People, not cars – Save the Basin states the case for urban design

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The Save the Basin Campaign has this week released its submission to the Let’s Get Welly Moving engagement process on its four proposed scenarios for Wellington transport. Its submission focuses on the role of the Basin Reserve as a valued part of Wellington heritage, identity and urban design, and supports transport proposals that do not imperil that role, and enhance Wellington’s status as a liveable city designed to meet the needs of people, not cars.

1. Summary

STBC supports Scenario A.

It rejects Scenarios B, C and D.

In supporting Scenario A, STBC also urges that it be accompanied by additional actions such as transport demand management and serious option development and assessment of public transport options such as light rail. This could be called Scenario A+.

2.
STBC appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback on the Scenarios. However, it finds the presentation of these scenarios by Let’s Get Wellington Moving disappointing as it simply presents NZTA’s defeated Ngauranga to Airport strategy in a staged and lightly different format. At the same time, roading/bridge/tunnel proposals around the Basin Reserve are vague and unclear but potentially involve even more bridges and therefore adverse impact on the character of the Basin Reserve. LGWM’s table comparing the scenarios, for instance, states under Built environment and heritage that there will be an impact on heritage items “due to works at Basin/Mt Vic” for Scenarios B, C and D.

This is especially disappointing as such proposed solutions were resoundingly rejected by both the Board of Inquiry into the Basin Bridge Proposal Decision in August 2014 and the High Court Appeal against the Report and Decision of the Board of Inquiry into the Basin Bridge in August 2015.

3. Support for Scenario A
STBC supports Scenario A because by giving priority to public transport and improving cycle lanes it ncourages active transport and a move to public transport. Improved Basin layout will enhance traffic movement around the Basin Reserve, with minimal adverse effect on the Basin Reserve itself. Expert witnesses for STBC during the Board of Inquiry into the Basin Bridge provided ample evidence that this can be done effectively.
We support Scenario A because of the unique values of the Basin Reserve to the heritage and environment of Wellington.

These values should not be compromised any further. Also, as LGWM acknowledges, all indications are that traditional vehicular transport in western urban centres is on the point of undergoing a radical change. Building more ‘traditional’ roads, on the basis of plans that are essentially decades old, does not make sense.

While STBC’s focus is on the Basin Reserve, our support for Scenario A supports other Wellington groups and neighbourhoods that would suffer from the environmental degradation caused by Scenarios B, C and D.

4. Significance of the Basin Reserve
The significance of the Basin Reserve, and its surrounding area, has been conclusively acknowledged.
It is a unique environmental and heritage feature, which helps define Wellington and plays an important role in collective memory and current and future recreational activities.

The Final Report and Decision of the Board of Inquiry into the Basin Bridge Proposal thoroughly investigated and analysed the significance of the Basin Reserve and reasons why its unique values should not be compromised, so they will………

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2018-01-30T17:46:18+00:00