Celia’s car ban

January 19th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Dave Burgess in the Dom Post reports:

Cars could be banned from Courtenay Place under a proposal from Wellington Mayor .

The move would affect about 6500 private vehicles that use Courtenay Place on weekdays. It is aimed at creating a more reliable bus service and lifting bus use.

A shop-owner says it is an “absolutely ridiculous” plan that would hit retailers and was for a traffic problem that did not exist.

I have to say that I don’t think there are huge traffic problems on Courtenay Place, and can’t see what the problem is to be solved by this.

My preference is for the vision of Bob Jones – to have Courtenay Place to Lampton Quay turned into a huge mall, with no buses or cars. I’m not sure it is entirely practical, but would love to see it costed.

Removing vehicles from Courtenay Place would build on the successful opening of Manners Mall to buses, which had created a spine through the central city, Ms Wade-Brown said.

The only thing sucessful about it, is that none of the pedesterians hit so far have been killed.

Any proposal will go out for consultation.

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30 Responses to “Celia’s car ban”

  1. big bruv (14,137 comments) says:

    Turning Courtenay Place into a mall will be a disaster, having said that it is nothing more than the people of Wellington deserve.

    If they are dumb enough to elect a green/communist Mayor then they should suffer the consequences.

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  2. Monty (980 comments) says:

    This is part of the Greenie Master plan to ban all private vehicles and force every person onto Public Transport. As a resident of nearby Mt Victoria, I often drive through Courtenay place especially when needing to get across town to Kelburn, or Karori.

    There is no problem with cars and traffic in Courtenay Place.

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  3. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I know, why not turn the whole of Wellington into a huge mall, with no buses or cars. That’d solve the boy racer problem around the basin too. It’d also stop people honking their horn and scaring pedestrians in the tunnel.

    I think the Manners Mall busway is a great improvement, Manners Mall was shithouse anyway and won’t be missed. And over time people will come to realise that there are now big vehicles there. Perhaps some bollards with chains linking them would have helped during the transition.

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  4. thomasbeagle (77 comments) says:

    Retailers will suffer? Courtenay Place has no retailers! (Well, apart from Whitcoulls and a gift shop).

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  5. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    Frankly I’m still embarrassed by our mayor’s decision to ride her bike out to the airport to meet Hillary Clinton. You can just imagine what Clinton’s opening line to Celia must have been: “You did what?”

    Anyway, I have to say this is a very odd move by the mayor. She has zero political capital to play with at the moment. Nobody who depends on a car wants to be inconvenienced for the satisfaction of the mayor’s ideology. She could try solving real problems with real solutions.

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  6. MT_Tinman (3,255 comments) says:

    Three years folks.

    You idiot voters in Wellington signed up for three years of this stuff.

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  7. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    I’ll do you guys and gals a deal in Wellington.

    I’ll give you Len Brown for 2yrs and 10 months, and we’ll take Celia here in Auckland.

    Who wins/loses in that deal do you think?

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  8. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    She could try solving real problems with real solutions.

    Ha Ha Ha. Thats the last thing any politician will do.

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  9. david (2,561 comments) says:

    It is just part of a programme to wear Wellington down by degrees. “Any proposal will go out for consultation.” means that comments will be invited. Most of us have better things to do on a daily basis than to get outraged by a stream of consultative proposals to the extent that we voice our outrage and respond to invitations for comment.

    Gradually the population will weary of continually arguing against the idiot proposals put forward by special interest groups (including town planners and council traffic engineers) and victory will be claimed when “they” are able to point to the lack of negative submissions being taken to mean that the proposals enjoy popular support.

    Generally we were able to place some trust in the course of councils when we ruled out the nutjobs at the ballot box but lack of concern over direction and policy at election time means that the battle is now continuous.

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  10. Andrew (59 comments) says:

    The problem with pedestrianising Lambton Quay is that most reatailers dont have rear access as it backs onto the bottom of the hill that is The Terrace. Which means they rely on their store frontages for delivery of goods…

    Courtenay Place on the other hand could work as it is a bit of a shambles to drive down amongst the buses and taxis.

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  11. Manolo (14,038 comments) says:

    The woman Wade-Brown is mad, certifiable mad.

    [DPF: 10 demerits. Comments should not just consist of personal abuse]

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  12. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    I can’t see any signs that Courtenay Place has a traffic problem at the moment.

    But I sure as hell can see that if you ban cars from Courtenay Place then Taranaki St, Vivian St, Cable St, Wakefield St, Tory St etc etc sure will have traffic problems.

    This smacks of creating more problems than it stands to fix.

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  13. RRM (10,003 comments) says:

    Fuck’s sake, no-one has been “hit by a bus”, several fools have stepped out onto the road without looking first.

    They should make Lambton Quay one way northbound, to balance Featherston St’s one-way southbound and get some more sensible traffic flows happening.

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  14. Manolo (14,038 comments) says:

    The only positive outcome of her absurd proposal could be that the loony Celia Wade-Brown ends up as a one-term mayor.
    In a very short time she has stuffed up too many times already. The incompetent Luddite deserves the axe.

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  15. david (2,561 comments) says:

    RRM Said “…and get some more sensible traffic flows happening.” Wash your mouth out and take yourself off food for a week of penance.

    Everyone knows that a philosophy such as that is total anathema to city planners and traffic (so-called) engineers. The obvious objective of the authorities (particularly noticeable in Auckland) is to make the city as unfriendly to private vehicles and as wasteful of fuel as is humanly possible.

    bah humbug

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  16. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    Sometimes I think google really is a sinister eco-leftard invention:
    http://www.google.co.nz/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=the+most+car+friendly+city+in+the+world

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  17. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “In a very short time she has stuffed up too many times already. The incompetent Luddite deserves the axe.”

    What a tory born to rule attitude, Manalo. You had your woman for three terms and thank christ a good number voted her out last October – finally.

    I don’t actually think getting rid of cars in Courtenay Place should be one of Celia’s top priorities. I hope Stephanie, Leonie, Bryan and Helene encourage her to focus on the social issues – housing, etc.

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  18. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    There are fast moving roads to both the north and south of Courtenay Place that provide efficient east-west transport. Courtenay Place itself is better off as a place for social activity, mostly involving alcoholic beverages. Removing the traffic and narrowing the roadway to just what is required for buses opens up more space for al fresco drinking and dining, or for hanging out with friends. With only the most minimal effect on traffic flow.

    In an ideal world, the council would close Dixon St to traffic and restrict Manners St to buses only. And bulldoze the rusting building opposite the Opera House. Then Pigeon Park could be enlarged to cover Dixon St and the old building site, merging in to Cuba Mall to create a nice sized inner city park that would be the natural focus of events like the Cuba St Carnival.

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  19. somewhatthoughtful (467 comments) says:

    “The only thing sucessful about it, is that none of the pedesterians hit so far have been killed.”

    God you’re schizophrenic sometimes. First you’re putting up bullshit billboards comparing helen clark to kim jong il because they wanted to make the country use more energy efficient light bulbs, now you’re tacitly advocating that it’s the council’s fault that these people are incapable of crossing a road safely.

    WTF man…?

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  20. OTGO (559 comments) says:

    “I hope Stephanie, Leonie, Bryan and Helene encourage her to focus on the social issues – housing, etc.” Yeah If I was a WGN ratepayer I’d want my rates to be spent on low cost housing – NOT! Rubbish removal, street lighting, sewerage and stormwater, footpaths yes but never on housing.

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  21. moaningmoa (68 comments) says:

    …and people wonder why the rest of the Wellington region has nearly 0 interest in any concept of a Wellington Super City.

    If you don’t mind I’ll stick to having a city council, for my city (UH) only, not one for an entire region focussing on the ‘golden mile’ 40km from where I live.

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  22. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    I think Wellington has elected a nutter. I just hope her influence doesn’t extend outside the region.

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  23. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    moaningmoa>and people wonder why the rest of the Wellington region has nearly 0 interest in any concept of a Wellington Super City.

    Those of us in the CBD don’t have much interest in a super city either. Why would we want to merge with Upper Hutt and your grim 1960s Maidstone Mall when we have Lambton Quay, Courtenay Place, and the waterfront? You can obviously drive right along Upper Hutt’s main shopping street since they scrapped the pedestrian mall. But I can’t think of a single reason to want to visit Upper Hutt for shopping, dining, or drinking.

    I didn’t vote for Wade-Brown, but if she is starting to implement some of Bob Jones’s agenda… even if somewhat timidly… then she might be a success. I was encouraged to see her applauding when some of the speakers at the pro-Hobbit rally a couple of months ago made comments critical of the unions.

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  24. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    I’ve never been stuck in traffic in Courtenay place. Every time I’ve driven it, it’s been a clear run all the way to Lambton Quay and beyond.

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  25. annie (539 comments) says:

    I’ve never noticed particularly slow traffice in Courtney place.

    And do we want it turned into another Cuba Mall? Frankly unsafe?

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  26. V (745 comments) says:

    Time to update the Green party ban-list I think.

    Also there is zero aesthetic value in a bus-mall, trams maybe.

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  27. Bullitt (141 comments) says:

    As was mentioned briefly in the Dom article the best option would be to ban buses from Courtenay place leaving it free for cars. Buses are noisy, smelly and take up large amounts of space, restricting it to cars only would make it a much more plesant place for the restaurants and bars and therefore the people. Buses could go down wakefield st etc which are wider and therefore would be less of a disruption.

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  28. Celia WB (5 comments) says:

    Headlines rather than content can be misleading!

    I suggested we needed to look at improving bus priority in Courtenay Place.

    This could be peak hour only buses or one private traffic lane and one public transport lane. It could be evenings only or mornings only.

    The study in 2008 did say that congestion led to variability and unreliability in bus travel times. There is the bypass and Ghuznee St to the south and Wakefield or Cable St to the north so it wouldn’t be a huge inconvenience IMO.

    As for buses being smelly – many are trolley buses, Mana are beginning to use some sort of biodiesel which may have less particulates and a company based in teh Hutt is working on emulsified fuels to increase efficiency and reduce particulates.

    Anecdotally, I see the evening peak heading east/south as most problematic – sometimes queues of cars so that buses can’t even reach the bus stops before lights change.

    On the other hand, as fuel prices get beyond $2 a litre, travel choices may change.

    Pushing buses or trams (a modern tram i.e. light rail vehicle is attractive) out of the main shopping/office streets isn’t how Zurich or London work for example. A totally pedestrian mall all along the Golden Mile seems likely to reduce access and economic success rather than improve it.

    Transport IS a social issue, as well as an environmental issue and an economic issue! Economically successful cities have good public transport – I’m sure bloggers have some examples!

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  29. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    Celia, I think it’s great you’re willing to engage this way.

    The question I have is: on what grounds is it appropriate to use the ratepayer money against those whose circumstances and choice is to drive a car? Those ratepayers pay their rates bill, their petrol and ACC taxes, their warrants and registration, and soon a carbon tax as well – they have paid their way. What is wrong with respecting the choices ALL of your ratepayers make, rather than the 51% who voted you in? Drivers pay their taxes too.

    No doubt you are correct that as petrol prices rise, travel choices will change. Is it really an appropriate role for the mayor to add to the pain by throwing sand in the cogs of the transport choices she happens not to prefer?

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  30. Sonny Blount (1,794 comments) says:

    London
    – London 7,556,900
    – Density 4,807/km2(12,450/sq mi)

    Zurich
    – Population 365,098
    – Density 3,974 /km2 (10,292 /sq mi)

    Wellington
    – Population 389,700
    – Density 877.7/km2 (2,273.2/sq mi)

    Please note that car users are not especially sensitive to petrol prices, almost invariably less so than predictions that are made of them. Personal and private transport is very desirable and greatly improves peoples quality of life, and the opportunity cost of time and access to cheaper housing options without public transport nearby can be far greater than petrol price fluctuations.

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