I live on Mt Eden Rd and for several months work has been carried out widening the footpaths at the Mt Eden shops, thereby narrowing the road, which is already extremely congested, as well as other works along Mt Eden Rd to accommodate double-decker buses. Our telephone line was moved, presumably because the pole was too close to the road. There have been new streetlights installed further from the edge of the footpath. There was nothing wrong with the old streetlights. We have had no formal notification about any of this and have found out only by asking the workers. No one from Auckland Council has returned our call. Could you please find out the extent of the works to accommodate double-decker buses and what is the cost of this work to the ratepayer? Was it budgeted for or is this going to be an additional cost on our rates?
- Deborah Boyes, Auckland.
There are a couple of issues here. Well, three, really.
The streetlights are being upgraded to more cost-efficient and safer light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Auckland Transport is replacing 44,000 high-pressure sodium (golden yellow light) streetlights with energy-efficient LED luminaires. The first phase will be rolled out over five years and see nearly half of the region's streetlights change from golden yellow light to white light. AT estimates net savings of $32 million over the 20-year design-life of the LED luminaires.
International experience has shown white light is also a factor in crime prevention. It delivers greater comfort and security and improves visibility and reaction times for drivers and pedestrians, resulting in fewer crashes and injuries. For more information visit tinyurl.com/zxdsmuk
The footpaths are being widened for the roll-out of double-decker buses on Mt Eden Rd from May 29. By widening the footpaths AT has managed to avoid cutting into the shop canopies and this has saved money and retained the heritage aspect of the buildings. At the same time AT has improved walking safety for the many pedestrians who visit the village.
This work has come out of normal budgets and will mean increased bus capacity on this very busy route. All the affected businesses have received regular updates.
There are also plans to operate double-deckers on Onewa Rd, New North Rd, Great North Rd and Manukau Rd. Double-deckers already operate to Howick and on the Northern Busway.