Infrastructure Rant – Part 2

Aucklandharbourbridge I was on the North Shore last night and I saw all the work and expense going into the bus lanes. I wondered how many people are actually going to use the bus when the are bus lanes?

I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if they had decided to put rail in instead. If they had decided to close two lanes of the Harbour Bridge and make it rail. (I know it is probably not technically possible due to the incline but bear with me).

Suddenly you are sitting in 3 lanes on the harbour bridge rather than 4, watching the trains fly by. Would you then look at catching a train tomorrow if you really don’t need your car at work?

You bet!

Quickly transport movements are freed up and productivity improves.

Steve W raised 2 really valid points to my last post.
1) Auckland is an isthmus. In my view this further drives the need to act now, as it takes longer to make tunnels and bridges.
2) The second crossing needs to be joint rail and road. I agree if it doesn’t have rail and connection into southern rail network Auckland is stuffed.

Finally, in my last post I said that strong leadership is needed. Ideally that would come in the form of one strong leader with the desire and mandate to fix the problem.

The problem in Auckland is far greater than that however. There is no one body that really controls Auckland. The councils are often out to protect their interests rather than collaboratively work together. Even when they have the right intentions and start working together it appears Central Government and Transit slow the process to a grinding halt.

What’s needed, in my view?
Either, one regional council that combines all of the councils. This makes the most sense for the long-term planning and productivity of Auckland, but I suspect will take 3 – 5 years too long to really happen and will only be a half hearted attempt.

Or Central Government appointed relentless leadership (not a commission of inquiry or working party) who have the legal mandate to steam roll Transit and the councils with clear short-term goals to make it happen.

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