Incompetence is expensive. Most of us cannot afford it. The Auckland City Council is fortunate indeed to have someone else to pay the bills.
The new bus lane being established at Ngapipi Road will have two outcomes. The first is that the puhutukawa along Tamaki Drive will need to be cut down. Any lay person can see that. The trees hang over the parked cars, but they are too low to allow a bus to pass. The second outcome is that the "park and ride depot" established at no cost by the local people is to be taken away. The bus lane will actually add to city congestion. The Council seems to have an intense dislike of anything people do to solve their own problems.
The intended outcome of providing an effective bus lane cannot be realised because the Council have just completed very expensive road works at the the Kelly Tarlton corner to take the bus lane away. The whole fiasco is a very expensive no-brainer.
First published in NZ Herald Monday 7 August 2006
A reply from the City Council was published Thursday 10 August 2006
The following reply to the City Council was not published.
Beware the bus lane scientific trial.
When Marie Antoinette was told that the peasants had no bread she famously replied "Let them eat cake". When Daniel Newcombe replied "Let them park on the other side of the road" he overlooked one critical factor. Fortunately no costly expert evidence is required. Anyone with Google Earth can quickly ascertain that on most days of the week there are no parking spaces available on the other side of the road.
Daniel Newcombe did however highlight the risks of scientific trials. We obviously made the mistake of using an available tour bus which fitted into the bus lane but not under the pohutukawa.
The mystery remains unsolved. If a bus lane around the Kelly Tarlton corner could have saved "passengers at least 2.5 minutes per trip, making bus travel" both "better" and "more attractive", then why did the Auckland City Council decide not to put one in?
The ACC eventually cut away the phutukawa to allow for the bus lane.