Kia kaha, St Heliers

Right on! Auckland Transport has become an arrogant dictatorship and the good people of St Heliers have had enough. If you think calling AT an arrogant dictatorship is a bit harsh, even Phil Goff is calling for them to pull their head in. Quote.

Auckland Transport did not front a public meeting about safety improvement in St Heliers last night partly out of fear for the safety of staff.

More than 600 locals, many of them elderly, overflowed from two meeting rooms at the St Heliers Community Centre and booed when they heard AT had turned down an invitation to attend and explain itself.

[?]Tamaki MP Simon O’Connor said AT should not be implying the people of St Heliers are thugs and to be pushed around.
He said its failure to turn up was an affront to locals and to democracy, saying AT is accountable to the people and should front the community.

Last night’s meeting overwhelmingly opposed AT’s plans to increase the number of raised zebra pedestrian crossings in the seaside suburb from three to 15, build a new traffic island, widen part of Tamaki Drive and remove 40 car parks to improve safety.

Peter Jones, the chairman of the St Heliers Business Association, said the loss of 40 car parks represented 19 per cent of the 250 car parks in the village and caused serious problems for businesses competing with the Eastridge and Sylvia Park shopping centres.

[?] One man at the meeting said every car park in the village is worth $200 an hour to local restaurants. That meant $8000 a week or $3 million a year being sucked out of restaurants.

[?] One young man got up to speak in favour of the changes, saying he did not want to be living with the consequences of being hit by a car in future. End of quote.

A newspaper

Bet he felt like a pork pie at a Bar Mitzvah. quote.

Quote?To solve a problem, you have to have a problem,? said Orakei councillor Desley Simpson, who said she could not see how 12 new raised pedestrians crossings could have solved three serious crashes in St Heliers over a five-year period.End of quote.

Neither can I. quote.

Quote:[?] In a statement to the Herald yesterday, an AT spokesman said the changes for St Heliers were to make it safer for people walking, riding bikes and driving.End of quote.

And if you believe that then I?ve got a bridge to sell you. quote.

Quote:[?] He said AT is working closely with the community around their parking concerns, saying parking restrictions could be introduced to prevent all-day parking and allow a better turnover of parking for those wishing to visit the centres and their amenities. End of quote.

What arrogance; claiming to be working with the community in one breath and then threatening to impose parking restrictions in the next. quote.

Quote:AT said that between 2013 and 2017 there have been 39 reported crashes which have resulted in three serious injuries and seven minor casualties. The crashes involved four pedestrians, three cyclists, one motorcyclist and one moped rider.End of quote.

So in four years 39 crashes, mostly prangs, and only three deaths. And this is the excuse AT is using to try and destroy a community?

Make no mistake. This is an ideological war between bureaucratic planners and social engineers and those of us who just want to be able to get where we want, when we want. St Heliers is just one battleground but it?s the first where AT have been shown up to be the contemptible cowards that they are.

Kia kaha, St Heliers.