Dropped in to the Auckland Light Rail marquee at the Balmoral Flea Market to try and get a better understanding as to what this project is all about. The current focus they have advised is that the project most certainly is going a head and we are now choosing between “Light Metro” and “Modern (street level) trams”.
Promotional brochures can be found here.
Overall, they’re a friendly and approachable bunch manning the stand and were found to be willing to at least provide their take on any questions and concerns I had about the project.
They were at pains to note that this project is not about trams alone, but a transport and urban building project initiative combined where development will be intensified along the Tram routes. Continue reading “Auckland Light Rail – My own thoughts”
Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…
- Trams / light rail have their place and if they were still there, would have been a practical solution as part of a push to get Auckland moving. Unfortunately, they’ve been ripped out. That said, I’m not sold on the idea of retrofitting trams back in to existing streets (that have since substantially changed). I can’t see how this is going to work without causing huge disruption forcing people against their will to change the way they go about their lives along with a lot of anger and resistance from those affected. While change in this instance may ultimately be a long term good, you do have to be respectful towards people’s present needs. (Please be practical)
- The problem I have with Auckland Transport and perhaps more so, the Greater Auckland blog is that they appear to be pushing dogmatic ideologies at the expense of being more pragmatic and taking the time to properly consider the merits of all options. To be honest, it looks like the Greater Auckland Blog people are aspiring to make Auckland like Melbourne. It may be their impression of a great city, but respectfully speaking many will not have the same ideas. Have spoken to Matt Lowrie in person (a decade ago mind you, at Campaign for better transport meeting, I believe). Great guy, but I don’t think all of his views are necessarily down to earth, practical, nor even necessarily a proper fit for Auckland’s unique make up.
- I feel it would be in Greater Auckland (GA) best interest to be making huge noises around the unfolding urban and transport planning disaster that is Mill Rd / Takanini area. Sprawl with little in the way of alternative transport options. If GA want their coveted Trams they need to be focussing on those new developments and encouraging Auckland Council to be laying down infrastructure right now while it’s easier, not later then trying to retrofit at great cost.
- Melbourne I feel is a better fit to those who are perhaps more politically liberal, enjoy the many live events on offer, higher acceptance of the LGBQT community, the arts (including Graffiti style mural street art), and the different vast mix of cultures and their annual festivals. Melbourne has among one of the better public transport systems in the world. On the other hand, behind the wheel (if one needs to be) traffic is just as frustrating as Auckland and despite their heavy handed fines, people’s standard of driving appears to be on par with Auckland. While Central Melbourne and St Kilda is vibrant, areas of Inland Greater Melbourne not so much.
- Regarding Auckland Transport’s (AT) enforcement, I wish to counsel them they have to be careful with how they carry this out. While I have personally never received an infringement, If you start fining otherwise compliant people en masse for innocent mistakes (being unfamiliar with the area / road layout) and snagging them on obscure technicalities, it may net additional council revenue and it may make some apologetic, but it can back fire causing the loss of the public’s goodwill instead making people resentful and resistant to adapting to the so called new vision. Unfortunately, I’m seeing the latter occur more often and more concerning is the fostering of an “us versus them” mentality.
- Unfortunately, after the UE Megabust debacle, I have even less trust in online reviews. The rave video reviews which were frankly blatant adverts disguised as reviews, the “amazon choice” label, the 5 star reviews, the marketing material “Way more boom” and “Thundering bass” all led me to believe the Megaboom 3 would have better sound quality and at least the same bass response as my old UE Boombox from 2013. Not the case.
- Also, my desire to spend anything on myself has crashed through the floor in large part, the above. That was evident when I was roaming around Fieldays and my desire to spend I found was almost completely gone.
- Was interesting to have a wander around Fieldays, ended up winning back the cost of the day trip special thanks to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and a raffle they happen to be running at their marquee. Careers hub was empty again (no visitors). Some good machinery demonstrations.
Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.