Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

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  • Juha Saarinen,

    That was a very good, illustrated entry. While I think Richard's ideas have to be tried and tested, the side of me fed up with the lack of public transport in Auckland and seeing one of the best settings in the world being spoilt by shoddy, third-class building says...

    Let him at it.

    Can it be any worse than it is now? I very much doubt so. Listening to Richard, there's a rich vein of practicality flowing through his argument. Listening to others, there's only fear of lower property values and general ignorance resounding.

    There's no train or motorway to the airport in Auckland.
    There's no footbridge across the harbour in Auckland.
    There's no integrated public transport in Auckland.

    The only piece of architecture that is at all notable is the Sky Tower, a casino.

    There's New Zealand's largest city for you in 2007.

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Interesting post. A couple of quick comments.
    I was just back in NZ for a holiday and Auckland's roading and transport system really does seem to suck. I got stuck in a traffic jam at 2 in the afternoon going south from the harbor bridge to Greenlane and there didn't seem to have been an accident or any reason for the slow down. Crazy.
    To help this situation, I would have thought a priority would be on completing a by-pass from Manakau through Penrose to Hobsonville and back east to hook up with SH1 further up the north shore. This would keep all the north south transiting traffic & trucks out of central Auckland which can only help, this is not something public transportation can address. I have read over the years that this is the plan, and has been the plan for a long time, but I am not sure where it is or what is holding it up. It needs to get done yesterday. Maybe there is a taniwha in the way that can't be disturbed!!

    Love the airport downtown ferry idea. Only suggestion would be to use a foil assisted catamaran like this one:

    http://www.teknicraft.com/discoveryiv.aspx

    These NZ designed foil assisted cats, with NZ designed and built Hamilton jets, totally rock. They are fast, efficient, have a shallow draft, can carry a lot of people for their size and produce a very small wake, important for operating in confined areas, such as the Tamaki estuary. Perfect for an airport-downtown ferry, with a few stops on the way as well. The Fatcat looks interesting, being made of plastic, but low wake, performance and efficiency is all in the hull design, the Fatcat didn’t look too special in this area.

    Auckland definitely needs a dose of vision and for the various local, regional authorities and central Govt. to work together for a better result. There seems to have been a lot of talk, but there doesn’t seem to be too much to show for it. I wish Richard the best in his pursuit of a better Auckland, it is a great city that could be so much greater.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I have read over the years that this is the plan, and has been the plan for a long time, but I am not sure where it is or what is holding it up.

    That would be some of this ... http://www.opus.co.nz/upperharbourmotorway/

    Not sure when the heck they will get the extension on the north western to the newly 'completed' Upper Harbour bridge even started let alone finished.

    Gonna be great once they put in 20,000 new houses out towards the end of the extension and not add any lanes to the motorway, or put in any light rail, park and ride or anything else. They won't even bother with stormwater or any other infrastructure either. This is the 'eco-city' remember. "eco" stands for economy class. It'll take people living out there 2 flamin hours to go 15k's down the motorway in peak hour no doubt.

    Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Those sound like some righteously simple but excellent ideas. I very much like the carlaw option, way too much politicking by rugby heads (of which I are one!) will probably see it die because "rugby union will not lower itself to play on a cross country wrestling ground, sniff" thats a pity. The canal would be a freakin brilliant introduction to NZ and Auckland. Imagine the tourists etc reaction to being introduced to the Hauraki gulfs inner reaches within 90 minutes of touching down, wicked.

    Far too visionary, it'll never happen here, we're a banana republic in waiting don't you know?

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme H,

    Nice pictures but...

    Have you measured the distance from the port to the airport by sea? 20 min no way! It's over 20km and on a congested waterway. After flying hours and hours to get to godzone do you really fancy a 2 hour canal ride to the city. No, you need a high speed train, monorail or bus to the nearest crashpad. By the way, the main trunk line is only 5km from the airport.

    RE: Carlaw park. Apart from Trevor, who gives a shit about the rugby. Build the stadium in Taranaki or Waikato where there is plenty of space and rugby supporters.

    RE: the bridge. If two lanes were dedicated no-fare bus lanes, if there were plenty of buses and the non-bus lanes were electronic $5 each way toll (to pay for the free buses) the whole dynamic would rapidly change and we would not need to build more motorways.

    Whangarei • Since Feb 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Graeme H wrote:

    Have you measured the distance from the port to the airport by sea? 20 min no way! It's over 20km and on a congested waterway. After flying hours and hours to get to godzone do you really fancy a 2 hour canal ride to the city.

    Thanks for your comments, Graeme...

    I'm not privy to the detailed calculations behind Richard's plans, but I note that the Teknicraft catamaran ferry cruises at 35 knots. At this speed it would take 18.5 minutes to cover a 20 km journey.

    By the way, the main trunk line is only 5km from the airport.

    At first glance, a rail link certainly sounds simpler -- but as I've said I haven't seen Richard's detailed plans or calculations, so I'm not fully conversant with the logic behind this proposal.

    I'll try to get Richard to post a detailed reply to your comments...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Hmm, zooming along at 60-65kph on water? It's probably not totally practical... first, I doubt the craft would be able to hit such speeds in a canal: even with a hydrofoil, the swell generated would be huge, and the noise considerable too. Having commuted between Sweden and Denmark on hydrofoils and hovercraft, I have some knowledge of what I speak of here. They also suck when the sea gets rough :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    By the way, David, that wasn't Public Address's first actual public marriage proposal was it?? Or are you just flirting with hot linguists for the sheer fun of it?

    And I love all the urban design proposals just for their sheer beauty. Except that the air bridge should be more like the High Line or its model, the Promenade Plantée.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1410 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    It is wrong to collect 2000.00PA in rates, not provide, rubbish collection, sewerage or water, then plant 20,000 houses up the road and not have to provide public transport or sufficient stormwater or roading for them.
    Richard's ideas are great but Auckland isn't working now, let alone what hell it will be to live and work here in 20 years time.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Some very interesting points raised here -- but I've learned long ago not to pass judgement on engineering issues without knowing the detailed facts and data. I've contacted Richard Simpson and hopefully he will post a reply.

    In the meantime, here's a description of Auckland's transportation system by an expert on the subject... Dr Paul Mees -- a Lecturer in Transport & Land Use at the University of Melbourne:

    "[Auckland has] probably got one of the worst public transport systems you could come across anywhere in the world... and the worst urban rail system of any [comparably sized] city in any developed country in the world."

    Hear more from Paul Mees and other public transportation and town-planning experts by following these links:

    Auckland, City of Cars: Episode 1

    Auckland, City of Cars: Episode 2

    The second episode confronts the myth about Auckland being too spread out for public transportation to work properly...

    These mini-documentaries made an appearance in Public Address's 'Our Tube' section a few months ago, and are compulsory viewing for anyone interested in the subject of Auckland's town-planning. They also generated some interesting comments from PA readers.

    Jolisa wrote:

    By the way, David, that wasn't Public Address's first actual public marriage proposal was it?? Or are you just flirting with hot linguists for the sheer fun of it?

    Apparently Assoc-Prof Hay is already married. And she informs me that it's six languages not five.

    ...[the] air bridge should be more like the High Line or its model, the Promenade Plantée.

    Wow, I totally agree -- High Line looks like a brilliant idea! I'm kicking myself because I walked right under the Promenade Plantée last time I was in Paris, and had no idea that it was so fantastic on top.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    RE: Carlaw park. Apart from Trevor, who gives a shit about the rugby.

    Lived here long have you?

    I would have said RE:Carlow park - the problem is that a bit of the Auckland Domain is required to make that work. Eating an inch of that place is criminal - IMO.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I know something about boats, and a 35 knot ferry would not be practical within a confined waterway. However, I've always wondered why Auckland doesn't make better use of its harbour as a road. It seems to cost a squllion dollars and take months and months to build a few km of busway. How much to build a wharf and terminal every 3-5 km from Orewa right around the harbour and into the Tamaki estuary and then a canal and links through to Manakau? The ocean is there and provides a free ready make road that doesn't cost a cent. Even at a steady 16 knots for the regular "slow" ferry bus given that at sea you travel in a straight line between two points you would be very competitive with the road. The prevailing wind in N.Z. is a westerly, and the number of days the more open sea services up the Eastern coast would have to be cancelled could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    I am not sure if much of what Richard Simpson proposes would stand up to detailed examination, but I think much of the problem in Auckland isn't so much a vision thing as the balkanised mind set of its local government. A massive "not invented here" syndrome afflicts all local government. Everything is conducted with one eye on petty power struggles. There seem to be entrenched camps that will oppose something simply to stop the other side looking good. And of course, there is the Kiwi obsession with zero or low cost short term incrementalism as a way of staving off making bowel emptying major decisions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1769 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    the Kiwi obsession with zero or low cost short term incrementalism as a way of staving off making bowel emptying major decisions.

    Yes, all the people who complained that waterfront stadium critics lacked vision -- give me some vision on public transport, please.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The Vision is,
    Give them games not roads!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    I know something about boats, and a 35 knot ferry would not be practical within a confined waterway.

    Never meant to imply that you could do 35kts door to door. Any ferry would have to go at a lower speed in the more confined areas of the Tamaki estuary, but could haul ass once in more open water. I was thinking a trip from the airport to downtown Auck would be around a 45 min to an hour trip, but what a great trip and a great introduction to the City of Sails!! If it was available, I would do it every time, my sister could meet me at the ferry terminal instead of the airport.

    More from the Teknicraft website:

    Typically, a Teknicraft catamaran of 63' waterline length, displacing 27t and running at 27 kt will create a maximum wake height (peak to trough) of 19", with a rms wake height of less than 6".

    Although, at a lower speed, it might actually produce a larger wake.(And, no, I don't work for Teknicraft! Just an admirer of their technology)

    David, any mention of just how long the canal would be, which is the preferred route and how much it would cost (probably serious $). In these days of the RMA etc, a canal does seem too good to be true, but it is fun to contemplate.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Juha Saarinen wrote:

    Hmm, zooming along at 60-65kph on water? It's probably not totally practical.... I doubt the craft would be able to hit such speeds in a canal...

    Tom Semmens wrote:

    I know something about boats, and a 35 knot ferry would not be practical within a confined waterway.

    To find an engineer's opinion on this topic I've just spoken to Alan Caughley, a former engineer at Hamilton Jets (one of the world's largest water-jet engine manufacturers) and he says:

    35 knots is a fairly typical speed for a jet catamaran on the open sea. Contrary to what people might think a jet catamaran can actually travel even faster on a closed body of water like a canal. It's the wave drag that limits the cruising speed.

    He points out that boats with planing hulls behave entirely differently to boats with displacement hulls.

    James Bremner wrote:

    David, any mention of just how long the canal would be, which is the preferred route and how much it would cost (probably serious $).

    Richard said that the plan is to use the Tamaki river. I guess the route would be as per the map in my original post (M = Manukau Harbour; W = Waitemata Harbour; Tamaki river shown as dark blue; canal extension shown in red).

    Wikipedia's article on the Tamaki river says that:

    [From the end of the Tamaki river] it is less than two kilometres to the waters of the Manukau Harbour...

    Richard said that the canal would cost no more than a rail link (I've got no idea how much that is!).

    Tom Semmens wrote:

    I am not sure if much of what Richard Simpson proposes would stand up to detailed examination, but I think much of the problem in Auckland isn't so much a vision thing as the balkanised mind set of its local government.

    Richard's been involved with some pretty massive engineering projects in the past -- and I'd expect that as chairman of Auckland City Council's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee he'd have done some pretty careful analysis on the details before he started talking publicly about them. But I daresay you're right about the "Balkanised mind set of... local government". That's pretty much what my grandfather said (see original post).

    I can't really defend any of Richard's proposals because I'm not conversant with the engineering details (as I mentioned previously, to my uninformed mind an airport rail link seemed like a better idea). However I've contacted Richard and I'm still hopeful that he might post a reply on this thread.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Incidentally, when talking to Alan Caughley he made what seemed to be a very interesting suggestion. He proposed a hovercraft link between the airport and downtown Auckland.

    This would only require the construction of a smooth(-ish) causeway between the Manukau harbour and the end of the Tamaki river. The hovercraft could easily navigate the Manukau mudflats, and then travel over the causeway to the Tamaki river, and down the river to the Waitemata harbour. It could travel across the shallow regions of the Waitemata harbour (thus avoiding other shipping) directly to downtown Auckland.

    A hovercraft can travel even faster than a jet catamaran. The British SR-N4 car & passenger-carrying hovercraft can travel at speeds up to 154 km/h (83 knots). This would surely make for a much quicker journey than the current bus link -- nearly an hour last time I used it (and an extortionate $25 ticket price).

    To my (quite uninformed) mind this seems like it might be the cheapest of all possible options: perhaps just the construction of a section of causeway and some judicious widening of the Tamaki river (does anyone know if there are low bridges?).

    It would be an equally spectacular 'gateway experience' to Auckland as the proposed ferry link. And, of course, we build hovercraft here in NZ as well:

    http://www.hoverworks.co.nz

    Thoughts anyone?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Two (3 with road, but that needs a new bridge) airport links are better than 1. Why do we always try for the one fits ALL solution, hell lets go stupid and integrate transport solutions!
    Portage Road was so named because that's where Maori lugged (portaged) canoes from one harbour to the next. There is a war canoe (waka) buried somewhere there in the mud now apparently...
    How about a ferry service from Cornwallis to Helensville, now that's Fitzcarraldo-ey!
    In the bad old days you could catch a ferry from Onehunga wharf to New Plymouth - direct.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Auckland Airport had a hovercraft that never really worked. I really think the reason why it is so expensive to get to the Airport has something to do with concession monopolies...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    I phrased that badly... there's no doubt you can hit 35 knots in a confined canal but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a ship going past at that speed. Noisy and very splishy-splashy, basically.

    As for hovercrafts, eel-laden or otherwise, they're something of a Finnish speciality. A pintaliitäjä or__ilmatyynyalus__ like the Tuuli-class attack missile hovercraft with twin 8,000 hp gas turbines would provide coastal supremacy in Greater Auckland when the regional politicking goes hot and The Cupboard decides to mount a coup. I really want one actually.

    Cost a bit to fill up though, which is, I believe, the reason the Channel hovercrafts were taken out of commission.

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Juha Saarinen wrote:

    [A] Tuuli-class attack missile hovercraft with twin 8,000 hp gas turbines would provide coastal supremacy in Greater Auckland... I really want one actually.

    Wow, I want one too! We should buy one each and then we can race them.

    You may have a point about the fuel consumption. Those turbines are pretty thirsty -- we had a very small (only 60 kW) Rover gas turbine at my last job, and it drank like a Scotsman. Made a nice noise, though.

    I do wonder why a rail link from the airport to Puhinui station (straight down Puhinui road) would be so expensive...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    How about a ferry service from Cornwallis to Helensville, now that's Fitzcarraldo-ey!
    In the bad old days you could catch a ferry from Onehunga wharf to New Plymouth - direct.

    I'd settle for one from the CBD up the harbour - that would be a mint way to get home to Pt Chev from a night out. Although I guess there would be tidal issues ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18656 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Although I guess there would be tidal issues ...

    But not with a hovercraft :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    and it drank like a Scotsman. Made a nice noise, though.

    Och, as a man of (vaguely) Scots descent, I resemble that remark! (Except the nice noise bit - I have a face made for radio, a voice designed for journalism, and the handwriting of a doctor on P.)

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 839 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I seem to recall...I am 800 years old...there was an inner harbour ferry service to Hobsonville, then Hellville?. At one time Helensville was the busiest port in NZ, then the cargo would be ferried from Hellville to Queens? wharf along that river that has the Riverhead bit.
    Pt Chev. was well serviced by trams and was the last stop (hence the round-about) at Coyle? Park and the tram line fragments at Western Springs. I heard, it being the last stop, many late night trams (10,00pm!) were missed, so requiring a couch-stop, (ahem).
    There are legions of dusty old Bring Back The Tram-ers! out there, or there used to be.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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