WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

U-turn


In a surprise decision, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast today announced that the inner-city bypass will be scrapped. "We had faith in roads to solve all life's problems, but it hasn't turned out like that at all. It seems that while east-west commuters are saving a few minutes, north-south commuters have had to pay for it with increased delays, and overall, the project hasn't been worth all the money and hassle."

The council and Transit NZ are now working to repair the damage. State Highway 1 traffic will return to the old route, but with a small toll. "We saw from the last few year's figures that commuters will switch to public transport when petrol prices are high, and that the only way to reduce congestion in the city is to make public transport more attractive than private cars," said a Transit spokesperson. "The toll will help fund a 50% reduction in bus and train fares, effective immediately." Karo Drive will be replaced by narrow streets with pedestrian priority, flanked by mid-rise medium-density housing, workplaces, shops and Tiki bars. At least half of the development will be affordable housing, and every new building will be built to the highest ecological and energy efficiency standards, including small-scale wind turbines, solar power and green roofs. Transit are actively seeking out the former inhabitants of upper Te Aro to offer them free rent for the next five years, in atonement for the disruption that they have faced.

The final stage will be to put into place a long-term vision for sustainable Wellington transport, including light rail to the airport, powered by a small new wind farm on Mt Kaukau. "We can't keep talking about sustainability and carbon neutrality without doing something bold about it," said Ms Prendergast, while enjoying a cup of freshly-roasted coffee at Havana with her husband. "People will look back to the first of April 2007 as a great day in Wellington's history."

15 Comments:

At 12:03 PM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Ben said...

Love your April Fools work my man - Imagine it!

 
At 12:47 PM, April 01, 2007, Blogger Keith said...

...I hate you.

 
At 1:37 PM, April 01, 2007, Blogger Brett said...

Oh, if only it were true, such a nice dream.

Sadly, even the first few lines where just too unrealistic, though I will confess to having a very low opinion of the WCC, so I'm probably not the best test case. :)

-- Brett

 
At 1:50 PM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Duncan said...

And a happy april fools to you to Tom !

 
At 3:17 PM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Johnny-johnny said...

Love the reference to Prendergast and her hubby at Havana!

 
At 3:33 PM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of havana and her husband... nice to see that the mayor and her hubby have adopted the George W Bush mentality to democracy.

I'm the mayor so screw you.

 
At 7:21 PM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous deepred said...

Happy April Fools!

 
At 8:30 PM, April 01, 2007, Blogger Maximus said...

yeah, good old Kerry, knew we could rely on her to see sense at last. It's good to see that she has responded to the challenge her husband threw down, and that she wants to have a solid plank in her battle for re-election...

 
At 9:58 PM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be fantastic if that dream were to come true in the not too distant future? :-)

 
At 8:53 AM, April 02, 2007, Blogger llew said...

The bypass would make a very superior skateboard area.

But how is it panning out a week or so into it? Staff seem to be turning up on time again, so they're either getting up earlier or the buses are getting through at last.

 
At 1:42 PM, April 02, 2007, Blogger noizy said...

I particularly like how it's appearing in the Wellingtonista News Feed.

 
At 2:54 PM, April 02, 2007, Blogger stephen said...

lolz @ "Tiki Bars"

 
At 5:23 PM, April 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, Mayor Jenny Brash reported that she no longer supports Transmission Gully Motorway and would prefer a high quality light rail link from Waikanae to the Airport.

 
At 4:41 PM, April 03, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

You could be forgiven for thinking that this press release was also sent on April 1st: "Council Wins Award for Sustainable Strategic Planning"!

 
At 7:11 AM, April 04, 2007, Anonymous che tibby said...

hey! that guy who's been putting up video on PA system is sending me a copy of his dvd when he's finished editing it.

before you ask, it's about deflating myths around public transport etc.

but... i need help setting up a viewing somewhere.

ideas. and no. no april fool.

 

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