Endless traffic, and how to change it…

Keep Our Buses Clean – Sign the petition at Gen Zero

Besancon

A recent article on the concerns underpinning European Mobility Week is particularly relevant for the Wellington region when it says “…the majority of our public spaces have been transformed into endless flows of traffic, to better accommodate our dependence on this form of transport….”

Over recent years, Wellington’s councils through the Regional Transport Committee have agreed on the construction of $2.7billion of new roads. And this year, a Petone to Grenada link road was added along with a cross (Hutt) Valley flier road.

Last year, removal of Wellington’s trolley buses was approved and modern light rail/tram was rejected in favour of a bus priority system –Bus Rapid Transit (BRT “Light”) with double decker and bendy buses. Few can see the sense in this, when Wellington has the density that cries out for a modern tram system extending southwards to Newtown and the airport. Comparative international examples such as Besancon abound.

To date, the only project to be removed from the highway vision is the Basin flyover, worth $90 million. However, there is hope that the ground breaking Board of Inquiry rejection of the flyover has created a new opportunity to break the cycle of “death by car” development in favour of pedestrian/cycle access and smart modern public transport.

There is an even more urgent reason for change to low carbon forms of transport – carbon emissions are higher than at any time in the last 15 million years, and the heat from those emissions is now spreading into deepest recesses of oceans, polar ice caps and shelves. If one degree of global warming has made extreme weather significantly more probable, then what can we expect in coming decades as the first full century of the Anthropocene unfolds?

The Regional Council’s climate change action plan has been approved. It has a policy to provide attractive and accessible low emission transport in our own fleet and in future public transport contracts.

Can we do it? A wider debate has been promised. The scope of that debate is to be determined by a group of six, charged with the delivery of the Ngauranga to Airport (N2A) Corridor Plan. That group is widely regarded as compromised by their association with roading decisions, but strong pressure must be exerted so that this debate does takes place and we do get change.

Keep Our Buses Clean
– Sign the petition at Gen Zero.

Bus Rapid Transit Light!

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