Mayor Len Brown’s new rail plan priorities are about half right.
Yes, first priority should be an airport rail link to the main line near Papatoetoe, costing almost half a billion dollars.
And a central government paying half is fair, because Auckland Airport is the gateway to New Zealand for over two-thirds of overseas travel.
But Auckland should assess other public transport priorities before investing another $1 billion to complete the Onehunga to Airport circuit, costing about $110m/km.
And the Central Rail Loop estimated at $2.86b is extremely poor value at over $800m/km, and should be frozen until and unless financially justified.
Businesses are continuing to move out of the CBD, nearer to where staff live, and more residents are moving towards more central high-density housing, closer to their jobs or study.
Only the Auckland Council central planners seem to be unaware that Auckland is gradually turning inside-out. down on the motorway near Market Rd, blocking one north-bound lane, and resulting in the other two lanes moving very slowly because of rubber-necking.
This meant that very little traffic was crossing the Newmarket viaduct.
However, the on-ramp signals at Gillies Ave were up and running, resulting in those long queues as usual.
It wasn’t as if the breakdown had just happened – there were two lane-management truck with big arrows already on the scene to protect the truck and an attending police car.
I rang NZTA to inquire why these signals were operating when there was so little traffic that needed merging with.
Their response, unbelievably, is that the Gillies Ave and Khyber Pass on-ramp signals now remain on all daytime on weekdays, regardless of the traffic flow.
This means that they will slow Aucklanders down, even when there is no other section to benefit from it.
I hear that those who manage the motorway flows have no responsibility for traffic on any other road.
Surely this isn’t acceptable to us road users, wasting our time – ie, the complete opposite of what they’re paid to do.