It’s been an odd week. It feels like the lull before the storm. While the Meteorological Service were issuing weather warnings over Easter for the north of Auckland (http://bit.ly/2olLXIE), NZTA were warning of congestion delays at hotspots, especially around Warkworth (http://bit.ly/2oVCPZD). Buried in the flood of press releases was an announcement that $2million would be spent to investigate and redesign the Hill Street intersection (http://bit.ly/2pIW6Rc).
So, you can imagine how the local newspapers felt. About to call it a day and wind down for the holiday weekend, they scrambled to update their online news sites. (http://bit.ly/2p1D88h)
Just like the storm, holiday congestion and the $2m announcement bypassed many locals. Many locals read the “Hill Street petitioners ignored” headline of the Mahurangi Matters and offered our team members commiserations over the past week.
Explaining the $2m budget took some time and a lot of repetition. In the end, we printed out copies of the updated online news stories and handed them out.
When NZTA flatly refused to look at Hill Street until 2021, we weren’t sure whether Auckland Transport were comfortable with that position. Since last Thursday’s announcement, Auckland Transport are showing signs of enthusiasm.
Many engineers from around the world have been monitoring our campaign. One engineer helped develop the road network modelling software and intersection simulation software that Auckland Transport use. Another engineer helped develop the traffic light management software that Auckland Transport use. Both agree that the Hill Street intersection redesign offers a once-in-a-lifetime challenge for any transport engineer. Fixing Hill Street will be their finest hour, earning praise from locals as well as peers.
WHAT TO DO NOW
The redesign of the intersection offers many opportunities. As the hub of a community with so many adjoining public spaces, the intersection can serve as an inviting gateway and a symbol of a well-functioning and cohesive place on the move.
Over the next week, we will discuss with Auckland Transport officials how best to proceed. We are aware that there are several minor improvements that can be made to the intersection that fits into the bigger picture. Many of these improvements also minimises the potential for disruption while the major works are conducted.
We’ll let you know how our discussions go.
Over the past thirty issues of The Gauntlet, we’ve covered a lot of… issues. As the campaign enters the monitoring stage, we will maintain momentum by having regular contact with Auckland Transport. This newsletter will revert to providing updates of the progress in a more condensed format.
Thank you for subscribing and thank you to donors and volunteers who have got our campaign into full swing. Please contact us if you would like to donate, volunteer, or have any suggestions.
To make a donation, our bank account details are:
Account Name: “FixHillStreetNow Action Group” Bank Account Number: 12-3095-0042062-00.