The Wrong Side of my Car

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

12 Dec 2015

The big traffic choker contest

I'm talking about the traffic calming device. This narrow thing where only one car fits side-by-side. Back in Belgium we know them as “verkeerspoortjes”, traffic ports.

I used to play a racing game called Stunts when I was a kid. Well, now my generation has grown up and has applied what we have learned in real life:

Reality vs. video game

Read more »

6 Dec 2015

The pink path

There’s a new cycle path in town. It is very pink and called Te Ara I Whiti or LightPath. The path starts at the end of Nelson Street, where it goes from what is now the only proper cycle path in this part of town, to Upper Queen Street, where you can then continue on the Grafton Gully cycle path and the NorthWestern Cycle path. It takes you right over the spaghetti junction.

The start of the path.

Read more »

5 Dec 2015

Oh there’s an advertisement for— wait, what?

Spotted this one a while ago at the City mission in Auckland. You don’t see these in Belgium.

And meanwhile the LED ticker goes like “PLEASE DONATE”, and “HELP A FAMILY”. Sure, sure.

2 Dec 2015

The unavoidable traffic infarct conjecture

What is it with cities that always causes them to suffer from congestion all the time?

Auckland is still quite OK compared to what we’re used to in Belgium, but it’s catching up fast:

It seems unavoidable that as a city grows, its traffic grinds to a halt. But why?

You could argue that this happens because there are not enough roads. You’d be right, but why don’t we just build more roads as the city grows? Judging from the discussion about rate increases for the next 10-year plan in Auckland, one issue seems to be funding.

It got me thinking. Why is that? Are we doing something wrong? Or is it just a consequence of how cities work?

Read more »