CAA recently attended a public meeting regarding the upgrade of the Mount Albert Train Station. Shown at right and on the Auckland Transport website, the tired old station will be brought up the the same quality standard as many of the other newer stations around Auckland.
What isn’t shown (to the frustration of some of the residents at the meeting) is how the station will link with the planned Mt Albert town centre upgrade.
This much more ambitious project however is not ready for the limelight yet (unlike the direct train station upgrade, which needs to be done before electrification) – so the poor Local Board and Auckland Transport staff had to tell a somewhat sceptical populace that this wasn’t just business as usual, and that for example the tight access along Carrington Road bridge (where the footpath is as narrow as the road is for cyclists!) was not yet being dealt with.
However, they strongly hinted that such issues WERE very much on their minds – they just couldn’t tell us how they intended to proceed until the signatures had been done for all land purchases for the town centre upgrade. Partly for this reason, CAA also didn’t (yet) raise the lack of cycle parking. The current train station corridor is literally so tight, any cycle parking would just be an un-loved add-on tucked into some small corner, serving 2-3 bikes – if one was courageous to leave one there for a whole day.
Instead, like the locals, we are putting our hopes into the town centre upgrade. If this goes ahead in the way it was hinted at, the scope will be a lot larger – including, we hope, opportunity to provide much better bike parking. Maybe even a secure bike storage cage accessible only by swipe card, like Victoria’s Parkiteer cages?