What’s worse they’re proud of it.
Queen St is now traffic-free and Auckland Transport is encouraging people to make the most of the space to walk, cycle and relax. Instead of being a major bus interchange, the area between Quay St and Commerce St will have a bike polo tournament, street performers, and a maze marked on the old road.
Instead you have created a wasteland of beggars and drunks. Muggings in the area are on the increase at night when all the ratepayer funded game-playing children go back to their beds in the suburbs.
Waiheke islanders in need of the Hospital bus that used to run conveniently from Britomart are misdirected by Auckland Transport notices to the wrong bus stops causing them to miss vital appointments. It’s a shambles and who is at the heart of it? Why Captain Omni-Shambles himself, Mike Lee.
Where is Lee when he’s needed to represent the interest of islanders or central Auckland? The answer is nowhere, except troughing up large on his additional salary as a director of Auckland Transport. What is the use of that man? Can anyone tell me? Can anyone name a single thing he has done for Waiheke or Auckland in six years?
Adding further to the shambles is Auckland Transport's war on cars and commuters as it hikes metered parking charges.
Auckland city workers and inner-city dwellers could be paying more than $60 a day to park on the CBD streets from June.
As part of its regular review, Auckland Transport is planning to increase its inner city rates in response to the increased demand.
The central area, which is at present priced at $4/hour for the first two hours, is proposed to increase to $4.50/hour for the first two hours then $9/hour for every subsequent hour.
For an eight-hour working day this would hit $63.
The CBD is going to become a horrendous place to work. Physical construction above ground will make moving around the city difficult.
But the tension will be about car parking. With nearly $2b in major projects underway shortly (Convention Centre, Commercial Bay and CRL enablement works) the construction workers will be piling into town, filling up car parks early and squeezing out office workers.
Add to that a cost increases and it’s entirely predictable that staff retention along with recruitment will be a headache for employers.
But it’s also obvious that the harm will be directly upon the wallet of ordinary people.
Auckland has a useless public transport network that doesn’t provide access near where most people live. A lot of them have no choice but to drive.
I can see businesses shifting out of the CBD and I can see Aucklanders tiring quickly of the costs and disruptions.
As one commentator put it recently, Auckland has become the world’s most leavable city