Brief Commentary on News and Views around Auckland
Feedback on Various Auckland Projects
Over the last week I have been busy with filling out those feedback forms and about to ask various bureaucracies with Auckland Council and its CCO’s for consultation packs on various projects around Auckland.
The first piece was the online feedback to the next round of Wynyard Quarter improvements – Dadly and Halsey Streets. The plans for the improvements can be found at the Auckland Waterfront CCO site, to which I gave my approval to these series of upgrades. My approval is in-line with the Wynyard Quarter urban design project I did at the University of Auckland(as a student) in 2010. My work can be found HERE and has been used as the basis for submissions, hearings and other work subsequently built on from the original work.
While I might not approve all aspect of the Wynyard Quarter redevelopment set out by the CCO – Auckland Waterfront, I am overall happy and impressed by the general work happening at Wynyard Quarter. Just hope Auckland Council does not forget what I told them at the City Centre Master Plan hearing – in that some density is required there for the Quarter to self sustain itself. I don’t exactly want a prime area of Auckland to be a ghost town outside the 9-5 weekday activities…
Another piece of feedback I did was on Auckland Transport’s City Centre Parking Zone proposal, to which I also did a post on just recently. In my post (and online feedback) I spelled the reason why I opposed AT’s proposal, and gave a fully viable alternative to AT’s proposal. But in short without the alternative using parking buildings combined with existing and new public transport operations, all AT are doing is excessively penalising car users with charges worse than London(exchange rate taken into account.). Being a liberal I do believe in choice, and that if authorities are to provide a disincentive against one form of transport use, then a fully viable alternative MUST be made available. Fair is fair.
From the rag’s
Flicking through various local and national rags (newspapers) a few articles came across that caught my attention.
Manukau Courier - Gridlock creates nightmare for residents
Angry residents are fed up with parked cars clogging their street despite parking wardens issuing 245 tickets in three months.
Middlemore Cres resident Eileen Nesbit, 84, labels the all-day kerbside chaos “beyond a joke” and says cars are forced to pull into driveways to let oncoming traffic pass.
“There’s been that many near-accidents on this street, it’s ridiculous. There’s a bus and a rubbish truck that have a hang of a time negotiating the bend.”
The street is just 800 metres from Middlemore train station and is an attractive parking option for commuters, hospital staff and tradesmen.
Neighbour Marie Burman says her driveway was blocked when an oncoming car pulled into it to let her pass.
“And of course he had nowhere to go,” Ms Burman says.
The solution should be straight forward in putting yellow lines down one side of the affected road, place 180min parking restrictions on the other side of the road (with exception to residents who hold a permit if they require one thus can park unlimited amount of time) at is active at ALL TIMES, of which those restrictions would be enforced by making the area a tow away zone for breaches of the restrictions. Of course consultations would be held with the residents to make sure they and visitors they host would not be unduly affected by placing in such restrictions. If they were then modifications would be made accordingly.
But at the end of the day, the 180min restrictions would be those for those basically visiting Middlemore Hospital short term. Staff can stop freeloading and go park in the ample facilities provided for them, which I hear costs at the cheapest $7.70 a week. While people using Middlemore Crescent as a Park and Ride facility to go catch the train from the nearby Middlemore Station can go park at the Park and Ride at Papatoetoe as the train fares and services are the same from either Papatoetoe or Middlemore.
So lets give our local residents a fair go, they are their first and should be treated with respect along their roadway accordingly.
As for Mill Road
Again from the Manukau Courier
The looming transformation of Mill Rd into a major arterial route has left some residents unsure about the future of their properties.
Widening Redoubt Rd and Mill Rd from Manukau through to Papakura will provide drivers with a southeastern alternative to the southern motorway.
But the project is in the early design stage and residents along the route in Manurewa and Papakura still aren’t sure where they stand.
The plan already dates back several years to the former Manukau and Papakura councils and is now being developed by council organisation Auckland Transport.
Manurewa Local Board chairman Daniel Newman says the time being taken to develop the project is “leaving people in limbo”.
Will be interesting to see this development as it goes through the processes. However Auckland Transport needs to reassure the residents in the Mill Road area soon as the project work there is going to be quite substantive. Mill Road in both the Auckland Plan and my submission to the Auckland Plan forms that second corridor as mentioned the article. The corridor is required due to large-scale Greenfield urban development due to take place between Mill Road and the existing urban areas of Takanini and Papakura East over and through to 2040; whether be as per the original Auckland Plan, or my alternative via my submission to the Auckland Plan as well as The Port of Auckland Relocation Project I am also working on.
So again will be watching the Mill Road project (and subsequent development) carefully, as this is literally in my back yard.
Shared-ownership model for parks stirs misgivings as ratepayers prepare to cope with big rates increases.
Cash-strapped Eden Park, weighed down by a debt of $55 million, could become the financial responsibility of Auckland Council just as many ratepayers face big rates increases.
The council is looking at a “shared ownership and management model” of the city’s three main stadiums, which councillor Cathy Casey and the Eden Park Neighbours’ Association believe will lead to ratepayers bailing out Eden Park. Under a discussion paper released yesterday on the future of Eden Park, Mt Smart Stadium and North Harbour Stadium, it is Eden Park that gets the top billing with all the big rugby, league, limited-overs cricket and soccer matches.
Down the pecking order is the council-owned Mt Smart Stadium, which has a $15.6 million budget over the next 10 years to entice the Warriors to stick around. The budget must also stretch to high-performance training facilities, a new athletics track and making it more attractive to host big events such as Pasifika and Christmas in the Park.
I might do an extensive post on this at a later date but to me the solution is simple. Close Mt Smart, build a new stadium on the Waterfront (I might have two locations in my Auckland Water-Fronter Project where the stadium could be placed), upgrade North Harbour to triple its capacity and in 30 years close Mt Eden. But vested interest will get in the way as always – often to the detriment of themselves, their interest, AND to the wider city. In any case might keep an eye on the stadium development as it simmers away.
As for ‘Councilising’ the stadiums, I rather not please; got enough on my ratepayers plate without more dead-weights’ being added to it.
That is some of the news and views in brief – for your weekend reading, on weekends that are always too brief.