Solving The St Lukes Problem
When the proposed St Lukes mall expansion was debated here – and some of us raised questions about the traffic and public transport issues it brought, it was generally agreed St Lukes was a magnet for cars and not public transport-friendly.
Fantasies about enabling Morningside train station to be diverted closer to the mall or at least having a shuttle bus run between the Morningside Drive station and the mall, about 10 minutes walk away, came to nothing.
ST LUKES: It has encouraged cars as a way to visit the centre
The St Lukes residents association has been fighting the expansion to the Environmental Court and in January was seeking for the proposed plan change allowing for the expansion to be declined in its entirety. They especially took issue with the commissioners’ views that traffic concerns were not a biggie despite submissions that the change in traffic would be significant and not minor.
Since then Auckland Transport has improved public transport options for St Lukes with the introduction of the Outer Link which stops opposite St Lukes.
So it was pleasing to note Auckland Transport helpers this weekend handing out flyers at the entrance of the mall – encouraging people to do their Christmas shopping to St Lukes via bus.
The flyers included a guide to bus options – but did not mention the train.
It’s also part of a laudable promotion to encourage you to travel by public transport for your Christmas shopping and win a $300 voucher of your choice.
Carrying numerous large parcels on the train or bus is not easy especially if it also means walking from a bus stop to your home at the end of the journey.
But shopping mall carparks like St Lukes get full up on the days and late shopping nights leading up to Christmas and public transport takes that hassle out of finding a park.
And only by running such promotionsal activity, will we slowly change the mindset of people that the only way to go shopping is by their motor vehicle.
Westfield, owners of St Lukes, has introduced 240 minute parking restrictions at the mall and others they own and have been enforcing them by towing cars away. If you need to stay longer such as including a movie with your shopping you have to notify the customer relations desk.