Mall Decision: PT Ignored
A few weeks ago, I tipped that the giant St Lukes mall expansion has been approved by the independent commissioners hearing submissions on the plan – and would be announced this week.
It is on the Auckland City Council agenda for tomorrow night to get the final tick.
This is how the expansion will eventually tower over the existing mall.
Unlike some, I don’t have an issue with the principle of the mall expanding to satisfy Aucklanders’ endless shopping appetite but I continue to be concerned about how un-pedestrian friendly the mall is and that public transport is woeful for a major shopping destination.
It’s disappointing that the commissioners have backed that as a fait accompli.
They conclude that St Lukes will remain a vehicle-oriented centre for two principal reasons:
- “it is clearly not as well served by public transport as other large centres such as Newmarket and Sylvia Park
- the nature of shopping is such that public transport is not an ideal means of carrying more than a handful of small purchases home”
The first statement is a fact and it’s such a shame the approval for the expansion was not accompanied with some requirement for better transport – even if it were, as a minimum, that the shopping owners, Westfield, run a bus shuttle service from the Morningside train station. I know my hopes of having the train line realigned to be closer to the mall would never fly.
The second statement is a nonsense.
Of course if you have made a big weekly shop at Foodtown, you’ll struggle on the bus or to get to Morningside.
But I regularly see people on public transport carrying several parcels as I have.
This is a cop-out. What people need is for St Lukes public transport to be closer and more regular for them so they can carry their parcels home.
Sylvia Park owners financed the train station at their mall and it has proved to be a boon.
It is because of the success of the competitor that Westfield wants to expand St Lukes to be bigger than Sylvia.
New Lynn trains stop outside LynnMall.
I hope there is a councillor who tomorrow raises the issue of public transport before the big tick is given and the present council goes out of existence.
And how about cycle racks and easier access for pedestrians who walked to the mall and presently have to dodge cars reversing around busy car parks.