So as we heave ourselves from our beds before the sun rises in our cooler months, go through our morning ritual in a sleepy haze and then step out into the cool air only to then join the queues of traffic in the rat race of life we ask, is there a better way?
Whilst it's not a problem confined to the North Shore, and in fact South Auckland probably cops the traffic woes even worse, it is no consolation as you sit bumper to bumper contemplating the day ahead and if only there was a better or another way to get to the city.
So why isn't there an alternative? In 2010, according to Golder Associates, the New Zealand Transport Agency "appointed consultant teams to undertake the next phase of work on the Alternative Waitemata Harbour Crossing" so what was the outcome?
If the Brits and French can build a tunnel the full length of the English Channel, and Sydney can build a second crossing with their tunnel why can we build one in Auckland? Yes, we know there's the on going excuses that we don't have the population to justify or provide the costs but we beg to differ when sitting in hours of backed up traffic. Put a toll on it if needed to compensate for some of the costs ...
The Channel Tunnel might serve two nations but it is a massive 50 km long and was opened in 1994. The Sydney Harbour Tunnel uses e-TAG and e-pass video tolling which, despite being completed in 1992, won't cease until 2022. Why can't we do something similar, after all the Harbour is only 1 km wide ...
If not a tunnel, what about more clip on lanes on the current bridge? Would that work?
If neither of these options are available what are our other alternatives. There's no plans to bring rail over the harbour, whether via the current or a new bridge and yet it has been reported by Stuff in September 2016 that "Auckland City Rail Link may balloon to $3.4 billion" and this doesn't even come over to the Shore!
And what about the buses? There's just simply not enough. As reported by Stuff this week there are just "not enough alternatives to using a car" and this is just in Albany. Of course there's also the on-going problem of not enough space at the designated park and ride locations! Sigh ...
So what do we do? We'd love to hear your thoughts ...
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