The brains behind the St Luke’s mall expansion picked up plenty of advice from locals concerned about traffic woes, pedestrian safety and the whole future concept of shopping malls.
A lively debate on the Mt Albert Community Facebook page came after a Mt Albert Inc story on the expansion plan – and, among the many well-made points, it was hard to find a sympathetic argument in favour of the development. Here’s a cross-section of views:
Julian King: Weekend traffic around St Luke’s is already horrendous. How about a tram or free shuttle from Morningside station to the mall?
Victoria Tupou: Hopefully they will improve pedestrian and public transport access… I think what we will see is more of an open style mall, like the new outward facing parts of Lynnmall and Sylvia Park. It would be awesome to have the library closer to the town centre.
Chloe May Hartley: I remember when St Luke’s had the drive thru McDonald’s!
Bret Glazer: It’s disappointing that they are continuing with this and have not acknowledged any of the local community’s concerns to the point where it is now non-notifiable to the resident population.
Fact is malls internationally are dying out and making them bigger is not going to reverse this. What do they plan to put in this monstrosity anyway – two Glassons, two Hallensteins and another junk food court? We locals don’t want it, don’t need it… Yes I’m in one of the neighbouring streets and sadly the increased staff are not permitted to park onsite, so guess what – the streets will be full of cars even more so than now. And more cars, more trucks and more of the same retail crap stores.
Donna Schofield: Shoppers love malls. I feel for the residents on the surrounding streets, though.
Nigel Horrocks: The mall could not be more un-pedestrian friendly. Even walking past the Morningside Rd entrances can be heart-stopping. Even before any expansion, something urgently needs to be done about the pedestrian crossing to Wagener – it’s designed for crossing in two stages but in practice people race across hoping to avoid oncoming traffic. It’s dangerous and designed with no common sense for pedestrians in mind.
Caroline Malthus: Agree, it’s incredibly un-pedestrian friendly – as is the mall itself with no entrances at all that are designed with consideration of people not arriving by car. There are lots of spots where you take your life in your hands getting into the place. Hope our new government takes action on businesses (or collections of same) surrounded by acres of carpark – unsustainable and sending all the wrong messages about environment, health and keeping it local.
Dave Longland: Pedestrians do need more consideration in these plans. A foot bridge from the existing upper level of St Luke’s across the road to Wagener Place should be in the plans. The light phasing from St Luke’s across to Wagener is nowhere near long enough for disabled or older people who perhaps move a little slower to cross in one go. I often see people get half way and have to stop.
Robin Kearns: These plans are so very last century. Malls are being decommissioned and abandoned in parts of North America. Give Aucklanders another decade or so to catch up and the combination of internet-purchasing and the quest to engage in vibrant neighbourhood-based retailing will see mammoth malls regarded as massive white elephants.
Lindsey Rea: St Luke’s Mall needs proper, covered, public transport stations. It is a real mess at the moment.
David Herkt: The traffic around it is just a disaster… cars turning on Morningside Drive (the middle of) into the carpark is an accident waiting to happen… The design of that ashphalt car-park is just crazy. It is like no-one really thought about it. I know it was one of Auckland’s first malls, but that doesn’t really excuse it. And try being a pedestrian around there too. No-one has given much thought to being a walker. Getting from the library to Morningside Drive yesterday was just plain weird. It doesn’t help that I keep on trying to find the logical and helpful route that I presume is buried somewhere in there.
John Christiansen: Housing has to build up, shops and malls spread out. Clearly the economic drivers of land use are completely front to back.
Carol Lindley: So many shops currently not leased in the existing St Luke’s and yet they are going to expand? Please… how many more nail bars or massage shops can we take?