It doesn’t look like Dominion Road

A bit of debate about what light rail would look like in Auckland:

Hooton: Queen St and Dominion Rd are roads with traffic.

Greater Auckland: They would have a dedicated right of way separated from car lanes with kerbs and signal priority at lights. Seattle’s LRT a better example

For example, like this:


But it’s hard to imagine Dominion Road looking anything like that.

This is closer to reality (from the greater Auckland website):

Image: Artist’s impression of light rail in Mt Roskill.


Most light rail routes are proposed to travel along the centre of the road (median alignment). Median alignment with side platform stops is the simplest and fastest solution for light rail operations, as it:

  • Reduces interaction with cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Allows for higher operating speeds.
  • Eliminates the impact of road traffic slowing down to turn left.
  • Minimises congestion by allowing light rail to travel separately.
  • Minimises impact on parking.

And even the artists impression is fairly flattering. Here’s a shot (Google street view) of Dominion Road during a very quiet traffic time:


Two light rail lines down the middle of that will be a bit cramped. And here it is with more typical traffic.

Leave a comment


  1. PDB

     /  7th August 2017

    Yet to see the MSM jump on this nonsense – Dominion Road being used for light rail is fanciful at best considering how narrow the road is there & how important it is for vehicles.

    Labour scaling back the East-West link which is a crucial part in fully benefiting from the Waterview tunnel should also be slammed as too the need for urgency in building light rail to the airport now the Waterview tunnel has drastically cut travel time from the CBD to the airport.

    I’ve yet to see anybody really question the need for a road-tax as well – especially as National are not requiring one in providing even better transport options.

    • duperez

       /  7th August 2017

      No need to question the lack of a Tunnel Tax in Waterview while having one on the Waiwera one too.

      • By far the better option would be to use the existing rail corridor to South Auckland, with a branch line running from the Main Trunk line to the Airport.

        We looked at a couple of commercial properties to rent in Dominion Road for our Auckland businesses four or five years ago (we eventually settled on premises in New North Raod). The bottleneck is the section of Dominion Road immediately south of Balmoral Road, and the impact on businesses during the construction phase for light rail would probably send most of them to the wall. Already, the traffic flows there, even off-peak, are extreme, although I have not been there since the Waterview Tunnel opened.

      • PDB

         /  7th August 2017

        The Waterview tunnel and Waiwera tunnel are two totally different beasts, different traffic flows and reasons for their existence – you’re comparing apples with oranges.

        • duperez

           /  7th August 2017

          They’re tunnels, obviously different tunnels but not different beasts. There are different traffic flows because they are in different roads in different places. The reason for their existence is so traffic can get around.

          I know there has to be an automatic defence of everything this Government does and every time a mere question comes up which might suggest that some weird things happen, but that response is risible.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  7th August 2017

            PDB’s answer is correct though.
            The Johnston Hill tunnel toll road is an alternative route to the existing state highway. It offers a faster more direct route, was funded by private money and is being paid for by tolls.
            The Waterview Tunnels are the completion of an existing long planned “ring route” in Auckland & as such is Government funded through NZTA.
            In other words, they are totally different beasts, different traffic flows and reasons for their existence.

            • Blazer

               /  7th August 2017

              Who owns. .it?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  7th August 2017

              NGTR was delivered by the Northern Gateway Alliance comprised of Transit New Zealand, Fulton Hogan, Leighton Contractors, URS New Zealand, Tonkin & Taylor and Boffa Miskell.
              It was built using public funds with a loan for about 50% of the cost used to bring the construction forward. The loan is expected to be repaid by 2045 using tolls collected.
              Trips have increased year on year and cost of collection has dropped so this may be brought forward.
              I believe construction was through a PPP but NZTA own the road.

            • PDB

               /  7th August 2017

              HFD gets it…..Duperez doesn’t who claims 2 tunnels are built for exactly the same reasons/solving exactly the same problems simply because they are both……tunnels.

              If we take everything done to such bare-basic arguments there is no point voting this election as all govts are the same because……they are all govts.

            • duperez

               /  7th August 2017

              If offering a “faster more direct route” means tolling I can’t understand why my trip through it recently wasn’t tolled as it met those criteria.

              Not tolling a route as it is the completion of an existing long planned project is different than the long planned improvements on routes such as that to Warkworth?

              Do you mean because private funders were used for Johnstones Hill repaying them is done through tolls but because Waterview funding came through NZTA, all taxpayers pay for it?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  7th August 2017

              One was the completion of a roading network (Waterview), the other was an alternative to the existing roading network (NGTR).
              You are paying to use the alternative route, not for the time savings. However if there aren’t benefits to be had, you would go the other way wouldn’t you?
              Taxpayers paid for a big chunk of the Toll road.

  2. Mefrostate

     /  7th August 2017

    Dominion Road is 14m wide, Seattle’s LRT operates on roads 15m wide, and Amsterdam manages 2-way trams with one lane for cars on either side at 11m in some places. So it’s certainly do-able.

    Note also that your photo of “typical traffic” has plenty of cars parked in the bus lanes.

    And that providing quality PT would certainly reduce the vehicle traffic on the roads.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: