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A little bird tells me this is due at 10am, so we might as well create a thread for it to go in..

Multibillion-dollar plan to fix Wellington's traffic congestion to be announced on Thursday

A multibillion-dollar plan to fix Wellington's traffic congestion problems will be announced on Thursday.

The proposal, which will be subject to public consultation, is expected to include a solution for the choke point at the Basin Reserve roundabout, a preferred route for a mass public transport system, and a possible second Mt Victoria tunnel and widened Ruahine St.

The 20-year programme, expected to cost several billion dollars, will also address plans for a duplicate or reconfigured Terrace tunnel, and for the Inner-City Bypass on State Highway 1, which could be taken underground.
A multibillion-dollar plan to fix Wellington's traffic congestion will be announced on Thursday.

Other key projects will include more priority bus lanes and an improved central city cycling network with more cycle lanes.

A preferred route is expected to be announced for the mass public transport system between Wellington Railway Station and Wellington Airport, possibly with connections to Kilbirnie and Wellington Regional Hospital in Newtown.
Local and state highway traffic at the Basin Reserve roundabout could be separated by a tunnel.

It could be for light rail, a rapid bus system, or trackless trams. The route could be taken along the waterfront quays, which would potentially remove some traffic lanes.

If an underground bypass route was built, it could be used for eastbound SH1 traffic currently using Vivian St, with Vivian St becoming a two-way road.

The proposal has been developed by the Let's Get Wellington Moving group, set up after plans for a Basin Reserve flyover fell over in 2014.

It is the joint work of the New Zealand Transport Agency, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The team's brief was to solve traffic congestion problems between Wellington Airport and the Ngauranga Gorge.

Following the failed flyover proposal, the group has come up with a more rounded plan which it hopes will please not just motorists, but also public transport users, cyclists, and pedestrians.

It's understood a tunnel would be the preferred option - rather than a bridge or flyover - to separate local and state highway traffic at the Basin.

The proposal has been signed off by Cabinet but will need to be approved by local councils before consenting or construction can begin.

However, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Tuesday he welcomed the integrated approach, and the Government was committed to overseeing the beginning of the plan.

"It takes some political will and commitment to do that, and I can certainly say on behalf of central Government we want to do that."

It is estimated there will be as many as 31,000 extra jobs in the Wellington CBD over the next 30 years, with between 50,000 and 80,000 more people living in the area.

By the same time, the Wellington region's population is expected to grow by between 100,000 and 150,000 people, with up to 50,000 more jobs.

Travel times by both car and public transport are forecast to be 25 per cent longer on some key routes by 2026 if no investment is made in the region's transport network.
 

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Ok so here's the recommended programme of investment. I've hardly had time to read it all, but my first impression of the programme is that we're getting everything we wanted (I might've missed something) but it is taking 20 years to get and the plan to actually getting it does seem littered with potholes.

But these are the big projects: Mass Transit, Basin Reserve improvements (tunnels), Golden Mile being reduced to bus lanes, second Terrace Tunnel, Second Mt Vic Tunnel, SH1 trench under Te Aro.


A WHOLE OF SYSTEM APPROACH – A RANGE OF IMPROVEMENTS THAT WORK TOGETHER

HIGH QUALITY WALKING AND CYCLING

So our streets are safer and better places for people
• Safer speeds in and around the city
• Walking improvements though the central city including:
- Footpath widening
- Improved crossing facilities and reduced waiting times
- Better shelters, signage, lighting
• New dedicated walking access through Mt Victoria
Public space improvements, for example, Dixon, Mercer, through Te Aro,
Basin Reserve

• A network of connected cycleways through the central city
• New dedicated cycleways connecting through Mt Victoria, along Adelaide
Rd, and Vivian St
• New pedestrian crossings, including Cobham Drive

BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORT WITH HIGH-CAPACITY MASS TRANSIT

So people have more travel choices, and buses and trains are more reliable
and attractive
Mass transit from the railway station to the airport via a new
waterfront spine, Taranaki Street, the hospital, Newtown, Kilbirnie,
and Miramar (see page 9)

Bus priority improvements:
- Golden Mile spine, with general traffic removal on Willis and parts
of Lambton and Courtenay
- Core routes into the city such as Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road

• High quality, high frequency buses
• Increased rail network capacity*
• Integrated ticketing*
*implemented outside of LGWM

URBAN DEVELOPMENT LAND USE CHANGES
INTEGRATED WITH TRANSPORT

So people have better travel choices near
where they live and work
• District plan changes
• Other tools to increase housing
• Building where the market can’t deliver
• Capturing increases in land value to support
infrastructure investment

SMARTER TRANSPORT NETWORK WITH ROAD
PRICING

So people and goods make better use of our
transport system with fewer cars
• Smarter pricing (e.g. parking/cordon charges)
• Mobility as a Service for Wellington
• Network optimisation, safety and operations
improvements
• Enhanced Travel Demand Management (TDM)
• Integrated network operating system
• Align parking policy and management with
the programme


MULTIMODAL STATE HIGHWAY
IMPROVEMENTS

To relocate cars out of the central city and
enable better public transport, walking
and cycling, and so people can get to key
destinations, such as the hospital and airport,
more reliably
Basin Reserve improvements (see page 11)
Extra Mt Victoria Tunnel and widening
Ruahine St/Wellington Rd

Reconfiguring SH1 into a tunnel under a new
city park in Te Aro

Extra Terrace Tunnel
SH1 Southbound widening between
Ngauranga and Aotea Quay
 

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Extremely excited about this. It'll be interesting to see what gets going in the next few years, and whether the National Party will honour the plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok so here's the recommended programme of investment. I've hardly had time to read it all, but my first impression of the programme is that we're getting everything we wanted (I might've missed something) but it is taking 20 years to get.
Yeah, its pretty much everything that came out of the original consultation, but the timeframes are pretty stretched out, from looking at this
https://getwellymoving.co.nz/assets/Documents/The-Plan/6575-LGWM-Recommended-Programme-RPI-v6.pdf

until 2024, its pretty much cycling and bus lanes, plus prep work for Mass transit and the 2nd Mt Vic tunnel

2024-29 is the kicker, that's when the mass transit and tunnel are to be completed, along with the "basin improvments" and that is still a big hand wavy, talking about "grade separation" but offering no solid commitments - [the cynic in me says that the basin bridge was also called grade separation)

Also this is all supposed to be done for $1.7 Billion !!!!


My overarching impression is that centre government are seriously skimping out on this..

https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/news/2019/05/lgwm

LGWM is estimated to cost $6.4 billion over the life of the project, including capital and operating costs and interest. The Government will contribute 60 percent, and Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council 40 percent. The local government component will be funded by general rates, a targeted rate along the mass transit spine and transport levies
Wellington city is having a hard time finding a couple of hunder million to repair/replace civic square, and now its on the hook ( with the regional council) for the thick end of $2.5 Billion !!!!:wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash:
 

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^^ Great investment for Wellington, and definitely long over-due. Everything that is announced is great (apart from no clear idea on whether it will in fact be light-rail or some other form of mass transport), but in regard to timings and what gets started these next few years, it starts to look a little disappointing?

Here are some details on the "indicative timing" of the 20-year plan:
By 2024, the aim is to deliver early wins for walking, cycling, and public transport. Investigation and design of larger programme elements will start.
Cost: $0.6 billion

From 2024 to 2029, "deliver a step-change" in public transport with new mass transit, and reshape the transport system to provide more travel choice. This is when much of what is planned is delivered, or at least gets underway.
Cost $1.7 billion

After 2029, mass transit is connected to the airport, and the programme is adapted to changing technology.
Cost $1.7 billion

https://getwellymoving.co.nz/assets/Documents/The-Plan/6575-LGWM-Recommended-Programme-RPI-v6.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
From 2024 to 2029, "deliver a step-change" in public transport with new mass transit, and reshape the transport system to provide more travel choice. This is when much of what is planned is delivered, or at least gets underway.
Cost $1.7 billion

After 2029, mass transit is connected to the airport, and the programme is adapted to changing technology.
Cost $1.7 billion
But this timing and Funds also to include a new Terrace and Mt Vic Tunnel, a large double tunnel under Te Aro and the Basin whatever it will be (which they don't just keep the tunnel going through to the other side of MT Vic I don't know)

But Nothing is going to happen until WCC and WRC sign up and start to find some $$

Edit: The Capex costs are listed on p27 of this
https://getwellymoving.co.nz/assets/Documents/The-Plan/6575-LGWM-Recommended-Programme-RPI-v6.pdf

Walkable city 70
Connected cycleways 30
Public transport 300
Mass transit – city to Newtown 990
Mass transit – Newtown to airport 450
Smarter transport network 30
Smarter pricing 30
Extra Mt Victoria tunnel and Ruahine/Wellington Rd 480
Basin Reserve improvements 130
Extra Terrace Tunnel and 4th lane southbound 400
Te Aro Tunnel and park 1,100
TOTAL 4,010

But its not clear what the additional $2.4 billion (the total cost being thrown around is $6.4 billion)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, Now really confused, The terrace and Te Aro Tunnel are NOT in the package!!

Ok, So now I'm really confused,

The documents from LGWM include the recommendation for the second Terrace tunnel and the Te Aro tunnel and turning Vivian street into a park,

But apparently this is not part of the plan that the government has agreed to

Plans to build a second Terrace Tunnel and reconfigure SH1 into a tunnel under a new city park in Te Aro were part of the recommended package, but did not make the final cut.

We had to draw the line somewhere," Twyford said.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112725656/multibilliondollar-transport-plan-announced-for-wellington

and they don't appear in Twyford's press release,
https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/green-light-govt-get-wellington-moving

So what we are getting are bus lanes, cycleways, the promise of some mass transit, along with a second Mt Vic tunnel, widening Ruahine/Wgtn Road street and a basin solution, and its going to cost $6 billion, or which Wellington has to find $2.5 billion,

We will still have SH1 running down Vivian Street and a single Terrace tunnel....
 

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Ok, So now I'm really confused,

The documents from LGWM include the recommendation for the second Terrace tunnel and the Te Aro tunnel and turning Vivian street into a park,

But apparently this is not part of the plan that the government has agreed to


https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112725656/multibilliondollar-transport-plan-announced-for-wellington

and they don't appear in Twyford's press release,
https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/green-light-govt-get-wellington-moving

So what we are getting are bus lanes, cycleways, the promise of some mass transit, along with a second Mt Vic tunnel, widening Ruahine/Wgtn Road street and a basin solution, and its going to cost $6 billion, or which Wellington has to find $2.5 billion,

We will still have SH1 running down Vivian Street and a single Terrace tunnel....
Don't worry about it. The nimbies will scuttle this plan just as they stuffed up the original plan and the runway extension. New plan expected in 2025?
 

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After all the time it's taken them to make an announcement, one might have at least expected that this announcement was cogent and didn't utterly confuse everybody - but then it did.

Ok so it's clear now that the recommended programme of investment and what the Government has agreed to do are not the same thing. Therefore, the second terrace tunnel and the trench under Te Aro are, currently, off the table. However, it seems likely that the recommended programme of investment was made for future governments to consider - otherwise why would there be a timeframe provided for the second tunnel and trench as well as costings? Surely at some point before 2039 a government will decide to fund these things. Indeed, within the next 20 years there'll be, based on the last 20, 2-4 new governments (unless we turn into Australia) so of course the plan has to allow a good deal of flexibility.

As for mass transit, as I understand it the route and form it will take will be figured out before the next election so that funding can be allocated. This is at least something.

I personally think the indicative route along the waterfront and up Taranaki Street is probably the best one - certain lobby groups are complaining that because it isn't going along the golden mile at any point that it won't be utilised as well as it might, but surely they realise it's literally a one minute walk from Jervois Quay to Willis Street (for example). Maybe a route via the Basin would be better than up Taranaki, but I guess the Basin is quite an obstacle.

As for the time frame of mass transit, is completing the route to the airport in the 30s really satisfactory? No, not at all. The plan is to build it to Newtown before 2029, then extend it out to the airport in the 30s - really?

Overall, I'm mildly disappointed by the announcement today. While I think the things that have been supported are good, I think the time frame to implement them is both too long and too vulnerable to all number of different factors.

I'm particularly disappointed about the missing tunnel and the trench, only because I believe these two projects to be vital for freeing up the CBD and Te Aro from cars and allowing greater intensification and a more human-centred city. But at least they are still on the table for future governments to consider.

And, Jeff Reff, the second Mt Vic tunnel will probably be a big bone of contention for the NIMBYs so yeah watch this space. I also see that Save the Basin started kicking off about one of the renders of the Basin reserve because it showed an underpass, which they took to mean a flyover in disguise.
 

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After all the time it's taken them to make an announcement, one might have at least expected that this announcement was cogent and didn't utterly confuse everybody - but then it did.

Ok so it's clear now that the recommended programme of investment and what the Government has agreed to do are not the same thing. Therefore, the second terrace tunnel and the trench under Te Aro are, currently, off the table. However, it seems likely that the recommended programme of investment was made for future governments to consider - otherwise why would there be a timeframe provided for the second tunnel and trench as well as costings? Surely at some point before 2039 a government will decide to fund these things. Indeed, within the next 20 years there'll be, based on the last 20, 2-4 new governments (unless we turn into Australia) so of course the plan has to allow a good deal of flexibility.

As for mass transit, as I understand it the route and form it will take will be figured out before the next election so that funding can be allocated. This is at least something.

I personally think the indicative route along the waterfront and up Taranaki Street is probably the best one - certain lobby groups are complaining that because it isn't going along the golden mile at any point that it won't be utilised as well as it might, but surely they realise it's literally a one minute walk from Jervois Quay to Willis Street (for example). Maybe a route via the Basin would be better than up Taranaki, but I guess the Basin is quite an obstacle.

As for the time frame of mass transit, is completing the route to the airport in the 30s really satisfactory? No, not at all. The plan is to build it to Newtown before 2029, then extend it out to the airport in the 30s - really?

Overall, I'm mildly disappointed by the announcement today. While I think the things that have been supported are good, I think the time frame to implement them is both too long and too vulnerable to all number of different factors.

I'm particularly disappointed about the missing tunnel and the trench, only because I believe these two projects to be vital for freeing up the CBD and Te Aro from cars and allowing greater intensification and a more human-centred city. But at least they are still on the table for future governments to consider.

And, Jeff Reff, the second Mt Vic tunnel will probably be a big bone of contention for the NIMBYs so yeah watch this space. I also see that Save the Basin started kicking off about one of the renders of the Basin reserve because it showed an underpass, which they took to mean a flyover in disguise.
The Basin is of course the biggest obstacle in any future transport plan. Originally it was actually supposed to be a shipping basin with Kent/Cambridge Terrace as a shipping canal but mother nature and the 1855 earthquake scuppered that.
As it stands a cricket stadium with no car park space is simply unrealistic and it is time someone looked at moving cricket HQ to another space in the suburbs, as the Basin itself was originally.
If the Basin was a large open green space that could be used by everyone 24/7 there could be a reason to retain provided there was a useful public transport hub?
 

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Mass transit – city to Newtown 990
Mass transit – Newtown to airport 450

Do these buy a light rail line? Including vehicle procurement (or is that opex/longer amortizable?)

Seems not too much, but perhaps it won't be that complex. The 'stations' are often the biggest expenditure in mass transit, and light rail stations are cheap. They should get the teams doing the Manchester Metrolink extensions, they are killing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mass transit – city to Newtown 990
Mass transit – Newtown to airport 450

Do these buy a light rail line? Including vehicle procurement (or is that opex/longer amortizable?)
Don't know , but over in Twyford's announcement it costs $2.2 billion

Rapid Transit from the railway station to Newtown and the airport, supporting urban regeneration

Estimated Capital Cost
$2.2 billion
(Page 5)
https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2019-05/LGWM One Page Summaries.pdf

The fact that the numbers are all over the place indicates that no serious work has been done on anything close to resembling a business case, and its pretty much just a political shopping list,
 

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Golden Mile could become 'car free' within two years: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/113301410/cars-removed-from-golden-mile-within-two-years-as-part-of-lets-get-wellington-moving

According to Justin Lester, Lambton to Taranaki Street will definitely be closed to general traffic, but Courtenay Place will likely retain some general access. In addition, roads around the city will have their speed limits reduced.

Overall, removing general traffic access should be easy enough, but I can't quite work out an alternative route if Willis Street between Boulcott Street and Stewart Dawsons Corner is closed to cars - will Victoria Street be opened up to two way traffic perhaps?

While I definitely like the idea in principle, much of the Golden Mile is essentially car-free anyway and so I can't quite see Lambton Quay, for instance, becoming any more pedestrian friendly than it currently is(n't) when the dominant mode of transport on that street - namely buses - aren't going anywhere.

Another of the consequences of the initiative might be that some peripheral streets to the Golden Mile will be altered to allow for either pedestrianisation or schemes similar to that found in lower Cuba or Bond Streets - Mercer Street seems a prime candidate.

Apart from actually closing the streets to traffic, it's not exactly clear when the street upgrades are going to happen - according to Lester the cost of these initial changes will be in the low hundreds of thousands (so presumably the upgrades will come later). But, surely upgrades, for instance, to Lambton Quay are inevitable (indeed they're part of LGWM) at some point in the near future. The scheme will allow for wider footpaths on Lambton and hopefully they can do something with that median strip that runs along it - like plant nicer, better trees and get rid of the planting beds in favour of paving (and on that note can NZ councils please stop planting parsley and swiss chard in their flower beds).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
While I definitely like the idea in principle, much of the Golden Mile is essentially car-free anyway and so I can't quite see Lambton Quay, for instance, becoming any more pedestrian friendly than it currently is(n't) when the dominant mode of transport on that street - namely buses - aren't going anywhere.
Yip, its not cars that are slowing the buses down , its other buses......

while there could be some minor pedestrian gains if they closed off streets like Johnson, Brandon, Waring Taylor, and extended the footpaths like they did at Bond Street, but I can't really see that happening,

Also from Taranaki all the way through to Willis, there are already bus lanes with no private vehicles..

(As an aside If they are truly committed to this then it will result in lower Cuba finally being fully pedestrianized, as there will be no access from Manners street - but watch the council fudge this and look to allow access from the northern end.....)

At the end of all of this they will conclude that there are still too many buses and that mass transit needs to be looked at.....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Junkets ahoy

Well it took just over a month for the first "Research Trip" for politicians to arrive.....
https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/113748293/trackless-tram-junket-to-china-for-wellington-mayor-justin-lester-rejected-by-regional-councillors

Regional councillors have expressed their shock at a Wellington City Council plan to fly Mayor Justin Lester and city council staff to China on a $5500 per person tour to investigate trackless trams.

Greater Wellington Regional Councillor Paul Swain labelled a plan by the city council to send Lester, senior staff, an unnamed city councillor, and Associate Transport Minister Julie-Anne Genter as "unbelievable" and not meeting the "sniff test". "This can only be described as a junket."

Swain's fellow councillors have also raised transparency issues around the trip.

Lester has been approached for comment but said he was in meetings on Tuesday evening and could only provide information about the tour through a spokeswoman.

At a Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Let's Get Wellington Moving transport plan, general manager Luke Troy said Wellington City Council had invited regional councillors on the tour and would continue with the trip regardless.

The plan was for councillors and staff to visit Beijing and Zhuzhou for $5500 per person - $3000 for flights and $2500 for expenses - to examine three different types of mass transit systems.

It would take place between July 29 and August 2, months before local body elections scheduled for October 12.

Sue Kedgley says the proposal document for the trip was "appalling".
Several regional councillors struggled to suppress their surprise at the proposal and a request that thousands of dollars to be spent on a trackless tram tour when a decision on mass transit was several years away
.
Swain said the proposal was the "skinniest document I've ever seen", Ian McKinnon said he was "amazed to receive this", Sue Kedgley called the proposal "appalling", and Roger Blakeley said "it's just not good enough".
Kedgley said the plan had no travel programme attached or details about the benefits the region would get from the trip.

"I find it quite appalling really that we would get something as thin as this without a programme," Kedgley said.

"This may be how the Wellington City Council operates because the mayor just makes these decisions, but I do think it's a very thin proposal."
GWRC considered the issue at their council meeting on Tuesday after an invitation from WCC was extended to them on Friday.

Troy said two cities in China had trackless trams, Lester's preferred form of mass transit.

Daran Ponter, who would have been selected for the trip under the staff proposal, criticised the tour noting Let's Get Wellington Moving was supposed to be a partnership and WCC had made the decision on its own.

"There can be no cutting loose by one party feeling they can go on an
international tour and get a sense of things without another partner."
Trackless trams are the same width as light rail cars, carry about 300 passengers and follow painted lines on the road using a smart guidance system.

Genter's press secretary Henry Peach said the associate minister had been approached to go on the tour but hadn't confirmed she would be going
 

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I hear talk of a letter from Ms Genter to Phil putting back the Mt Victoria Tunnel for 10 years.
Hope this is incorrect other wise Welling will grind to a hold much like where we are heading up here.
 

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How stupid, if we are going to start building tram networks in NZ the govt needs to insist on local assembly. Bring them in as kits and assemble them in NZ, any city considering teams uses the same tram, or version of it.
 
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