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Speaker: Why all the fuss over six trees?

67 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Any links to how AT's version of it?

    bit knackered right now. Transportblog had all the detail including the illustrations and links to AT/NZTA's full documentation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rhys Jones,

    Yeah exactly. It's easier to get people to focus on small stuff like pohutakawa trees than the big, distant issue of climate change.

    See also fracking - it's probably possible to do it safely at a micro level, but not doing it keeps the oil price high and limits consumption. Still, I think it would be better on the whole to do the fracking and stop buying oil from the Middle East.

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

  • James Littlewood*,

    Thanks for the post Rhys and all for the discussion. And please, keep a safety eye out for a guy in an old black Music Month T shirt and a blue Avanti as he navigates 3 lanes of cars, 1 lane of busses and a pedestrian crossing.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Smart and eloquent-thanks Rhys. Pohutukawa make a fine symbol.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    All good suggestions, which I make regular use of (and no problems with a toll). But – what with me living in Titirangi and all – sometimes it’s the car. Sometimes I can dodge that road. Sometimes I can’t.

    You’re actually not wrong about the intersection. It locks up eastbound sometimes, too – when cars turning onto the overbridge to get to the motorway get stranded.

    So I do get a bit frustrated when people insist nothing needs doing. With the additional traffic post-Waterview, not re-engineering the interchange would play havoc with a key local road.

    But as a regular user of that road in all its modes (including the motat tram!) I kinda need the numbers in the cost/benefit before I can get involved in the tree debate.

    I’d listen to an honest argument, but I don’t think we’ve had one. The process has been terrible and the snubbing of 55 submissions that people went to the trouble of making simply because they had the (same) wrong number on them was disgraceful. Then the transparent lying when they were questioned at the community meeting.

    It’s unclear to me whether anyone has really listened to feedback on the planned new intersection design, which makes things more onerous for walkers and cyclists. Incredibly, no one can explain to me how I will get onto the new shared path if I’m cycling from Point Chev and turning right onto the bridge.

    So yeah, not trusting you on the trees, guys.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    crosstown traffic...

    1 lane of busses and a pedestrian crossing.

    A whole lane of kisses and a Catholic afoot?

    Auckland wasn't built in a day...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    shell be write…

    where’s Fay Weldon when you need her?

    She’s hardly to be relied on…
    her reminiscences of her first 15 years in Chchch are picked apart here
    and I’m wondering if she was remembering an early ‘Eat an Egg a Day’ promotion in NZ, There was a club and everything, I think I have a badge somewhere , but I think that was the ’60s and she left in 1946, and the campaign was in the ’50s. – maybe it was the same campaign, us being the colonies and ten years behind and all…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    I kinda need the numbers in the cost/benefit before I can get involved in the tree debate.

    Just hoped someone here might have them.

    Here's a helpful document detailing the options that were apparently considered. The mathematical traffic models aren't necessarily transparent, but each option lists the benefits and ( OMG is this even really a word )"dis-benefits".

    Option 6a is the one the Waitematā Local Board (and others) have been pursuing for further consideration, as it is the option that both preserves the trees and achieves the other objectives. It might need some tweaking around pedestrian and bike and bus lanes, but it uses the road space effectively while working around the trees.

    --

    Two questions in particular that AT hasn't managed to answer to anybody's satisfaction:

    1) why the need for 3 eastbound lanes directly in front of Motat, given that only two lanes will feed into them at any given time (either 2 eastbound from Gt North Rd, or two turning right from St Lukes), on separate phases. Yes, the closer you get to the motorway on-ramps near the speedway entrance, the more lanes you'll need, but why widen the road immediately after the lights? It could simply be two lanes for the length of the pohutukawa and then widen out.

    2) did anyone consider the option of running the bike and pedestrian path behind the trees? Not necessarily ideal, in that you'd lose the shaded footpath at the foot of the trees beside the road, which brings traffic ever closer to the trees. BUT it does continue the line of the footpath as it passes the petrol station.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Incredibly, no one can explain to me how I will get onto the new shared path if I’m cycling from Point Chev and turning right onto the bridge.

    The not-a-public-meeting "community liaison" meeting had a massive paper layout of the design they currently have consent for, and I asked your question. I wish I'd brought along some old Matchbox cars and buses and Lego bikes to ask the traffic engineer guys to demonstrate the manoeuvres more clearly.

    What they seemed to be saying was that you'd queue at the bike box in front of two lanes of right-turning traffic to turn right onto St Lukes Rd, then turn right WITH that traffic (watching out for opposing left turn traffic sneaking through the slip lanes, albeit those are probably controlled by lights, but they weren't sure). And then, about a third of the way across the bridge – at the point where the painted bike "lane" peters out – there will be a curb cut for you to hop onto the footpath. After which all you have to do is wait for a crossing signal to navigate across the existing offramp thingy and its associated slip lanes to get to the official NW bike path.

    Simple enough, if you're a ninja wearing kevlar. Good luck, kiddies!

    On that note: the other thing that burns me up about this intersection design: no apparent thought for the many kids commuting on bike and foot from Grey Lynn, Arch Hill & Western Springs on the south side of the motorway towards Pasadena Intermediate and Western Springs College -- other than that they'll hopefully just instinctively gravitate to the Motat side of the road and bike (technically illegally) on that footpath. But hey, safety first!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Jolisa,

    ( OMG is this even really a word )"dis-benefits".

    That's terrible! If they'd had to invent a word, surely they could've gone for something like, I dunno, 'malefit'?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Clearly the word choices of someone who can't see advantages when they're fairly blooming obvious.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jolisa,

    did anyone consider the option of running the bike and pedestrian path behind the trees?

    I still think the best place for a cycle path through that intersection is underneath. Given the relative ease of running smallish tunnels nowadays it seems the obvious way to make sure the bikes and the cars never have to cross each others path.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Jolisa,

    ( OMG is this even really a word )"dis-benefits”.

    It does sound a bit Newspeak-ish.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jolisa,

    And then, about a third of the way across the bridge – at the point where the painted bike “lane” peters out – there will be a curb cut for you to hop onto the footpath.

    Ah. That hasn't been apparent on any diagram I've seen so far, and it's good news. That's the correct solution. There's not really any way of running a protected bike lane through an intersection, but if the painted lane leads to the cutting, that's good.

    Compared to the crapshoot that turning right is currently -- even with my former-cycle-courier ninja skills -- it's a notable improvement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jolisa,

    2) did anyone consider the option of running the bike and pedestrian path behind the trees? Not necessarily ideal, in that you’d lose the shaded footpath at the foot of the trees beside the road, which brings traffic ever closer to the trees. BUT it does continue the line of the footpath as it passes the petrol station.

    This is one thing they seem to have lied about. AT claimed that option wasn't considered because Motat demanded that the parking be preserved. But whoever tweets for Motat said they'd only made a general request for parking to be preserved in the area (which is their right, and understandable) and absolutely had not vetoed that path.

    The path could actually be pretty nice and I think the loss of the existing footpath in return might be a reasonable compromise -- it's not actually a very nice place to walk at the moment because there's always traffic (and quite often heavy vehicles) waiting to turn left. But AT doesn't seem to have been in the mood for reasonable compromises.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Regardless of the road width issue, what about the height? The largest of those trees overhang GNR significantly. Doesn't the road need to be raised to enable a smooth turn left ?(heading west).

    Wasn't the height the original requirement that drove the request to trim the trees that the local board approved?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 501 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    trees a crowd...

    The largest of those trees overhang GNR significantly.

    ...and in light of this attack on an innocent bus by an arboreal antagonist - well all trees should be felled...
    </over-reaction>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Doesn’t the road need to be raised to enable a smooth turn left ?(heading west)

    The traffic engineers want this.
    Never seen any evidence of need.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    The traffic engineers want this.
    Never seen any evidence of need.

    Yes, again., it's "because we say so".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And here's how it can be done -- Cycle Action Auckland with an appreciation of the construction and comms teams a couple of kilometres away at the SH16 cycleway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Interesting insight on Aucklander attitudes to cars. Being deprived of one's vehicle is forced imprisonment apparently?

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

  • Josh Petyt,

    Replace a few keywords to move the story south and change references to 'pōhutukawa' to 'flyover' and you'd have a story about the crap Wellington has been having with the Basin Reserve.

    The traffic engineering KPI of ‘minutes saved’ on a journey is in most cases unbelievably stupid. Sure it makes sense when you’re building a new mountain pass or a tunnel but through a city that is meant to be lived in it is almost always going to be a horrible compromise. There is a presumption that when you get into your vehicle that the roads ahead of you should get you to your destination as quickly and safely as possible. This sounds fine on the face of it but it effectively ignores the impact your action has on all the people that you will encounter or affect along your journey. I think we need to debate this priority for roading in any developed area.

    The issue of remodelling city centres for roads largely doesn't happen in Europe where the majority simply accept that driving there is slow. They are forced to choose between the utility of a personal vehicle or the speed and savings of public transport, cycling or walking. In Japan the roads are slow. There are no roundabouts and probably three times as many sets of traffic lights as they need. Traffic on regular roads is slow and rarely exceeds 60 (the upper speed limit is 50 with virtually no exceptions, _everyone_ speeds). The result is frustrating start/stop driving. As with Europe people are forced to choose between the utility and cost of driving or the speed and savings of public transport. For most population areas public transport won a long time ago and now they have excellent public transport (which increases the attractiveness creating a positive feedback loop, something I fear our decision makers usually ignore).

    In short what I’m suggesting is that maybe we shouldn’t promise short fast trips through our urban areas. Perhaps those that choose to drive should do so in the full knowledge that it will be slow and that they may have to wait a couple of minutes or more for a pedestrian light to end on say Queen Street, K Road, Courtenay Place or Oriental Parade. With GPS, pre-planned routes and networked devices we could even have scheduled or demand driven motor access through certain areas designated as walking/cycling/living(!) zones that are otherwise closed.

    Japan • Since Apr 2014 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Forbes-Brown,

    The shared path behind the trees is fully compliant and clear of all carparks , the street pole. It needs to narrow down to 2.5m by one tree and only 0.5m offset by 3 carparks but outside current barrier. It is fully shaded. 6 small branches to trim back so have greater than 2.4m height, 1 branch by NZ Cycle trail design needs sign posting as over 2m height but less than 2.4m. So with a sand based cobblestone path and some arborist supervision , no problem. But overall a bigger issue if the priority is bus, cycle and walking you design for that. The problem is no one is looking at ultimate mode shares when bus and cycle are top notch and unless the project design objectives changes so people get out of cars. Copenhagen cycle mode share is 41% and our own CBD bus is 31%, put that in the model..Oh. What congestion need only to drop by 30% for free flow.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Josh Petyt,

    Perhaps those that choose to drive should do so in the full knowledge that it will be slow and that they may have to wait a couple of minutes or more for a pedestrian light to end

    Yet the crazy new parallel cycle route along Dominion Rd does the opposite, making cyclists stop/start constantly so vehicles with engines get a smooth flow.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Keep a safety eye out for the guy ...

    Kevlar

    Good luck, kiddies!

    And ... I came off my bike this morning, right there. East bound beside Western Springs Park. The traffic control allows no room for bikes. I got on the footpath. Workers up ahead. I got on the tram line. Girl in uniform towing boy on skateboard occupying entire track.

    Me (cheerfully grinning like a fool): Keep left!
    Them: *blank*

    Forced to the edge, my front wheel dipped off the concrete. Splat. The road workers were incredibly decent, and fully agreed they place needs

    I've written to everybody, including AT requesting additional traffic management, extended to peds and cycles.

    Feeling rather coincidental, if not ironic, and somewhat grazed, right now.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

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