Indeed a waste of money

March 2nd, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

A waste of time and money is what some are labelling ’s $40,000 review of traffic congestion solutions at the Basin Reserve after it found in favour of a flyover. …

Ms Wade-Brown and transport portfolio leader Andy Foster presented the findings to the Transport Agency board yesterday.

Their study weighed the flyover option (Option A) against proposals from Auckland architect Richard Reid (Option RR) and the Architecture Centre (Option X), both of which had been previously dismissed by the agency as unworkable. Option X sent traffic underground through a cut-and-cover tunnel while Option RR focused on widening and upgrading the existing roads.

A copy of the council’s findings, obtained by The Dominion Post, says the flyover “provides the broadest range of improvements”. Journey times, the reliability of public transport, accessibility, and opportunities to promote cycling and walking would all improve.

Option X and Option RR were found to have little or no improvement in those areas.

Option X had the potential to hurt the traffic flow of surrounding roads, which could be “problematic” if a light rail system was ever introduced.

Option RR was found to have similar outcomes to doing nothing at all.

So what did those Councillors who voted to change their mind achieve? $40,000 of wasted money and an unnecessary delay.

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28 Responses to “Indeed a waste of money”

  1. kowtow (8,439 comments) says:

    Councils across the country are hell bent on spending rate payers ‘ money to no advantage to the rate payer.

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  2. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Celia and Andy will repay their debt to Gaia by pedaling their bikes at a rate that reduces requirements for WCC to purchase carbon credits! :)

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  3. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    The whole debate was nuts and should not have been allowed to fester as long as it did

    There were only two tunnel options, an insanely expensive one, or one that defied elementary engineering. The basic problem was Mt Vic tunnel exit starts high and so does Buckle St. To get under the Basin and back up again with a tunnel box that allowed trucks, busses and fire/life/safety would have seen grades in excess of 10% I.e. virtually unworkable. The only way around the grades would have been to deep cut both mt vic and Buckle st, making the cost prohibitive.

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  4. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Fit folks (like we all should be. :) ) on even ten speed bikes could handle a 10% grade though Yogi? :)

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  5. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    I can on my bike- easy. But a truck needs a crawler lane. The point of the work was to speed up traffic, not slow it down

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  6. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Perhaps you should suggest to Celia that you could create a carbon neutral solution by towing trailers up the 10% grade to the Mount Victoria tunnel using your bike?

    She will probably create a WCC working group to investigate the proposal! :)

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  7. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    Deduct it from Brown’s salary.

    Then she’ll understand incentives.

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  8. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Celia Wade-Brown, aka The Loonie, is an utter disgrace as mayor.
    Incompetent and out of her depth, she deserves to be confined to obscurity.

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  9. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    I believe she won a resounding mandate in the Wilton area Manolo. Perhaps dime was visiting? :)

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  10. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    There was a huge conceit underlying this – a bunch of building designers and landscapers, and a telephone repair man, thought they knew better how to design a road that worked. For about the fourth time in this sorry saga they’ve been found out.

    Unfortunately, the aforementioned conceit means they probably won’t let it go.

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  11. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Absolutely disgraceful. That sort of flagrant disregard for ratepayers’ rights for sound fiscal management actually calls for some form of statutory management. If they waste $40k so easily on this, how else are they frittering our money away? The legislative change to cap rates increases cannot come soon enough.

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  12. Michael (909 comments) says:

    So, last week the Greens were calling the planning money spent on Tranmission Gully a waste, but spending extra planning money (over and above what is required) is money well spent. Can’t quite get my head around this one… oh, yes I’ve got it now – Greens are hypocrites.

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  13. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    I also particularly liked the loopiness of the early incarnations of the so called “option x”. Great east west connectivity, but completely forgot about North south. Who needs to get to the hospital anyway?

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  14. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Quite right Yogibear. Of course if the Hospital had been built at the position that suited sick/dying/earthquake survivors/patients (Porirua) rather than being built at the position that suited doctors/specialists/ WCC parochial wankers (Newtown) your argument would be redundant! :)

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  15. Bullitt (140 comments) says:

    After 3 years of living in Miramar and going through the tunnel every day I still don’t know why they don’t consider the obvious solution. Two tunnels of two lanes as theyre doing anyway and nothing else. The basin doesn’t cause congestion it just gets backed up by cars waiting to go through a one lane tunnel…fix that and the rest of it is totally unnecessary.

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  16. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    And you could stop that three year habit you have Bullitt of bloody tooting just to upset the folks going the other way who cant respond in time! :)

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  17. Reid (16,442 comments) says:

    You can see the Gween-flavoured “clever’ thinking without even reading the report, can’t you.

    It’s a bit like the decile rating, where 1 = dirt poor and 10 = normal rich.

    Council session deciding terms of reference for the report:

    Celia: “Oh dear, wouldn’t it be just a twagic twavesty if we used a “status label” for the various options. Then people might think that “Option 1″ or “Option A” was the vewy vewy best option, and we don’t want that, do we? [Stamps foot. Bursts into tears. Rends clothes.] Oh what to do, she wails. It’s a weal, a weal…

    Celia’s whanau support rep (who has to attend every meeting Celia has with anyone, by virtue of the Gween Party’s constitution): “…widdle wapped in an enigma inside a mystewy?” s/he opines [gender identification being banned by aforesaid constitution].

    Celia: “Yeah that’ll do, so let’s call them something weally weally mystewious, which no-one can fathom so the weport will be twuly neutwal in all wespects. Kind of like a blind test.”

    [60 minutes later after heated discussion about what to call each option]

    Celia: “You’re all just a pack of outwageous mentalists. I don’t care for any of your stupid suggestions because they don’t make any sense to me as they don’t addwess the centwal pwoblem and I can see it’s a pwoblem, even if you can’t, or wefuse to, on purpose, just to spite me. Article 129.3 of the Gween Constitution let’s me make up my own mind on any matter in a meeting where the non-Gween participants don’t agwee with me so I’ll let you know what I’ve decided, by my usual method. [Courier pigeon, since Celia thinks email contributes to global warming via the heat emissions generated by the host data centre and, as a good Gween Party member, consequently refuses to use it.] I declare the meeting closed.”

    [muffled objections since none of the other business had been completed]

    Celia: “Well you shouldn’t have wasted so much time twying time and again to understand my enormous perspicacity on this particular element of the plan, should you. Maybe next time you’ll understand how vewy advanced we Gweenies are in the thinking dept and just leave it all to me, it would certainly make my life a whole lot easier. It’ll be fine, let me assure you, we’ll get the answer I we want, just leave it all to me.”

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  18. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Would a spweech cwoach help Cwelia whith mwaking mwore wrational deswicions thwen dwo ywo thwink wreid?

    It twould bwe wworth the extwra cost to the WWCC to implement swuch a plwan immediately methwinks! :)

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  19. Reid (16,442 comments) says:

    Nothing will help Johnboy.

    We were doomed on 9/10/10, the date she was elected. And if that’s not a spooky set of numbers, what is?

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  20. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Flyovers are ugly and the space under them is ‘hostile’ to people and therefore dead. Concrete, rubbish, graffiti, and a split between parts of cities.
    Like the motorway does already. Useful, but an ugly, noisy gash.
    So if there WERE a ‘prettier’ alternative, it would be nice to know.

    But can anyone tell me how it cost $40,000 to decide there wasn’t?
    Is there a breakdown of costs, or was just it one big labour charge?

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  21. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    But flyovers give shelter to the homeless Mary Rose! :)

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  22. Ross12 (1,425 comments) says:

    People asking for a tunnel ( however it is constructed) forget the Basin used to be a swamp and later a harbour.
    The natural water flows into the area are probably still there —ie. there is probably a shallow water table.

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  23. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    The Basin was never a harbour Ross12.

    It was planned to be one by the city fathers but the earthquake of 1855 or thereabouts stuffed that plan.

    Makes you realise just how useless town planners really are in the great geological scale of things! :)

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  24. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    The dude’s an architect

    Sure, the sycophancy within the average architect’s office gives architects a massive dose of hubris, but come on.

    It shouldn’t have taken $40,000 to realise that the guy’s way out of his area of expertise.

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  25. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    @ Rick Didn’t you know architects have an an inherent – if not god given – ability to understand how to manipulate the built space? Dn’t worry about practicalities like lane widths and turning radii – if an architect says it will work, it will work. It’s a matter of Faith.

    Note – the Reid plan was promised to be a game changer, even though no-one had seen it, even his champions. It’s incredibly embarrassing what he came up with – a widened road with traffic lights. Council should be ashamed they fell for it.

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  26. badmac (136 comments) says:

    Just move the damn airport. It has held Wellington back for decades because of its location.

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  27. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Just push the whole job into the tide, relocate the government to the Chathams and cancel all flights once they are over there.

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  28. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    How unfortunate the airport and hospital are in the wrong places. News flash- cities are a function of history and Wellington isn’t exactly a landlocked pancake that allows you to build wherever you like. The fact is the Basin is a critical crossroads that controls access to the South and East of the city. It needs a high capacity, efficient design to deliver over the long term. The flyover options were the only practical solutions

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