Heather McCracken’s article about proposed traffic improvements around Eden Park highlighted the grave concerns of local residents.
The Eden Albert Community Board has argued strongly that the Sandringham Rd changes will bring no real benefits. Even if they could be justified should they swallow up $18 million (82 percent) of the $22m budget for the Eden Park precinct upgrade?
Should not spending on a major arterial road come from a different budget?
Imagine the limited nature of the upgrade for the rest of the precinct if only $4 million is be spread thinly on other streets near the park.
It is a real concern that the scope of the precinct upgrade has not even at this late stage been seriously debated or clearly defined. Yes, Kingsland and access to its railway station need to be included, as do streets linking the park to Morningside station.
Other streets bordering Gribblehirst Park do not need to be included.
On the park side of Sandringham Rd all the streets bounded by that road, Walters Rd, Dominion Rd and Burnley Tce should be included.
Why? Because they all carry heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic when the park is in use and at present they have uneven footpaths and poor lighting.
If the Sandringham Rd changes are removed from the precinct upgrade, there is a golden opportunity for the Auckland City Council to upgrade the Residential 1 streets adjacent to the park.
A walk to Eden Park would then not only be a safe experience but would also allow pa- trons to view clearly some of the purest remaining streets of Edwardian Auckland.
With a re-think on the budget and more imaginative planning the Eden Park precinct upgrade could achieve two positive results – better access to the park and enhancement to one of Auckland’s heritage suburbs.
Now that would be real value for money.