Saving travel time – but what will happen in the CBD?

expressway-at-te-moana-rd

by Michael C Barnett
They opened the Kapiti Expressway ahead of schedule last Friday – 18 new bridges, 16 kilometres of shared pathways for cyclists, walkers and (along most sections) horses, and 1.4 million new plants. This is the first completed section of the government’s road of national significance, ultimately stretching from Levin to the Wellington CBD and on to the Airport.

This road link has been a long time in coming. Originally planned as a two-lane road from Peka Peka to Mackays Crossing to take local traffic off State Highway 1, it had wide support from the Kapiti community. Then in 2009 along came former local lad and now Minister of Transport Stephen Joyce wih his shock decision to build a four lane highway instead. It is not clear how much forethought had gone into this decision, but it was bulldozed through to the chagrin of many in the community. Although there has been a general acceptance of the fait-acompli, many remain aggrieved. Dr. Viola Palmer, a supporter of Save Kapiti, wrote in the DomPost:

The owners of 80 homes which were lost to the expressway are still hurting. So are the 1400 people adjacent to it, who received no compensation for the noise and pollution produced and whose property values have dropped.

In comments following the official opening, local MP Nathan Guy praised the project, which he said will contribute to saving 40 minutes’ travel time when the full network of roads, bridges and tunnels are completed. No mention of the estimated 11,000 additional vehicles that will enter Wellington daily when these roads are completed, nor how Wellington is supposed to cope with this traffic when it gets there.

faster

I do not wish to imply that I am anti roads in all its forms. After all, I was a roading engineer for many years. I acknowledge that a good road network is essential for the nation to thrive and I have never doubted that State Highway 1 north of Wellington needed upgrading to four lane status. What I do question is the route selection and carving up a local community to achieve this end. And as I have written previously, once in the urban area of Wellington City this obsession with expanding the road space and creating four lanes to the planes to solve traffic congestion in the city just will not work.

One need look no further than Auckland to see what 60 years of building flyovers and highways and neglecting investment in rapid transit facilities has achieved. Non-existent travel time savings and peak hour traffic congestion has continued to grow. There is a way of dealing with this problem. All it involves is a change of mindset and a focus on reducing the volume of traffic entering and/or passing through the city at peak hours.

I am not alone in suggesting this approach.

In a report entitled ‘Audit of the “Future State Highway Number One Route” Environmental Impact Report March 1990’, the then Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment acknowledged the inadequate capacity of State Highway 1 as a pressing problem requiring a solution. However, the Commissioner then stated that

“the most pressing immediate needs are to reduce the amount of commuter traffic entering Wellington and rescue the public transport system from further decline”

and

“Delays to traffic during peak period congestion are in large part self-imposed by commuters who have chosen not to use public transport or share road transport, and by weekend travelers, who have chosen to travel at peak times. The potential for public transport and car pools to reduce commuter traffic congestion has not been adequately explored. Measures to attract commuters to the train are available now at moderate cost.”

She said the problem was defined too narrowly, and as a consequence the public transport and ‘do minimum’ options have been given inadequate attention.

Here in Wellington traffic congestion is primarily a peak hour problem. Building more tunnels and expanding the road space to the airport will not significantly shorten travel times or ease congestion. Finding ways to get commuters out of their cars and onto public transport will.

Fortunately, there is some hope. The Transport Agency is leading a process to get Wellington moving. In a recently released progress report LGWM lists 12 guiding principles including; better public transport, improved environmental outcomes, a people centred city, manageg travel demand, the need to integrate urban form and transport thinking and that increased value should not be measured by cost alone. The report’s key findings indicate that Wellingtonians want public transport improvements, fewer roads and cars, a more pedestrian-friendly city and protection of the natural environment.

This is promising news. But are the agency and its political masters listening?

 

37 comments:

  1. TrevorH, 28. February 2017, 10:18

    Auckland’s problems are largely attributable to uncontrolled migration with a city the size of Rotorua effectively imposing itself there every year. Wellington is different. There has been under-investment for many years in our infrastructure including roading. While I agree CBD commuters should be encouraged to take public transport, the roading network from the airport northwards desperately needs to be expanded and improved if Wellington is to prosper, and also to provide strategic options in the event of a major disaster. Wellington could at present be cut off from the rest of the country’s land routes for months – Kaikoura is a wake-up call if any were needed. And congratulations to those who achieved the Kapiti Expressway.

     
  2. Ben Schrader, 28. February 2017, 13:04

    Trevor, as Michael has pointed out in this and other posts, building ever-more roads only furthers congestion, so extending the northern roading network without improving public transport will only be a short-term fix. If the billions that have been put into roads by this government had been redirected to rail and public transport, we might have had a rapid rail line between Kapiti and the airport by now.

    And there is no guarantee that building further roads out of Wellington will future-proof the city from earthquakes. A major rupture along the three main Wellington faults could knock out all routes north, including the future Transmission Gully. Ensuring better access to the city by sea and air would probably be more strategic.

     
  3. Ian Apperley, 28. February 2017, 13:06

    Whatever the answers are, Wellington needs to get a move on with it. I left later this morning to get into town and it took 45 minutes from the airport to Oriental Bay. The load times are starting to stretch outside of the regular peaks.

    You’re right about public transport. Sadly, the changes that are coming in that area are likely to make it less attractive rather than more.

     
  4. Luke, 28. February 2017, 13:40

    Turn some of that on-street parking into peak bus lanes and clearways.

     
  5. TrevorH, 28. February 2017, 14:20

    Ben. Rapid rail and other modes of public transport are great as a means of mass transit in large high density metropolitan areas. I lived in Manhattan for four years and can understand your argument. But New Zealanders don’t live like that. We and the services we use are spread out. If I had had to use public transport this morning to do what I had to do – go to my optometrist, go to the supermarket, go to the paint shop and the hardware store, which took me just over two hours all up by car – I would still be out there. As for earthquakes, there are indeed no guarantees but increasing our available road options makes sense. There are certainly no guarantees the port facilities or the airport would be serviceable, especially after a tsunami.

     
  6. Ben, 28. February 2017, 15:23

    @ TrevorH and Ian Apperley: I agree.

    It is all very well trying to get people onto public transport and cars out of the city, but for those who need to get across and/or out of Wellington where public transport is not viable, something needs to be done. On Sunday at 1pm it took me the same time to get from the Wellington Library up Victoria St to the Terrace Tunnel, as it did to get from the Terrace Tunnel to Silverstream in Upper Hutt. That was ridiculous!

     
  7. Mark Shanks, 28. February 2017, 16:13

    If one of the aims of the Kapiti expressway was to give the outlying west of our region quicker access to Wellington Airport then it may still make sense to relocate our regional airport to the middle of the region instead of at the bottom. Ohakea is still an option.

     
  8. Doug, 28. February 2017, 19:15

    Travelled the expressway in both directions on the weekend, yeah it was great but we got stuck in traffic for the Otaki roundabout for 40mins, completely negating any benefits.

    Also gotta agree with Ian, there’s been a noticeable increase in traffic in Wellington city, it seems like rush hour extends to most of the weekday now and weekends are terrible.

     
  9. Kerry Wood, 28. February 2017, 20:00

    Several themes here:
    — Roads are much faster than public transport.
    — Roads are ridiculously slow and must be improved urgently.
    — Public transport cannot substitute for roads (in New Zealand).

    A 1989 earthquake in San Francisco closed the ten lane Bay Bridge for a month. The parallel subway was undamaged. BART put on a maximum service and later claimed that it had never turned away a passenger. The system coped.

    In 2014 Wellington’s Hutt railway line closed for nearly a week when a storm washed out the tracks, and put the roads into chaos. The system didn’t cope.

    These are inherent characteristics. If a railway line is overloaded it will often carry more passengers than usual, although they may not be so comfortable. But if a road is overloaded the capacity always goes down and traffic often comes to a standstill. So which is the better system for coping with peak-hour traffic ? (hint: light rail has three times the capacity of four lanes to the planes).

    The reason public transport in New Zealand cannot substitute for roads is that we haven’t tried, although Auckland is making a start. An optometrist and three shops in two hours ought to be simple enough on good public transport, attracting shops to the places it can most easily reach: the interchanges.

    And if more people go by public transport, guess what: the cars flow more freely.

     
  10. Traveller, 28. February 2017, 22:23

    Luke: an excellent and practical suggestion to get rid of some of the on-street carparking spaces and convert them into clearways and bus lanes. Easy to do, with immediate results.

     
  11. Ian Apperley, 1. March 2017, 17:12

    You’re right Kerry and one of the things that everyone agrees on is that we need “good” public transport. The problem is, when it comes to buses, that it’s not good. In my personal experience, it is unreliable, expensive, uncomfortable, and the time in peak is outrageous. If you get a trolley from the eastern suburbs it’s an hour into the CBD. Even the direct routes like the 30 and 31 just sit in traffic.

    It is still cheaper for me to drive and park on the edge of the city and the time differential is better.

    Why public transport is so bad is because of the monopolistic, contract driven agreements that allow this situation with no redress. Until that is broken, we’ll get more of the same.

     
  12. KB, 1. March 2017, 17:46

    The theory that more roads increases congestion sounds like nonsense to some degree. I’m sure it increases congestion at bottlenecks where extra roads haven’t been added, but in general if you were increasing capacity all along a route – then congestion on that route would not increase. Not to sound to silly, but obviously if there were 10 lanes each way from levin to the airport, those 10 lanes each way would never ever get congested. Of course that’s not reality (well at least I hope it wouldn’t be), but you can see my point that just saying “more roads = more congestion” is stretching the truth to a degree.

     
  13. Elaine Hampton, 1. March 2017, 22:58

    KB: 30,000 more cars in Wellington, where will they all go? Woll they line the streets of local suburbs like Mt Vic., much to the annoyance of local people? I have met car parkers who think it’s wonderful that they can drive and park in Mt Vic., and then have a healthy 15 minute walk to work.
    More roads = more congestion! why do you think everyone else in the 21st century, unlike NZ’s little pavlova paradise, is putting in rapid transit in its many forms.

     
  14. Ross Clark, 2. March 2017, 1:54

    The trouble facing public transport – everywhere – is that cars are almost always faster *on a point-to-point basis*. So yes, you could have a light-rail link between the airport and the CBD. Which is fine if you want to go to the CBD. However, if your final destination isn’t the CBD, and/or the journey involves a transfer, any time benefits from light rail would fade away rapidly. This partly explains why PT’s major market share, when it has it, is for commuter journeys to and from a city centre.

    This also assumes that light rail has a segregated infrastructure. if it doesn’t it will be caught up in congested car traffic, and any speed benefits will be lost. As I’ve said before, a lot, lot more could be done to promote bus use through road segregation.

     
  15. Glen Smith, 2. March 2017, 7:48

    KB. Your reaction of ‘let’s build more roads to decrease congestion’ is simplistic, blinkered and ultimately wrong. By way of explanation imagine 2 ‘theoretic’ extreme cities which are the same, but in one city everyone travels by bus/train and in the other only by car. A suburb in the ‘bus/train city’ is serviced by a single dual rail corridor, people get off and walk a short distance and the train moves on. Congestion is low. The same suburb in the ‘car city’ requires 16 motorway lanes, cars compete for the streets and need large areas to be stored. Congestion is high. Now imagine a continuum of cities between the extremes with different car: bus/train proportions. Anything that increases the proportion of car trips will increase congestion and vice versa.
    Let’s imagine your 10 lane Levin to Airport road (let’s take Transmission Gully). At first congestion will drop dramatically on this route but ‘triple convergence’ will largely reverse the gains. As an analogy imagine a number of water containers joined by tubes. Water moves to create equal levels. If a container is suddenly increased in size its water level will drop immediately but water will then flow and the container will largely refill. The overall effect will be a shift from bus/train to car and we should expect city congestion to increase.
    As Elaine says, this is what is seen overseas and what is forecast here. The Opus TN24 baseline forecasting report undertook modelled projections based on current transport plans and the results are sobering. Table 6.4 on page 28 shows congestion projections and, as expected, congestion from Kapiti drops due to RoNS. But the result is a dramatic rise in overall car trips (30,000) compared to minimal PT increases (3000) with PT share falling. And this causes a dramatic rise in overall city congestion (76 to 116%) and a gobsmacking 405- 434% increase in congestion from the Hutt. This congestion level is likely to exceed that seen during the Hutt Rail washout (which cost an estimated $1.3million per day) but will continue FOREVER.
    Despite these findings, Michael Barnett’s encounter with the ‘Sustainable’ Transport Committee seems to indicate the Regional Council is still planning to blunder forth with their patently inadequate BRT plans. As our grandchildren try to fix the mess they will shake their heads in disbelief that apparently intelligent people could be so uninsightful.

     
  16. Kerry Wood, 2. March 2017, 9:19

    Ian
    Yes, buses are perfectly capable of providing an excellent service, but it isn’t happening in Wellington. Necessary changes include more capacity and more priority; better ticketing; coordinated timetables; better system design and so on. And on.
    You can’t blame it all on monopoly operators: public transport has to be a monopoly. True competition is a disaster because the objective becomes poaching rival companies’ passengers, not providing a service. What can be done is managing the operators through the right contracts: operators can even be persuaded to cooperate in timetable design and solving common problems.
    Far too much money is going into roads, by government decree. Cost benefit analysis is long gone, and with it any requirement that roads give value for money. Drivers do not pay the full costs they impose on society, for pollution, climate change, crashes and even roads. Half the cost of building and maintaining local roads comes from rates.

    Ross
    Yes, buses are perfectly capable of doing the job, if they are given enough road-space and traffic-signal priority. The maths is simple: converting a traffic lane to a bus lane increases its passenger-carrying capacity from about 600–1600 passengers an hour to about 4000–8000: say five-fold. Going to light rail increases passenger capacity to 10,000–25,000: at least ten times better than cars. And public transport passengers don’t need parking.

     
  17. Mark, 2. March 2017, 10:41

    Well my commute is still taking the same amount of time .

     
  18. Chris, 2. March 2017, 15:20

    Some observations:

    – Realtors I’ve spoken to have indicated that property sales in Kapiti have been through the roof, as people snap up comparatively cheaper properties there in anticipation of the faster commute into Wellington via TG and these other expressway projects. Glen Smith’s water levelling analogy is a bit opaque but gets across the general idea: you build a new road, and it will fill up with cars until the level of congestion has been evened out. Counter-intuitive or not, it’s been demonstrated over and over.

    – Wellington geographically does not have space for ten lanes everywhere you might care to drive. It just doesn’t. If you pave over the city to make “enough” roads and car parks, there won’t be a city left to bother trying to drive into. Which I guess is *a* solution.

    – The errand run to three shops and the dentist at different ends of town will go much faster in your car if the commuter traffic has been taken off the roads and put onto PT. Use the right tool for the job.

     
  19. KB, 2. March 2017, 15:59

    My 10 lane example was quite clearly labeled not reality, but I think my point perhaps was not clear. I’ll try and phrase it a different way: would congestion be better or worse if we reduced the number of roads? Let’s pretend the terrace and my Vic tunnels were filled in and all traffic had to use other routes. I don’t think anyone would suggest congestion would ease. So why would more roads increase congestion ON THE NEW ROADS (yes i clearly understand more roads can possibly lead to more congestion on other roads that aren’t upgraded in capacity – but the question is do we want our main route through the city to the airport to remain congested or not?) here’s another Hypothetical: a tunnel. Running from the motorway passing underneath the city all the way to the airport. Someone explain to me how that increases congestion in the cbd instead of decreasing it.

     
  20. Andrew, 2. March 2017, 18:20

    KB, are people assuming more people will drive because there are more/new roads?

     
  21. Ross Clark, 2. March 2017, 21:08

    Kerry – agreed. To put the numbers in some context, in the morning peak Wellington station has some 10,000 or so passengers come through, or about 6,000 pax per hour in the ‘peak hour’ (excluding contraflow). Could someone advise how many people arrive in the Wellington CBD every morning by bus?

     
  22. Ben, 2. March 2017, 21:16

    @KB: Exactly my point in an earlier posting elsewhere. If SH1 was lowered to pass under the main arterial routes (ie Taranaki, Cuba, Willis Streets etc.) to the Terrace tunnel, it would ease congestion considerably for those trying get in and out of the suburbs (including buses!!). It would also make it easier to get out of the city.

     
  23. alungski, 2. March 2017, 22:15

    The expressway has only increased the volume of traffic. That cannot be good for a city as geographically bound as Wellington. Add to this the following…
    Cars are easier to obtain than ever, thanks largely to the used import market; commuting from Otaki (or north) is now encouraged at a time of peak oil and whilst the 100% pure badge is irreparably tarnished; rail as a means of medium to heavy transport has been bypassed in favour of (generally diesel powered) trucks, which are a growing part of the commuting problem. Why would they join peak hour traffic? Ought they even be allowed? Try sitting behind one attempting an ascent of the Ngauranga Gorge;
    When traffic slows, I often notice the cars with large gaps in front (4 or more car lengths). Invariably this is due to cellphone use.
    Single occupant vehicles make up the majority of commuting traffic… Whither carless days and carpooling? They may be artefacts of an earlier time, but there is even less oil now than then. Lack of cost effective and punctual/reliable alternatives make the point to point argument seem more valid than it actually is…
    and so it goes
    Paraphrasing Ben Elton, since when is the answer to a full rubbish bag in your house opening another rubbish bag alongside it?

     
  24. Michael C Barnett, 3. March 2017, 13:13

    A lot of interesting comment. For those supporting the need to extend a four lane motorway through Wellington City and on to the airport I pose the following observation. Construction of additional tunnels at The Terrace and Mt Victoria and widening Ruahine St and Wellington Road will still not achieve this end, as there will remain a bottleneck from the Terrace Tunnel to the Basin Reserve where the carriageway width is only sufficient to accommodate three lanes and runs through four sets of traffic lights. The question is: how does Wellington cope with the estimated influx of 11,000 more vehicles daily upon completion of Transmission Gully and the other RoNs? Sure, the traffic may get to Thorndon faster, but then what?

    My point is that there is an alternative and better way of dealing with traffic congestion and that is by getting the commuter out of his car and managing the travel demand. I agree with Ian’s comment that peak hour congestion from the Eastern Suburbs seems to be increasing, but it does not negate my argument that for large chunks of the day the routes into the city are relatively congestion free and traffic flows freely. $1 billion plus to construct a substandard motorway all the way to the airport is not the answer.

    I am more concerned about the urban form and character and ambience of the city. Do we want a city clogged up with cars, or do we want one that has character and is a pleasant place to live and work. In my view, urban form should take precedence and the transport system should be designed to fit around that form. In an earlier article I suggested that the Vivian Street off ramp be closed to traffic and through traffic redirected in two directions along Karo Drive. On its own, not a perfect solution to resolving traffic congestion, but a start to opening up to Te Aro to residential, retailing and commercial development and lots of public parks.

    I will leave details of the case for light rail for Kerry to answer, except to say that many cities of comparable population to Wellington and our region have successfully brought in light rail as a key component of their transport system. My favourite example is Portland Oregon, which staved off an intensive motorway building program in the 1970s, tore down a motorway and embarked on a programme of major investment in public transport. Not too late for our planning authorities and decision makers to embark on the same course

     
  25. Ben, 3. March 2017, 15:35

    @ Michael C Barnett: I don’t necessarily support a new 4 lane highway across the city, but if just the existing 2 lanes across the city (northbound) from the new tunnel opposite the War Memorial to the Terrace Tunnel were lowered under Taranaki, Cuba, Victoria, and Willis Streets, this would help considerably to reduce congestion (buses included) getting in and out of the inner city suburbs. Maybe this is being simplistic, but surely the idea is worth considering?

     
  26. Michael C Barnett, 3. March 2017, 16:34

    Hi Ben. What you suggest makes absolute sense. In fact, cut and cover along the section of road from the The Terrace Tunnel to the Basin Reserve was in the original 1989/90 plan of the Transport Agency, who in their wisdom decided it was too costly, too difficult to deal with underground services and eventually came up with the current configuration. Anything is possible if you pour money into it and your suggestion remains a good idea, although now a lot more difficult to achieve.

     
  27. Ben, 3. March 2017, 18:11

    Hi Michael, Thank you for your response. What a shame the Transport Agency didn’t have the foresight to go ahead with the original plan at the time. False economy! I guess we can only hope that sense may eventually prevail?

     
  28. Ross Clark, 3. March 2017, 22:33

    Michael, Ben – I was working for Transit NZ as-was in the 1990s, and the immediate reason why the cut-and-cover idea was abandoned was that at the time, the agency had absolutely no money … for anything. The budget in May 1990 had seen road funding cut by a quarter, meaning no new large new work for several years, and certainly nothing of any consequence for public transport.

     
  29. KB, 4. March 2017, 14:26

    Cut and covering 2 lanes under Taranaki, Victoria and Willis streets sounds like a great idea. One question though – there’s only 2 lanes heading to the Terrace tunnel, so how would you squeeze in a feeder merging lane from traffic heading to the motorway from Taranaki, Victoria & Willis street?

     
  30. Ben, 4. March 2017, 17:06

    KB: I assume that would have been covered by the original proposal in 1990?? It may be that not all of those streets would have access to the motorway. Obviously it would be one of the things that would need to be sorted.

     
  31. TrevorH, 5. March 2017, 10:40

    Michael B. has rightly highlighted that the Basin is an issue that remains to be dealt with. We need an underpass like the Arras tunnel. If that is not feasible then the cricket ground should be removed to the suburbs. It is an earthquake risk, hardly ever used and during the last Australia test distinguished itself by leaking raw sewage for the television cameras. Ratepayers are taxed millions to maintain the pretense of viability for this absurdity which was also disingenuously but effectively used to block a previous proposal. I agree the original cut and cover concept for Karo Drive should be urgently revisited, as it would help provide greater separation and safety for pedestrians and CBD traffic including cyclists.

     
  32. Glen Smith, 5. March 2017, 10:47

    To clarify my last entry which, on rereading, might have been a bit ‘opaque’. Roads are vital parts of infrastructure (many trips are impossible without them) and as the population, and the resulting number of transport trips, grows we will need roading improvements. Four lanes across Mt victoria are inevitable (due to ongoing airport and eastern growth this century) and might as well be addressed now (in fact have to be addressed now since the most logical solution is a 14-15m bore multipurpose Mt Victoria tunnel with car/ rail/ cycle/ pedestrian compartments in a 2 level stacked design- this would give adequate capacity for any growth this century and likely forever). Similarly a second Terrace Tunnel is inevitable due to inadequate current capacity, future growth, to compensate for the inevitable reduction in Quays capacity from 6 to 4 lanes (to accomodate the essential second across town rail based PT corridor) and to house a high quality cycle corridor allowing cyclists from the southern CBD/ eastern and southern suburbs to easily access the Terrace area/ western suburbs and potentially allow a high quality across town cycle ‘bypass’.
    However our planners’ current solution of trying to address transport needs by huge investment (and resulting expansion) in mass car transportation, a plan that logic and their own research shows will only result in massive increases in congestion and an increasingly unliveable city, is pure folly. The only way to reduce congestion (as per my previous note) is increased PT share by substantial investment in a high quality PT network that will attract drivers from their cars on trips where a car is not essential. Planners may think that by penny pinching on token changes in PT (like BRT) they are saving money but it is false economy. Even ignoring the increased cost of pollution, policing, accidents, adverse health effects and climate change the evidence is that the cost of escalating congestion alone will climb to millions of dollars per day within a couple of decades (it would be nice to see some modelling/ costings of this). Not investing significant amounts in PT now is destined to be a very very expensive mistake.
    In terms of this, City and Regional councillors (if any follow this forum) need to realise they are in a powerful position. It is election year, Labour/Greens are closing on National, the Government have some money to spend, and they have shown a willingness to invest in infrastructure and find a solution to Wellington’s transport problems. Moreover the Government and NZTA are still licking their wounds over the flyover debacle and won’t want a repeat (which we will certainly give them if it comes to it). Short of ramming through changes using central dictatorial powers (highly politically risky) they have to get local body co-operation. Our local body politicians need to show some backbone and INSIST on more substantial central government PT investment.
    The next few months, with the Ngauranga to Airport planning process, will tell us whether planners have done their job in a more thorough and balanced manner. The signs are good. If not Wellington can look forward to another decade of fighting with little progress while the public try to get the planners to do their jobs properly.

     
  33. KB, 6. March 2017, 11:33

    @GlenSmith: Thanks for updating your views in that last comment – the reality is Wellington need significant investment on both Roading AND public transport options.

    We can debate what the best options are for roads and public transport, but I think we can all agree that both need to be invested ion in some way. Some people pretending that nothing should be invested in new roading infrastructure (and instead be 100% public transport infrastructure) just come across as delusional.

     
  34. JAC, 6. March 2017, 15:49

    One of the issues that seems to be left out of this debate is the number of amenities on the south side of the city and the impact this has had on traffic in recent years. Here is a list of some of these;
    – Newtown has 3 hospitals, the Zoo, the athletics track
    – Mt Cook has Massey University, School of Dance and Toi Whakaari
    – Basin Reserve has 3 schools and within a very short distance there is another school, of these 3 are secondary schools
    – Brooklyn has a picture theatre which people travel to, and the tip
    – Berhampore has a public golf course, I think it is the only public course in Wellington city, the hockey stadium, the Chinese cultural centre, rugby league fields which in the near future will become the home for the Phoenix, and the sports fields for soccer etc with all weather surfaces (it looks as if 2 of the soccer fields which are not all weather are being upgraded
    – Kilbirnie has the main swimming complex for the city, 3 secondary schools, the Sports complex and the bus garages
    – Hataitai has the netball courts, the veledrome and the badminton courts
    – Lyall Bay has the airport and the surf beach
    – Miramar has a movie theatre, Weta Cave as well as the film industry businesses
    – Island Bay has a great beach and a movie theatre
    – all of these areas have great cafes and the usual shops, schools, doctors, hairdressers and retirement homes/villages. Berhampore has 3 retirement homes

    The problem is many of these are city wide resources and there has been no planning for traffic traveling across the city to use these facilities. When the sports stadium was opened, there was a noticeable increase in traffic. Perhaps before the WCC plan any more big ventures on this side of the city they should consider the impact on traffic.

     
  35. Ben, 6. March 2017, 17:30

    @ JAC: Well noted. When you consider all of the facilities you have listed it is little wonder that Wellington has a major congestion problem. Wellington needs to make some hard decisions and get on with it. The main focus seems to be on improving public transport and getting cars out of the inner city which is laudable, but not the whole answer. It is also necessary for both public and private vehicles to be able to cross the city and/or get out of the inner city in a more effective way.

     
  36. TrevorH, 7. March 2017, 9:10

    @JAC: Point very well made. In the Eastern Suburbs we have seen a tremendous expansion in the number of people living here and business activity which is very welcome. But absolutely nothing has been done to provide for the increase in traffic. And now we have the likelihood of residential development at Shelly Bay and the possibility of three or four hundred trucks per day travelling through the Mt Victoria tunnel to dump spoil for the runway extension over several years. This is completely irresponsible and a total failure of planning.

     
  37. Levi, 7. March 2017, 14:26

    TrevorH – if the Regional Council was doing its job properly it would simply insist that any spoil destined for the airport extension be barged in from Horokiwi, instead of via the roads. Quite simple for them to do – a rock conveyor over the road at either end. Done.

     

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