Bob Jones on Wellington Golden Mile

November 19th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Bob Jones writes in the Dom Post:

First, it is not the cars that are the main concern. In fact very few cars traverse the Golden Mile during the day, a response to the ’s wise initiatives intended to deter them.

They have worked. Rather, it is the abrasive buses which are the principal problem. Buses and pedestrians are a terrible mix. The present council’s policy seems geared to making the city friendly towards buses rather than to its citizens and it’s both wrong and unnecessary. …

Mr Finny also argues that parts of the Golden Mile are so wide that the danger exists of a “dead look”.

In fact the wide sections, notably the end of Lambton Quay and Courtenay Place, will provide opportunity to pay for the proposal. In the case of Lambton Quay, exactly as with all the pedestrianised cities, the spacious parts can be used for (partially) outdoor cafes, florists, newsagents and the like.

With Courtenay Place, apartment building sites with ground-level retail can be created in a plaza setting. Other options include a skating rink, fountains and other visual and recreational features.

As for goods delivery, in fact all of the office buildings along the route are serviced from the rear, off streets such as The Terrace etc. …

We will additionally detail our proposal to establish a Saturday Lambton Quay street market, as exists in all European cities and which, without exception, draws thousands of folk, regardless of the weather. Our proposal is not new. Consultants engaged by the council from Europe and America have recommended exactly this to previous councils but they have lacked the initiative to act.

People like a man and a team with vision, even if they don’t agree with it 100%.

I think there is a reasonable chance that a ticket standing on the issue of creating a vehicle free golden mile, as advocated by Sir Bob, could win most if not all the spots on Council.

This could be the most exciting Council elections since 1995.

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22 Responses to “Bob Jones on Wellington Golden Mile”

  1. llew (1,533 comments) says:

    Wasn’t there an uproar when Peter Dunne suggested a 30kph CBD speed limit? To save me looking it up, ‘cos I can’t remember, what happened in 1995?

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  2. Nigel (514 comments) says:

    It’s when you read an article like that, that it really hits home just how well Bob Jones understands Commercial Property. It’d be a particularly arrogant council that ignored such well reasoned & rational arguements.

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  3. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Interesting that Sir Bob has so much support here for this – given that Hubbard was vilified for his beautification and pedestrian-friendlifying of Queen Street and the surrounding Auckland CBD.

    Plan sounds excellent, Lambton end of town is dead at weekends and it is such a waste.

    Big old BS to his comments about buses though. Sir Bob may not rely on the buses to get him to work in the mornings, but many thousands of people do, and this is more important than nice cobblestones or a European boulevard vibe!

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  4. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    Got my vote.

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  5. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    What is the obsession with out door cafes in Wellington, the wind never stops blowing, who the fuck wants to sit outside in a gale?

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  6. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    It’s lovely today. Swimmers at Oriental Parade, cricket in the Basin Reserve.

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  7. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Yes, the idea is great for those who do not use the buses. And if the Council kicks the buses out and tightens the noose further around parking people will vote with their feet to Queensgate etc.

    It is all very OK for Bob who no doubt has a 24 hour parking spot in the CBD, not to mention City Councillors who AFAIK also have free 24 hour parking slots under Civic Square.

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  8. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    @RRM Hubbard blew $60 Million dollars repaving the footpath with a very expensive dull grey stone. He left Queen st 4 lanes of buses and ran the expensive paving all the way up to the top of the hill for no good reason. He had cost overruns of $30 Million from the estimate and stopped each business on the main road opening for atleast 2 weeks each. Go there now and it’s not a pedestrian friendly place at all, it’s still all cars and carparks and it doesn’t look much better than it did. If he’d pedestrianised Victoria to Britomart and ran the buses up Albert and Symonds and got rid of a lot of traffic lights he’d probably still be mayor.

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  9. Philonz (88 comments) says:

    If he pledged to get rid of bussess and cars and run a tram line through town then he;d get my vote.

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  10. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    Would people who use buses be seriously inconvenienced if they ran down Featherston St instead of Lambton Quay? It’s hard to imagine that it would be a huge imposition on them.

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  11. sean14 (62 comments) says:

    I think it’s a great idea, go Bob!

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  12. charlotte (2 comments) says:

    Personally I think Sir Bob sounds a tad defensive. Read the article that he is responding to (at http://www.wellingtonchamber.co.nz/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xBwSPwkeQeQ%3d&tabid=36 ).

    It basically just highlights some of the potential negative effects that Sir Bob’s proposal could have on our city. It doesn’t say he is necessarily wrong, just that there should be careful consideration before any decisions are made.

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  13. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    It will all be academic after the force eight is over!

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  14. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    He’s budgeted for free trams, and to put a rack of bikes every hundred metres that people can use for free.

    They do this in Paris, I’m told. Get a few pinched, but overall it’s been a great success.

    (Having said that, they tried the same thing in Porirua and from memory they were just about all pinched. Wellington should fare better though.)

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  15. reid (16,447 comments) says:

    “Wellington should fare better though”

    Until the people from Porirua work out they can pay for a bus ticket and get a free bike worth a few hundred bucks. Phoo man, that’s really cool, eh.

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  16. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in Auckland, our main street is a 4-lane highway that doesn’t even have bus lanes on it!

    Now imagine if a prospective Super Mayor of Auckland was to advocate for pedestrianising Queen Street between the Town Hall and Customs Street….

    …. now there’s an idea.

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  17. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    @brucehoult 3.38 The bus users wouldn’t be as inconvenienced as all the other traffic that normally uses Featherston St through to Victoria St. Bob may think buses are abrasive, the Melbourne trams have even less charm when it comes to running down pedestrians.

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  18. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    The bike problem is solved by having to insert a credit card in a slot to release the bike, and then having the first 30 minutes free with a modest charge thereafter. You can see this system working in France http://wikitravel.org/en/Nantes#Get_around

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  19. cubit (356 comments) says:

    The prescence of the buses is not the problem per se. It is the behaviour ofr the bus drivers. The existence of a 30kph limit is approprite on the narrow route down the quay. However it is completely unenforced for buses. The drivers are surly arrogant repressed Jensen Buttons.

    We need buses but we need better driving attitudes from the drivers. A few tickets would get their attention.

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  20. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Bob is likely to be running interference, as he has done in the past, in the politiking, now thats not to say he hasn’t got some good ideas however if he is planning “to put a rack of bikes every hundred metres that people can use for free. They do this in Paris, I’m told. Get a few pinched, but overall it’s been a great success.”

    then he is wrong, wrong, wrong, massive failure, most of the bikes are nicked or vandalised and cost an arm and a leg to replace as in about 1500 euros each from memory.

    Love the idea of getting rid of the slalom of buses running through central Wellington though

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  21. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    I was down there on Monday and was bored and completely underwhelmed. The place smells of government and appears to only exist to give the otherwise unemployable a job. And what’s with the million and one “outdoors” shops? Obviously if you don’t get one with nature you don’t get invited to the right parties (take that how you want).

    Te Papa – tell me that’s just a nightmare and i’ll wake up soon? I got through about three floors (ok the giant squid was ok, and i was quite impressed by the rocks taken from the four corners of the country) but the rest of it was yet another lame Gen-X/Y “style over substance” disaster. Bring back the Star Trek exhibit!

    You can’t beat Wellington on a good day, but the rest of the country beats it every day.

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  22. charlotte (2 comments) says:

    John Milford makes some good points on this issue in http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/opinion/3083162/Golden-Mile-risks-being-tarnished-if-plans-go-awry

    His following comment highlights a particularly damaging consequence that Sir Bob’s proposal could have on our city:

    “If access becomes too difficult, customers will cease visiting the CBD and will do all their shopping in the city’s suburban malls.”

    This would be disastrous for the atmosphere of Wellington!

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