Auckland Transport Missing in Action
I can’t help but notice that some rules only need apply to a select few and it is becoming more evident, especially in the shared space zones. There is no question that the introduction of shared spaces in downtown Auckland have improved most areas (albeit on the dull and unimaginative side) but one has to ask if Aucklander’s are mature enough to respect them. On the afternoon of Friday the 6th of January 2012, I was sitting in Elliott Street watching the passing parade and admiring the persistence of parking wardens running up and down the street asking people to please remove their parked cars – this must have happened every 10 minutes. Some of these imbeciles even had the audacity to argue with the wardens. One women threw her toys out of her cot, shifted her car into gear, put her foot down and slammed into a bollard – not that it made any difference to that particular bollard, all three bollards in the area have been smashed into. The car suffered more damage (clapping hands in glee) but the bollard won’t be able to stand another hit. The aftermath was caught on camera (and yes, I do have a photo of her number plate):
As I have stated before, all the bollards are leaning to some degree and clinging onto the pavement for dear life. One can only imagine how much it costs the city to fix and replace them. An idea would be to place Pou or some form of public art there instead – tall and colourful (we all know that the street needs some colour and drivers will be able to see them clearly). Another unfortunate victim of overzealous car drivers is the public seating which has also been smashed into. I partly blame the car drivers and I also blame the design of the seats which are flimsy at best. An idea would be to place flower boxes next to the benches alongside the parking spaces, strong enough to inflict damage on the cars but not on the seats (let’s face it nobody feels sorry for a driver who can’t care less about his/her environment – let them feel it where it hurts most i.e. in their pockets). Flower boxes will only benefit the area, adding colour to a grey and dull environment.
Fast forward to the afternoon (1:35pm) of Sunday the 8th of January 2012. I was on my way to The Stables in Elliott Street and this is what greeted me – a row of parked cars from the top end of Elliott Street all the way down to the lower end of the street – a case of monkey see, monkey do ? No parking wardens in sight – zero ! The rules are quite clear “no parking or deliveries after 11am, 7 days a week” but these village idiots think otherwise. If they are allowed to do as they please and ignore the rules, then surely we can steal, murder and vandalize as we feel fit. Rules are rules and Auckland Transport is there to enforce them – no excuses. No wonder we still have monkeys parking where ever they please and when ever they feel like it. A tow truck should be parked close by and they can keep an eye on the situation if Auckland Transport doesn’t have the man-power. Tow these buggers and let them learn the hard way. Auckland needs to grow up, Aucklander’s need to be held responsible for their city and Auckland Transport needs to grow a pair of balls.
It might not be known by many but Auckland’s shared spaces were inspired by New Road in Brighton. Even though I think that our spaces are quite dull, Auckland’s shared spaces are way better than New Road but the New Road users are far more mature and respect the rules – spot the difference in these photographs of New Road (no cars racing down the street, no parked cars, more bicycle parking and more cafe tables/chairs encroaching on driving space (which probably makes it more uncomfortable for cars to use the area):