On Tuesday morning, Wellington’s Regional Transport Committee met – the first such meeting since NZTA abandoned its pursuit of a Basin Reserve flyover through the courts. That issue was prominent in public participation, and below you can read what we said in our three-minute slot.
Comments to RLTC public participation – 8/9/15 – Tim Jones, Co-Convenor, Save the Basin Campaign Inc.
- The NZTA decision not to pursue further legal action over its Basin flyover plans provides a welcome opportunity to advance modern, sustainable transport options for Wellington. But that discussion needs to be about more than transport. As the Board of Inquiry clearly showed in its 2014 report, the landscape, urban design and heritage aspects of the Basin Reserve precinct are of vital importance. This time round, they must be taken into full consideration.
- NZTA’s concept of proceeding to make limited optimisation improvements soon is worthwhile. At the Basin, such an approach is entirely compatible with the Basin Reserve Roundabout Enhancement Option (BRREO) or a development thereof. BRREO would be far cheaper and quicker to implement than any other option at the Basin, and it doesn’t foreclose other options if they later prove to be needed. I agree with the Mt Victoria Residents’ Association call for a detailed and fair-minded reconsideration of the BRREO proposal.
- The effect of at-grade changes at the Basin can be enhanced by making changes along Kent and Cambridge Tces – I understand the Newtown Residents’ Association and Mt Victoria Residents Association have done some further thinking about what this could entail.
- Evidence presented to the Board showed that the congestion problem identified with the Basin has its roots in other parts of Wellington’s transport system. Therefore, we need to look at solutions that can be made across Wellington. To quote Ellen Blake of Living Streets Aotearoa, “What we need is an integrated look at transport issues in Wellington combined with decent urban design and planning”.
- It’s time for Greater Wellington and the WCC to work cooperatively on this issue, both with each other and with the community, including community groups and groups with expertise in sustainable transport solutions.