Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: Alt.Republic: The rolling mall

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  • Russell Brown,

    The tragedy, Graham, is that you are beaten for farce by the planning commissioners who waved this ludicrous plan through:

    Traffic was an issue because St Lukes would remain "a vehicle-oriented centre for two principal reasons: it is clearly not as well served by public transport as other large centres such as Newmarket and Sylvia Park, and the nature of shopping is such that public transport is not an ideal means of carrying more than a handful of small purchases home".

    Traffic won't be an "issue" for the forthcoming monster mall: it's an issue now, as is evident to anyone who has to drive around the area. When this thing is done, traffic will be a fully-fledged debacle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    When this thing is done, traffic will be a fully-fledged debacle.

    Totally. I live in Morningside, and I avoid driving past St Lukes, the traffic is a nightmare.

    And their solution ? To turn Aroha Ave into a major through road. It's a quiet residential road with a lot of bungalows. Westfield's insane plan is to include egress into Aroha Ave which will likely require another set of traffic lights on Sandringham Road, and probably remove all on-street parking as well.

    Here's a picture (1.6Mb) of what the plans mean for the residents of Aroha Ave.

    I'm all for St Lukes being expanded in a sensible, considered way (especially if they invest in public transport infrastructure such as some kind of connection to the Morningside train station). After all, there is a sizable empty field adjacent to the carpark which ought to be developed.

    However doing so by wrecking Aroha Ave is both stupid and unecessary.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Wood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    St Lukes would remain "a vehicle-oriented centre for two principal reasons: it is clearly not as well served by public transport as other large centres

    -- so, it's broken because it's broken, and we're not going to fix it because we're not going to fix it...?!

    Did Mike Hosking write this?!

    Farcical in the extreme -- especially when one considers the dumbass developers and planners are not even thinking far enough ahead to wonder if MORE people might visit St Lukes if they could just get there.

    My only hope is it'll ghost-town in a matter of months due to traffic, and we can turn it into an aquarium or something.

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Rik, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Shitty houses on a shitty street in a shitty part of town...a small price for progress!

    ;)

    Since Jun 2007 • 124 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    My only hope is it'll ghost-town in a matter of months due to traffic, and we can turn it into an aquarium or something

    ... skate park, planetarium, children's museum, skating rink, indoor velodrome, dance hall, gymnasium...

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

  • recordari,

    “just a little acknowledgment of them coming out for such an important meeting to discuss how this development will be taking over their neighbourhood”.

    Or "I've got more money than you have sense."

    Oh, right, this is satire. If only.

    ETA: What Russell said about traffic. It's so beyond a joke now, they might as well just stop calling it traffic and start calling it parking. Ah, so that's how they got council approval.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Coherent transport/urban planning will be a great thing for Auckland. Just don't expect Minister Joyce to support it.

    So local body wish lists for $2.3b CBD rail tunnels on top of all this need to be fully tested; and someone else besides taxpayers (and international moneylenders) will have to put their hands in their pockets if they want to bump those sort of projects up the queue. We also should be wary about putting too much faith in a mode of transport that currently carries less than 2% of Auckland's commuters to and from work each day, even after some quite spectacular growth.

    No, the real reason for the road versus rail debate was laid bare in Oram's article last weekend. It's a debate about how we should live in our cities.

    Some people believe the way our cities have grown is wrong. They think the quarter acre section is a fool's paradise. People should live more in apartment buildings and less with a backyard, or heaven forbid, in a small town outside of the city.

    It's a philosophy that argues that urban planners should have much more say about how we live our lives; and it's an agenda that the old ARC had in Auckland for a long time...

    See, it's all about unfettered freedom to drive one's V8 wherever one pleases from one's home in Albany, St Heliers or Drury. Oh, and something about trucks..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Requiring the mall to provide a continuous free shuttle bus service to Morningside train station could have been a condition of approval. But hey, that might impinge on profits.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    But hey, that might impinge on profits.

    Farmers free bus? However, when the mall is fully operational, there is every likelihood that walking the length of Morningside Drive would be faster than taking a bus. Unless they widen it. Which seems almost inevitable. They could put a tram down it. Works in Christchurch.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Wilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Ooh ooh Sacha... what about a high speed monorail?

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Nov 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I'm thinking they ought to just put up a no right turn sign where Duncan McLean Link meets St Lukes Road; the blasted mall makes it nearly impossible to get to Point Chevalier et cetera that way, thanks to the ludicrous daytime traffic volume it brings.

    Also, visiting St Lukes via bike (even passing through the carpark to St Lukes Road or the library) is really, profoundly unpleasant.

    I've lived five minutes from the place for about four years now and increasingly detest it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to recordari,

    They could put a tram down it. Works in Christchurch

    I doubt there'd be much of a tourist market for scenic Morningside :)

    what about a high speed monorail?

    Call it a hunch but I suspect a minibus might be simpler.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Josh Arbury was suggesting a while ago that the small Baldwin Ave train station could be shifted to where St Lukes Road passes over the rail line, to provide simple vertical modal interconnection like the new Grafton station does and boost a more frequent circle bus route along St Lukes, Balmoral and Greenlane Roads.

    Still need to get people from there to the mall, and it's about as far away as Morningside station is. Integrated ticketing will help and it's easy enough to run that shuttle bus in a loop I guess..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    This whole thing makes me very uneasy. I'm not quite sure why, apart from that it will be a monstrosity. I already avoid it - not only because too many people make me feel horrendous, and crowded in, but also on principle. To me it represents the anithesis of buying homegrown. So making it bigger just means that apart from going to the gym there - and I go at 6am so there is no-one around - I won't go there at all. But then I know that NZers see shopping as a hobby now, and I am in a very sad minority of people who detest big Australian conglomeration shoppy mall places with their cookie cutter shops and their thousands of zombified people just walking around aimlessly.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Wilson, in reply to Sacha,

    and it's easy enough to run that shuttle bus in a loop I guess..

    Surely it won't be that easy... especially when the roads are clogged to the point of standstill.

    Solution: Expand the mall all the way down to Morningside Station. A simple and cost effective solution to our transport woes.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Nov 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Solution: Expand the mall all the way down to Morningside Station.

    Vade retro satana…

    Although I suspect residents of those perpetually leaky railside apartments would be delighted just to be under cover.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matt Wilson,

    especially when the roads are clogged to the point of standstill

    Certainly seems like a problem with my cunning plan

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Hoverbus? Or even better, aerial cablecar? Run it all the way to MoTaT!

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

  • poffa,

    I"d like to see the big blue thing: when its finished with, build a mono rail strait down Dominion Rd. Connected at the city end with a gondalar loop or elevater (longer than Hong Kong's.) down Queen St to Britomart.And at the Mt Roskill end with parking off the new southern soon northen motorway, Bus Station, etc.

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • poffa,

    There you are one of those ^ things for the city end.

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Jolisa,

    Run it all the way to MoTaT!

    And you could jump on the Zoo-m Tram to Meola creek, and you're practically in Chatswood. Flying fox to Kauri Point to finish it off.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The tragedy, Graham, is that you are beaten for farce by the planning commissioners who waved this ludicrous plan through

    To be fair to the commissioners, they didn't feel they had a choice thanks to a previous (and I believe non-notified) District Plan change that designated St Lukes as a "town centre". This plan just allows that designation to be fulfilled.
    The real shame is that the incoming Council didn't vote it through (I understand why they didn't demand a full re-hearing) with strict conditions about public transport links with Dominion Rd and the Western Line, all at Westfield's expense. Compelling them to spend 10s-of-millions of dollars to mitigate traffic impacts is not unreasonable, IMO.
    Am also a little concerned about what the possible traffic chaos will do for cross-town emergency traffic. That stretch is used fairly heavily by emergency vehicles, and Balmoral fire station is smack in the middle of the impending insanity.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Dedicated fire-engine lane?

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The Waterview link between the Onehunga and Northwestern motorways may free up St Lukes and Mt Albert roads a bit unless it's tolled too high or induced demand just puts more overall traffic on our roads.

    Boosting public transport is an answer to that. The cbd rail loop allows more frequent train services along the western line. Buses should increase along Dominion Road's proposed dedicated buslanes. More frequent bus services along Balmoral Road could also remove some traffic.

    But yes, it's hard to see how this could have been omitted from the consent hearings.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Outside of the final weeks of Christmas season, I've never had anything I'd consider more than a mild inconvenience in traveling to or past St Lukes. I seem to get a park consistently within 5 minutes of arriving, and St Lukes Rd can have traffic banked back a few hundred meters, which is about 2 or 3 phases at worst. The biggest hassle is getting out, there's always someone who wants to turn right across continual traffic, and no left lane to avoid the buggers.

    I rode my bike there quite a few times. Once at Christmas I took it in the car, and was glad I had. But the other times, I've cruised in there like a breeze to a bike lockup right outside the main doors, which is more than I can say for Lynnmall.

    So perhaps I've just been lucky, but I haven't felt this pain. I consider the Mt Albert shops, and just about every old skool shopping strip in Auckland for that matter, to be bigger obstacles, with traffic doing crazy shit all over the roads for parking, with people having to get in and out of cars constantly, with expensive on-street parking and the constant risk of towaways, fines, and vandalism and theft, the awkwardness of parallel parking, the annoyance of traffic lights and real traffic, getting parked in by delivery vehicles, having to watch out of all sorts of random obstacles. I've never heard of a cyclist getting killed by a car door opening in a shopping mall. There are almost never high speed collisions of any kind, for that matter.

    I highly doubt the place will become a ghost town. More likely, it will just balance out, people who can't stand the wait will go elsewhere, but that's only going to happen when it's full.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8316 posts Report Reply

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