Category Archives: News

O’Neill St double tracking

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Included in the post ‘Claudelands, Heaphy and Brooklyn plans’ was a proposal for double rail tracking through O’Neill St. This post adds more detail on the effects on O’Neill Street.

Using the contour map from the Waikato Regional Council site, the existing single rail track crosses the river at an elevation of about 35m. Victoria and Anglesea St are above 39m. Looking at the O’Neill St and Heaphy Tce end there is a 39m elevation, dropping to 33m at George St and back up to 36m at River Rd.

At the River Rd end of O’Neill St, good accessible pedestrian access can be provided, but O’Neill St will be closed to motor vehicles. Properties on the north side of O’Neill St will still have access from George St and Heaphy Tce. Properties on the south side of O’Neill St will not have motor vehicle access to George St or River Rd, but they will have good pedestrian access under River Rd to the city. Access to properties east of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (13 O’Neill St) will be unchanged. 230m (60%) of O’Neill Street’s 380m will be affected.

The emotional cost for people living west of Church (17 O’Neill St) will be very high, especially during the consultation process and construction period. It is normal to have a strong NIMBY response to a major change like this and to expect it to be well led. This is not a problem; any major change like this needs good leadership from the start. The focus is on good design of double tracking through Hamilton Central.

Category: News

Early buses connecting to intercity rail

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The most valuable land near a rail station is within the 500m walking catchment. With city taxes being linked to the value of land and what is built on it, spending $2,246,000 ($21,000 per car park) on car-parking and then allowing these parks to be used for free is a cost to everyone and will please no one: we all know that demands for car parking can never be satisfied.

Old Chruch building remove to provide more car parking

In the ‘start-up passenger rail service, Business Case – Engagement Register’ the NZTA discussion notes say (p212) ‘Potential to have Orbiter from start-up – bus service supporting rail service’ but add that ‘most people drive private vehicles’. We see NZTA has funded ‘building 100 car parks’. NZTA goes on to say ‘the Transport Agency will be interested in the mode neutral, rather than access via car focus’. Is there any evidence NZTA will fund an earlier start for an Orbiter bus connection from start-up?

The same ‘Business Case’ from Waikato Regional Council (WRC) says (p60) ‘Existing local bus services can easily be re-routed and timetables altered to integrate with the Start-Up service’ … (p65) WRC will ensure that the existing bus services integrate well with the rail timetable when is finalised … (p67) The Orbiter and Northern Connector bus services will be reviewed to provide a bus connection to The Base station. WRC will ensure that the existing bus services integrate well with the rail timetable when is finalised … (p68) The Northern Connector and Huntly-Pukekohe bus services will be reviewed to provide a bus connection to Huntly station. WRC will ensure that the existing bus services integrate well with the rail timetable when finalised’. Are we going to see any evidence WRC is planning to start early connector bus services to rail stations?

If Regional bus services start earlier, a third of Hamilton’s area will be within 300m of a morning bus connecting to the Hamilton to Auckland rail service. This would not only include the Orbiter route but would mean that all along the Te Awamutu, Cambridge and Huntly routes people could park and ride at a much lower cost to the tax payer. When car parking is spread under such circumstances, it does not cause the type of congestion generated by a hundred cars leaving a single car parking facility at same time.

Category: News