The Dom Post editorial:
There are two inescapable facts when it comes to clearing traffic jams at the Basin Reserve. The first is that separating vehicles heading east and west from those going north and south is essential. The second is that all the evidence shows the best option to achieve that is a flyover.
What will it take for those Wellington city councillors who remain implacably opposed to the project to accept they have lost the argument?
It seems no amount of fact or reality can sway their blind opposition.
Yet, despite the council’s own findings, a majority of councillors – albeit a wafer thin one – remain determined to try and stop a project that will bring enormous benefits to the capital. Their latest bid to have it delayed is to request that Environment Minister Amy Adams ask the Environment Court to determine whether it should be given resource consents rather than have the applications referred to the faster board of inquiry process.
Councillor Iona Pannett, one of the most vocal opponents of the flyover, says she does not trust a board to give proper weight to arguments against a flyover and there is a real risk the project will be given the green light.
What she and like-minded councillors, including Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, seem unable to grasp is that whichever body considers the consent applications, it will not be deciding between a flyover or a tunnel because NZTA has made it perfectly clear an underground solution is neither workable nor affordable. It is, then, a flyover or nothing, and doing nothing is simply not an option.
Rather than seeking to delay the flyover’s construction, the council should invest its time and energy in ensuring NZTA implement all the measures needed to mitigate its impact on the environment. The time for dithering has ended. It’s time for action.
That is the key. A sensible Council would be putting all its energy into how to mitigate the impact of the flyover, not running a jihad against it.