New central city river crossing – Beale St to Knox St

This post has three parts: (1) the future need for bus lanes across the river; (2) the height of the Bridge – let’s make it level; and (3) walking distance to bus stops – let’s make it equal to walking to car parking.

(1)  The 2010 Access Hamilton – Passenger Transport Action Plan states, ‘a bus lane … requires 20 buses per hour’.  Presently, crossing the river using Anzac Parade between 8:00 am and 9:00 am, there are 18 city-bound bus services (#2 Silverdale 4 buses) (#10 Hillcrest 2 buses) (#13 University 2 buses) (#17 Hamilton Gardens Uni. 2 buses) (#O Orbiter 5 buses) (#20 Cambridge 1 bus) (#22 Eastern Connector 2 buses).  In the near future, it is possible for there to be 20 city-bound buses per hour crossing Victoria Bridge with the new #M Meteor, which could be a 5 bus per hour service replacing the #2 bus service (in the 8-9 am period), and the #20 Cambridge has the potential of adding an extra service. An option for adding a bus lane could be to add an extra arch to the existing Victoria Bridge as proposed on the post on the University to city link – Grey to River crossing. Alternatively, a new multi-modal bridge could be built from Beale St to Knox St as shown below.

(2) Height of Bridge: The lowest river crossing is Fairfield Bridge at 23m above sea level. Victoria Bridge is 30m above sea level.  Grey St and Victoria St are at 36m and 38m above sea level respectively. The efficient height for a new river crossing would be 37m above sea level. At 37m we would not be asking people to use more energy when walking or biking between Grey St and Victoria St / Hood St. Anything less than 36m would add a climb to the journey, making it a needless challenge for less athletic people.

(3) Walking distance to bus stop: The graph above shows that at 300m, half of the target bus patronage has found another mode of transport.  The present distance from Anzac Parade Police station bus stop to corner Hood St Victoria St is about 400m uphill. For the healthy this is fine, but the graph above suggests the majority of people choose not to walk that far. A century ago, Knox Street was a major bus stop location: here the walking distance to the corner of Hood and Victoria Sts is a level 200m walk, which is similar in length to the walk that many will take, to the car parking building. This gives public transport users an equal chance to travel to and from city at the same speed as a person using a private car.  

To summarise: (1) In the near future there is going to be a need for priority bus lanes on a bridge across the river. If we are going build a new bridge it should include bus lanes. (2) The height of the bridge should be the same level as Grey St and Victoria St so that there is no additional energy needed to climb unnecessary rises, whether this energy is in heart beats or in fuel for public transport. (3) Walking distances to bus stops should not be handicapped in favour of car parking: by having high frequency bus services through Knox St, people using public transport have equal walking distances to the CBD as people walking to the car park.

Category: News

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