What Could We Do Better With $3m?


What improvement to a train station, walkway or bus stop could be do if the council gave us $3m?

Looking again today at the new $3m walkway between Eden Park and Walters Rd, as people headed for the cricket at Eden Park, you have to scratch you head and wonder if it will be worth the money.

The Eden Albert community board doesn’t think so but their opposition got a bit distracted during the week because of the discussion about their protest action - suggesting names like Minto, Mandela and Porangi walkway for the name.
Porangi means crazy or mad in Maori and maybe it is.

I can’t see how it would shave more than about 5 minutes walking off those attending the game today  - and only if they are coming from the Kingsland direction, not Sandringham or cutting through from Monringside, which many did as they found parking around there.

Also, we’re told it’s expected many people will walk from the city for the RWC games so after all that walking, I’m not sure five minutes less will be noticed.

Here is the council’s official reasoning and explanation:

“The council is creating a new lane to improve pedestrian access between the city and Eden Park. The land is planned to be a shared space (low speed environment where all road users have equal priority to the road - a system which has been successful internationally) and will provide an alternative route for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers (one way only travelling around the area). For events at Eden Park, the lane is planned to be  pedestrians only.”

The council says the link road will help move people away from the park more efficiently from the four new entrances during the RWC.

It’s starting to feel a bit over- the- top in these times when money for other pedestrian improvements is rationed.

Controversy over names for walkway




  1. Anthony says:

    it should have gone to fixing the flamin rail signals!

  2. max says:

    Actually, I am surprised people get so incensed abut this, including you Jon?

    Also 5min (if its that much) isn’t too shabby either.

    But maybe they are also doing a bad job of explaining the benefits, but I understood that a major issue was the fact that rugby crowds (not only during RWC games - I am so sick of hearing everything is for the RWC - but also rugby crowds during other games) were rying to walk to the train station (and generally north) and were spilling out onto the street because the footpath widths were too narrow.

    By giving them another walkway, you do (in theory) reduce pedestrian density on the existing route by 50%. Sounds quite relevant to me.

  3. Chris says:

    If rugby crowds were spilling out onto the street, then treat the street as a footpath.

    One needs to envisage the street as not a series of discrete elements that just happened to be stuck together, but more as a flexible space that can serve multiple functions.

    Around the Kingsland rail station, Sandringham Rd could serve as a virtual ‘platform’.

    The problem with todays engineers and planners is a fixation on single use, rather than constant consideration of multiple flexible use.

    Had this thinking been undertaken, we would have saved $3m - which could have been spent elsewhere delivering far greater benefits (if one chooses wisely).

  4. Jon C says:

    @Max I’m certainly not ‘incensed’, just not sure that it was money well spent now I see what they are doing. Although Metro called me Angry Jon C, I’m not sure anyone has actually ever seen me angry. I’m far too laid back. But I am passionate about issues, as you may have noticed. Like trains! And as the board chairman who reads this site emailled me about this today, I had another look at this walkway, its worth debating.

  5. Luke says:

    I thought Sandringham road was to be closed to traffic anyway during games so what is the problem?

  6. kel says:

    @Max: I quite agree with your comments regarding the walkway. If the council thinks walking paths or whatever are useful in the area then they are probably right!!

    However regarding this statement: ‘I am so sick of hearing everything is for the RWC’. I have ti say that that’s a shame! When most countries get the chance to hold something big (eg: South Korea and the soccer world cup, China and the Olympics) everyone in the country gets so excited and behind it that they wouldn’t even realise if a path was being built or not..

    Why can’t New Zealanders stop complaining and start enjoying the fact that the world’s eyes will be on Auckland and New Zealand? :)

    To all the New Zealanders: Please be passionate and positive for a change! :)

  7. Joshua says:

    Kel - FULLY AGREED, ITS THE BIGGEST EVENT WE WILL PROB EVER HOLD, in fact it’s the 3rd biggest world sporting event behind only the soccer world cup and the Olympics.

    Plus if you have ever been to a sold out event at Eden Park you know why it’s needed.

  8. max says:

    “If rugby crowds were spilling out onto the street, then treat the street as a footpath.”

    Well, that is fine for the largest games. But I do not think you can (or more to the point, should) close Sandringham Road for every larger game.

    “The problem with todays engineers and planners is a fixation on single use,”

    Are you criticising me, or engineers in general? I am certainly in favour of shared and flexible uses. But that doesn’t mean that just because people can, under some circumstances, spill onto the street you should not do permanent ped improvements.

    The new road connection is being done with more ped emphasis, so that is good.

    “However regarding this statement: ‘I am so sick of hearing everything is for the RWC’.”

    Kel, the only project that seem to get pushed “to be done in time for the RWC” by our government seem to be stadiums, motorways (such as the Manukau Harbour Bridge) and “party central”. No PT push anywhere, as if all those Rugby fans from overseas would bring their cars with them.

    As for Councils, we have just underwritten a $40 million loan, which the Rugby organisers noted that they didn’t have the cash flow to pay back themselves (i.e. get loaned by the bank at normal rates). Wonder whether this will ccome back to haunt the ratepayers?

    That is what I hate about it. Me not being a rugby fan probably doesn’t help, but mainly it is that skewed claim of urgency, and a lot of money spent when they initially claimed it would cost much less and be so *hugely beneficial* to everyone. Most big sports events (like Olympics) turn out to be commercial busts, by the way.

    Maybe RWC will help the country on a whole, and it will certainly give lots of enjoyment to Rugby fans, as it should. But Aucklander’s will be hit hard in the pocket.

  9. Joshua says:

    Max - It’ll be hard for you in NZ not being a Rugby Fan especially if you are an Engineer, but it’s the long term benefits of the Rugby World Cup that are the greatest, it increases our exposure to the world, bad or good, that’s why it essential to get it right. Bad exposure could bring down our tourism value while good exposure will increase it. Even if we get it on par, it will be worth the money spent, Tourism is one of our major industries and definitely one to protect.

    However the point you make on PT is the strongest, that is where our under-investment lies, but we also need to improve pedestrian links to public transport which is what this project is about, making PT more assessable and more please-able, in the end we need to way up the investments and choose the one which will be most beneficial, this is one I agree with, some of the roading projects would be better spent on PT, while we should of put a fully developed Cruise ship terminal at Party central.

    Although I do believe the Manuaku Harbour Project is not a project to example the investment in roading as this will be one of the busiest routes, and is a project that needed to be updated, Vic Park would have been a better example, possibly the Hamilton Expressway? But exampling MHX is only strengthen NZTA’s decisions.

  10. max says:

    To clarify, I’m not against the event. I am against spending for it coming primarily at the expense of local ratepayers (who will benefit only very indirectly unless they themselves are rugby fans), and against it being used as an argument to rush through projects that are really unrelated to RWC, especially in the longer term.

    We get over 2 million tourists each year. I venture that improving ways of getting around Auckland by foot, cycle or public transport will be more beneficial for Auckland’s share of the tourism pie than spending it on motorways. Tourists don’t come here for them.

  11. Joshua says:

    Yea I think I was getting a bit confused, you and me seem to be on the same page, the spending should go ahead - just not on motorway building instead on things that will actually effect tourist - PT.

    Sorry If I sounded like I was saying anything different.

  12. Marcus says:

    The RWC 2011 is supposed to be NZ’s day putting its best foot front and showing the world what Kiwi engineering and build looks like. How sad to see the good work around Eden Park lost in the political posturing that has occurred in Auckland for so long that we have lost our way. Lets set aside our differences and celebrate the RWC 2011 by welcoming our visitors and showing them we are the best host possible.


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