Monday, August 26, 2013

Update on Option 4

The 2.5 regular readers of this blog will be aware that the East-West link bit of AMETI East-West (one of the top transport priorities in the Auckland Plan) has grown from being an upgrade between Onehunga and the Southern motorway to four rather expensive options that involve knocking down houses, and building interchanges and 'big bridges'. The 'East West' bit aims to relieve freight congestion in the area around Neilson St/Church St/SH1. None of the four options currently being touted by Auckland Transport is palatable in a city claiming it wishes to be the world's most liveable city, but by far the most outrageous proposal is Option 4, which cuts through residential areas in Mangere and Otahuhu (presentation to the local board here, p.177). It remains unclear why anyone thinks a motorway through Mangere/Otahuhu will deal with a congestion problem to the east of Onehunga but perhaps Spider and I need to do a geography course.

A thrusting tunneling machine. Working together as one. LOL.
Now, gentle readers, we can reveal to you that, as predicted in this post, Kings College will indeed be unscathed by the carnage and wreckage Auckland Transport and Gerry Brownlee intend to unleash on the less privileged parts of Mangere and Otahuhu. The current plan is (wait for it...) to tunnel underneath Kings and the adjacent golf course. 

Yes, that's right. In a city with an affordable housing shortage, and in a suburb where overcrowding is already a significant contributor to preventable diseases in kids, these maniacs are planning to knock over houses to facilitate the movement of smelly, noisy trucks. But the educational and recreational facilities of the privileged will be spared. Who said there wasn't a god? 

By the way, for those of you hoping to attach your cycling/pedestrian/public transport projects into this project: you can be pretty darn sure that there will be no cycling or pedestrian facilities in the tunnel. The local board agenda also shows that the East-West link is no longer the multi-modal whatever-the-heck-it-was. It's just the East-West link. In other words, it's just another motorway in a city that still thinks it can build its way out of congestion.