Those of you who have read some of my recent blog posts about Dominion Road should be pleased to hear that we saved the busway!
After a fiery meeting Auckland City Council agreed it would be foolish to allow cars with 2 passengers into the busway. This is great news as this is one of the busiest and most successful busways in Auckland.
However, there’s obviously a strong case to be adding more busways around Auckland as some areas (like Te Atatu) are cut off from the railway and have few public transport options.
A great way to provide a busway that would give residents a fast and direct way into town would be to introduce one as part of the widening of SH16 which the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will soon be undertaking. This project aims to widen SH16 between Te Atatu and St Lukes from 4-6 lanes to 6-9 lanes.
This is mainly to accomodate the increased traffic from the soon to be constructed Waterview connection without massive congestion.
This project will cost over $800 million and local and international experience suggests it will not solve congestion. Instead, widening the motorway will simply make this part of Auckland even more car-dependent and lead to even worse traffic jams – and that’s assuming we even finish this project before the price of oil rises to a point where most Aucklanders can’t really afford to drive to work at all!
NZTA is talking about providing bus-shoulders as part of the widening on some sections of the motorway but commuters deserve better than that. We need an adequate bus-way along this stretch of motorway – otherwise the buses will just get stuck in traffic.
NZTA should soon be consulting on this widening project and as a local resident I will be pushing for a better busway. I hope you’ll join me in that!