Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

How Long Will We Have To Wait?

There’s a debate among people who think about this how much benefit cities get from running big events. Some say the cost benefit studies produce what you want them to say. Others say they never take account of alternatives and are often overstated. The enthusiasts say they are an essential part of driving our economy and our marketability.

Whatever you think, if you are visiting Auckland for the current Under 20’s World Cup what must you have thought if you saw this sign north-bound on the southern motorway today. World’s Most Liveable City? Work in Progress? WTF?

Or would you just head to a nearby bar to watch Ukraine vs Senegal on the big screen.

Although many people already think Auckland is a great place to live. We are a work in progress in a wide range of areas: housing, cost-of-living and of course transport. Today this particular struggle is literally up in lights.

But these lights don’t really help drivers, and it gives them zero information on options.

While doing a great job getting the junior Football World Cup to Auckland’s shores, our event and transport planners have clearly had some challenges with the traffic logistics. But the way we communicate the problem says a lot about our attitude to fixing it. This sign comes directly from the “Road Closed”, “Expect Delays”, “Diversions in Place” text book.

We need a new “Transport” Mayor for Auckland to deliver a more focused, more effective approach to transport planning and funding. But they’ll also need to engage Aucklanders much better in the “journey”, rather than emphasize what we already know: to expect long delays…

This sign should have said: “Avoid Delays To Albany Game. Bus From Britomart”. I’ll add this to the new Mayor’s To Do list.

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