Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When bus shelters get too untidy...

In response to a recent posting about the artful and obvious logic of putting a bus stop in Hawke Street, New Brighton, opposite the supermarket, regular correspondent Kiwi Louize said...

I agree wholeheartedly. The Oram Ave stop is a desolate place. Freezing winds in winter and leering drunks who I used to worry would follow me home (as a kid). There could easily be a stop before this terminus close to the beachside playground, chartered club and supermarket. It’s the sunny side after all!     March 29, 2011

Further investigation reveals that the current status of the Oram Avenue bus stop has received a ZZ rating from international bus shelter consultants Stand-Hard and Pause. While hoons and leering drunks may remain a threat, this is now joined by a very uncomfortable seat, difficult to read signage and brick dust getting up one's nose.

The good news is that the stop is no longer shady and cold.

Ps. Note no one died or was injured in the making of this particular report! But the owner did suffer the loss of this large, former, suburban cinema which he had worked hard to convert to his home. As the owner was friendly enough to show me, after we got chatting outside a few months ago, this building was extensively earthquake strengthened with steel girders bearing the roof load in the former theatre auditorium. He was inside at the time of this extremely violent quake and no doubt this saved his life. Whilst the building itself did not collapse in the ferocious February 22nd eathquake the whole front facade fell onto the street. Machinery was used to drop the remaining building and as in so many city situations causing unavoidable collateral damage. I imagine the on-going aftershocks, danger involved and time needed to remove the adjacent bus shelter and real time pole rendered saving this unviable (I can't imagine too many heroes exist who want to risk their life to save a bus shelter!)   

Speaking as one of the few people [busspotters!!]  in the world who has ever misspent even a few hours photographing bus shelters here and there it does make for a rather interesting photo!  Below are buses at the Oram Avenue terminus with the building still intact back in 2010

There would seem great potential in this site to create a bus terminus/transfer station capable of being used by all routes tofro New Brighton. It seems unlikely the current owner would choose this site to rebuild a private residence without the character building factor and I would imagine the adjoining tyre company is not site specific if adequately compensated. Indeed, if such a building was built very solid [!!] and adequately soundproofed,  a small cinema complex and/or seaward facing cafe-bar  could be built on the airspace above the sunward facing ground floor bus station underneath. In this case a private company might consider it viable to finance and build, with a permanent ground floor tenant in bus operations.

As Shakespeare noted "Ill blows the wind that profits nobody"

For a previous NZ in Tranzit posting discussing a site possibility and the general viability and relative priority of building a proper bus terminus station at New Brighton check out here 

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