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

Monday, July 24, 2006

Traffic and trees

Constrcution starts on the Greening the Quays projectThe Greening the Quays project has started. The diggers were out today creating a 2-metre median strip along Jervois Quay, to make room for a row of "Māori Princess" pohutukawa trees (currently corralled at Taranaki St Wharf) that will stretch initially from Cable St to Johnston St, and eventually to Bunny St. The specific variety was chosen because it grows tall and straight, and thus won't spread out and interfere with traffic.

This is supposed to turn the Quays into a "boulevard" rather than a mini-motorway. The trees will certainly make the road look nicer, but there will be the same number of lanes and the same amount of traffic, so it's unlikely to do much to make the waterfront more accessible to pedestrians. There are still vague plans to reduce the quays from 6 lanes to 4 once the "bypass" is complete, but they are subject to a review of traffic levels. If the "bypass" fails to deliver the promised reductions in waterfront traffic (and I have my doubts), we will still be stuck with a 6-lane aterial road between the city and the harbour. I suppose it will look pretty at Christmas, though.

Rendering of Jervois Quay after the Greening the Quays project


At 3:44 pm, July 24, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

Trees sure are pretty. But they're still no bloody good when you're waiting to cross the road in the rain and wind!

Think of the poor girls in their miniskirts and tiny tops trying to make their way to the Loaded Hog and Shed 5. (Shakes fist) Think of them!

At 4:32 pm, July 24, 2006, Blogger Baz said...

Sorry Hadyn, what were you saying? I drifted away for a moment...

I'm really impressed with the progress the workmen have made between those two photos. Fast work indeed.

At 9:45 am, July 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how in these evocative illustrations the presence of people inevitably 'grow' with the trees. Is there a link between propagation and propaganda??

At 9:45 am, July 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I stupid for hoping they reduce it to 4 lanes even if (when...) the bypass doesnt reduce traffic along the waterfront? Make the route less appealing, and chances are some people will choose not to take it or to use public transport instead. I'm also sure that, once again, a congestion charge coming into the city would help reduce traffic there...


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