by Alan Smith
Congratulations to the Regional Council on the vote last week to revisit Option X. The Architectural Centre’s design beats the Transport Agency’s by integrating needs – it’s more sophisticated than just another stretch of State Highway 1.
In 2009, the Civic Trust ran a public seminar about the Basin Reserve area to a packed house. Clearly it showed a successful solution would need to balance the interests of residents, motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and children. This has shaped our flyover response: the flyover doesn’t achieve grade separation from local traffic, and it doesn’t fit its surroundings (SH2 Dowse shows NZTA’s style). There are better ways of improving transport.
One example: there’s excellent public transport to the airport, avoiding the Basin altogether. But it dumps passengers in the wind outside the terminal!
The flyover is a political decision. The Transport Agency’s attitude to “consultation” has been as poor as its 1960’s motorway engineering within 21st century Wellington.
If it matched the grade separation and overall impact of Option X, the flyover would still not necessarily improve transport between the CBD and the east. NZTA’s November Information Days may reveal more sensible options. Until then, congratulations to the Regional Council and the Architectural Centre – we need a solution to make Wellington the best place to live and work.
Alan Smith is chair of the Civic Trust
The Regional Council changes its mind