Yes, you read that right. The East West Link is back! This time it’s been rebranded as East West Connections. It now covers a new road in Onehunga(which all interested parties are keen to point out, is not a motorway – more on that later) and some new bus/truck lanes (we don’t know how those work either) and walking/cycling provisions(i.e: share the footpath, as we do now) in Mangere and Otahuhu.
Representatives from ROCC attended two of the four open days held by Auckland Transport and NZTA to promote their project and identified several concerns:
– This new motorway will not fix congestion, either on SH1 or SH20, or through Onehunga. Many supporters of this believe it will ease congestion, NZTA themselves say it won’t. It is proven all over the world that more roads don’t mean less traffic. In fact, they encourage it.
– Furthermore, there is no clear plan to decongest the bottleneck at the bottom of Onehunga Mall. More trucks will be getting pulled into this choke point.
– This project will cost in excess of 1.5 billion dollars. Future generations will be paying for this. Research already shows that young people are driving less, and are not as keen on buying cars as previous generations.
– The investigative report commissioned by AT and NZTA clearly states that more could be done with regard to public transport and lessening the number of private vehicles on roads. Why is this not being done first?
– The current safe cycling and walking facility along the foreshore is not part of the NZTA plan – the planned road is between the current path and the foreshore, with multiple road crossings.
– NZTA and AT have said that only 15% of traffic in this area is trucks. In that case, the funds could be better spent on lessening the other 85% of traffic through public transport initiatives. Furthermore, the 15% who will be served by this expensive road could contribute the money themselves, or the road could be tolled to recoup funds.
– The road is being touted as a beneficial thing for the harbour yet NZTA appear to have very little information about the problem they are looking to solve. What is the current water quality like in the Manukau Inlet? What provisions will be made to filter the run-off from this motorway?
– There has been very little effort to engage the public, particularly younger people who will be saddled with this debt.
– Why are we trying to ruin the Manukau Inlet with a major road, when it could be a major entertainment destination? The wharf could be a precinct similar to North Wharf – this will not be possible with various off-ramps and a ‘limited state highway’ surrounding it.
What can you do?
– Submit your feedback by Friday, July 17. You can do this online at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/east-west-connections
– You can also use Generation Zero’s handy and super easy web form: http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/07/16/submit-on-the-east-west-connections/
– You can also give feedback by e-mail – send your submission to email@example.com
– You can write to your local representatives:
– Maungakiekie MP Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga: http://www.lotu-iiga.com
– Councillor Denise Krum: Denise.Krum@nullaucklandcouncil.govt.nz
– Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board Chairperson, Simon Randall: firstname.lastname@example.org
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