Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Sky Trench

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  • lotech,

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    As someone who looks over the bridge I'm excited about it's new life - and particularly that there was talk of planting tree's along it too. With a selection of greenery my view would go from concrete motorway to almost nothing but green. Now I'm now so sure....

    AKNZ • Since Dec 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    NZTA people are obviously not cyclists.
    They also got it very wrong on Wellington's silly flyover too, but fortunately the people eventually won.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3204 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Palmer,

    Nice high walls. Could be a good place to grow one's pot plants.

    Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds,

    'no-one could have anticipated'

    Well not quite. I was afraid of this very outcome because of the ghastly thing done by Auckland Transport on the K Rd overbridge earlier, so I set out to engage with both NZTA and Auckland Council before any designs were begun as I was one of the those who lobbied actively for this project to happen [here: http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/05/19/photo-of-the-day-concrete-journey/]

    I discussed it with design champion Ludo at the actual launch of the programme http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/02/02/celebrating-recent-auckland-cycling-and-walking-projects/, who didn't engage, and I tried over and over to get NZTA to discuss their plans with me. I did get an email from the project manager saying she would send me the plans to date then meet and discuss. Neither happened. I raised it with the NZTA AKL head, by then it was too late, apparently.

    The justification for the rush is a ribbon cutting deadline set by the PM's office. I still don't see why they couldn't have listened to a bit of counterfactual from a likely user, and had a more considered design approach. A more human scaled barrier then wouldn't have needed to be ordered from Germany [there's a few ironies there that I will resist].... so close, so monstered by engineering.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    This is very disappointing. Not just because its a lousy solution, and not just that it shows that NZTA clearly don't know much about this new fangled cycling hocus pocus, but because it shows that the user-based design approach which is so obviously required is being equally obviously eschewed.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    people throwing objects off the bridge onto the motorway below (which they clearly will not)

    Sez here there were 27 incidents in one three month period:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/52460/fences-to-stop-objects-being-thrown-on-motorways
    and hence fences are now a standard.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    The justification for the rush is a ribbon cutting deadline set by the PM’s office.

    Good grief.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • kris_b,

    Love to know why some fairly simple looking steel or aluminium box sections need to come all the way from fucking Germany.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2012 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    The justification for the rush is a ribbon cutting deadline set by the PM’s office.

    Good grief.

    On one hand, I'm all for such projects getting a fast track, for whatever reason. On the other, it's like "Sorry, no time to listen to the people we're ostensibly designing this project for! Prime Minister is coming!"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Sez here there were 27 incidents in one three month period:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/52460/fences-to-stop-objects-being-thrown-on-motorways
    and hence fences are now a standard.

    In 2009, apparently. And not just high:

    But bridges are now being built with high fences that curve inwards, he says.

    Not so as I've been able to see, they're not. I can't actually think of one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Saw a few in Tokyo once.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I imagine there'd be a risk assessment - is road design covered by H&S legislation nowadays? Maybe the number of incidents in an area has a bearing. But one could envisage a barrier that was less obvious - you could have it under the bridge, or a net over the road?

    (or a cop on a nearby roof with a rifle to slot any scallies in the head before they throw their rocks - that's how they do it in the US)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Only curved barrier I have seen is Grafton Bridge. This one looks ridiculously over-engineered for the location and the risk.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    See Matt's post, all other local overbridges are at 1.2-1.4m [except K Rd] there has been, as far as we know only one incident from these bridges in recent years.

    If pursuit of zero harm is NZTA's policy then why is there any speed limit over about 10kph? 300 people will die on their roads this year because of the speed of barely controlled tin boxes being flung around, it seems we accept this risk.

    When did we decide that these current heights are unacceptable low?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm not an expert, but possibly the legal requirements vary if one is considering an existing structure or a new build, as it would be unreasonable to retrofit all existing bridges.

    Only one incident in recent years is out of kilter with the 2009 figure of 27 in three months - unless it was all the one person and they're in jail now?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I see a gap in the market for helmet mounted periscope binoculars...

    Won't the insides of these 'chutes' just end up tagged to hell, anyway?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    possibly the legal requirements vary if one is considering an existing structure or a new build

    but only one leg of the new cycleway route is overengineered for barrier height.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m all for such projects getting a fast track, for whatever reason. On the other, it’s like “Sorry, no time to listen to the people we’re ostensibly designing this project for!

    Chch people are now familiar with this procedure. Special powers are not used for good. Public and/or expert opinion is gathered so it can be disregarded.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    possibly the legal requirements vary if one is considering an existing structure or a new build

    but only one leg of the new cycleway route is overengineered for barrier height.

    And the Upper Queen Street overbridge (with a much bigger drop) and the St Lukes Road bridge (an entirely new structure) both have new shared paths – but not the giant walls. It is not easily explicable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Distinctly New Zealand would have had the cars.

    Words / Lyrics / Story telling. Dennis Glover perhaps, covering suicide and the collapse of farming, hence the fence.

    What was the option that came with the over engineering from Germany called?

    Since Mar 2010 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    The Princes St overbridge has a curved wall doesn't it? Built after that schoolboy threw a concrete block through a car windscreen killing the driver instantly in about 2005?

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Probably not what you’d want to hear but as an acrophobic those walls would mean the difference for me between riding and getting off and walking the bike.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Russell Brown,

    On one hand, I'm all for such projects getting a fast track, for whatever reason. On the other ...

    A simple little UBD wouldn't had to have slowed things down at all. If it was a really massive, bells and whistles number (which it wouldn't be) then it might have taken a couple of months. Big deal.

    Hell, Patrick was even throwing it at them for nix!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • MichaelM,

    With random object dispersal on byways being such an issue, why not go the whole hog with home grown kiwi solutions - Kelly Tarlton acrylic tunnels with some magnification built in.

    London, UK • Since Aug 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to william blake,

    Words / Lyrics / Story telling. Dennis Glover perhaps, covering suicide and the collapse of farming, hence the fence.

    "Come on, John
    The time has come
    Its time to go
    Now don't be slow
    Come on!
    ...."

    Wrong bridge though.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

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