Monday, May 08, 2006

Wellingtonians: Ngauranga to Airport transport study


In case you didn't notice, there are bigger transport issues in Wellington than Transmission Gully. Transit is now consulting on a strategy for the most congested corridor in the region- Ngauranga-Airport. So if you are ever stuck entering this tunnel (Mt Victoria Tunnel) on a regular basis then you might give a damn about it.
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This study will be developing a draft strategy for roads and public transport on the corridor and will - understandably - mainly be focused on access between the city and the airport, the region and the airport and access around the CBD.
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Submission deadline is May 15 and the Transit papers on this are located here.
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For my bit, I think the focus should be on:
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- A flyover at the Basin Reserve as a priority, to take Mt Victoria Tunnel-Buckle St/Cambridge Tce traffic off of the Basin roundabout. The land is there for it and it is the next logical step once the inner city bypass is completed;
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- A 2nd Mt Victoria Tunnel and 4-laning Ruahine St and the 2-lane stretch of Wellington Road. Access to the airport is critical for the whole region, and the economic of that work are likely to be far better than Transmission Gully;
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- Longer term designating a preference for a covered trench motorway bypass tunnel from the Basin Reserve to the Terrace Tunnel, with a 2nd Terrace Tunnel. This is the original early 1990s motorway extension plan, and if built could cut a third of the traffic from Te Aro and the waterfront. In combination with road pricing, this could relieve the city of through traffic and revitalise the waterfront by enabling one-lane each way to be removed.
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Public transport? Well once you have rationed the road space with pricing, buses will operate quicker and more economically through the city. The trains are already being refurbished or replaced (and don't say underground rail or light rail - they make no economic sense at all).
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Another idea seriously under consideration is to 8-lane the motorway from Ngauranga Interchange to Aotea Quay, which will relieve congestion at the merges at peak times, but shift the traffic into the city - I'd be fine with extra lanes on the motorway, as long as they are funded by tolls - as is increasingly happening in the USA (such as the 91 express lanes in California)- so those who benefit from the extra lanes pay for them.

2 comments:

Seamonkey Madness said...

I still don't understand your flyover concept at the Basin.
What happens at the cricket when the ball hits the flyover - 6 and out like BYC rules?

Or am I imagining it in totally the wrong place?

libertyscott said...

Yes you are, the old plans for the motorway extension to Mt Victoria Tunnel always had it skirting the north-eastern boundary fence of the Basin. It would only be a 2-lane road, swing north of the tunnel on that swathe of empty land west of the new church and then swing parallel to Buckle St and come up to the intersection with Tory Street. I've seen drawings, so it should work!