World’s Most Liveable City?

Err Are We Meant to be the World’s Most Liveable City?

Or

Worlds most “paved” city?

 

The East-West Link that seems to be a priority one transport project in Auckland (even higher priority than the much more needed and beneficial City Rail Link) in the eyes of Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Central Government has not been lost on me (nor the citizens in the affected areas, and Transport Blog).

Transport Blog have outlined the East-West link options here: More info on the East-West Link. Just a note though “Option Five” on those maps in that particular blog post is now listed as “Option 4.”

 

While we wait for Matt from Transport Blog to get a post up tomorrow on this Option 4 – which has stirred the communities in its firing line (there is a community meeting on this tonight in Mangere East), Matt did post the equivalent of a true horror show: http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/11/14/the-east-west-horror-show/.

I say true horror show because if this “Option Eight” ever goes ahead and is supported or purported by those who were mentioned in the Project Auckland Op-Eds yesterday, then it only reinforces in my mind and per my The Auckland Project? post of having little or pretty much no inspiration nor confidence in our City “Leaders” to bring Auckland forward into the 21st Century (certain people being the exception).

 

We have all heard the Mayor say he want’s Auckland to be the World’s Most Liveable City. Is that the world’s most liveable city or the worlds most paved, physically and social environmentally destructive city in the First World?

Because check this graphic out that Transport Blog posted earlier today in their “The East-West horror show!”

http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/11/14/the-east-west-horror-show/
http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/11/14/the-east-west-horror-show/

Source: http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/11/14/the-east-west-horror-show/

An 8-lane super expressway with a token rail line that goes no where – and I mean no where.

 

What the heck I thought we were meant to have left the 1950’s well and truly behind. It seems some in Council, Private Sector and Government that are part of Project Auckland obviously have not and that in itself is disturbing. To make things even more worrying is that Option 8 is the second most “evil” option with Option 4 being the worst.

 

Seriously there are better ways to get our freight traffic going cross city from the airport to Onehunga and Penrose, to Mt Wellington and to Highbrook/ East Tamkai. There is also better ways of linking up the eastern suburbs of Auckland using both heavy and if needed light elevated rail. I have mentioned a Vancouver Sky Train styled proposal for the old Botany (heavy rail) Line that started from Panmure Station and connected Pakuranga Town Centre plus Botany to Manukau before going out to the airport as a rapid link to service that area with fast and frequent mass transit.

Overall  Sky Train idea
Overall Sky Train idea

As for freight some alterations in key places like the Neilson Street/State Highway 20 interchange, Great South Road/Church Street intersection, and the State Highway One/South Eastern Highway interchange coupled with dedicate freight lanes would go much further in benefits while less cost (monetary, economic, social and physical environment).

As for Highbrook businesses needing to get a rapid link to the airport, well brutal reality faces you here with either:

  1. Looping from Highbrook/State Highway One interchange going south, leaving SH1 onto SH20 at Manukau, follow SH20 around and use SH20B to finish tip to airport. Or go the other way from Highbrook and use the scaled down version of the East-West Link to SH20 and access the airport from SH20A
  2. Move your business to Wiri and be in direct link to the airport, rail line and Southern Motorway south

There are consequences to business locations and Highbrook has them. Lets not put a destructive motorway through established communities (Eastern Highway different as Green space still there) so your wrongly located business can get to the airport faster. Sorry that won’t win me friends but there are times where communities come before business. This being such a time.

 

I have seen the old designations for Option IV. It was there and the designation route was green space like the Eastern Highway designation is. However the National Government of the 1990’s sold off the land when they removed the designation and now established housing is in its path. If Option 4 was to be built it should have been built back then and before Highbrook was established later on. So like Weymouth Bridge it is a case of too late now.

Least Mayor Len Brown is not a fan on Option IV, I also hope he is not fan of Option 8 either…

While I am writing this what is the logic between trying to ram through this gold-plated East West Link? All it does is re-enforce auto-dependency which I said:

Just a note: auto-dependency is not a choice – it is an enslavement from lack of choice. Cities should aim for auto-choice; where one is not overtly penalised by wanting and taking a choice between car, active or mass transit. Auckland does not currently provide that auto-choice as the City is an auto-dependent city. In simple terms how can you have choice if you are the dependency eliminates all and any other options.

At the same time AT, Council and Government are stealing themselves for a bitter battle with communities affected by this crazy gold-plated highway. Remember this: “battles will be won or lost in the suburbs” which is in my “Looking at Developing a 21st Century Auckland – Series – Surburbia” posts I am currently writing? Annoying the residents in an East-West Link battle is not going to help with other plans or projects out there that might come up – not if confidence has been shot to pieces.

 

In the end time will tell where this ends up but heck every step we gain for a 21st Century Auckland, we suddenly take a huge leap back and fall over the 1950’s cliff!

And that folks again is the reason why The Auckland Project gives me little inspiration nor confidence looking at what they are purporting – straight out of the 50’s play book…