by Lindsay Shelton
Thanks to the retired judge who’s running the flyover board of inquiry, we can be shown the some of the environmental damage that will be caused if a 300-metre concrete bridge is built next to the Basin Reserve. Above: the familiar view looking west down Ellice Street. And, below, how the view would be cut off by the flyover and two lanes of overhead traffic.
Not only would the flyover destroy Ellice Street’s open outlook towards the Basin and the Carillon and beyond, but also the visual simulation from the Transport Agency shows that half the houses in the street are to be demolished as well.
This is the current view at the bottom of Paterson Street, if you’re standing with your back to St Marks School and looking north. There’s a wide open vista including St Joseph’s Church for the hundreds of school children who walk in this neighbourhood every day.
But there’ll be no outlook if the flyover is built. The church can no longer be seen. The open vista is gone, blocked by a bank with two lanes of elevated traffic on top.
Finally, consider how the flyover will change the lives of the people who live in the Grandstand Apartments.
Above: the current wide-open view from a third storey apartment. You can even get a glimpse of cricket on the Basin. But …
… if the flyover is built, the apartment dwellers will look directly out on to two lanes of traffic outside their windows. The Basin vanishes behind the overhead road. (The artists have shamelessly shown the flyover as vehicle free, but the reality is that west-bound traffic will be driving across it 24 hours a day.)
The visual simulations were not offered by the Transport Agency or by the Environmental Protection Authority which is overseeing the board of inquiry. They were prepared only after a request from the board’s chairperson Retired Judge R G Whiting. In a letter to the Transport Agency on October 24, he asked for the images to be created “in order to better understand the proposal [and] the actual or potential effects on the environment…”
The results of his request (and there are even more images) were released yesterday. They’re now on view for everyone to see that the effects on the environment of Mt Victoria are just not acceptable.