We had a great session on the study and its implications for Newtown at the July monthly meeting. Big thanks to Councillor Daran Ponter and Luke Troy from the Greater Wellington Regional Council for coming along to talk to us.
As highlighted in our earlier story, the big concern was the suggestion that the favoured Bus Rapid Transit option would involve demolition of the pedestrian friendly streetworks as far along Riddiford St as the Constable St intersection. This was signalled as necessary to accommodate the dedicated bus lane up the centre of the street.
What emerged from discussion at the meeting was that this last couple of hundred metres of the propsoed priority bus lane past the intersection of Rintoul St was arguably not actually a necessary part of the design at all. This is acknowledged in a short note in an appendix to the study report. Based on passenger data, there is little likelihood of the priority ever being extended from Riddiford up Constable to the East. The more likely future development would be a southern extension along Rintoul St to Island Bay. This being the case it would seem that the proposed priority lane could actually end at Riddiford and Rintoul with any significant loss of functionality, and avoid destruction of the current mainstreet.
Consultations on the study have now commenced, and run until 30 September. We need a strong response from Newtown and its friends to make the point that the preferred Bus Rapid Transit is accepted ONLY if the southern leg of it ends at the intersection of Rintoul and Riddiford Streets. However the focus of this round of consultation is at a very high level and what is to us the headline issue for our suburb is not identified. We suggest people use any other comments panel at the foot of the online submission form to make our point
You can download:
- a short brochure giving quick over view of the study findings; and
- the more detailed study documents;
on the Greater Wellington regional Council website.