I spent a large portion of the weekend working on my entry for the Road Works competition, and though the winners will not be announced until tomorrow night (6pm at the School of Architecture, if you're interested), the judges have already made their decisions, so I'm free to post my entry here. I actually started work on two entries (a serious one and one that if not exactly frivolous, is more rhetorical than buildable), but in the end I only had time to finish the latter. If I get the chance, I may write up my serious suggestion for Buckle St and post it here soon, but for the moment here's my actual entry, reformatted for the web and with a few embarrassing typos cleaned up.
One-way traffic: a memorial to the end of the car age
This is a proposal for an ultimate solution to traffic congestion in Wellington. As burying SH1 completely has been rejected as too expensive, this includes only the entrance, and no exit. Instead, cars enter a subterranean recycling and crushing centre, where the driver receives a ticket for a year's free public transport in exchange (a Light Rail hub is nearby, to make the continuation of the journey as easy as possible).
The recycling is marked by an enormous "Nodding Donkey" oil pump, but instead of extracting oil from the ground, it acts to crush any non-recyclable components and drive them back into the earth from where they came. As the brief calls for allied countries to be able to install their own memorials, there is space for redundant cars symbolic of these countries (a Holden, a Chrysler, maybe a Reliant Robin) to be embedded into the ground as headstones to mark the sacrifices that human beings, cities and the planet have made in order to feed the now-vanishing age of the automobile.