Golden Mile carfree: phew!

In a month of extreme weirdness, Let’s Get Wellington Moving have got something 100% RIGHT

Last night Let’s Get Wellington Moving announced that they are definitely going to carfree our Golden Mile.

It’s the rebirth of the Golden Mile

Amongst all the other weirdness (forgetting what they’re there for (and then remembering some), don’t-even-get-us-started-on-it governance, a surprise long tunnel eh what?? – and that’s just this year), it’s a huge relief that we’re getting it roughly right on something big.

The gist is all the good stuff you’ll remember from that time we all submitted for the “Transform” option:

Golden Mile revamp

  • Remove all general traffic
  • One bus lane in each direction
  • Close most side streets to motor vehicles / open them to people, creating more footpath/plaza areas
  • Convert 100-200 car parks
  • Relocate loading and taxi zones
  • Increase footpath space by 75 per cent
  • A five-minute walk to any bus sto
  • Dedicated bike and/or scooter lanes

What does it get us? The spine of a city centre fit for a grownup city – that’s good for us all to live, work, move, play, hang out, socialise on.

(worth noting here Stuff’s (and LGWM’s) car-centric framing: “close” side streets vs “open them to people”; “remove” carparks vs “convert” the space. Nothing on increasing liveability and amenity… )

What’s not to like?

Much is being made of those who are less than delighted at the prospect. Too much, you could say.

Delivery companies used to parking wherever should take a deep breath and remember there’s a new world coming they can make dollars and cents in.

Some Golden Mile retailers have existential fear, others (who are probably keeping their heads down given vociferous nature of some neighbours’ opposition) may be quietly optimistic – it’s hard to know because they don’t jump up and down and start petitions.

They’d all do well to talk to retailers in Auckland around places like High Street, O’Connell and Fort streets who’ve seen pro-people street retrofits make the punters far happier to come and “stick, stop, stay and spend”.

read the full report here

Wellington now needs to do this fast and definitively.

For all of our sakes DON’T keep endlessly re-consulting – you have a mandate several times over.

And Wellington needs to do it proper.

We’ll cover this in another post –  there’s a few simple rules, including some out of Auckland.

So, Wellington:

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