World’s Most Liveable City? Part Two

A Motorway that will Rip the Heart out of Two South Auckland Communities

 

This is a rather “angry” post and what is being proposed by Auckland Transport and NZTA has put family and friends in the direct firing line of a 1950’s gold-plated project that is NOT needed in a 21st Century Auckland.

 

Transport Blog as I said yesterday in my World’s Most Liveable City?” post that ‘Option 4’ would be posted up this morning – and sure it was: “Looking Closer at East-West Link Option 4.”

From Transport Blog

Looking Closer at East-West Link Option 4

Yesterday I showed you the plan being pushed by one local business group as an option for the East West Link. From many angles it was really horrific but when it comes to social impact, the official Option 4 as described below would probably be even worse.

We learned about the official options in June this year when Auckland Transport presented to the Council’s former Transport Committee. It was a helpful presentation because it finally gave us some insight into the different options that were being looked at for this project. One of the options outlined in the presentation was what’s known as “Option 4″. It’s shown below and apart from the route, what’s important to note are the key problem areas identified in the red explosion shapes.

East-West Option 4

You can read the full article and comments over at Transport Blog’s site.

 

As is being noted recently looking at the Project Auckland pieces ran by the Herald, there seems to be a concerted push for a dedicated motorway-standard East-West Link connecting the airport with Highbrook and the wider Eastern Suburbs. This situation as I made clear in both “The Auckland Project?” and “World’s Most Liveable City?” posts does not give me inspiration nor confidence that some of our city “leaders” are looking for a 21st Century Auckland.

How can you when a straight 1950’s solution such as Option 8 and Option 4 are being proposed that are the two most physically and socially destructive road building options there are that give very little gain compared to alternatives.

The alternatives to these two destructive highway options being:

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).

Source: https://voakl.net/2013/11/14/worlds-most-liveable-city/

 

One News even picked up on the Option Four motorway proposal and the disgruntlement it is causing in South Auckland: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/aucklanders-disgruntled-proposed-motorway-plans-video-5705517

 

It is a rather interesting reminder to Auckland Council AND Auckland Transport that there is an initiative to help South Auckland boost itself on all positive fronts. It is called The Southern Initiative:

The Southern Initiative

The Southern Initiative will focus on South Auckland and is designed to improve:

  • educational achievement
  • economic development
  • job growth
  • public transport
  • housing
  • social conditions.

The Southern Initiative is being developed in partnership with government agencies, the local community and other key stakeholders.

A map of the initiative can be viewed below:

Auckland Plan map 1.3 – The Southern Initiative (PDF 13.7MB)

Source: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies/theaucklandplan/Pages/theaucklandplan.aspx

 

How a 4-8 lane motorway ripping the heart out of two South Auckland communities – and proud ones at that is meant to be part of the Southern Initiative I would love to know please. As these motorways do not improve:

  • educational achievement
  • economic development
  • job growth
  • public transport
  • housing
  • social conditions

for the Mangere-Otahuhu area. And no, job growth and economic development does not mean ripping the heart and soul out of two communities either.

This Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and NZTA is a project that I am personally drawing up that does “tick all the boxes” for what The Southern Initiative should be doing to support the Initiative’s goals:

It is called the Manukau 21st Century Development project – part of the “Looking at Developing a 21st Century Auckland series”. The two particular posts that I am about link shows a private citizen’s best efforts in drawing up a full “master plan” to rebuild the economic and social heart of Southern Auckland that will improve:

  • educational achievement
  • economic development
  • job growth
  • public transport
  • housing
  • social conditions

through both direct and indirect flow on effects. Because when you have a strong beating heart/core a population can rally around, the surround areas catch the positive development wave and develop to better themselves.

The two most recent posts:

All part of a response and recognition that: South Auckland (is) – The Rising Jewel in Auckland’s Crown.

 

But seriously two highway options? Again I would love to know how that complies with The Southern Initiative – or is it simply brushed aside in the name of The Auckland Project.

In regards to Highbrook as I said yesterday and was also made by a commenter in Transport Blog:

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.

 

Am I annoyed and angry about Option 8 and Option 4? Yes I am. The costs to the communities and where I have family and friends for a 1950’s solution for what is meant to be a 21st Century Auckland is far too high on all grounds. Especially when there are cheaper and more beneficial alternatives in moving freight West-East across Auckland in the South Auckland area.

 

Come on Council – 21st Century Auckland as Design Champion Ludo Campbell-Reid was wanting to see per his comments yesterday that I picked up on (Outlining a 21st Century Auckland) is meant to be happening here. And Ludo is not the only one as I, Generation Zero, Transport Blog and no doubt a great deal of Aucklanders are wanting – no demanding a 21st Century Auckland!

So why is a 1950’s highly destructive solution being put forward at great cost to South Auckland!

 

More on this as it develops.