Top Town Needs Different Top Ten!
Cr Wade-Brown is horrified that in Transit's and the Wellington Regional Council's top ten wish-lists, there are NO non-roading projects.
These requests are for funding in the 2002/03 year but seems to take little notice of the Government's new Transport Strategy.
They fail to avoid projects with obvious induced traffic such as an extra lane on the Hutt Road. Each step that makes greater capacity in the arteries serving Wellington creates more congestion problems in the destination, either short term with regard to parking, or longer term due to increasing traffic volumes being pandered to.
"How many well-travelled Wellingtonians really think that this city is severely congested?" questions Ms Wade-Brown. "This is the time to make a real change for the better, not waste money in think big roading schemes that will strangle our region. Let's look for real value in necessary improvements to local streets and then focus on sustainable alternatives."
Cr Wade-Brown also notes that Wellington Regional Council needs to pay attention that the government has said transport planning should involve more people. WCC councillors were asked to contribute their views of Transit's list on 27th March by email - over the Easter weekend. The general public has had NO opportunity to contribute. The WRC appointee ' from walking, cycling and public transport users' hasn't even yet been appointed to the Regional Land Transport Committee.
She says "Here are my ten suggestions that would be a great improvement in terms of quality of life, safety and would make a positive difference to future transport choices for residents of the Greater Wellington area. Let's look forward imaginatively to the 21st century."
1. Adequate Park and Ride facilities at every railway station in the region - even during the Easter week, station car parks in the Hutt Valley are over-flowing.
2. Light rail to Courtenay Place, followed by the Hospital and the Airport.
3. Upgraded rolling stock for the Johnsonville line.
4. A coastal walkway and cycle facility from Eastbourne to Owhiro Bay
5. Several pedestrian bridges across Jervois Quay and Taranaki Street.
6. "Home zones" in a hundred residential streets - with 30k limits, pleasant planting and safe areas for playing
7. Implementation of minor safety projects such as pedestrian refuges at intersections on major arterial roads so commuters and schoolchildren can safely cross roads to take the bus or get to school e.g. The Parade, Island Bay.
8. Footpath extensions so dangerous streets all have footpaths on at least one side. The current Wellington City Council list has 170 suggestions, with just the top 144 taking the next five years to do.
9. A cycle network that connects parks and suburban routes to create a safe and pleasant commuter and recreational experience.
10. Implementing residents' Road Safety suggestions along Middleton Road so drivers, riders, walkers and cyclists can safely and pleasantly co-exist along the only alternative to the Motorway from Johnsonville to Tawa.
Ms Wade-Brown is a Southern Ward city councillor and chair of a pedestrian advocacy group. Also, Celia Wade-Brown is the Green candidate for Rongotai.
She walks, cycles, drives and catches buses, taxis or trains, as appropriate to her journey.