The Wrong Side of my Car

A blog about Auckland City, its streets, and culture shock

16 Jun 2018

Pedestrians (and cyclists) also to gain right of passage across Cook Street

Last week I was wondering what’s up with that lonely pedestrian crossing on Hobson Street, while actually the worst street of them all is Cook Street.

And what do you know? Cook Street is next, and it will get an entire pair of cycleways.

Proposed crossing, consultation drawing by Auckland Transport

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11 Jun 2018

Pedestrians to gain right of passage across Hobson Street

Remember Hobson Street?

Yes, that one.

Not an easy one if you want to go across the street to the dairy.

It will, in theory, become a little bit easier, at least on one block, with AT proposing to install a new mid-block signalised crossing.

Consultation drawing by Auckland Transport

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27 Apr 2018

The far side of the windshield

Some observations of the far side of the windshield. I can’t read people’s minds, so I filled in some details…

Every day John Doe catches the bus to work on Glenfield Road. As usual in the morning he has to cross the road. He managed to cross to the middle of the street to the pedestrian refuge, but is now stuck with the endless stream of cars going to the city. With that endless steam comes his bus, and it pulls over…

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13 Apr 2018

The Lantern Festival: how do you get to huge events in Auckland?

I went to the lantern festival, which happens now every year in the Auckland Domain.

Promotional image from ATEED.
I’ll leave taking pictures over there to proper photographers.

Getting to any event of any signficance is a pain in the ass, as it invariably attracts thousands of people trying to drive and park their car in that same spot. With this one, we’re talking about 100,000’s, so forewarned is forearmed. Do not proceed without planning ahead.

(This does not apply if you’re walking in from your apartment nearby. In that case, please spare a thought for those caught in traffic.)

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6 Apr 2018

Making the relief map: the base

If you download a DEM it looks roughly like this:

By itself, visualizing relief as a greyscale image has an advantage: the eye is quite sensitive to changes in brightness, making it a good choice if you want to discover fine details in the image. But I wanted to overlay a street map over the relief, and doing this in a clear manner is really hard if the background varies between black and white.

So what I want to do is 2 things:

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26 Mar 2018

Why do we hate cycle lanes and bus stops so much?

So, after this miserable saga around Skypath, and equally miserable saga in Grey Lynn, one could wonder why there’s such a backlash against any projects which involve non-cars. People had to coin a new term for it, bikelash. Not that it’s unique to cycling, bus improvements often get similar flak.

(By the way, it’s not a given that the people opposing those projects are a majority. But they definitely are the loudest.)

Why is that? You’d think after decades of trying and piling up debt building roads, it’s time to try something else. There are many rational arguments in favour of de-emphasizing cars and improving other ways to get around — walking, cycling, buses, trains, etc. But those arguments appear to fall on deaf ears.

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9 Aug 2017

1m DEM

Last time, one of the questions was, which digital elevation model (or DEM) should I use. Initially I worked with the relatively low-resolution DEM derived from the 20m contour lines.

Of course, Auckland Council has had a 1m DEM derived from lidar data for a while. There’s also a digital surface model, which doesn’t follow the ground level, but which models the ‘surface’ visible from above. You’ll see the buildings and tree tops on that one.

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