Board says no to Basin flyover

July 23rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Controversial plans to build a flyover next to the Basin Reserve in Wellington have been killed off by a board of inquiry.

In a stunning move today, four commissioners declined resource consent for the New Zealand Transport Agency’s proposed $90 million project.

It means the agency’s plans to build a 265-metre elevated highway 20 metres north of the historic cricket ground are now all but dead in the water.

Affected parties have 20 days to comment on the board’s draft decision before it is finalised on August 30.

That’s hugely disappointing. We need four lanes from the airport to Levin and if even one section is only two laned, then the entire network will move at the speed of the slowest car.

I only hope NZTA can do a revised proposal that can gain consent. The status quo is not acceptable.

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59 Responses to “Board says no to Basin flyover”

  1. redqueen (597 comments) says:

    Good to see unbiased reporting by the ComPost.

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  2. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    Wellington will die, if we keep having crazy, anti-development cave dwellers oppose every positive initative.
    If this interim decision isn’t reversed, it will kill the doubling of Mount Vic and the Terrace tunnels and our gateway from the airport will be distined to continue to be a 3rd world labyrinth for the foreseeable future.

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  3. ciaron (1,448 comments) says:

    Does the board give reasons why the proposal was rejected?

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  4. Tinshed (170 comments) says:

    I must say when I was disappointed when I heard this, if only because it is another ‘victory’ for the nay-sayers. There is always a reason to say ‘no’ to just about anything, but it takes courage, vision and leadership to say ‘yes’ to difficult issues. Wellington on the whole has had such leadership over the years, but not now. Welcome to the Green Party vision of the future.

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  5. Yoza (1,926 comments) says:

    We need four lanes from the airport to Levin …

    Move the airport to Levin.

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  6. MPH (18 comments) says:

    “The entire network will move at the speed of the slowest car.” No it doesn’t and no it won’t. That’s not even taking heed of the most basic science about these things.

    Fine to support the road. But you should at least be honest about its benefits, and not just make up science.

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  7. swan (665 comments) says:

    We need 4 lanes so much that NZTAs own analysis shows BCRs of less than 1 for most of the projects. Less than 0.5 in some cases.

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  8. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    Great!

    The tens of thousands of people who attend the hundreds of highly attended events at the Basin won’t have their experience marred by nearby development!

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  9. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    So traffic will remain worse than Auckland through that part of town indefinitely, but at least the “unique character” of a dirty, noisy, ugly concrete jungle that doesn’t serve the public’s needs will be preserved for future generations to “enjoy.”

    :neutral: Yay.

    Speaking as one of the mugginses who pays petrol tax to use these services, and gets stuck in the god-awful traffic around the basin frequently, I am very fucking angry about this.

    :evil: Fucking greenies.

    :evil: Fucking sports heads.

    :evil: Fucking arts students.

    :evil: Fucking stoners.

    :evil: Fucking hell.

    New Zealand is shit at cricket, the basin reserve stands are earthquake risk and there is no money for strengthening work to make them safe.

    Bowl the whole thing, and put a giant cloverleaf interchange right through the middle. SH1 over the top and Adelaide Rd / KentBridge Tce underneath.

    Use Incompetent Wade-Fuckwit’s head as a foundation stone for it.

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  10. safesally (47 comments) says:

    Perhaps an age limit for decision makers is called for. So if the work to be consented will be in use after you are dead you should have no say. This would help Wellington, Nelson (especially), Christchurch and Dunedin.
    My daughter came up with this thought last night.

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  11. campit (467 comments) says:

    That’s hugely disappointing. We need four lanes from the airport to Levin.

    Do you have any evidence to support why this is necessary? A cost benefit study to back this up?

    Isn’t the bigger story here the fact that the NZTA lied about the travel time savings to the Board?

    NZTA had championed a 7.5-minute time saving westbound across Wellington during the morning peak, once the flyover was linked up to a second Mt Victoria Tunnel and the Buckle St underpass.

    But it was revealed during the hearings that the flyover would contribute only 90 seconds of that. Meanwhile, local north-south traffic circling the Basin would benefit by only two minutes at best.

    There are better alternatives that can now be considered that are potentially better value for money. Before commenting further, I’m actually going to read the Board’s decision, something that I recommend other commentators do as well to avoid the usual “blind leading the blog” debates that go on here.

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  12. hane (69 comments) says:

    A great day for Wellington. Thankful that we won’t have to look at that eyesore for the next hundred years.

    The correct solution is Option F, tunneling SH1 from Paterson St to Taranaki. Spend the money, built it properly for God’s sake.

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  13. Keeping Stock (9,384 comments) says:

    Tell us what you REALLY think RRM :D

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  14. Peter (1,695 comments) says:

    Wellington ratepayer and motorist here – like many others, I’m sure.

    Just want to say:

    Fuck this :)
    Fuck greens :)
    Fuck NIMBYs :)
    Fuck that godawful part of town :)
    Fuck playing cricket on a roundabout :)

    Agree with RRM. Flatten the turgid, unremarkable place. Ensure people can get through it as quickly as possible.

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  15. oldpark (412 comments) says:

    Just heard on the news the Labour Party MP a person known as Robertson,saying the decision was a great one.Seems that was and still is why it took a National Government to at last after so many Labour Party refusals to fund Transmission Gully.Even now if greens/labour win in 20 09 2014 they could veto the Transmission Gully new road.Even taking it further,the same mentality that Robertson from Labour and Genter from the Greens espouse the so called Aucklands proposed new holiday highway will also get the chop.

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  16. srylands (438 comments) says:

    “”We need four lanes from the airport to Levin.”

    Do you have any evidence to support why this is necessary?””

    Let’s see. As I drive through Paremata/Pukerua Bay/Paraparaumu on a Friday evening, saying out loud “You must be fucking kidding me.”

    And I think the drivers trapped around me share those sentiments.

    How is that for evidence?

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  17. Tarquin North (400 comments) says:

    Sorry to hear you guys missed out. Up here in Northland we’re used to disapointment when it comes to roading. The only way forward is to do any thing possible to bury the greenie luddites.

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  18. freedom101 (513 comments) says:

    I’m sure that Hutt City will take the money to fix the awful Melling interchange. There are long long queues all the time, which holds up thousands of vehicles a day, including Upper Hutt and Wairarapa traffic. It would fly through resource consent, with huge community support. However, Melling/State Highway 2 is not a “RONS” – Road of National Significance – so even though the cost/benefit ratio is way higher than parts of the Otaki-Airport route it won’t get the money. Such is the misallocation of resources that the RONS formula generates.

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  19. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    Love the Basin for Cricket so all you who want to flatten can go take a jump. But that’s just me being a dirty sports fan…

    As a motorist the Basin is a damn obstacle though and there is a need to improve the flows from the Airport to the city.

    Have always thought that Adelaide to Kent/Cambridge should go under the Basin, the East West traffic should flow around and a Second Tunnel through Mt Vic should be built. Then fix the bit through Haitaitai to the lights by Kilbirnie Park, 2 lanes each way

    And why the Terrace Tunnel was not build 2 lanes each way is completely beyond me….

    If the fly over is not a go to ease the flow what are the options? And what are the costs? Where do i find the report?

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  20. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    Welcome to New Zealand.

    Sit on your arse, do nothing.

    Stop anybody else from doing anything either.

    You can do that without even getting off your arse!

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  21. srylands (438 comments) says:

    “If the fly over is not a go to ease the flow what are the options? And what are the costs? Where do i find the report?”

    The flyover IS the solution. Introduce special legislation after the election to overturn the decision. Problem solved.

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  22. OneTrack (3,374 comments) says:

    Great decision. Now the next step is to replace the road to the airport with a four lane cycleway. You know you want to.

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  23. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @OneTrack – “Now the next step is to replace the road to the airport with a four lane cycleway. You know you want to.”

    Upvoted for the humour…… :)

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  24. swan (665 comments) says:

    “Let’s see. As I drive through Paremata/Pukerua Bay/Paraparaumu on a Friday evening, saying out loud “You must be fucking kidding me.”

    And I think the drivers trapped around me share those sentiments.

    How is that for evidence?”

    Um, not really evidence to support spending billions of dollars of public money I’m afraid.

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  25. Huevon (230 comments) says:

    Perhaps now we can proceed with Option ByeByeBasin…bring on the bulldozers!

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  26. Grizz (613 comments) says:

    This decision does not surprise me. From my perspective it is a very Wellington approach to solving problems, ie, do nothing and it might all go away. If people in Wellington want a traffic between the airport and Motorway, than that is their problem. It is not going to affect the rest of the country. It is not a through route for a state highway like for instance the Kapiti Expressway is. Apart from saving 5 mins to get to the Airport there are no other great economic factors here such as access to industrial land etc. NZTA should therefore promote alternative routes to the airport such as redirecting traffic through back roads through Newtown or down Oriental Parade. Once these routes get congested there may be more drive for a Basin Flyover.

    Personally I felt the negative of the flyover were overstated. It was never going to be as high as scaremongered. It could easily be concealed from the basin by trees and a new grandstand. Noisewalls would have made it even quieter than the background noise that currently exists. Even the Basin would have got free investment.

    Sadly this was the golden opportunity to get something done. I doubt there will never be another government in a long time that is willing to spend money on new roading projects as this one. There is now no point of dupilicating the Mt Vic tunnel. Even a duplicated Terrace tunnel would have to be reduced to 2 lanes for the sake of safety as a result of this bottleneck (makes it hard to get resource consent for a 3 lane tunnel when you will only use 2 lanes indefinitely). For the rest of New Zealand it opens more funding for other projects. Maybe it will be transferred to the Melling Interchange.

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  27. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    RRM

    If you were a responsible citizen, you would travel on Ms Wade-Fuckwit’s buses, or better, ride a bike.

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  28. band4u (20 comments) says:

    People you need to get up to speed on United Nations agenda 21 or ICLEI; It promotes a Green agenda by steath via local government planners and RMA accredited commissioners who hear these draft recommendations. This agenda is largely responsible for the shortage of land in Auckland. It wants to see us all in high rise apartments (compact housing) walking and cycling around carless inner city areas. It is responsible for virtually every suburban street in Hamilton either being reduced or planned to be reduced to a 40 K speed limit . It goes under the name of ‘Traffic Calming’. It promotes cycling ACTION groups and boy are they active. They are in Hamilton City Planners ears on a monthly basis. Ever wondered why so much money is spent on such a small group of largely recreational cyclists? Check out Agenda 21.
    It states the eating meat is ‘unsustainable” hence the attacks on farmers as ‘polluters’
    It has looney building restrictions.. Commissioners have recommended in Hamilton Draft District Plan that all new subdivision streets run East /West so houses can face north. No metion of connecting streets. New Buildings must provide ‘end of journey ‘facilities for cyclists whatever that means. This is not a nutty conspiracy theory. Its alive and well amongst the planners in Your city. Check it out it is designed to change the way we live and it is happening without our permission.
    Its called smart growth. Its anything but.

    Its no accident that the Greens JUlie Anne Genter… a vocal opponent of the flyover and roads in general for that matter, was a town planner in a previous life. It must be remembered that she and her ilk actually want conjestion to force commuters onto public transport.

    Time to get informed and time to fight it or the Kiwi way of life with a house and some grass for you kids to play on and a car in the garage will be a distant memory

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  29. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    They should be moving the damn airport, which is situated in a stupid place, not building better access to it.

    Wellington, at huge risk from earth quake and tsunami – where the experts have said the airport will be rendered useless in its current position during a severe quake and/or tsunami, so the intelligent powers that be, want to increase access to the dinosaur by building a fly over, which during an emergency would also be inaccessible due to the sheer numbers of people trying to use the one route out of the disaster zone.

    That’s really clever, the same sort of thinking that made the Dodo extinct. I’d vote against the fly over too. We need forward thinking, not bloody ‘home handyman fixer upper’ garbage.

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  30. wreck1080 (4,000 comments) says:

    clearly the answer is to move the airport.

    Stupid location. Was when I lived there, and still is.

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  31. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    For extra bonus points, WHERE would you move the airport to? ;-)

    And what magic wand would you wave, to make it cheaper than a hundred metres of flyover?

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  32. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    So Judith, where would the airport go?

    The Todd family owns the alternative at Paraparaumu. And knowing them quite well, I also know their motto is “buy, but never sell”. Of course deals can be done. But compulsion would take years, and the Todds would play hard ball…..

    Anyway, it would be cheaper to move the Basin, lock stock and barrel, than to move the airport.

    A repeat of the National War Memorial legislation, post September 20, is essential.

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  33. mikenmild (12,412 comments) says:

    The relocation of the airport was last seriously reconsidered in the 1990s, but the decision then was to stay and redevelop.

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  34. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ flipper (3,531 comments) says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I wouldn’t matter if you move the basin or every other structure in the way – the fact remains its a stupid place to have an airport. It has reached its capacity and cannot be extended further to allow newer aircraft etc. It is a dinosaur – and Wellington region needs to find somewhere else. If legislation can be introduced to remove the Basin, then legislation can be introduced to make the Todd’s sell – if that is the best place. :-)

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  35. Paulus (2,712 comments) says:

    Paraparaumu having bits been sold off could never be considered as any alternative. Gliders only really.

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  36. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    Sorry Judith.

    You are totally wrong.

    It can be extended South in a manner that will meet all aircraft needs, and avoid the problems created by Newlands if it goes north.

    Of course, there is the small question of cost, and how that is to be shared.

    The Basin fly over is a must, that I predict will be put in place by legislation , whether the greens et al like it or not. There is no alternative.

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  37. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    “It has reached its capacity and cannot be extended further to allow newer aircraft etc.”.

    Yes it can be extended Judith. its called Lyall Bay. It could be extended in to Evans Bay as well. And while it would be a biggish job its doable.

    Your alternative merits consideration – But who is going to fund it? How would you overcome the Nimbyism that would manifest itself on the Kapiti Coast if Paraparaumu was designated an International Airport, which is what the wider region needs, and would need extending to handle Dreamliners and the big Airbus jets?

    And then you would need to improve the transport options in to Param as well

    And i do like your statement – legislation can make the Todds sell. private Property rights mean little to you obviously. please make the keys to your home and car available to the general populace by placing them in easy to find locatione

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  38. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    Flip…….I think P’pram airport owned by Sir Noel Robinson…It is alarming that every major consent hearing in the last few months has been denied or had impossible conditions imposed eg. the overpass, the Taranaki ocean Ironsands, the Ruataniwha Dam, all at a prospective loss of thousands of jobs, and after $millions have been wasted preparing for the consent hearings.There is currently the Chatham Rise Phosphate mining project under consent hearing also likely to be denied.. The Greens either infiltrate the boards or arrange for thousands of identical objections, the Iwi warn against spiritual upset and a cabal of elderly lawyers composing the board decide for the status quo rather tan accept essential progress. Nonetheless the process is enriching for lawyers.

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  39. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    backster (2,071 comments) says:

    July 23rd, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Flip…….I think P’pram airport owned by Sir Noel Robinson
    ****

    Did, but sold to the Todd family ages ago.

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  40. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ flipper (3,533 comments) says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Well maybe it can be, I had been told it couldn’t, but even if it can – how are you going to overcome the fact that in a disaster, it will be rendered useless – by not only damage, flooding but also because access to it will be blocked.

    It is just senseless to continue to poor money into something that is not ideal. The population is growing, we need to accept that and find a solution that will cater to growing needs, not one that is going to be continually patched up – and of no use to the specific region.

    @ Dave_1924 (89 comments) says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Whilst I don’t believe in personal property being taken willy nilly – when it is a matter of major national importance, such as an airport – then yes, I believe that national concern takes precedence – however, I am not convinced that Paraparaumu is the answer either. I notice you don’t mind the residents of Lyall Bay etc having to forgo their ‘private property’ :-)

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  41. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    30 years from now all planes will be permanently grounded, problem solved.

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  42. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    Lyall Bay residents don’t own the seabed that would host a runway extension Judith…. : )

    So not at Rongotai, not at Paraparaumu – so that leaves where close to Wellington pray tell???

    Lots of objections no solutions… No wonder you and JK don’t get on…

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  43. edhunter (554 comments) says:

    Again apathy by voters and a real lack of a viable option on the right at least at local body level leaves the lefties to do as they will, Len’s train set, Celia’s car ban & coming soon Lianne’s decision to rebuild the cathedral to all it’s former glory.
    Maybe if voting at local body level was confined to actual ratepayers there’d be a bigger/better outcome. But still doesn’t account for a lack of a viable alternative on election day.

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  44. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    The correct solution is Option F, tunneling SH1 from Paterson St to Taranaki. Spend the money, built it properly for God’s sake.

    That’s a fantastic idea if you want a road steeper than Ngauranga gorge with the bottom being below the water table. Would they pedestrianise this tunnel too? I know how walkers love the Mt Vic tunnel. Imagine how much more they’d love it with the carbon dioxide pooling at the bottom below the level of the sacrosanct cricket pitch.

    The really awesome thing someone mentioned the other day is that the basin reserve would not get resource consent if requested today. It’s covering an ancient stream, which this magical tunnelling option would also need to go through (it currently travels through pipes).

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  45. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    Judith, you should run for Mayor of Wellington. Getting rid of the airport is a bold initiative which I’m sure Wellington voters could get behind.

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  46. projectman (232 comments) says:

    The airport should never have been moved from Paraparaumu. There would, once, have been more room for the expansion that is now desired. Leaving it there, with a good transport link to the city (rail and dual-lane motorways), was the answer. Not any more. That horse has bolted.

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  47. hane (69 comments) says:

    @labrador, Option F would be a tunnel for cars only from Paterson to Taranaki with cycles and pedestrians using the green space above. Therefore no air quality issues.

    As for gradient, NZTA has calculated that it is feasible if the tunnel exits at Taranaki. I am not an engineer so I have no idea whether Memorial Tunnel Park can be or would need to be modified to attain this reasonable gradient. If it is not, then you can blame pure government incompetence for greenlighting MPT as a separate project without having a solution for the Basin greenlighted and in place.

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  48. Bob R (1,421 comments) says:

    Copy of the draft decision.

    http://www.epa.govt.nz/resource-management/NSP000026/NSP000026_NSP000026_Draft%20Report%20and%20Decision.pdf

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  49. Akaroa (613 comments) says:

    I don’t live in Wellington any more, but when I did I lived in Miramar – (not too far from the Airport for out-of-towners unfamiliar with Wellington).

    Working and parking in Central Wellington, my favoured route driving home or to and from the City to the Airport was via Oriental Bay and the coast road as far as St Pat’s Town thereby missing the tunnel and the Basin.

    Never had much trouble traffic-wise.

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  50. FeralScrote (255 comments) says:

    Good to see Wellingtonians getting a taste of the same bureaucratic bullshit the rest of us have to put up with.
    Holiday highway anyone?

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  51. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    Here we are.

    Option “get that seldom-used empty paddock for games the fuck out of everyone’s way”

    https://scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t31.0-8/10496247_10152981889449056_2704163567488209145_o.jpg

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  52. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    “Round the bays run” would have fucked you Akaroa! :)

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  53. ex-golfer (169 comments) says:

    Another victory for the likes of Iona “I’ll stop everything” Pannet.
    I once asked her, via her website, what she could list as achievements in her time as a troughing local councilor.
    No reply was received – which reflects nicely on her abilities.

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  54. 2boyz (273 comments) says:

    ex-golfer, easy on Iona. She took really affirmative action when it came to the cycle lane to Celia Wade Browns house in Island Bay, double standards (just a touch).

    The whole process of the proposed bypass has been a joke, was actually feeling quite down about it earlier today but hopefully CWB & Iona will be gone next time round, they are frecken holding the city back!

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  55. jcuk (758 comments) says:

    then of course there is option K … raise the basin reserve and have the roads running under it. Plenty of room for a big roundabout then.

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  56. Couchpotatoe (36 comments) says:

    The flyover decision has been made without the taint of politics but based on the evidence and the proposal has been found very wanting.

    Wellington …great place but awaiting a good shake and tsunami.

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  57. Bullitt (141 comments) says:

    Two lanes into the basin, three lanes around the basin, one lane through Mt Vic tunnel. Why anyone thinks the flyover was ever necessary is beyond me.

    The basin never has been the source of congestion so the flyover would have been a huge waste of money with no impact on travel times.

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  58. pejhay (31 comments) says:

    On the basis of the Phoenix performance tonight, let’s ditch the basin, turn it into a single football pitch, and surround it in more lanes.

    Seriously ?!? Something has to be done, and if a flyover isn’t the right option, what will happen?, wider surface roads, that make access to your sacred ground more difficult, a tunnel? teleportation perhaps ?

    On very good authority, Council was out measuring the width of Vivian St again today (like it might have changed – duh!), and asking local businesses ‘who uses the parking spaces and when?’. So perhaps that part of SH1 will be widened from 2 to 3 lanes, but for what purpose if 75% of them then need to go through a single lane tunnel after negotiating a really f—-n awful lane merge fiasco.

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  59. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    When I was a small boy with an interest in trains, planes and automobiles, I remember my dad showing me an old newsreel of the air show that opened the Rongotai airfield…

    Wellingtonians were so utterly, UTTERLY sick of the hour-long drive or bus ride to and from the Paraparaumu airfield, that they literally moved mountains and reclaimed part of the sea to build an airport for the town, that was actually IN TOWN where people could get to it reasonably easily!

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