It involves a new four-lane tunnel under Mt Victoria, with two lanes each for cars and buses, a change of traffic patterns around the Basin Reserve, and new mass rapid transit system – most likely light rail – running from the city out to Island Bay in the city’s south. It would also convert the current Mt Victoria tunnel into a pedestrian and bike tunnel.
This is, with respect, nuts.
Going from two lanes to six lanes is good. But to spend what will be over a billion dollars on a new tunnel, and not have any extra capacity for motor vehicles is nuts.
I’m all for a dedicated bus lane, and pedestrian and cyclist lanes. But to have as many lanes for pedestrians and cyclists as for motorists is crazy. Around 50,000 cars use the tunnel. Unless you are having a daily marathon through the tunnel, you don’t need the same space for pedestrians.
On an average weekday there are 300 cyclists and 45,000 cars. And they are giving the same space to cycling as cars.
Again we should have cycle and pedestrian lanes. But we need four lanes for motorists also also.
The silver lining is that if a new four lane tunnel gets built, it will be simple enough to turn it in the future into a tunnel for cars. You then turn the current tunnel into a bus rapid transit tunnel and the current bus tunnel into a pedestrian and cycling tunnel.