Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things called tape measures

They look like this:

Or this:

 KiwiRail's well-paid planners should learn to use them. Here's the problem:
In early 2011 the New Zealand Herald reported that KiwiRail had given in to the disgust of the Glen Eden community and decided to remove the 'eyesore' rail footbridge ramps it had installed and move them someplace the residents were, uh, less assertive. Somewhere like, say, Otahuhu. The rationale was that the Otahuhu train station is in an industrial area and the fact that the footbridge was REALLY BIG AND REALLY UGLY would largely go unnoticed. Which as a statement in its own right is largely true. The station is bounded by a container park on one side and some large warehouses on the other. But this is where the tape measure would have come in handy.
Otahuhu train station is reasonably well used in the rush hour and until recently had a series of shelters which, in a public-transport-minimalist sort of way, provided passengers with some shelter. The station is exposed and cold, and it has clearly been many years since anyone deemed the good citizens of Otahuhu deserved anything other than a holding pen. But as noted the pedestrian footbridge cast off by Glen Eden has Verrrrrrrrry Loooooooong ramps. So long that in the process of installing them, KiwiRail has had to take down most of the shelters and this central commuter point is now left with this:

Yes, that's right. One shelter for northbound commuters, and one for southbound commuters. The rest of what was once a decent, long platform has been swallowed by KiwiRail's monstrosity. Did no one think to take some measurements first? Or did they think that even though this is a communter facility, that the needs of commuters don't matter? As an aside, note that they didn't even replace the rubbish bins they removed.
Big fail, KiwiRail. Your footbridge fits in with the landscape, what a shame it doesn't fit in with the needs of the people whose interests you're supposed to have at heart.