by Lindsay Shelton
You can’t help agreeing with Helene Ritchie. After reading a Wellington City Council document showing plans to create green space in the middle of Kent and Cambridge Terraces, she pointed out correctly that there’s already green space in this area.
The green space concept is one of a number of plans announced by the council to compensate it for the monstrosity of the flyover at the end of Kent and Cambridge Terraces. (I’m not being original with this word: ‘monstrosity’ is Grant Robertson’s description of the flyover.)
But proposing green space where green space already exists is an unconvincing way to compensate for a monstrosity. And in reality, the “more green” idea doesn’t seem to have been developed at all, apart from a drawing (top image) which councillors have been shown.
The DomPost reports that the flyover’s project manager has sent a letter to the council confirming only that a new landscaping plan for Kent and Cambridge terraces would be drawn up “as soon as practicable”. But the idea is not so much about green spaces and more about traffic – new bus lanes would be installed along both streets. (Yes, there are bus lanes already, but they may be repositioned and extended.)
Andy Foster provides a bit more information. He talks about landscaping and beautifying, with the aim of providing a walking and cycling corridor from Wakefield Street to the Basin Reserve. He knows, of course, that people are already walking between Wakefield Street and the Basin, with a choice of four pavements. Brave people are cycling too.
On Tuesday he made the surprising claim that the city council has “achieved significant improvements” to the proposed flyover. When you read the statement, however, there are no details of anything that will “improve” the monstrosity. The statement mentions planting trees in Adelaide Road and landscaping Karo Drive, but these aren’t anywhere near the flyover.
In Andy Foster’s vague words: “A panel of urban designers and architects convened by the Council concluded that the overall [flyover] design was good, but suggested a range of worthwhile improvements which have been incorporated into the design by the Transport Agency.” The problem is: he doesn’t provide any details about any improvements.
In other words, we’re still waiting for someone to convince us that there could be anything to compensate for a concrete monstrosity across Kent and Cambridge Terraces alongside the Basin Reserve.