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Avoiding congestion by rethinking Melling Bridge plans

hutt-rail-light

by Glen Smith
The New Zealand Transport Agency has put forward three plans to improve traffic flow on State Highway Two at the congested Lower Hutt turn off across Melling Bridge. Improvements at this intersection deserve support since the aim should be to improve the efficiency of all transport modes and to reduce the potential for accident related deaths and injuries. Read more »

The survey they’re not mentioning

lgwm-logo-update

by Lindsay Shelton
Are the LGWM planners still dreaming of a flyover alongside the Basin Reserve? Most of us thought they’d given up the idea. But the flyover has emerged again in a new survey from LGWM – a survey that seems to have taken most people by surprise. Read more »

Focus on benefits of light rail welcome news for Wellington

Wellington.Scoop
The FIT Wellington group have welcomed the new government focus on rapid transit and rail, which it says will be particularly beneficial for the capital. It calls on LGWM to include light rail in the proposals which are soon to be released. Read more »

Integrating light rail and buses

light-rail-possible-route

by Kerry Wood
Justin Lester’s statement that things are “looking good” for light rail comes only a few days after I wrote why light rail is affordable for Wellington. But affordable isn’t enough. Another essential is good integration with buses, difficult in Wellington because of the ‘pinch-point’ between the Old Bank and the waterfront. Read more »

LGWM: it wasn’t a referendum, but the results are clear

lgwm-logo

by Lindsay Shelton
Now that LGWM has released the results of its public feedback, let’s remember: the preferences are not votes – it isn’t a referendum. Many people who selected a preference also wanted changes to their preferred scenario. Read more »

LGWM feedback wants better public transport, less congestion, opposition to cars

News from LGWM
Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM), a joint initiative between the Wellington City Council, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and the NZ Transport Agency, today released a summary of the public’s feedback on four scenarios for Wellington’s transport future. Read more »

Invest in mass transit, free up the roads, says Save the Basin

News release from Save the Basin
The Save the Basin Campaign today called on the Government, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington to go forwards, not backwards, on Wellington transport. Read more »

Better public transport, not roads or tunnels, says Civic Trust

News from Civic Trust
Light rail, walking, cycling and open space should be prioritised over roading in any upgrade of the transport system in the Capital, according to a city watchdog.

Responding to the Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s (LGWM) summary feedback report, the Wellington Civic Trust (WCT) urged city leaders to invest in better public transport rather than roads and tunnels in line. This is in line with the main themes that came out of independent consultant, Global Research, analysis of the responses, released yesterday.

Nine key themes were identified, with support for better public transport at top place, and widespread support for walking and cycling improvements and priority. A significant number, through advocating for Scenario A+, sought light rail to be added to Scenario A+.

Paul Bruce, transport spokesman for the WCT, said new roads and tunnels will inevitably lead to greater traffic congestion.

“High quality public transport, cycling and walking will improve the quality of life, mobility and health of Wellingtonians.

“An urban design that encourages Wellingtonians and visitors to walk or use high quality public transport would reduce the need to travel by car, lower noise levels, improve air quality and ambience.

“High capacity public transport such as modern light rail can also help provide the needed capacity to remove both bus and car congestion in the inner city and at the Basin Reserve.”

Light rail could be an efficient alternative to private vehicles, potentially allowing fast access to the airport and eastern suburbs, and at the same time, removing the need for private vehicles to enter the Central Business District, said Mr Bruce.

“Light rail is the most expensive public transport mode, however, it is cheap compared to the cost of new roads and the loss of prime quality land, safety hazards, air pollution and greenhouse emissions.

“It also fosters transit-oriented development along the route, which could be used to lower the cost of installation.”

“The fundamental aspect of a city is its people. A city must be designed around dense walkable core suburbs connected by efficient public transport and safe cycle routes.

“Cities that adopt a high quality urban environment result in lower living costs, attract more tourists and support more vibrant business.”

New suburban facilities should be constructed close to transport hubs, said Mr Bruce.

“The need for travel and new roads is reduced when a higher quality urban environment containing all essential services is facilitated. This is especially important for inner city residents, but also in potential urban islands such as Newtown, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Karori, Johnsonville.”

Restriction of private vehicle entry and street parking within the city would also allow for much more green, pedestrian space and cycle routes, parks and tree promenades, he said.

“The promised removal of a traffic lane on the Quays and replacement with a cycleway would connect Wellington’s CBD to its waterfront, as well as giving greater support to cyclists. Removal of private vehicles from the Golden Mile and their replacement with widened pedestrian promenades and modern light rail extending from the railway station to the eastern and southern suburbs and the airport, should be explored.

“An innovative design of a light rail transport system could help provide an effective mechanism to start to build city infrastructure that can better-cope with sea-level-rise.”

Mr Bruce said planning for exclusive use of zero emissions vehicles alongside much better facilities for walking and cycling will also reduce the need for retrofitting expensive new roading-related infrastructure that will soon be impacted by emission cuts.

“We urge the local authorities and the government to discard their ambitions to induce even more traffic by roading projects, and to build the first-world public transport, cycling and walking solutions sought by Wellingtonians.”

Laidlaw welcomes LGWM report: “mass transit corridors fundamental”

Press Release – Wellington Regional Council
Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw welcomes today’s Let’s Get Wellington Moving report and says he’s heartened by much of the public feedback received around future transport scenarios. Read more »

Chambers of Commerce welcome support for “sorting out” the Basin

Press release from Chambers of Commerce
Transport planners at last have a clear mandate to get on and sort out an option at the Basin Reserve that will solve Wellington’s main transport bottleneck, say the region’s Chambers of Commerce. Read more »

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