Let’s Get Wellington Moving, let’s get Wellington living!

And just like that… it’s coming!  Good transport’s become mainstream, and it’s time to let our leaders know. Welcome to this Special Edition Interactive post!

Let’s Get Wellington Moving is finally coming

Dear friends

Right now, Cabinet’s preparing the first announcements on the $4 billion of public money to “fix Wellington transport” via Let’s Get Wellington Moving

It’s going to come out before Easter, and still,still without any guiding vision for how the shopping-list of possible projects should combine to make our lives better.

So after almost two years of delay, the second round of decisions – the implementation ones, that will shape Wellington for 50 years and more – will be made by local politicians, without a coherent vision, and just when local body elections are approaching.  

This makes it highly likely that there’ll be some pretty shonky logic behind these big decisions. 

There’ll be some good stuff, no doubt ­ – but we’re betting our politicians will try to put some projects in there which are to a people-centric, future-proofed city what Kryptonite is to Superman. 

In the pursuit of votes, and confident that Wellingtonians don’t really know enough to be discerning, our politicians and technocrats will talk about “a balanced package”, “pragmatic”, “removing the bottlenecks” and having “something for everyone, including motorists”.  Some public transport, some walking/cycling, and some road widening.

Sounds good, right?

It’ll definitely woo the traditional voters, and it’ll make Chamber of Commerce Guy happy.  It’s a safe recipe for another nice term in office – “look, we’re doing something!” And the handicapping of the other investments, the continued suppression of streets as places, the worsening congestion – all those consequences can be worn by future politicians, future voters. Later.  Hey, it’s not like all those climate-striking teens even vote yet!

Talk Wellington thinks this isn’t good enough. Not any more.

Our city’s too smart, too switched-on, too keen already on walking and public transport to waste this opportunity. 

So it’s time to let our politicians see that these days, regular, mainstream Wellingtonians are a bit discerning when it comes to transport.  That we can tell, at fifty paces, which kinds of transport investment will make for a future-proofed city that can really start to flourish – and what kinds won’t.

A better vision for transport

There’s no better barometer of “the mainstream” right now than The Dominion Post, with its enormous digital reach via Stuff. And there’s no better physical edition than the large-format Saturday paper, read over weekend breakfasts and lunches throughout the region.

So we’re delighted to announce that today the DomPost and Stuff Wellington editor Eric Janssen confirmed Talk Wellington’s series outlining a better vision for transport in Wellington will be hitting the pages this Saturday!

The six-part series will run over three Saturdays, with two pieces per Saturday. 

The articles will be outlining a simple vision, with the basic “101” transport logic that Let’s Get Wellington Moving should be based on, and the tried and true formula for the transport our city and people need. 

The logic formula: when you’re in a hole, stop digging.
And instead, put your energy into solutions that are known to work worldwide (even in Auckland!).
in other words: no more spending on increasing road size in central Wellington city until Wellington people have had a decent crack at experiencing life in a city that’s proudly prioritising people and better choices for getting around.    

No thanks. Not any more.

If it’s so sensible, won’t smart leaders do it?

Sadly, no, we can’t be confident, for the reasons above.

So we encourage you to do two things:

1. read the paper or look out for it on Stuff for the next three Saturdays

2. if you like the sound of what you read, say so. 

The traditional “harumphers” are guaranteed to write in and comment quicker than winking: “Luddite rubbish!” “Leftist fantasy!” and “Deluded Mt Victoria hipsters, the rest of us want to drive”, etcetera.

And the politicians will be observing, attuned as they are to the noisiest pulses of the public.

So Wellington needs you for the next three weeks.  You, the ordinary but thoughtful and switched-on citizens, the people who can see beyond “what we know” to “what should be”.  Wellington needs you to make your opinions heard. 

It’s simple, and important: making your voice heard

  • If you don’t usually comment, please do so.
  • If you don’t usually share, please do.
  • If you don’t normally email a letter to the editor, please do.
  • If you don’t normally contact your local councillor, please do  
  • And encourage like-minded folks to do the same!

There’s no need to get into technical debates. The articles will be outlining a vision with the basic “101” logic that our city needs to get right.  All the nitty-gritty arguments – the pros and cons of light rail vs bus rapid transit, ways to do freight, where stops should be, the quantum of fares and charges – that’s all useful but first we must get the basic formula right.

Talk Wellington know life is busy, so we’re supporting you to make your voices heard. 

We’ll be sending out a little “heads up” email ahead of each Saturday, outlining what’s coming and making it really easy to do your bit. If you’d like to receive them, ping us here.

Let’s get going so we can get living!

Let’s Get Wellington Moving is flawed in many ways but it’s still a cool $4 billion-odd of public money going into our city.
Let’s make sure our leaders see: Wellingtonians know what transport investements will give us better lives – and we’re raring to go.

Read part one of the series New departures: Wellington’s Wheels and Deals

Image credits

Climate-striking kids – Jess Feast
Cars in congestion – Cleantechnica.com

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