Katie Chapman reports:
After months re-reviewing the options, $40,000 spent, and another three-hour debate, Wellington city councillors still can’t decide where they stand on the Basin Flyover.
Of course not. It’s not as if it is even a complex decision. The opponents don’t even have a viable alternative. They are doing the worse kind of negative politicking. Fine to put up alternatives, but they have failed to come up with anything sensible.
In a committee debate yesterday that saw cries about congestion woes clash with descriptions of a ‘‘monstrosity’’ in the city centre, councillors continued to tie themselves in knots over the controversial roading project.
I was walking through Victoria Park in Auckland on Wednesday and you know that has a motorway actually go over part of the park, and guess what – still pretty popular. And unless you move the Basin Reserve to Miramar, it is inevitable that you will need improved traffic flows at this major congestion point.
Finally, after 3 1/2 hours of debating what position to take, they voted not to take a position.
Jo Coughlan labelled opposition ‘‘anti-car’’ and ‘‘anti-family’’.
Yep. You can’t send the kids off to weekend sport on the bus or train. You drive them there, and watch their games etc.
Ray Ahipene-Mercer said it was time for councillors to accept officers’ advice, rather than reviewing the options repeatedly because they didn’t like the outcome.
Again, if there was a viable alternative, then fine. But they don’t have one.
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said having the largest local authority in the region unable to fully back a project of regional significance was a bad look.
I wonder if we could get Nick to stand for Mayor of Wellington. He may be a leftie, but at least he is a sane leftie – like Ray Ahipene-Mercer.
Wellington City Council’s refusal to fully support the flyover was frustrating for the rest of the region, which recognised the economic importance of a speedy corridor between Wellington Airport and Levin, he said.
‘‘It’s regional traffic that will be using the road. People in Porirua want to be able to get to the airport and to the hospital.’’
And you can’t have a transport corridor that is four lanes for 99% and two lanes for 1%. Because that 1% sets the flow for the whole corridor.
HOW THEY VOTED
For the motion to “not support the flyover”: Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Stephanie Cook, Paul Eagle, Justin Lester, Iona Pannett, Bryan Pepperell, Helene Ritchie
Print that out for local body elections as a list of people not to vote for, if you want to reduce congestion.