Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


'Enclosed' Basin Reserve flyover option shaping up

NEWS RELEASE
13 December 2008                                            
 
'Enclosed' Basin Reserve flyover option shaping up
 
Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the option of a raised road to separate traffic heading around the Basin Reserve appears to be the best of a number of early options being considered to streamline public transport and cross-town traffic.
 
While planning is still very much in the early stages, Mayor Prendergast says she wants and expects to see the project progress quickly. “This project is absolutely critical to Wellington’s future. We need to free up traffic flow to and from key sites around the city, and make this junction easier to use for other road-users such as walkers and cyclists, too.”
 
Mayor Prendergast says the three parties involved in the project – Wellington City Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Greater Wellington – agreed this is a high priority for the region, as part of the recent Ngauranga-Airport Transport Study.
 
“We have a major – and growing – airport that relies on ease of access, so from an economic development point of view, we simply cannot delay. Other important regional sites such as the hospital also rely on us getting this right. 
 
“Doing nothing about our growing traffic problems and public transport bottleneck at the Basin Reserve is not an option.”
 
Mayor Prendergast says that, contrary to recent media reports, there is a great deal of support for the flyover option. “I’m hearing a lot of support from the business sector, and the Ngauranga-Airport Transport Study included a public survey that found 67% of people supported a flyover adjacent to the Basin.”
 
Mayor Prendergast says one of the ‘bottom-line’ agreements between Greater Wellington Regional Council, the City Council and the NZ Transport Agency is that the ambience and relative tranquility of the Basin Reserve will not be compromised by any changes to the road.
 
“That’s why we’re looking at ideas such as enclosing the flyover within buildings and other structures. Such an approach would be aimed at removing visual and noise impacts.
 
“But it is very early days in terms of design concepts – and all sorts of ideas are up for grabs and being discussed.”
 
In conjunction with the Basin Reserve Trust, the City Council is a guardian of the Basin Reserve and, as such, would not be party to any work around the ground that would ruin its status as one of the world’s oldest and best cricket venues.
 
The problem with the Basin is that it is already at the centre of one of the world’s largest traffic roundabouts. Apart from the meeting of State Highways 1 and 2 at the foot of the Ngauranga Gorge, it is the region’s busiest traffic junction. However, unlike the Ngauranga Gorge, the Basin roundabout is also on the main bus route serving the city’s southern and eastern suburbs and has to also accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, cricket fans and the Basin’s neighbours – including three schools and Government House.
 
Mayor Prendergast says there is no option of going underground, so the remaining options are a series of ‘at-grade’ possibilities that would keep the road junction at ground-level, or some raised-road options
 
“Our early studies of the pros and cons of different options leads us to a flyover or raised road as the best option. It would have far less impact on the area than a ground-level junction.
 
“The engineers and urban designers say a ground-level junction designed to accommodate increased traffic flows, while at the same time speeding up public transport around the Basin, would blight the neighbourhood terribly.
 
“It would turn the area to the north of the Basin into one very large, complicated, traffic intersection with multiple sets of traffic lights. It would be very difficult to make it work for traffic, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.
 
“It would turn an area that’s already dominated by traffic into something far worse – certainly not a suitable northern entranceway to the Basin.”
 
A flyover, on the other hand, would carry westbound traffic from the Mt Victoria tunnel over the traffic heading to and from Adelaide Road and the southern suburbs. It would remove the ‘choke point’ around the Basin and make movement far easier for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians heading north and south.
 
It would also more effectively leave open the possibility that, in the future, light-rail tracks could be installed on the north-south route without the problem of trains having to cross State Highway 1 - the city’s principal east-west route.
 
Mayor Prendergast says that despite the installation of traffic lights around the Basin, traffic congestion is steadily worsening, especially during rush-hours midweek and during the day at weekends. The conflict between State Highway 1 traffic heading to and from the Mt Victoria Tunnel, and traffic heading to and from the southern suburbs, means rush-hour travel is a misery for most – including bus passengers who are caught in the snarl-ups.
 
The Basin Reserve has been causing headaches for transport planners for decades, because the principal east-west/north-south junction cannot be shifted anywhere else.
 
The Basin Reserve Trust has indicated that it supports improvements to traffic flow around the ground – including a possible flyover - provided there are adequate design features to mitigate its effects on the ground. It has already been proposed that a third grandstand could be built on the north side of the ground – as much to increase the seating capacity of the Basin as to block any view of a raised roadway.
 
Mayor Prendergast says she wants to see the Basin project ready to go as soon as possible. Plans are underway to consult with the public in the first half of next year on a number of options.
 
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news