Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Sam F,

    ETA: Ah, they changed the timing at 5:30pm last night. I guess I’ll be exploring it at leisure by myself…

    No, I think that change was last week. It was listed in yesterday's Hard News :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress,

    Attachment Attachment Attachment

    I went down this morning for the opening of the new Oakley Creek bridge on the SH16 cycleway, built as part of the causeway upgrade. Nice moment: one of the workers performing the whaikorero, driftwood tokotoko in hand. Those guys were really proud. Build a motorway, people drive on it. Build a cycleway, people love you for it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Sacha,

    It’s also what’s preventing High St being turned into a shared space despite the existing ones reporting 400% increases in retail sales.

    The hold-up is coming from one or two retailers who really don’t get it. Meanwhile, High Street retail is dying and the hot new fashion precinct is the non-car part of Britomart Square. These people are hurting themselves more than anyone else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here,

    Ha. I found this.

    It’s a minute from the EPA Board of Inquiry on the Waterview Connection, after it had published its draft decision requiring NZTA to building a walking and cycle path over Section 8 of the link (ie: above the tunnel).

    NZTA was still trying to wriggle out of the requirement and the board duly administered this burn:

    Minute and Direction of the Board – 16 May 2011

    The Board has read paragraphs 2.11 and 2.12 of Schedule A to counsel’s 13 May memorandum. It will be finalising appropriate conditions for the Draft Decision. It sees the other parties’ version of the financial contribution decision as closer to the mark than NZTA’s. That is, their version should have words inserted to make it clear that the mitigation is required on account of inadequately mitigated significant adverse effects in sectors 7 and 9, but otherwise be drafted largely as they propose.

    The Board has considered Ms Janissen’s Reply submissions (p29), and remembers her partial concession to the Judge at the time. The Board does not accept that the required condition has anything to do mitigation being needed in sector 8. It is to provide connectivity between these communities so that people can move between them to gain access to spaces/activities each has lost. NZTA has funding to undertake works in sectors 7 and 9. A corollary is that it is funded to sufficiently mitigate effects on sectors 7 and 9 if required by the consent authority. A further corollary must also be that if it can’t or won’t sufficiently mitigate effects in sectors 7 and 9, it may not get consent for those works. Equally if it fails to meet conditions of consent concerning mitigation of the sectors 7 and 9 effects, it may be stopped from carrying out the works there.

    The Board has already offered the concession that the money not be payable unless consents and land ownership issues are sorted out by the Council and Auckland Transport. On which basis there is a possibility that it may never be called upon to pay up. Also, the Board refrained from requiring the preparation of a bonding condition, given that NZTA is a responsible public body. It is now wondering if it should change its mind on that.

    The final sentence of Ms Janissen’s foreshadowed draft is totally unacceptable, providing as it would, yet more wriggle room (a cut-off date).

    As to the following issue, The Board does not recall any evidence that 6 Barrymore Place is not owned by NZTA. It seems that condition OS.17 will have to be tailored to suit the new facts. The property has a value in the public domain, being a Capital Value of $1.130,000. There is unfortunately no other evidence of value, but CV will be sufficient for present purposes. If Public Works Act procedures or any other factor results in the property not being capable of being transferred to AC within 12 months of commencement of operation of the motorway in sector 9, there is to be a financial contribution paid to AC of that figure, upon terms similar to those in the connectivity condition except of course for the contingency about resource consents and land ownership.

    The parties may revert to the Board with new drafts of these conditions by 1pm this Wednesday 18 May. Otherwise the Board will issue its own with the Draft Decision.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to BenWilson,

    My take on electrics, having owned several over several years, was that they were a really good way to get a reluctant rider started.

    I seem to remember you singing the praises of the one you hacked up :-)

    They did strike me as a useful solution on the island, where distances are relatively short, but you go up and down a lot. And hiring a bike at Matiatia then immediately having to slog it up to the main road would be a bit of a pain for most of us.

    One thing I did notice was that the lightest-looking of them all – the converted mountain bikes – were still bloody heavy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here, in reply to paul reifel,

    The team at CAA have been absolutely brilliant over the last few years I’ve followed them. How do they get recognized for this? They deserve medals, the whole lot of them. Big gold ones!

    Indeed. Effective advocacy like theirs doesn't come cheap or easy either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Because uninformed radicals make for more controversial statements.

    Paul’s not a radical and he’s a nice bloke, but he didn’t write his column with the benefit of any research (or purport to, to be fair) which meant he was worse than useless when he had to talk about it in specifics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here,

    I felt annoyed listening to Paul Little talk about the Waterview Connection on Duncan Garner’s show today – raging about a project that’s already past halfway though, because he didn’t like the size of it.

    Contrary to what he said, Aucklanders were asked about it. The first consultations were in 2000, and there have been some real wins in the process – most notably, of course, the tunnel. Until 2009, Steven Joyce was pushing for a surface/cut-and-cover design, which would have been horrendous. And while they would presumably have preferred no works at all, local community groups seemed unanimous in saying the consent and consultation process had been well-handled.

    t has been hailed as a positive move for Waterview, Owairaka and Mt Albert, which were faced with the prospect of a surface motorway in May 2009. The route was revised in December that year and the connection will comprise two three-lane tunnels that stretch 2.5 kilometres.

    Waterview resident and Albert-Eden Local Board member Margi Watson is delighted and says the best interests of the community are at the forefront.

    “The board of inquiry actually listened really carefully.

    “This has been a David and Goliath fight – we have been up against a huge organisation that has been determined to build this motorway.

    “I’m really pleased on behalf of the community.

    “When this started it was a cheap and nasty motorway but now it won’t be as much of a blight on the landscape.”

    The board has directed the agency to provide a skatepark and BMX track in Waterview Reserve and a skatepark in Alan Wood Reserve.

    A cycle and pedestrian link will also be created between Alan Wood Reserve and Unitec and a bridge will be built near Hendon Ave.

    “NZTA will be told clearly what they need to do,” Ms Watson says.

    Friends of Oakley Creek spokeswoman Wendy John also feels there’s been a fair hearing.

    “It’s still a motorway through our catchment area but I think we’ve got a lot of what we asked for.

    “The key thing is that the community worked together,” she says.

    Part of the agreement is that substantial planting will take place in Alan Wood Reserve to improve the creek.

    Ms John says it’s important to have 70 percent shade over the stream to encourage biodiversity.

    “We’re unsure of the impact on water flow during tunnel drilling but we feel like we’ve made considerable gains.”

    The board has also ruled that the northern tunnel ventilation stack will be constructed on the eastern side of Great North Rd due to “severe adverse effects” it could have on the western side.

    Tunnel support buildings will remain on the western side but are to be significantly modified.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    That sentence fills me with rage and despair. Now would seem the perfect time to me, given how much work is going into raising the causeway. It’s long overdue already.

    Yeah. That’s a battle that wasn’t won – but it does seem that bus traffic will be faster after the causeway upgrade. The “shoulders” for buses being built will differ from a proper busway in that they disappear at each interchange. Or when a car breaks down.

    The upgrade is apparently being conducted so as to be compatible with a future busway. The longer-term plan includes a bus interchange near the Te Atatu Road/SH19 intersection.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Surely that depends on their destination and origin, once the monstrosity that will be the SH18/SH1 interchange is constructed? If they’re on the inner part of the SH20/SH16/SH1 loop it will make sense to go via CMJ, but if their journey points are west of SH20/SH16 and north of SH18/SH1 it would make more sense to go across the top. Roughly speaking, obviously.

    True. But they're still not using us as a thoroughfare.

    Tbh, I'm not sure about where the traffic would flow and maybe I'm being optimistic about Meola > Point Chev. But There won't be anyone coming through us on Great North Road to get to the airport/Onehunga because there won't be access to the Waterview Connection.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19252 posts Report Reply

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