Categories

Archives

Light Rail Dominion Road – Land Use Low Hanging Fruit

Light rail on Dominion Rd is one of the big projects being discussed right now and is being actively investigated.

light-rail-on-dominion-rd-illustration

An impression of what Light Rail on Dominion Rd would look like

During the Unitary Plan debate I saw many people raise concerns that Dominion Road does not have the zoning to support Light Rail. While the zoning was been increased following the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) Recommendations which the council ultimately agreed with (subject to appeal), I believe there is still some low hanging fruit to increase zoning without affecting the Heritage Areas zoned Single House Zone (SHZ) in the Final Plan. Here’s a comparison of the two versions, the operative plan having a bit more:

  • Terraced House and Apartment Buildings (THAB) – orange – up to four storey apartments
  • Mixed Housing Urban (MHU) – peach – up to 3 storey terraces
  • Mixed Housing Suburban (MHS) – yellow – up to 2 storey terrace

dominion-rd-up-differences

 

I have come up with 4 low hanging fruit suggestions, with 1 potential opportunity for Land Use for Dominion Road Light Rail, there is also a map with the options areas highlighted below.

  1. The MHU around Mt Roskill close to Dominion Road could be rezoned THAB
  2. Some of the MHS could be be rezoned MHU
  3. The MHS could be rezoned to MHU & some of the MHU be rezoned as THAB.
  4. For the Mixed Use Zone & Town Centre Zoned Areas along Dominion Road, remove Height Variation Controls that reduce the standard height limits, and consider implementing height variation controls that increase the height limit slightly. This would allow store frontage to be redeveloped/renovated keeping the Character of  Heritage Shops while allowing Apartments to be built on top.
  5. The last potential opportunity is areas close by Dominion Road who would prefer to catch the Light Rail & with good cycle links, or using Crosstown services would do so. This is due to potential time savings due to the priority the Light Rail has, as well as access to both Downtown/Uptown/Midtown, current Bus Routes do not give the same access to all three. As we’ve already seen in Auckland, many will often prefer to travel further for a service they perceive is of higher quality. One example of this could be seen during the roll out of electric trains where some people changed when they travelled so they caught an electric service rather than a diesel one. The two areas in question are Stoddard 5A on Map & Royal Oak 5B. These areas are already highly zoned, however Stoddard would likely not have Light Rail until after Dominion Road while the modelling in the Central Access Plan now says light rail on Mt Eden Rd is not needed until post 2040. By providing access to the Light Rail through good reliable Crosstown Buses (For Royal Oak this is Crosstown 7 & for Stoddard Crosstown 8) as well as cycling links these areas could have greater access to the Light Rail Network, while taking pressure of Sandringham Road, and Mt Eden Road bus services, admittedly due to the distance this may not be successful but is still possible.

dominion-rd-lrt-upzoning-options

Overall these options would allow the Heritage Areas to stay untouched, but would Upzone other areas close to the Light Rail route, this would align Land Use better with any potential Light Rail for Dominion Road. Of course any changes would have to go through at current the standard Resource Management Act process, and some of the Upzoning is potentially limited due to Heritage Protections of some of the Shops, as well a Viewshaft Overlay Controls which restrict height.

So what do you think, great, not bold enough, or the Decisions version will be fine?

89 comments to Light Rail Dominion Road – Land Use Low Hanging Fruit

  • Bigted

    Great post here Harriet, while I’m still not convinced that LR will fit the way ATs pictures make out it will I think this is one of the areas where LR makes sense. I just hope it doesn’t end with the airport ‘tack on’ with it. I would like to see rail (heavy or light) in place of the NW busway.

  • Cargill_Street

    There just needs to be a declining gradient of allowable density starting from the highest at Dominion Road, and gradually reducing east and west away from this LRT corridor from THAB/Mixed Use to MHU to MHS. SHZ need not be provided; that’s what the Character Overlay is for.

    • conan gorbey

      “SHZ need not be provided; that’s what the Character Overlay is for”

      Yes to this, the SHZ application to much of the ‘heritage’ suburbs has resulted in a downgrade of what can be built compared to what is in place. It’s such a waste given proximity to CBD.

      • Cargill_Street

        I’m quietly hoping for a ‘reverse backlash’ when these so called ‘character proponents’ realise how little they can do on their land under SHZ zoning.

  • Ricardo

    The problem with adding light rail is less to do with zoning and more to do with reduced road lanes, which will simply increase congestion and the opportunity for pedestrian injuries from vehicles and the rail cars. The smartest thing is to spend the extra and put the rail up on pylons with minimal footprints. Anything less is plain silly.

  • Seems Dominion Road LRT would miss the rather large set of THAB over at 5A something the Mt Roskill Heavy Rail Spur would capture (and people on the other side of SH20 (Richardson Road)). As with 5B LRT down Mt Eden Road would seem the better bet to go first alongside the heavy rail spur.

    Given AT and NZTA are starting the processes of BRT or LRT with the Botany Line to the Airport the case for actual Dominion Road LRT diminishes especially if the Mt Roskill Spur and Mt Eden Road LRT went first.

    • No LRT on Dominion Rd stands up well on its own regardless of what happens at the airport.

    • Josh

      Not going to happen but…both should happen ASAP. Dominion stands up on its own, but the Mt Eden has the wider benefits

    • Harriet

      Mt Eden road will be much tougher to put LRT down, it’s much more bendy and narrow in sections. While it has a strong anchor towards the end around Royal Oak the rest of the zoning is not high & has significantly less retail.

      Sandringham is much better on both accounts it would be great as an suburban LRT line, however wouldn’t be as ideal to continue to the Airport.

      The issue with the Mt Roskill Spur is it means in the long run you have to split your Western services which means less capacity Avondale-Swanson down the track which is all highly zoned, the other issue is it puts a junction on an already not high speed western line which may slow services. Also since S’Rd has Bus Lanes which are more direct the time savings are actually not that high.

      Agree Botany LRT will be great.

      • Just picking up on comments Bridges is cool to LRT on the Isthmus at the moment. Will see if more can be fleshed out on it.

        That is a major limitation with Mt Eden which I recognise. The Mt Roskill Spur is an interesting one but would it limit capacity on the Western Line given we use to have the old Otahuhu Shuttles when the Eastern Line use to go to Papakura?

        As with Botany LRT, the AT Board have met and approved their end of the Panuku Transform Manukau Framework. It goes to the Panuku Board either next week or early next month so we will soon see what came about.

        • Harriet

          The National Government are cool on it for two reasons, they are hoping that the BRT Report being done atm will be good enough so they can do BRT to the Airport, and Labour are campaigning on LRT atm.

          Old Otahuhu shuttles?

          • Was in the Veolia (now transdev) days with the Diesels.

            What happened in the morning is that an ADL-2 DMU would start its eastern line run 3 minutes ahead of the main Eastern Line service from Papakura. The logic was that the shuttle would take the load from the inner stations meaning the full service behind it was not put into an overcrowding situation. It was repeated on the way back home in the evening peak.

            I remember trying to get two ADL-2’s to start from New Lynn ahead of the old 7:04 and 7:34 (approx) from Swanson to Britomart to relieve the loads on the inner stations as even the big old DF 6 car sets could not cope.
            AT wouldnt budge.

          • Ben – my understanding is it is more to do with future capacity. At some point we will likely want 12tph (5 min frequency) on all our main lines, which with the Southern and Western lines both entering the CRL at Mt Eden will take it up to it’s capacity. Therefore there would be no room for Mt Roskill spur trains in the CRL. In theory it looks like a great line but it has limitations on other points of the network.

        • Dan C

          Exactly. Trams ran down Mt Eden road to three kings in the first half of the 20th century. Why would trams in the 21st centry struggle with the bends? Narrow sections -it’s wide enough for double decker buses already, so i don’t see that being an issue but worst case you have short sections of shared running.

  • Steve N

    The 5b labelled area is Three Kings. Royal Oak is just off the map at the bottom RH corner.

    As an ex-resident of 5b, I had contemplated walking through to Dominion Road if a LRT service existed. But I couldn’t see it stacking up: it would take 10-15 mins to walk to Mt Roskill shops with no cover in inclement weather. The bus is currently timetabled for approx 30 mins to St James, and then a 10-15 min walk down to Britomart. The Mt Eden Road bus service was (at that time) 40 mins direct to Britomart, and the chance of getting rained on is greatly reduced. I think the Double Decker timetable changed the journey time out to 50 mins though.

    I know I’m the exception on this blog that I think Heritage zones changes need some caution. There are a lot less “leafy suburbs” left on the isthmus than people think e.g. great swathes of Epsom, Remuera and Greenlane have already been chopped up to take advantage of Auckland Grammar Zone with some pretty nasty results. However – in my opinion – there are only a few buildings on Dominion Road that are worth saving, and I have no issue with upzoning along here e.g. ASB’s site at 360 Dominion Road is going to be empty early next year, and would seem an ideal candidate for apartments. The site has three street frontages, so really only one side can affect neighbours. But it looks like that particular block is not zoned for apartments (I’m colour blind so hard for me to tell).

    • Harriet

      Sorry you are right Three Kings, Crosstown 7 is every 15 7-7 m-s in the New Network, this would connect well to LRT from Three Kings & Royal Oak. Also if Cycling was improved on Mt Albert Road, it would go from being a 10-15 walk to a 7m cycle.

      I didn’t touch the Heritage Overlay with these changes, all of the changes were areas that where zoned outside such by the IHP & accepted by the Council. That is the great thing about these changes they allow you to have the heritage houses protected but maximizes density in the sections that are not so you can have your cake & eat it to so to speak.

  • Ari

    If you can’t get it to work on Dominion, you won’t get it to work anywhere else.
    Though I think light rail is dead in the water. At least for another decade or two.
    Ive seen all the arguments for and against trams and buses, but Ive yet to see a compelling argument that decisively proves trams as superior.
    I love the trams in Melbourne,but I just don’t see them working better than buses in Auckland.

    • Sailor Boy

      Stand at the Bus Stop on Symonds Street 20m up the hill from Wellesley Street from 3-6pm one day and you’ll see the problem we have with buses; they don’t scale well to the level we now need.

    • Harriet

      Melbourne is not a great example of Light Rail, as many routes are old tramway routes sharing traffic lanes.

      The advantage is, 1. Signal priority since an LRV carries 7.6 single decker buses the amount of vehicles is significantly reduced allowing traffic lights to give priority, it’s much easier to do light priority with with 8LRV’s per hour compared to 60 buses per hour. 2. LRT is much easier to run in an median alignment, you can do with BRT but you need a larger corridor due to need for really needing side facing stations & less need for width as LRV’s are on rails allowing closer passing without collision due to human error this has much less conflict with other vehicles as you do not mix with left turning traffic, right turning traffic is traditionally restricted. 3. Capacity 460 people compared to 60, this also means less drivers and thus less OPEX. 4. Due to it’s fixed nature developers are more likely to leverage land use of the corridor compared to a frequent bus route.

      Of course the most important reason LRT is needed is because Bus Reliability significantly reduces on CBD Streets above 140 buses per hour & starts to brake down after 180 buses per hour, as per previous City Centre Access Reports Symonds St is reaching these levels even with the CRL & New Network. LRT allows the Queen St corridor to be unlocked reducing the reliance of Symonds as a corridor without trashing Queen Street, or requiring an expensive Cross City Bus Tunnel.

      • Matthew W

        The width argument is false why does this keep getting peddled?

        • Sailor Boy

          Probably because it isn’t false, please graphically display a class B BRT cross section narrower than an LRT one.

        • How is it false? Surely a bus of identical width to a tram but with a steering wheel as the sole method of keeping it in line would need more road space. There may be one driver in NZ that is capable of steering a bus along exactly the same track each time but I doubt there are the maybe 200 we would need to run this bus service.

          • Matthew W

            For whatever reason LRT requires a 6.5m corridor or more. No different to a bus corridor. Maybe it could be narrower with electrics on the pavement like Bordeaux

      • Matthew W

        It begs the question as to why we dont shift some of the buses to Queen.

    • JimboJones

      “I love the trams in Melbourne,but I just don’t see them working better than buses in Auckland” seems to be a common theme which I just don’t understand.
      If anything they will be better in Auckland because they will have dedicated space and modern trains.

    • Nick R

      I agree, but nobody is proposing trams for Auckland. The plan is for light rail, which is a far higher specification of vehicles, running way and priority than the trams of Melbourne (and indeed higher spec than the two actual light rail lines in Melbourne).

      Look to the new Gold Coast line for a much closer example.

      • What’s in a name? Over here we talk about “heavy rail” and “light rail”. Most people call these things “trains” and “trams”.

        And just like buses, trams can have varying levels of separation from other traffic.

        • Sailor Boy

          Nope, ‘most people’ do not call them trams. For example, all of the US systems are called light rail.

          • We can call the ‘system’ light rail, but what do we call the ‘vehicles’? I personally like using the word trams in this context; it draws a historical link with the old trams that used to run along these very roads in Auckland, although of course it’s always crucial to point out that light rail ‘trams’ are very different to the trams of the early 20th century.

        • The problem with saying “Tram” is many people picture a little thing like this:

          http://lisbon-portugal-guide.com/images/transport-500/lisbon-tram-36.jpg

          Not something that carries 150+ people like this (or a bigger version)

          https://www.networkwestmidlands.com/media/1326/1_dsc5547.jpg

          • The problem with calling these things “light rail” is that people are going to wonder why we can’t talk like normal people and just call these things “trams”. The solution is calling the latter “large trams”.

            In Melbourne for example, you see trams of various sizes going around. From the really old ones on route 35, to modern large articulated trams like the ones in your second picture. I haven’t noticed any attempt to call the larger ones light rail.

          • Josh

            They are simply not trams though. It like calling a Bus a large car.

          • Nick R

            Roeland, Melbourne does specifically call two of it’s lines “light rail”, i.e the St Kilda and Port Melbourne lines. These are partially grade separated, fully dedicated running way with widely spaced platform stops, i.e no traffic conflicts. This is unlike most Melbourne “tram” lines which have mixed traffic, no priority, no platforms etc.

            It’s not the vehicle so much as the line that make the difference. Trams roll along in traffic like a bus stuck to rails, light rail is basically a metro line in a road corridor.

        • Nick R

          A lot is in a name. Auckland used to have trams. They ran in mixed traffic, stopped at all the intersections, gave way like usual, were short, small capacity and simply stopped in the middle of the street while people walked out to hop on board. They were slow and unreliable. This is what most of the Melbourne system is, trams.

          Light rail as proposed in Auckland is quite different, they will run in physically separated 24/7 priority lanes, will stop at no intersections due to signal pre-emtion at the lights, they will be five or six times longer than an old tram with capacity similar to an EMU, and will stop at stations with level platforms.

          For a good comparison, look at Portland Oregon. They have both streetcars (what we call trams), small vehicles that run slowly in mixed traffic… and light rail line, which are much larger, faster and don’t run in traffic.

    • Ari

      I’ve seen all the discussions and I remain unconvinced on trams. Trams are better than buses, but not enough to warrant Auckland getting them. Yet.

      SB, I agree with the capacity argument for Symonds St at 1 location for 10% of the day while uni is in. The rest of the day you don’t need the trams capacity advantage. And why should we be building for a problem at one location for 10% of the day?

      Harriet, I’m speaking mainly from an operational perspective where Auckland is nothing like Melbourne. New trams are irrelevant to the point I am trying to make. Melbourne has new trams and old trams that work well. But that is a function of having a large grid network, lots of one way streets, lots of banned turns, no turning arrows, hook turns, few barnes dances, less complex signal phasing, really wide roads, higher population density etc.

      You assume signal priority, but the same thing could be done for buses, we just choose not to. Bus reliability is related to this. Trams are more reliable because we set them up that way. I understand the logic of it being easier to give priority to 8 trams rather than 60 buses. This makes sense and is an advantage.

      There is some evidence that suggests developers prefer tramlines, but it hasn’t been conclusively proven that new tramlines increase development on their own. They arent installed in isolation. They usually come along with lots of public investment and renewal into the area.

      I agree on trams being narrower so use less space which is important. You can’t really mitigate this with buses and it is a strong advantage in some situations where space is a constraint.

      I agree on less drivers/opex, but driverless technology will probably mitigate that advantage at some stage

      Other than capacity and comfort, I tend to think the advantage of trams is purely psychological ie “trams are cooler than buses!”.

  • AKLDUDE

    @Josh: I’m not agreeing to putting them up on pylons however your comment about Sydney’s monorail is just flat out wrong.

    The “reason” why Sydney got rid of it’s monorail was threefold:
    1) It was a gimmic – most monorail systems can only hold around 40 people per train
    2) It was expensive (partly due to the above capacity restrictions).
    3) It was due for replacement anyway and the numbers didn’t stack up.
    Also there were other issues such as it couldn’t run when they had thunder storms (electrocution risk from lightning – which is something that Sydney gets a lot of). It also wasn’t really located in the best spots to be used (was one-way so worked okay if you were going in the direction you wanted otherwise it was quite slow).

    For light rail there are many cities that have elevated it on pylons with mixed results. For Dominion Road I’m not sure either way – on the positive it would leave more street space so that there could still be buses if needed (or to allow larger footpaths/cycle lanes etc and be less disruptive on a busy road). On the downside it would probably be more expensive, be harder to access and introduce shading (the shading thing I don’t think is a big issue and can actually be positive – shelter etc).

    • Josh

      I would recommend going to Bangkok or other places where similar systems to what you describe have been installed, even on their massively wide streets the effect is huge and not very pleasant.

      Point taken on Sydney Monorail for the most part…it was like an exaggeration point I was using, a bit like calling LRT, trams.

      • Nick R

        The impact of the Bangkok elevated rail on the street level is, to be brutally frank, fucking horrible.

        • KLK

          KL has been the same with the monorail, KTM and LRT. In some places in the city its absolutely dire.

          However, it has to be said that the new MRT elevated lines are so high you don’t notice them at street level, just the pylons they rest on (and they don’t always follow the road). And in the main they go underground once they hit the core CBD.

          Its done pretty well, and are very impressive in some cases, though I wouldn’t want it repeated in Auckland. It’s sub-optimal.

  • mfwic

    Dominion Rd will be the easiest to get LRT onto and offers good chances for land use. But they are missing a trick north of View Rd. Ian MacKinnon Dr is a short easy route but it doesn’t serve any other purpose. An interchange with Mt Eden station on the other hand gives you a network. Otherwise you have to go in to Aotea to interchange. It gets tricky in that valley but the old 1990’s LR scheme got a Mt Eden Stn to Upper Queen st that worked.

    • Sailor Boy

      While i kind of agree with you, there are a couple of factual errors in your statement.

      The transfer location would be K’ Road, not Aotea.

      Ian McKinnon Road is proposed to get actual buildings in the Newton area plan so will be a destination in it’s own right.

      • mfwic

        Only if walking 250m along Karangahape Rd and down Mercury Lane is an interchange. As for buildings the Unitary Plan map above shows single house zone on the west side, then there is just motorway. The east side can still be served by moving the route east.

        I think this is when we will cop the true cost of their cost savings on CRL. The Newton station could have been linked to LR. http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/08/01/at-dumps-newton-station-from-the-crl/

        • The connection with rail at K Rd Station via Cross St is a level short walk, absolutely fine. Transfers via Mt Eden Station will also be ok. Aotea and Britomart very easy, if busy.

          Using Ian Mackinnon is a choice of speed over local access, certainly, and the right one in this case, it does privilege the longer traveller over the local hopper, but I think that is right. This is not, as Nick says elsewhere, a plan to build slow mixed running trams a la Melbourne (average speed 16kph), but to improve capacity and place quality between the city and the Isthmus.
          Note that this plan adds Queens St as a high volume access route to city, currently it carries very little volume. As well as a huge place quality improvement. This does fix Queen St at last. Transport infra is not just about transport; it must always be understood that its primary function is in the service of land use!

          • mfwic

            Perhaps when elderly people arrive at the airport late at night and are tired after a long flight they can give them a softball bat to carry as they wheel all their bags from Upper Queen Street along a narrow dodgy alley, past the knocking shop and empty carpark building and blank walls of Cross st until they find the hole in Mercury Lane down to the CRL.

          • LR may or may not go to the airport, but even someone with your retrograde fearfulness surely doesn’t believe that if it does no car, shuttle, or taxi will then ever be allowed to pick up users that prefer not to use it?

          • Nick R

            Yes last time I was in Sydney Airport considering catching a taxi armed guards appeared and frog marched me to the train. Apparently that’s the only way anyone is every allowed to travel anywhere now, but threat of treason.

          • Sailor Boy

            Or perhaps that tiny sliver of patronage can use Aotea while the vast majority use K’ Road.

          • mfwic

            To be fair Nick R the planners in Sydney didn’t require you to change trains by walking along a nasty little alley like Cross Street. They provided people with better, safer alternatives.
            And Patrick you are right. If the choice is using Cross St for your connection or doing something else then almost everyone will do something/anything else. My point is an interchange at a Newton Station would have been much better and more use. Maybe it is time you got a job at the NZTA Patrick. Your quick eye for a cheap and nasty option would work well there and your view that transport infrastructure should miss areas where it would provide benefits just to shave a few minutes off longer trips is a perfect match for how they design our state highway system.

          • The change from a deep and expensive station at Newton to a trenched one at Mt Eden is, on balance, the right one, but not just because of cost and construction time savings, the Newton area sits under a restrictive Volcanic viewshaft so up zoning there is near impossible, whereas down in the valley that same viewshaft is not a deal breaker for development, and there is more land to develop.

            Where there is poor ‘value engineering’, in my view, is the decision to not open the main K Rd station at Beresford Square at the start. But even that may have an upside in that it gives the architecture of that station entrance to improve from its current proposed over-cooked form…

            ‘walking along a nasty little alley like Cross Street’

            You are so silly and suburban in your fear of Cross St; it will clearly be less scary than its current entirely non-alarming condition with a new high volume station at each end… but what a funny picture you paint! Ooooh; inner-city pressure! So risqué!

          • Nick R

            Have you tried walking from one side of Sydney Central station to the other, which is what I had to do last month. Nasty little alley is quite an apt description of getting from the airport line platform to the country terminal!

            And surely you can see Cross St won’t be like it is today once the only K Rd station entrance is opened onto it? In fact I would hazard you’ve not been there in decades and don’t even know what it is like today (hint, there are no knock shops left, mostly coffee bars and restaurants now).

            You sound like my old aunt who warned me not to walk along Ponsonby Rd at night, because warring polynesian gangs with machetes would rob me. That might have had an element of truth in the 80s, but not today.

            No, walking along Cross St from LRT to the CRL station will be the same as walking from the Northern Express stops on Albert St to Britomart once the rebuild is finished. It will be straight, flat, direct, full of people coming and going from the two rapid transit systems anchoring either side, and lined with retail because of all the foot traffic.

      • Sailor Boy

        http://imgur.com/a/gjWzz

        Both interchange locations are a similar distance.

        I agree that there are negatives to the IMD route, but i think that the tradeoff was the correct one. Buses on NNR and Symonds Street, LRT on Ian McKinnon Drive. Symonds Street already has a good bus service that will get better once we remove the Dom Road buses and free up capacity, and if we get a faster service on LRT and get a good service down Queen the all the better!

    • dr

      Ideally the system is built for destinations along the way, not just commute (pickup -> termination) – when that is the case, interchanges naturally occur at places of interest, as of course multiple modes/lines would go there – it is desirable in the first place. K road is one of the those, Ian McK would be one if Newton road wasn’t such a disaster.

      In my ideal world it would head up new north to an interchange with the (now defunct) Newton CRL station before hitting k’rd.

      A big issue with this all is no cross routes – everything is pickup->terminal focused

      Missing:
      Panmure, Glen Innes, Remuera, Newmarket, K rd, Ponsonby, Point Chev
      Point chev, Mt Albert, Roskil, Onehunga, Panmure
      Greenlane -> MOTAT
      (AMETI, CRL, NW busway)

      With that, id’ say that auckland (central) was at an acceptable level of transit – everything else is a suburban disaster that will never achieve real usability until the road were destroyed and rebuilt…

  • Ben

    From the Unitary Plan map, it seems that Sandringham Road is the most suitable for an LRT due to its high density plan as well as not being too bendy like Mt. Eden Road. Sandringham also already have a bus lane and it’s a very high level used road. Is there any explanation why Dominion Road is preferred for LRT compared with Sandringham which seems well suite for it?

    • JimboJones

      I guess current bus use is a big factor – the main goal of light rail being to remove buses from the city. I think Dominion road is the busiest bus route in Auckland excluding the shore BRT – I doubt Sandringham currently gets close.
      It all comes down to the question of whether we cater for existing demand or potential growth. Personally I think we should build for existing demand but design for future demand.

      • Nick R

        Yes it’s easy to focus on future zoning that might result in increased density, but let’s not forget the existing density! About a quarter million people live in that chunk of Auckland already, how about working out what is best to serve them first and foremost, rather than just planning for the few tens of thousands that might be added over the coming decades.

    • HSB1 Alumnus

      That map suggests Sandringham Rd LR is far and away the better option given the heavier zoning in the catchment

      • Sailor Boy

        If you only look at zoning Sandringham is better than Dominion, but Manukau is better than either of them. There are other factors too though, obviously.

        • Nick R

          The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Currently Dominion Rd patronage is about three times that of Sandringham Rd day to day. Sandringham would have to intensify immensely, i.e. threefold, just to catch up with where Dominion is today.

          • Good that you mentioned eating! Having just spent the last week staying just off Melbourne’s Brunswick St, it is so obvious how Dominion Rd’s international food alley business would be hugely moire accessible for thousands with the proposed Light Rail scheme. Currently I don’t consider Dom Rd restaurants a good option when in the city, but they so will be with this. Dom Rd will really have a chance at forging the kind of identity Brunswick St does now. And with faster Light Rail not stuck in traffic like Brunswick St’s trams.

  • JimboJones

    There is quite a lot of upzoning at the end of the line in Mt Roskill, especially around Stoddard road. There is a massive chunk of land on May road that is just a lot of old sheds that don’t seem to get used, that would be great for apartments. I think the potential for Mt Roskill is huge, I doubt there are too many Nimby’s there. It should be the next New Lynn – but closer.

  • J Morton

    Great post here Harriet.
    Well done. There is a great opportunity with LR to achieve high density in a planned way.

    • tuktuk

      +1. It puts the case forward that Light Rail down Dominion Rd is part of an urban eco-system that inserts greater housing capacity into the Auckland Isthmus. I think that to beat the competitor, these arguments will need to be clarified and distilled into sound bites in the same way as successfully done for CRL. A campaign for Gen Zero?

      On the technology side, all sorts of claims will be made for BRT down Dom Road – to be self driving, self guided, mini shuttles battery powered etc etc. This will all be sold as achievable technology today and all sorts of claims made for operating cost and capital cost based on the very lightweight analysis. We know the “quality” of NZTA/MOT’s business cases based on their past and present track record with RoNZ, Basin Reserve Flyover, East/West Link etc.

      The techo side of the Light Rail business case will have to spend considerable time comparing technologies and their associated costs. This cannot only be about Light Rail, much research will also have to be taken by the AT team dissecting the potential costs and risks of competitors – this needs to be front footed.

      • JimboJones

        I must admit, I do wonder how the tracks help when we have today’s technology. Wouldn’t it be much cheaper to have rubber wheels and a guide wire but otherwise be identical?

        • Sailor Boy

          Please show a working bus line with 20+ buses with kerb separated running that can fit in Dominion Road Cross secetion, demonstrate how the major intersections will achieve full signal pre-emption and show us how they will get through the CBD, all using today’s technology.

          I’ll wait.

          • JimboJones

            Not buses, I’m talking light rail without the rail. Just cause it might not have been done well before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

        • I would imagine if each bus followed an identical path, then the road bed underneath the wheels would need to be significantly strengthened, I which case we might as well put down rails.

          • Sailor Boy

            +1, I hadn’t even thought or lower wear costs on the carriageway as a benefit.

          • It’s something I’d noticed in articles about driverless cars, they would likely have to be programmed to all take a slightly different line like cars naturally do now to spread wear and tear as much as possible.

          • JimboJones

            That might be the case. But if we could turn a road into a decent pt route just by purchasing some rubber wheel trains and a bit of paint and some traffic lights, they could probably do all the isthmus routes for the price of one.

          • Sacha

            Or if the driverless cars followed the same line on the road, you could lay only two strips most of the way along. Maybe a more durable material like steel.. 🙂

        • Alphatron

          The French Tranlohr system (http://www.alstom.com/products-services/product-catalogue/rail-systems/trains/products/translohr-tramway-on-tyres/) could be an option, although the version I rode on in Venice -Mestre recently was quite noisy and the ride was not as comfortable as la modern light rail vehicle.

          • Sacha

            That low floor is certainly a bonus.

          • Nick R

            The translohr offers little advantage over conventional light rail, except in extremely constrained environments like old medieval european city centres.

            The do however cost about twice as much per unit, and critically lock you in to a single supplier both at the tendering stage and for eternity thereafter (even if that supplier decided to stop supporting or building the bespoke system).

  • Nice post. Could be more ambitious though… The whole of sandringham and dominion road should be THAB. I weep that it never occurred to me that this needed to be said during submissions. Nothing is too obvious to be said. Sadness, oh well.

    The loop of sandringham past the kinglsand station should flatly be zoned City.

    Which ever doesn’t get the light rail gets separate cycle lanes and permanent bus lanes. There is nothing on Dominion road that would be missed.

  • AKLDUDE

    @Josh and Nick R:
    Bangkok has a Skytrain similar to Vancouver which is more like Heavy Rail than Light Rail and subsequently it needs much larger pylons to support it.
    Having been to Bangkok several times the Skytrain is actually one of the best things about the city. It provides much needed shade from the hot humid temperatures they have there.
    I’m not advocating that Auckland has this down Dominion Road, just pointing out that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and certainly would be better than what we have now.

    • Andrew

      Yes! The BTS is one of my favourite things in Bangkok. It actually provides a more clean and modern feel, in contrast to the hot, dusty and often smelly roads.

Leave a Reply