NZTA has stubbornly resisted calls to create a 3-D model of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover – presumably because it would make the scale of this project all the more visible.

Instead, they offered a guided ‘walkthrough’ of the route of the proposed flyover, and this morning, I turned up at the Basin Reserve with about 30 other people to hear what NZTA’s Greg Lee had to say.

But in the event, the most striking thing about the walkthrough wasn’t what he said, but where he and others pointed – the top of a lamppost here, a second-story window there. Those were the heights, many metres above our heads, that the flyover would pass if it was built. 10 metres of height may not sound like a lot, but it sure looks like a lot when you’re standing below where that roadway would be.

And then there were the widths – a huge span especially when the proposed pedestrian/cycleway is added in – and the massive pillars beneath.

NZTA’s design images show a light-coloured flyover almost merging with the blue sky above as young, attractive pedestrians amble by or lounge underneath (I’m pretty sure I saw Scarlett Johansson in one picture – who needs Hollywood when you have a flyover to recline under?)

If this thing is built, the reality will be very, very different. It will be large. It will be ugly. It will be dark, and equally dark in the shadows underneath. It will be a monstrosity, And so it must not be built.