carpark per four or five shops, the odds of a space being free in front of the shop in question are astronomical.

    • mfwic

      We used to shop there years ago. We would park in the Cross St carpark, walk through one of the two links. The whole thing worked really well. It is a hell of a shame that what should be the best shopping street in Auckland has been treated so poorly and is going to be made worse by this project. The answer is dump both bus lanes and just have a single lane each way, or dump the cycle lanes, but in either case the footpaths need to be wider and landscaping and street furniture improved. This just shows how bad the Council is at managing a retail area. There is not a mall owner in the country that would do this to their retailers.

      • Linz

        Dear God why do you bother?

      • Haha, sad trolling attempt. Just stay away. You can’t fix a place with more of the thing that destroyed it. That carpark only hastened K Rd’s decline. Drive to a mall; if cheap and convenient parking is the most important thing for you there are plenty of lovely suburban options all surrounded by beautiful sea of officially mandated parking for you. And happily every one is the same so there’s no fear of meeting anything interesting or unexpected…. Seize the day!

        • John Parlane

          That isn’t trolling. The parking on-street needs to go, but the space ought to be used to improve pedestrian amenity so that the shopping frontage with the best potential in the CBD can thrive. This section from Pitt to Queen should be the jewel in the crown. You go on about traffic sewers yet that is exactly what they are trying to do here except somehow buses and bikes makes that ok. How can you support the Linear Park where they will spend money on pedestrian amenity outside office buildings but be happy to stuff it up on a fantastic retail frontage?

          • I didn’t answer you before on this because you’ve just plain got it wrong, I put that down to your habit of making up stuff for your own entertainment. The footpath between Pitt and Queen is increasing in width as the current planting zone is moving out to the edge of the new cycle lane, currently a traffic lane. Bikes and buses are way preferable to SOVs on any city street as they provide access at a far higher spatial efficiency. Also the Bike lane pushes all vehicle traffic, including buses, further from the pedestrian zone making it way more pleasant; a better place to linger. Yes there should be more bus priority here, noted elsewhere, and yes, we wait impatiently for the buses to be electric and not diesel, and the City Link ones at least to be replaced by Light Rail… but meantime this is a step in the right direction. It is a big improvement in pedestrian and access quality.

          • John Parlane

            The problem with that plan Patrick is K Road will still just be treated as somewhere to pass through on your way to somewhere better. It should be the destination, that is its history. At the motorway end it is stuffed but the section between Pitt and Queen Streets could easily be the best retail frontage in Auckland. It has the buildings, the alignment, a ridge location and the sun on one side at least. It could be and should be so much more than a few low value shops on another arterial road. There isn’t really any need for as much traffic as it currently has. Newton Rd should be the main connector to the motorway. Just as Grafton Gully should have replaced the carrying function of Symonds St. They could easily remove cars in one direction if not both or show some restraint on the other modes and use the parking to improve the street for people who a visiting the shops. Regardless of what their surveys suggest 100% of people visiting K Road walk when they get there.

          • Well if what you are saying is that they are still trying to shove too much general traffic through K Rd, then yes, I agree. And has that reduced the ability to further improve place, and ped amenity, yes indeed, I agree. But you sure have a funny way of putting these two quite plain claims.

            And yes Pitt to Queen should be one lane each way, bus, delivery, and emergency only, with enhanced people space taking up the others. And we should all submit to say so.

            But remember this is a first step in an changeable scheme. I guess it won’t reach its full status until the CRL is operating. Starting by putting in true separated bike lanes is a very good place to start and will, for once give K Rd a jump on P Rd, which is getting more and more car parking and therefore ever more stuffed up traffic.

            This will give K Rd a real point of difference. For example, with this and the Great North Rd bike lanes the bike users in my area will be encouraged to go back up Richmond Rd and along GNR and dine on K, instead of heading to P Rd, which although closer, is hellish for all but cocky riders.

      • TLD

        I think you’re making fair points about the reduced amenity when removing those buildouts. “… dump both bus lanes and just have a single lane each way” — they’re suggesting that the movable planter boxes will allow them to test out options such as this. Would be cool to see outdoor seating in that lane – pretty much what is shown in their ‘potential future design’ image

      • Sailor Boy

        “There is not a mall owner in the country that would do this to their retailers.”

        This isn’t a mall.

      • KLK

        “The answer is dump both bus lanes and just have a single lane each way, or dump the cycle lanes, but in either case the footpaths need to be wider and landscaping and street furniture improved”

        Or, perhaps, drop the most spatially-inefficient mode, the one that caused the place-destruction in the first place, the SOV?

        The truth is none has to be dumped, the latter just has to compromise.

  • Also for the readers that are unfamiliar with K Rd, or perhaps are nursing old memories of the place, here are a couple of shots I took when up there for dinner a couple of months ago. This kind of parking problem is not unusual around Coco Cantina, where these we taken, and St Kevins Arcade. I do hope that more bike parking will be included in the upgrade:

    • mfwic

      I don’t think you are reading the cross-section Patrick. The buildout where those bikes are parked goes completely. The existing footpath gets extended pretty much in line with the edge of the canopies. There first objective is to improve pedestrian amenity and they are doing nothing to achieve that they want to make it worse.

      • Sailor Boy

        Nothing to acheive that other than putting the motorised vehicles 3m further away…

        • mfwic

          You think getting rid of a line of parked cars improves pedestrian amenity? How? The moving vehicles are fairly much where they are now.

          • Sailor Boy

            “You think getting rid of a line of parked cars improves pedestrian amenity? How?”

            How do I reach that conclusion? I actually walk places. Try walking somewhere a few times and then come back and we can have a chat.

          • mfwic

            You walking places doesn’t make it so. Moving vehicles will be the same distance from pedestrians as they are now. If you want to improve amenity then widen the footpaths, plant some trees, add some street furniture, make space for tables and market stalls. This does none of that. It is a cyclelane scheme. They should try being honest and call it that.

    • You miss my point entirely: bike users are already, with no safe place to ride on K Rd, an important economic force there. The idea that businesses there are better off sacrificing space for bike lanes to accommodate potential (imaginary) customers from distant suburbs by providing as much parking and driving space is completely daft. We know this, it has been tried for decades and failed.

      K Rd is more likely to flourish by being as different as possible to Westgate in every way possible. First the potential customer base in bus/bike/walk range is huge. Second they are much more likely to come if it suits and welcomes them. Thirdly I would surmise making it awkward for the auto-dependent to access looks like a really sharp branding plan for the area. A USP.

      Each to their own; may malls flourish on free parking, predictability, and hermetic separation, and old centres on walkability, character, integrated place quality.

  • Get rid of the cars altogether. You know it makes sense.

    • Nick R

      My three point plan:
      1) Close the access from the east end of K Rd to the Symonds St motorway onramp (leave the access from Symonds if you must). These drivers can drive down Pitt St and use the free left turn onto the motorway there instead. With access to Grafton Bridge and the motorway gone there is almost no reason to drive along the eastern end of K Rd.

      2) Turn East St into one way northbound only, and allow left and right turns onto K Rd west of Pitt St. This works as a pair with Mercury lane allowing people to drive in both directions to get to or from Upper Queen St and Queen St.

      3) Reconfigure K Rd between Pitt and Queen so that it has a single lane each way for buses only, plus cycle lanes. i.e. widen both footpaths out by a lanes worth. Install a rising bollard for buses and emergency services vehicles.

      • Matthew W

        Very good idea

      • Yes that’s a solution.

        One issue is the emergency vehicles sourced out of Pitt St: Ambo and Fire. But with K Rd Pitt-Queen as a bus only route would actually be less cluttered for these vehicles… keeping general vehicles improves options and speed for first responders in emergencies. It’s just an extension of the Grafton Bridge condition, which has worked well for ambulance access to the hospital.

  • Anyone know where the first photo in this Radio NZ story came from? [see link] Are they using an old press release or are the planter boxes in your pic just a transition to what we see from RNZ?
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201820237/plan-to-revamp-karangahape-road

    • Matthew W

      I think that is the possible option they will do in 10 years. Apparently the CRL makes it possible, but I dont really understand their thinking..

      • Nick R

        More like it would make building the CRL difficult. I assume they want to use K Rd to manage traffic and bus disruptions around the Mercury Lane and Pitt St sites.

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