Q. Does Auckland Transport plan to remove the remaining nine or so old-style street lights that weren't replaced when Tamaki Drive at Kelly Tarlton's was upgraded? They look quite ugly and old-fashioned compared with the new ones.
Andrew Parsons, Mission Bay.
Yes, the light poles are being upgraded. The reason for the delay is that most of them are situated on top of the tanks and they need special foundations for each of the locations.
As well, three of the poles have telecommunications aerials on them which need to be re-sited or renewed. The work to replace the poles is expected to be finished by the end of July.
Q. Has consideration been given to installing traffic lights (or a roundabout) at the bottom of the Bullock Track at Western Springs? It's a very busy intersection and drivers have three different directions to check, and recheck, before entering Great North Rd.
Even during the day and at weekends, traffic is often banked up the entire length of the Bullock Track back to Surrey Cres.
I've seen several "near misses" from exasperated drivers who having been trapped in the queue on the Bullock Track, taking unnecessary risks. It must be one of the steepest streets in Auckland.
Carol Morrison, Auckland.
Auckland Transport admits that the Bullock Track intersection isn't an easy one to sort out.
Because it is very close to the St Lukes motorway interchange, coupled with a number of signalised intersections on Great North Rd and Surrey Cres, Auckland Transport needs to analyse and evaluate the potential impacts and changes within the roading network.
Auckland Transport is currently collecting traffic data and information to determine the best control for this intersection and expects this work will be completed by the end of July.
Q. On a recent road trip, we saw a number of "hot rods" either heading to or from a gathering of such vehicles. It occurred to us, where did the name hot rod originate?
Bill Davidson, Mt Eden.
The term hot rod is generally considered to be based on the term "Hot Roadster", although this has always been in contention with hot rod fans. These first hot rods were not actually called hot rods; their nicknames at the time were "Hop Ups", "Gow-Jobs", or "Soup-Ups".
Another possible origin includes modifications to or replacement of the camshaft, sometimes known as a "stick" or "rod". A camshaft designed to produce more power is sometimes called a "hot stick" or a "hot rod".
Roadsters were the cars of choice because they were light. The term became commonplace in the 1930s or 1940s as the name of a car that had been "hopped up" by modifying the engine in various ways to achieve higher performance.
The first hot rods were old cars (most often Fords, typically Model Ts, (1928-31), Model As (1932-34) or Model Bs), modified to reduce weight. Typical modifications were removal of convertible tops, hoods, bumpers, windshields, and/or fenders; channelling the body; and modifying the engine by tuning and/or replacing with a more powerful type.
The term seems to have appeared first in the late 1930s in California.