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  1. Ralf, 23. July 2020, 12:29

    While I did give feedback I don’t think our voices count.

    Option 3 is not within the given budget so will be removed on those grounds. Unless perhaps it gets overwhelming support, which would make it difficult to discard (though they might point to businesses not wanting it even if it is only three of them). Option 2 gives the option to run “BRT” through the GM so they do not have to remove car lanes elsewhere. I put “BRT” in quotes since it will be watered down to be BRT in name only. Option 1 is basically doing nothing, so not even worth mentioning (such improvements should be part of the daily business).

    I would have preferred an option to make parts of the GM pedestrian only.

  2. Guy M, 23. July 2020, 14:29

    Ralf – “Option 3 is not within the given budget so will be removed on those grounds”. LGWM have stated they are genuinely asking Wellingtonians what they want – and if the city genuinely reply overwhelmingly for one option, then it is the option more likely to be picked, budget or no budget. If Wellington’s hundreds of thousands of residents says “We Want to Transform OUR City with Option 3” – then it will happen. But if we all piss about and mutter into our coffee that nothing is worth trying, then we will end up with precisely nothing worth doing.

  3. TrevorH, 23. July 2020, 18:01

    The Golden Mile is as endangered as the golden goose post-Lockdown. Banning vehicles would be the coup de grace.

  4. Guy M, 23. July 2020, 19:20

    Trevor – i have no idea why you think that. Apart from people staying home due to Covid fears / liking working from home, there is no reason to think that Lambton Quay is either a goose or a turkey. I walked and bussed the entire length of the Golden Mile today – it was bustling and the shops and cafes were open and full of people. More to the point, on the trip north, i counted only 9 vehicles other than buses – so banning cars will make next to no difference. All those (except one taxi) were tradies utility vans and courier delivery vehicles – all of which could quite simply do the same thing by parking in one of the side streets and crossing over the road. I doubt that any of them were already outside the exact place they wanted to be – so they were already walking a short distance.

    There is more parking in the south-bound direction, but honestly, who in the world drives to the Golden Mile to go shopping and expects to find a car park in Lambton Quay? I’ve lived here for 20 years and never once driven to go shopping, it makes no difference to me. Making it a more pleasant pedestrian experience will make it a drawcard for all, as every other city around the world that has done that has found out.

    More to the point, as long as the people designing the new layout allow for adequate provision for service vehicles, delivery vehicles and courier vehicles to continue to get near (rather than directly ON) Lambton Quay, what is the problem?

  5. John M, 23. July 2020, 21:00

    Dream on Guy, shut cars out of Lambton Quay and the only new thing in town will be tumbleweed. You said it yourself, there were very few cars today and that’s fine so why ban them. Ralf, you are correct, it makes absolutely no difference what you say in submissions they will of course decide and do exactly what they want to do!

  6. Guy M, 24. July 2020, 8:14

    John M. Cars don’t buy things, people do. There are next to no cars there already, but there are lots of people. So: why would removing those last few cars cause a problem to all the people who are already there? All the workers in the CBD already get there via trains, buses, walking or cycling, while those who drive use the motorway or the harbourside quays to get to work. Not a single person getting to work in central Wellington needs to actually physically drive along Lambton Quay, as there are no driveways into buildings on Lambton Quay – all the driveways into underground and above ground car parking structures are off side streets. So again, why / how would diverting the last few drivers away from Willis and Lambton have any effect on the success of the retail strip that is the Golden Mile?

  7. John M, 24. July 2020, 9:49

    Guy, “cars don’t buy things people do” what a great line. “Buses don’t buy things people do” so do we throw buses out? The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, so let’s wait and see whether retailers (those that are left) suffer from this move to throw cars out of the golden mile.

  8. Kerry, 24. July 2020, 12:41

    John. For some strange reason, retailers always complain that cutting back either parking or traffic lanes will destroy their business. But when has it ever happened? I visited transport specialists in Koln in the 1990s, and was given some very useful light rail layout examples. They had been upgrading trams to light rail for nearly twenty years. Every step had met opposition from retailers, no evidence of lost business had ever appeared and the same complaints always reappeared, from the same organisation.
    If you have evidence I would very much like to see it, but I am not holding my breath.

  9. Henry Filth, 24. July 2020, 13:43

    Is there any car parking on Lambton Quay south of Midland Park?

    Since 1963, has anyone expected to drive down Lambton Quay, find a car park, and go shopping?

    Get the private cars out of Lambton Quay. Widen the footpaths. Plant more trees. Anything to make it a less unpleasant experience than at present.

  10. Traveller, 24. July 2020, 16:25

    John M. I guess you need to drive to the CBD because you’re doing so much shopping that you need to fill up the boot and the back seat of your car. In that case, remember there’s lots of parking on the Terrace, with plenty of lifts or escalators to move you and your shopping bags up and down, if mobility is a problem. But otherwise you’d have to agree with Henry (above) that no one has expected to park on Lambton Quay for decades.

  11. John M, 25. July 2020, 22:25

    Thank you all for your wonderful advice. Sadly you’ve missed the key point, I along with thousands of others won’t be looking to shop on the so called “golden mile”. We will go where we can drive and park close by, often under cover and usually at no cost. So the key stat I suggest you look for next time is where are Wellingtonians spending their money. I think you will find Porirua, Petone, Hutt City along with some of our suburban shopping centres, they are all doing very well. Wellington CBD on the other hand, sadly, is the struggler, and destined to deteriorate further once this anti car regime make it clear we are not welcome in town with our car.

  12. Pam, 26. July 2020, 9:40

    Perhaps the council should survey retailers. Generally speaking it would seem no parking means fewer shoppers. Councillors need to visit a range of shops on Lambton Quay and visit a similar number in the Hutt or North City, the difference in numbers of shoppers seems to be striking based on casual observation. It is of note that many retailers have moved their businesses from the CBD to more peripheral areas such as Ghuznee Street.

  13. Henry Filth, 26. July 2020, 22:34

    John M. Out of idle curiosity, if it’s not about shopping, then what is it about?

  14. Guy M, 27. July 2020, 0:39

    John M – you’re also missing the point here. At present there are very few cars parked on the Golden Mile – going southbound on Lambton there were 13 parks on the first block, 11 on the second block and just 5 on the third block – then nothing more until Courtenay Place. That’s ummm, 29 cars parking on that side of the GM and just a handful along the other side – versus some several hundred car parks at Queensgate Mall in the Hutt. So we’re hardly missing out much by not having cars physically parking on Lambton Quay. But we still have several large parking buildings in the CBD with a total of a few thousand car parks available – so you’re not actually missing out on being able to park your car.

    So what exactly is your problem? Is it that you cannot physically walk 100m from your car to a shop? Do you really think that the answer to life is a car park directly outside the door of your desired retail location? Or is it that having to pay $5 per hour to shop in the city is just so horrible that you would rather go and experience the true horror of the suburban mall? I went to Queensgate to see for myself the other weekend – and honestly, it was pretty awful, with a really bad selection of food in the “food court” and acres of shops selling exactly the same plasticised tatty stuff. Mall shopping is a mind-numbingly dull pastime. Give me Lambton Quay or Courtenay Place any day. Give me Unity Books over Paper Plus. Give me Midland Park over the Food Court. Give me the Concrete Bar in Cable Car Lane over a McDonald’s drive thru in the Hutt. Give me Liberty or give me Death….

  15. Henry Filth, 27. July 2020, 13:29

    Lambton Quay is easy to get to, but it is windblown and the air is shimmering with diesel. People only go there because they work nearby, or on the way to somewhere else. Why not put a roof over it to keep out the worst of the weather, and kick out the buses?

  16. Bus Driver, 27. July 2020, 13:45

    “Perhaps the council should survey retailers. Generally speaking it would seem no parking means fewer shoppers.” Here are some facts. and here are some more facts.

  17. greenwelly, 27. July 2020, 16:57

    @Henry Filth – Because the entire reason for the 3 proposals is to make it quicker for buses….

  18. John M, 27. July 2020, 17:16

    Rather amusing Guy that you assume I shop and eat in Queensgate and often go to the MacDonalds drive thru. There are some very nice cafes and shops in Petone, Days Bay and Eastbourne. You really should try the new Brewtown complex in Upper Hutt, great variety of craft beers and very interesting array of menus. Jackson Street has become very lively with some quaint and quirky retailers, and the specialty retailers like the big new Hunting and Fishing Store in Petone are terrific. The competition is hotting up, there are some lovely spots to eat with lovely views right around the greater Wellington area, and while I really do hope our so called “Golden” mile survives and thrives, I wouldn’t be betting my house on it!

  19. Northland, 27. July 2020, 18:48

    Removing diesel buses from the golden mile should be the priority. There are really not that many cars, so banning them is not going to make the pedestrian experience much different. Sections of the golden mile should either be pedestrianized completely, or, if still required as a public transport spine, given over to clean PT – e.g. electric buses or, preferably, trams / light rail.

  20. Hugh Rennie QC, 28. July 2020, 15:24

    I have worked in the CBD – Featherston Street and Lambton Quay – for 50 years. All the “plans” and some of the responses above show no comprehension of what is needed to have viable office-based businesses in the CBD – workplaces where most of the shoppers come from. Parking private cars is nearly irrelevant – what is needed is car access, taxi stands and access, bus services and bus stops, and a flow of easy courier and other deliveries – in short, streets being used for what they are put there for. Wellington is a small city of about 210,000 people. It is time that that was faced up to and dreams of boulevards, light rail, etc are recognised as unaffordable, unviable, and unnecessary. Add the around 30,000 a weekday who travel in or through – to work, shop, catch ferries and planes, stay in hotels and it is still very small. Yes, there should be protected cycleways, secure cycle parking, and pedestrian space too. But many office blocks have already been converted for accommodation; not least because our last 30 years has seen the move of many businesses to Auckland or Sydney. although briefly visiting executives need to stay here. Changing work systems will soon strip out hundreds of middle level jobs; while government departments will decentralise.

    Any of the current LGWM options will accelerate those trends and the current poor health of our CBD and its economy will soon become terminal.

  21. Guy M, 28. July 2020, 17:43

    Hugh Rennie – “Parking private cars is nearly irrelevant – what is needed is car access, taxi stands and access, bus services and bus stops, and a flow of easy courier and other deliveries – in short, streets being used for what they are put there for.”

    Absolutely positively agree with you there and I think that can easily happen with Option 3 – Transform. That’s the great thing about Wellington and Lambton Quay, that we already have a great pedestrian boulevard and under Option 3 it is only going to get better, with wider footpaths, cycle lanes for those cycle couriers, all the Ubers and Taxis you want just round the corner on Panama St etc. Sadly all those taxis will still continue to come in from the airport each morning and drop people off at Parliament or the Law Courts or big businesses etc – none of which need to have access right to the door, but a short walk round the corner from one of the short side streets should work fine, as long as there is verandah cover.

    All those new people living in converted office blocks are actually enlivening the city streets a lot – you’ll probably remember what Wellington was like when you started work here as a young man – grey and cold and lifeless and all very business-like with no fun. Nowadays we have a much more lively city thanks to the new generations of people living, working, playing, all in our revitalised city streets. That journey started some 30-40 years ago – and it continues now.

  22. Hugh Rennie QC, 28. July 2020, 18:18

    Wellington in the 1960s and 1970s – I know, do you? – was not grey and cold and lifeless. It was a dynamic city, the heart of this country, its Golden Mile filled with places where you could buy art, craft, books, fashion, and real coffee. Wellington was an exciting city where most of the important things happened. Over the years the people I worked alongside in law and media and politics and much else have voted with their feet. To Auckland, to Nelson, to Australia, and even Palmerston North! Importing urban notions now from much larger cities won’t change what we are left with. As you will in time find.

  23. Dave B, 28. July 2020, 23:14

    My memories of Wellington in the 1980s when I arrivedare that it pretty much shut down after 6pm on weekdays and not much happened on weekends – though admittedly Sunday-trading was not permitted then and Saturday-trading was only just starting to ramp-up. With no real resident-population, the CBD was alive only during weekday business hours plus one late-evening shopping night per week. Most days come 5-6pm, everyone scuttled back home to the suburbs leaving only the pigeons.
    But hey – I fell in love with it and stayed, and watched it improve (except for losing the trolleybuses). Never felt the urge to move to Auckland, Nelson, Australia or even Palmerston North. Meanwhile the population seems to keep on growing here so others must like it too.

  24. Guy M, 28. July 2020, 23:51

    Hugh – my apologies, I’ve been misinformed – all pre my time. But you’re saying the coffee was better back then? I thought it was all just kona filter coffee, or instant, unless you went to Suzies?

  25. Guy M, 28. July 2020, 23:54

    John Cleese was right about Palmerston North you know…

  26. Hugh Rennie QC, 30. July 2020, 16:44

    Well, it’s all history now but in the 60s there were over 30 CBD coffee places with a vast range of characteristics including quality food and coffee. European-style coffee at places like The Buttery, Roy Parsons, Monde Marie (Roxburgh Street), Suzies (as you say). The Walkabout (Seresin) was where Downstage started (amongst Australian-themed decoration!); others had folk singers, art displays, and for really unique character you could choose a dive like the Mexicalli in Victoria Street. The original Matterhorn was classically Swiss; at a little cafe on the Terrace you could get cooked cray meat sandwiches for 1/3 lunch! For some of this see here. But there were less Cona places and more Italian machines than this suggests. The decline had much more to do with the end of 6 o’clock closing than the arrival of television as the bars took over. The 1970s saw fewer cafes but more diversity in food. Until 1968 the Architectural Centre had its Centre Gallery and other galleries followed; European craft ceramics were on sale at the tiny Cadeau on Lambton Quay … I will leave it at that but there were many more.

  27. Traveller, 30. July 2020, 17:08

    Not forgetting the immense Casa Fontana (with a fountain) in a basement in Victoria Street – it had the best espresso in town. And you’ve mentioned the music – the Monde Marie always had someone singing with a guitar. Which could lead on to a list of the nightclubs, and bands, and singers.

  28. Dr Lucy Stewart, 7. August 2020, 9:47

    Wellingtonians! Consultation on the Golden Mile re-do closes on Sunday. I know the endless consultation is tiring, but please take five minutes to tell LGWM to stop dithering and choose the transformative option (bike lanes! no vehicles! proper footpaths!) https://yourvoice.lgwm.nz [via twitter]