I have already shown you what is happening at Wynyard Quarter and now I would like to show you how the same “disease” is spreading across downtown Auckland. Once you cross the Te Wero Bridge you arrive at Te Wero Island. This was one upon a time an area filled by car parks. Then came the Rugby World Cup and they created a fantastic Urban Lounge with restricted car parking (way less car parks than before) . It was great and people loved walking through there, after all this is the main thoroughfare between the Eastern Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter. Now the Urban Lounge has been removed for pop-up installations and there are more cars parked/using this area than ever before. Tradies with their vans are in and out, delivery trucks are in and out, cars, cars and more cars. Why they have to use this part of Te Wero Island for all their temporary events is beyond my understanding. Why don’t they use the huge car park at the Viaduct and spare us the hassle of all the vehicles trying to squeeze through the bascule bridge and onto a s mall “public” space where people have to walk ? Let me tell you why, because they don’t think and they couldn’t care a damn about you.
This is how the area looked just before the World Cup kick-off:
And this is what you have now – people fighting for space with cars as they try to get across the Bascule Bridge, a temporary Christmas tree squeezed into a corner (very clever thinking there – not ! ) and fabulous car parking on what must have been expensive asphalt treatment – which you paid for. Cars are very happy here, people aren’t.
Notice how people have to dash out of the way of the car coming into Te Wero Island on the right hand side of the photograph:
Should you make it across Te Wero Island in one piece, you will arrive at The Eastern Viaduct. At the intersection of Lower Hobson Street and Quay Street you will find the main thoroughfare linking The Viaduct with downtown Auckland. It is a also a popular route for tourists to follow. It is at this point where you have to dodge more advertising and fight for survival through this elaborate obstacle course. It is quite entertaining to watch a horde of people trying to get past other people and trying to avoid the advertising which is so conveniently placed to trip you. Let’s not even mention the blind – oh no, they can fend for themselves. The companies that place these boards ad hoc are self-centred prats and very selfish. To make matters worse, the pavement at this intersection is now a car park:
Update | 07 DEC 11:
I captured the same car parked there this morning and by this afternoon the entire area was full of cars – a case of monkey see, monkey do. LOL. Great job Auckland, way to go !
In Part 3 I will show you how standards are dropping in the city centre – from anaemic shared spaces to barren wastelands.